Girls Backyard Party -14yr- Pink & Lime Green
Mindy in Branson, MO, USA
For my daughter's fourteenth birthday we couldn't decide on just one theme. She wanted to have it outdoors in our big fenced-in backyard since the weather is always pretty nice in September. She also wanted to do a movie theme, since we have a big outdoor projection screen type thing that we hardly ever get to use. We finally decided to combine everything and ended up with this party -- the girls all said it was a blast!
INVITATIONS-- First my daughter picked a color theme, she picked pink and lime-green which is what we decorated in and also made the invitations in. First I went out and bought a bunch of stuff to make the invites with: parchment paper, ribbons, stickers, glitter paints, buttons, and gel pens, all in either pink or green (or both). Then my daughter made each invitation, all a little differently but mostly with the same idea. The invitation was just a piece of paper with a ribbon border, and buttons on each corner. Stickers of hearts or flowers were placed randomly, and glitter glue was used to outline the stickers and make hearts and flowers as well. But before all this was added I wrote out all the details in gel pen, telling each guest to bring things to sleep over and to wear things they wouldn't mind getting dirty or wet. Then I copied the original invite eight times, since we were inviting nine girls. Then the invites were decorated. After they were all done and dried, I rolled them up like a scroll and tied them with the extra ribbon. I had my daughter hand-deliver each invitaiton in private, so that the girls that weren't invited didn't see. I had her deliver them about a week and a half ahead of time.
DECORATIONS-- Like I said before, my daughter picked the color theme as pink and lime-green. We had about one hundred balloons blown up, about 50 by just our own old-fashioned way and then the other 50 by helium. They were all either pink or green and said Happy Birthday on them.The ones that weren't inflated with helium were just tied and placed randomly, and the others were tied in bunches and hung on our deck, along our fence, out by our mailbox (so people could find our house easily), and on our patio funiture. Then the streamers were wrapped around our backyard fence, on our deck, on the furniture, hanging down doorways, etc. My husband also placed clear Christmas lights along our deck and on our fence and also in the trees to add some sparkle. That is basically all we did for decorations, since my daughter thought that fourteen was too old for doing much.
THE PARTY-- The party started at 4:00 on a Friday. All nine girls came, which was nice since counting my daughter we had ten, which is a good even number. The first part of the party we were doing a team survivor-type thing. Each girl was greeted at the door and drew a bandana out of a hat to see which color team they were on. There were two teams, the pink and the green. The teams then met in the backyard where we had set up challenges. The first challenge was
FOOD CHALLENGE. We had thirty plates set out on a big table and each one had a paper bag over it with a number (from 1-30) drawn on the bag. There was a big bowl with the numbers 1-30 drawn on it also. Each team took a turn by sending a player (everyone had to do it 3 times) over to the bowl and drawing the number. Whatever number they got was the number plate they had to take. They took the plate and then as soon as they took the bag off to reveal what it was, I set a stopwatch and timed each girl to see how long it took them to eat it. After everyone had gone I combined all the times of each person on the team and whatever team had the lowest time got 10 points, the loser 5. (Throughout the challenges I kept track of the scores on a clipboard). Some of the foods we had were not very yummy, for example -- cooked spaghetti covered in mustard, baby food, vienna sausages (which actually some of the girls loved), gummy worms dipped in ketchup and rolled in Oreos, and sardines. However some of the stuff was really good, like M&M's, chocolate-covered fruit, peanut butter cookies, etc.
The next challenge was CRICKET TRANSFER. We had two aquariums for each team, a cup for each team, and a bucket for each team (with a lid). In each aquarium was roughly 20-30 crickets (you can find these at a pet store for cheap). On the count of go, each team would go one member at a time over to the aquarium, reach in with the cup, and try to get as many crickets as possible into the cup, and then transfer them back to the bucket, and then run the cup back to the aquarium. The time limit was two minutes and after that was up, I counted up the crickets and the team with the most crickets got 10 points, the losers 5.
The next challenge was SHAVING CREAM BALLOONS. I had my husband help me fill up about 100 ballons with shaving cream -- warning, this takes FOREVER, do it ahead of time to avoid stress! In about half of the balloons was a little piece of paper that said 'WINNER' on it. We used a kiddy pool to put all of these balloons in. The teams got into two lines, and on the count of three the first person off of each team ran and got one, popped it, and if it had a 'WINNER' paper on it, then they put it in their team's bowl. If it didn't, then too bad for them, and it was the next person's turn. After all of the balloons were popped, the team with the most winning papers on it got 10 points, the losers 5.
Finally the last game -- BUBBLEGUM RACE. This is a classic! We had a table set up with two chairs, and the first two people off of each team were told to sit down in one of the chairs. I put a piece of bubblegum on a paper plate (a different plate for each girl of course). On the count of three, they had to try to chew the bubblegum. The first one to blow a decent-sized bubble won. The team with the most winners got 10 points, the losers 5.
After everything was done, it was about 6:30. I had had my husband porder pizza so that it would get here about this time. The girls cleaned up and went inside to eat while I added up scores. Also, I had decided to pick one overall winner for everything -- for being a good sport, for being competitive, for trying her hardest, etc. After the girls ate their pizza, I announced the winning team. The winners all got a big Hershey chocolate bar and $100 monopoly money each (I'll explain this next), and the losing team got a smaller Hershey bar and $75 Monopoly money each. Then I announced the overall winner, who got a $10 certificate to Claire's and another $10 in Monopoly money.
Now after we did this I had all the girls go downstairs to play Dance Dance Revolution while I set up the auction". My daughter said that instead of gift bags she wanted to have an auction type thing so that's what I did. I had about thirty bags set up on a table with numbers on them and under each was a different prize. Some of the things my daughter picked out were really nice and some were really silly. We had everything from a Hairspray DVD (my daughter made sure none of her friends had this yet) cute socks and a $10 gift certificate to Bath & Body Works to a bottle of nail polish and a humongus silly pair of sunglasses!
The girls were all brought upstairs and they all sat around the table with their Monopoly money. The great thing was that nobody knew what they were bidding on! I started at Bag 1 and we went all the way until Bag 30. This took quite a while so after this was done I decided to go ahead and do our last final big activity of the night. Outside my husband had set up our projection screen in our backyard. We had mounds upon mounds of pillows lying around for the girls to lounge on as well as some blankets and a few stuffed animals for cuddling. Since my daughter wasn't sure what her friends wanted to watch we had different choices but they ended up choosing She's The Man. While the movie was going I made sure that I stayed out of the way but I was constantly (and silently) refilling snacks and drinks. For snack choices we had pretzels lots of chips plenty of popcorn M&Ms mini candy bars watermelon slices carrots and dip and Rice Krispie Treats.
For drinks we had soda juice and water all in a cooler and ready for the girls to grab. After the movie ended we did presents and did ice cream cake even though most of the girls were stuffed. By then it was close to 11 and I was pooped so I had my husband set up the tent outside. After refilling all of the girls' snacks one more time and help transfer their stuff out to the tent I left them to do their own thing. From what I could hear they did plenty of talking laughing truth-or-dareing and just being girly! When morning came I had set up a smoothie bar for each girl to make their own smoothie which they seemed to like. The parents picked up their girls at about 10:30 and by then I could tell they were all as tired as I was but they all said that they had an amazing time!
THANK YOU NOTES -- While the party was going on I had my camera constanly snapping pictures so I picked out about 50 of them and burnt them to the computer made them into a slideshow (complete with music) and then burnt them onto a CD! I gave these out to all of the girls as thank you note type things and they all really enjoyed it. "