Attic Gal Rachelle says:
My twins have been enthralled with the Hunger Games books, so for their 13th birthday they wanted to have a Hunger Games party. Having really enjoyed the series myself, I was game! And the nice thing about 13 year olds, is that they can do so much to help plan their own party. For months they put their heads together and came up with some crazy ideas, but this post shows what we eventually came up with. It just turned out awesome!
This is the invitation. It was printed on card stock, and folded like double doors and secured with black tape. On the front were the words "Happy Hunger Games." They actually invited 12 girls and 12 boys, in hopes of getting a full 24 tributes, but their birthday was after the last day of school so it ended up being more like 14, which was plenty.
I usually go all out for decorations and food, but this time I decided that this party was all about the activities. Besides, these are the Hunger Games, so we wouldn't want anyone getting too full, right?
I kept the snacks simple and relevant to the theme: rustic bread with goat cheese and apple slices, bowls of flaming' hot potato chips and flaming' hot Cheetos, and cinnamon fire jelly bellies.
We also had plenty of water bottles and planned to pick up pizza to take the arena after the actual games at the end.
The decorations were simple too: just a little bit of crepe paper in yellow, orange, red, and black, and a few HG posters that we picked up at Walmart. The parachutes are just made from cheap basket planters that I found for less that $2 each at Walmart too. We just removed the filler, turned them upside down, and covered them with foil. We hung them with fishing line from the ceiling fan, and hung small loaves of bread and a tin to represent medicine on them. Super cheap and easy, but the kids got a kick out of them.
Of course, the real show stopper was the cake! It was covered in chocolate frosting, and chocolate candy rocks were stuck all around the sides. The campfire loge are cookies and the flames are made from melted yellow butterscotch and red cinnamon candies - the cheap ones. I melted them separately on the stove (be careful - it will burn and darken quick if you are not careful) and then poured and swirled them together on a Silpat. When it is cool and hard, I broke it into pieces and put it on the cake with the largest pieces in the middle. Those little red bumpy peanut candies are tossed in the middle to look like embers and the arrow was made with a skewer and a couple of small laffy taffys that were softened in the micro for a few seconds to make them soft so I could mold them with a butter knife. I just moistened the edges to stick them to the skewer. The bumpy peanuts and chocolate rock candy were in bulk at Winco. It made a great center piece when we finally blew out the candles, all the kids were clamoring for the flames, of course!
The first thing we did when the kids arrived was have everyone register for the reaping. I made these little slips of paper where they signed their name and used a red ink pad to give us a "blood" sample thumb print. Then they were folded and secured with black tape. Black tape was hard to find, so I had to resort to trying to cut up black duct tape. That was not very effective and messy, so see if you can find some actual black tape somewhere. I had two jars, one for girls and one for boys, of course. I also gave everyone a name tag, because everyone did not know everyone, and for some of the activities, it would be important for the kids to know each other's names.
And then it was time for the reaping! I, of course, had to dress up like Effie Trinket! My boys loved the silly lipstick, but complained that my hair was neither pink enough nor big enough. Well, we can't all be as perfect as Effie, can we? I jet went in my closet and layered on anything fluffy and frilly in pinks and purples.
To do the reaping, I announced a district, then picked a name for a girl and then a boy to represent that district. Since we didn't have enough kids for all the districts, we picked districts 1-5, then skipped to 11 and 12. When the tributes came up they were given a token from their district to wear. (The picture of the tokens and how I made them are further down this post.)
Immediately after the reaping, of course, it was time for the stylists to make costumes for the tributes representing their districts! We had each district team decide which would be the stylist, and which would wear the costume. This idea came from the old wedding shower game where you make a wedding dress out of TP, but my boys had a better idea, and along with the TP they just scrounged around the house for some other interesting elements to make costumes out of - stuff I never would have thought to use - and dumped it all on the table: foil, pipe cleaners, colored tape, trash bags, duct tape, paper bowls and plates, paper clips, whatever. Those kids got very creative, and it was a ton more fun than just TP! I doubt Cinna himself could not have done better.
The stylists got 10 minutes to dress their tributes, them we paraded them out and voted on our favorites.
Here are the district tokens I mentioned earlier. I found an image online that had the seals for the 12 districts, sized it to my liking, and printed it out. Then I glued the whole sheet well to a piece of heavy cardboard and cut out the tokens. I used Stampin' Up!'s Crystal effects on the fronts to make them shiny (or you could use epoxy or something like that) and stuck pin backs to the back. They turned out pretty cool.
After the interviews, it was time to start the training. We had 4 activities planned for the training portion. The first was identifying poison berries. We took some fresh raspberries and into the hole of just a few we sprinkled a tiny bit of sugar, and into all the others we sprinkled a tiny bit of salt. Then we placed them individually upside down in these plastic shot glasses from the dollar store. The kids each selected one and at the count of three they all ate their berries and the ones who were still smiling had avoided the poison berries and won a prize.
This was a fun, fun game, and super easy to put together, and I personally loved the colorful dots stuck all over everyone for the rest of the party.
For the rest of the activities, we had to actually drive to another location, so this is when we took a break and sang Happy Birthday, blew out the candles (that fire cake looked AWESOME lit up with candles, by the way!), and opened the gifts. Then we all piled into the cars to be transported to the "arena," a large piece of empty property we own about a mile away.
In order to make things fair, we had the big glass jar with all the tributes' cards with their names that we use in the reaping. We had everyone draw a name and that was the name of the tribute they had to kill. When you killed that tribute, he would give you the card with the name of the person he was supposed to kill, and then you could go after that tribute next. You could only kill someone if you had their card, or if they try to kill you, you can kill them in self defense. But this cannot go on this way forever, because someone might get themselves, etc, so after about half of the tributes were killed, the gamemakers made an announcement via the megaphone that it was now a free for all, and any tribute could kill any tribute.
The tributes were also given clip-on flag football flags to clip on. You killed someone by taking their flag. They were all arranged in a circle around the cornucopia with their backs to it, ready to begin the Games!
When the games were done and we had our champion, there was just enough daylight that some of them decided to play it again. Others did some more archery, and we had pizza ready then too.
I found the orange fabric bags at the dollar store in sets of 2. We filled them with supplies of Pop Rocks, Slim Jim fire sticks, pixie sticks, Atomic Fireballs, peanut butter and cheese crackers, and Sleep Syrup which was just re-labeled small bottle of Hawaiian Punch or orange Gatorade. They also got to keep whichever smaller or dollar store weapons that they acquired.
We live in a HOT place, and the birthday was in June, so we had to start the party as late as possible so it would be cooler to be outside, but still early enough to get it all in before dark. We started the party at five and it was over by eight, so we had 3 hours. We timed it pretty well for the most part, but if I was planning the party under better circumstances, I would plan more time because we had to kind of rush things and the kids were still having fun when it got dark and we had to pack it all up (in the dark - not fun) and go home.
Overall, it was a really fun party, and my boys and all the guests had a blast. They really felt like they were tributes in the Hunger Games! It was a fun party to put together.
If you decide to throw a Hunger Games party, have fun with it, and may the odds be ever in your favor!