Invitations: The Sheriff needs your help!
Did you read about the Candy Caper Bandits? They hid all the candy
that (birthday boy or girl) were going to share at their birthday
party. Where did the Candy Caper Bandits hide the candy? The party's
still on! We have some clues, but we need your help. Come on
out at (address) on (date, time) and get ready to hunt, and find the
Party Decorations: Cut
out large footprints that wander around to hiding places for dropped
"loot" (candy) and some that wander around aimlessly. (You
don't want to make it too easy unless your guests are very young!)
Paper plates, cups, napkins in solid red or blue, plus
plastic forks and spoons.
Birthday Cake: Cake
cut like a police car. Using white icing, make two colors - white and
red is always bright and colorful, but any two colors are fine. Soft
drinks on ice. These should be available throughout the party, as
there are running games.
Prepare Goodie Bags for your Guests to
Take Home: Contact your local sheriff's
department and see if they have anything they can give you such as
safety coloring books, stickers, etc. to add to your gift bags for
your guests to take home.
Games and Activities at the Birthday
(1) Costumes: Make your uniform: First
activity, to handle staggered arrivals.
Cut a hole in the bottom of each paper grocery bag before your
guests arrive to create a head hole. The kids can put their head
through the hole to create a Police Vest. Slit the bags
up the sides to avoid the need for armholes, or
wait until your guests arrive to size and cut armholes
as needed for each child. Have the kids color the vest if they
Police Badge: Make
badges from cardboard. Cover with aluminum foil. Write each
guest's name on a badge with a marker. Scotch tape, velcros, or
glue a police badge on each "vest".
"Calling all Detectives!" Say: "Study this room
carefully and try to remember what you see. It will come in handy
later!" Give them a minute to look around, which most won't do,
(2) Conduct the Treasure Hunt (The Candy
Caper) Before guests arrive, hide wrapped
candy all over the party area or back yard. When it's time for
the Candy Caper, shout: "Calling all Detectives!" Group your
party guests in one area. Quickly explain the game. Let the kids
follow the footprints and find the candy. This is fast and furious.
Let it be a free for all. Have extra candy in your pocket to drop for
little ones when they become frustrated because their big brothers and
sisters have snatched all the candy. Don't bother with clues unless
your guest list is very small. You might wish to hand out
small bags to hold the candy they find. You
can say something like: When your bag is full, you're done.
(3) Observation Game: Again,
shout: "Calling all Detectives!" Say: "Here's
your chance to win more candy. This is how the game is played. While
you were playing Candy Caper, I have changed five things in this room.
What are they?" Have kids guess. Let them scream it out. Toss
winners a piece of candy.
kids will say, no fair! No problem. Tell them to quickly look around,
then move then on to the next activity ....
(4) Traffic Light Game - Stop and Go:
Before the party, cut out two
big signs - a red stop sign and a round green circle for go. Explain
the game is Stop and Go. Detectives can shout, but the person
holding the signs is not going to say a thing. You will need to
be observant. When the sign Stop goes up, STOP. When the sign Go
goes up, Run to the (assign a place at the other end of the
yard.) Explain to the kids that anyone who messes up will be
sent to Jail. Point out the 'Jailhouse' where activities are ready.
Play Stop and Go. As kids get 'caught', send them off to the
Jailhouse, where another parent or two (or your babysitting
crew) is waiting to direct them.
(5) The Jailhouse Arts and Crafts Area:
Police Car Chase Art: Prepare
a Table and have one parent host the car chase art. You'll need sheets
of white paper, some little cars - be prepared for the kids to
want to take them home. Pots of washable paint. Create police art
by dipping the wheels of the little cars into paint, then rolling the
cars across paper. Let dry - you have police car chase art.
Toss the crooks into
jail: Before the party, prepare a
cardboard box with a round hole cut into the side. Using a black magic
marker, draw lines on the box like the bars of a cell. Make or mark
beanbags with names of crimes - Shoplifter, Really Bad Guy, etc. Have
the kids 'toss the crooks' into jail. Have prizes. Tell the kids they
may play as often as they wish, but they can only win once. Once the
older kids have a chance to play, put 1 or 2 of the older kids in
charge of this game.
Mirror scramble: Before
the party, make some bingo size cards with a message that can only be
read backwards, and easily read by holding the card up to a mirror.
Have the kids guess what it says, then let them hold it up to a
mirror. Write messages like:
Return to Stop and Go Game
Go To Police Car Chase Art
Go to Toss the Crook Into Jail
You Have Won a Piece of Candy
"Calling all Detectives!" Round up the kids and sit
them down for cake and ice cream and something to drink.
(6) Serve Birthday Cake and Ice Cream
- Have the birthday boy or girl make a wish and blow
out the candles on the cake. Then, as you are serving cake and ice
cream to your guests, play the Observation Game one
more time. Say: "Here's your last chance to win more candy.
While you were playing, I changed five more things in this room. What
are they?" Have kids guess. Let them scream it out. Toss winners
a piece of candy.
(7) Open Birthday Presents: Have
your party boy or girl open presents. Make a note of each present
so that you can help your child send thank you cards at a later
(8) Handout Guest Goodie Bags,
and thank your guests for coming to the Candy Caper!
Coloring and Activity Pages - You might wish to print out some of
these to have on hand at your party for your younger guests.
It is always wise to be prepared!
Kids Safe - What to look for when buying toys (article)
Here is a recap of preparation
needed prior to the birthday party:
Paper plates, forks, spoons, cups (if desired) -
red, white, blue
Bags of wrapped candy
Cake, Icing, Food Coloring, Ice Cream
Brightly colored construction paper for footprints,
various signs and prizes, and police chase art.
Stop and Go signs
Mirror Scramble signs
Brown paper grocery bags
Black magic marker