Camping Party

Glow Party 8yr - Flashlight Tag




Jackie in Penry, Ca USA


May 2010


Honorable Mention

To celebrate the arrival of summer and the end of the school year we decided to let our son (8 y/o) invite some of his friends over for a campout in the backyard. We figured what better way to celebrate summer and boys this age LOVE camping.

Invitations were created at home and sent out about 2 weeks before the last day of school saying, No more homework no more books no more teacher's dirty looks!" Inside we informed parents that this was an end of school/summer celebration with the "normal" date/time/location details. For the kids we listed some of the party plans: including a bonfire with hotdogs s'mores glow games and an outdoor movie.

Decorations were minimal we had X-mas lights wrapped around trees which created enough light that you could see to eat and safely walk around there were glowing drink cups table cloths were black plastic that we splatted with glow paint and then we hung glow sticks around the yard.

We started with the "wienie roast" we have a bonfire pit on our patio but a charcoal BBQ with the grill removed would work just fine. We also have a supply of metal tongs specifcally for roasting hotdogs and marshmellows that we purchased several years ago; look in the camping section of your local Target they are MUCH easier for the kids to use than sticks from the yard. The kids roasted their own hotdogs(be sure to have extras available as some hotdogs WILL fall into the bonfire pit)snacks were chips and fuit desert was s'mores(roasted marshmellow between 2 graham crackers with a bit of chocolate).

After dinner we passed out all the night time glow in the dark stuff. I was able to purchase a large amount of glow in the dark sticks necklaces bracelets flashlights etc from the local "Dollar Tree" and glow paint from the craft store. The kids started snapping and cracking all the glow goodies and decorated themselves immediately. We also passed out flashlights and began our glow games.

1st was flashlight tag (a combo of tag and hide-n-seek) The searching child is "It"."It" goes to base counts to 50 while the others hide. "It" then shouts "ready or not" and begins to search for the rest who are sneaking back to base(covered in glowing things and flashlights must be kept ON - in otherwords they are not so sneaky!). If "It" spots you and correctly identifies you by calling out your name before you are safely back to base you "lose" and must return to base the last person back to base becomes "It" for the next round. We also played glow freeze tag.

Be sure that when playing these games you have a LARGE flat open no obstacle area to avoid tripping.

When it got too rowdy we slowed things down with a game of glow bowl. Paint 2 Liter bottles and a ball with the glow paint arrange the painted bottles like bowling pins and start "bowling". We created our bowling ally along the sidewalk next to the house and placed white X-mas lights to make an ally on the ground so the kids had an idea of where the ball needed to be rolled. When they finished several rounds of bowling we gathered everyone up and sat on beach blankets and started the movie. We have a movie screen and projector so it was kind of like a drive in. We had serve yourself popcorn out of our old fashioned popcorn machine and licorice for the kids to munch on the remaining s'mores were also eaten up.

Once the movie finished it was "bedtime" the kids slept (well that was our plan but not theirs) in a tent outside still embelished with their glowing jewlery and flashlights. The party was successful and I'm sure that this will become an annual ritual around our house especially since it can so easily be modified for older children as well as younger.  As a side note: we had also purchased t-shirts and planned to let the kids paint glowing t-shirts. With all the other activities they decided against it so we will save that for another time - maybe next time I will make the glow t-shirts myself and we will use them as our "invitations" so they will be dry and the kids will be able to wear them to the party.  "

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