Photo Trail Party -13yr- Photo Prints at Lunch
Giskin in Kenley, Surrey, UK
It's difficult to devise a fun party for intellectual teenagers, but my daughter's annual birthday party is something of an event (largely thanks to this site for the ideas), so we eventually hit on the idea of a photo trail. The concept is relatively simple. Each child is provided with a list of objects to photograph along a particular route. We're a short train ride from London so our route was along the South Bank, from London Bridge to Waterloo. Nine children participated, and we had two chaperones.
Each child had a personalised list of things to photograph which we put into plastic wallets that they could wear round their necks with lanyards. Also in the wallet was a map of the route (with emergency meeting points if anyone got lost) and a list of mobile phone numbers to phone if anyone did get separated from the group. It helped that the route followed the river so no one could get too lost! There were 12 things for each partygoer to photograph.
Here is an example of a list: balloon, arty photo of something turquoise [changed colour for each child], Charles Dickens, envy [everyone had some emotion to photograph], someone walking a dog pigeon, the word CCTV, get five cranes in one shot [they all had this one], something truly beautiful [also all had this one], autumn leaf, jumping [all had an activity], and they all had a 'secret' activity to photograph involving one of the other girls, e.g. X jumping, or Y drinking, or Z pointing, etc. We also gave everyone a rubber duck and some (three) of the items on their list, had a picture of a duck next to them so the duck needed to appear in those pics.
Also, they each got a photo from along the route that they had to 'match'. There was a second-hand book stall near the end of the walk, so the girls had fun finding pictures of objects they hadn't spotted along the way (e.g. dolphin, unicorn). It wasn't a competition, but everyone managed to photograph everything in the end. The girls helped each other with tricky topics. The route was a good length and took about an hour and a half to cover with frequent stops for photographs and a snack-break half way.
At the end of the walk, we had booked lunch in a restaurant. We downloaded all the photographs for each girl onto a laptop and saved them on a memory stick. I rushed off to have them printed at a photo booth while everyone was eating. At the end of the party, we presented each girl with her photographs and a lovely book in which to stick them. On the way back on the train, they enjoyed sharing their photographs and reminiscing about how they took them.
The invitations were fairly straightforward, made on the computer with a nice image from along the route. We asked people to bring their own cameras but fortunately we took a spare. The biggest problem is running out of batteries, or charge. You definitely need a back up as it is a shame if someone's camera stops working and they can no longer participate.
For the cake, we made cupcakes with ducks modeled from icing on them, and just stuck a candle in each to sing happy birthday in the restaurant. Everyone had a great time, and we were lucky with the weather.