Tuesday, March 29, 2011
How To Throw a Hunger Games Party
My daughter is at a difficult age where planning a birthday bash just isn't what it used to be. The tween/teen years are the hardest to plan something. Last year after finally getting my daughter interested in the book I convinced her a Hunger Games birthday party was the way to go. So here is how we did it.
The first thing to do is make sure everyone knows what the Hunger Games is. Here is the explanation I included with the invitation.
The Hunger Games is the first book of the Hunger Games Trilogy, which was written by Suzanne Collins. In a future North America, the US has been all but destroyed. The rulers of Panem maintain control of those who survived through an annual televised survival competition pitting 2 young people from each of the twelve districts against one another. Sixteen-year-old Katniss' skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the competition. The games require survivor type skills, but it’s a fight to the finish. Katniss somehow manages to become the girl who reaches out to the people of all districts when she proves she does not need to loose her humanity to win the games. Her involvement in the games stirs up long hidden emotions which may start a revolution.
For this party we will attempt to recreate a gentler version of the Hunger Games with crafts and competitions that are like those in the book. It will not be a fight to the finish, but the winner will be the individual who scores the highest points after everything is completed. For example, the girls might create bracelets using knots, a skill taught in the book before the competition which could be used in the Games to snare rabbits or other animals. We will start the evening with a formal dinner, somewhat like that in the book. Please let me know if your child has any food allergies.
For the invitation you can create your own or use a picture of the cover on the front(with copyright laws, however, I'm not sure if this is permissible). FYI we used script font that I can't seem to reproduce on my blog.:(
You’ve Been Selected via the
official Hunger Games Lottery to
represent your district in the
2010 Hunger Games.
(It’s Insert name/age here Birthday Party)
When: Insert date and time here
Where: Insert location here
Please RSVP by: Insert date here
to: Insert name and phone and /or email
Dinner will be served promptly at Insert time here
Don’t forget to pack your Pajamas, pillow, sleeping bag, and toothbrush.
We kept things simple and only used a handful of things, one of which were some posters we created.
Games & Activities:
As you have probably guessed our birthday party was a sleepover. Our first "event" was a formal dinner. It was supposed to represent the dinner/feast that was held before the games. We ended up getting take out from Olive Garden. They have a Parties To Go menu that is fairly reasonable. You could always serve whatever you wish. We let the girls have the dining room to themselves and the rest of the family ate in the kitchen. Using our china actually saved us a bundle (hence we got Olive Garden) that we would usually spend on paper plates. If you don't have china or don't wish to use it you could always use Chinet plates or you may be able to pick up a cheap set of china at a local thrift shop. Sometimes they have complete sets. :
If you read the introduction I provided, you have probably guessed that all games from here out are awarded a point value. No prizes were given until the end. It ensured all the girls got a prize. Hunger Games trivia started off our competition. (Side note: One of the things that made me the proudest was that all the girls read the book. *sniff* )
Next, we had a contest to see who knew which flowers were edible and which were poisonous. Again girls got points for correct answers. This game was used to represent how Katniss and others in the competition need to know what plants were edible to survive. Make sure to stress they should always second guess themselves if they ever wish to eat a plant of any kind. Also, make sure they are aware that while one portion of a plant may be edible another might not. I used real flowers for this game, but in hindsight, I should have probably used pictures. We ended up with a few carnations missing from one of our arrangements. lol
Then, to recreate the beginning of the game where everyone had to grab as many supplies as they could while avoiding being injured or killed, we had a scavenger hunt. The items included flashlights (I found for under a buck), compasses (probably my most expensive item), bandanas, camouflage bags to hold everything in (I got them for 50 cents each), glow bracelet (because they're fun), whistles, frisbees,etc. Here are some pictures from the scavenger hunt. We used Beanie Babies to decorate the trees (picture below on left side). The other picture shows the scavenger hunt in progress. The whole hunt went by in a bit of a blur so I felt this picture nicely represented that. You can barely make out one of the girls holding her bag. We awarded points to girls using the order they finished to determine their point value.
Next, I wanted a game which required some skill. I thought about lawn darts or horseshoes, but the games were a little to pricey for me because I'd need a few sets to keep all the girls busy. I had some hula hoops left over from a previous party and the girls had frisbees which they acquired during the scavenger hunt, so I just improvised and devised my own game. You could put the hoops on the ground or hang them from a tree. The girls needed to get the frisbees into or through a hoop. Points were assigned via the difficulty level.
We did have one casualty during the party:
I wanted a beehive to represent the Tracker Jackers in the book, but ended up settling for the monkey pinata which I believe makes an appearance in Catching Fire.
Later that evening the girls made friendship bracelets using the Klutz Hemp Bracelets book. We gave a second book away as a prize, as well as a copy of Catching Fire.
Lastly, you can't have a party without cake. My daughter designed hers to look like a book. The people at Publix did an awesome job of doing it to her specifications.
All in all the girls had a great time.
Ms. Collins, If you ever read this post please know my daughter & I are big fans. I bet you couldn't guess. ;)