Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Survivor: Birthday Island!

This past weekend marked my baby boy hitting his first decade. Still trying to process the fact that I'm the mom of a child in the double digits, but we threw one heck of a party to celebrate this milestone :) Welcome to our version of Survivor Birthday Island!

There were so many moving parts and pieces to this party I've decided that the best way to share it with you all is to do a quick overview and then add more detailed follow up post about specifics later, like the invitations...I decided to go with messages in a bottle. They didn't turn out exactly like I wanted, but definitely cute and totally fit the theme and feel we were going for. We hosted this party in the early evening so we could have a feast and get to light the torches and fire pit after dark.

Message in a Bottle Invitations

This year the boys outnumbered the girls by a large margin and there were some Jr. Survivors in attendance so we had all of the big kids pull buffs out of a sack which determined if they were on the Red or Blue Tribe, then the smaller kids were just directed to go with one or the other to make it fair. This seemed to work well and our tribes were pretty evenly split with about 14 kids each.

We had two camp sites set up, and the tribe that won the reward challenge got first pick.

They were given buckets of supplies, including shelter building materials with laminated instructions, fish nets, Dixie cups, wet wipes, flag making materials, a tribe mascot and directions to tree mail and the clean water well :)

With the camps and ground rules set up, it was time to really get the challenges going...

This consisted of the teams in 4-man heats, given 45 seconds to fish as many gummy worms they could out of a pile of chocolate pudding and deposit in a jar using only their faces, after the final heat, the team with the most worms won!

Lacrosse sticks, big containers of water and these awesome sponge bombs. Teams picked two people to be the thrower and loader on one side of the yard  while all remaining team members went to the other end of the yard to be receivers. We did 3 1 minute heats, teams had to catch as many soaking wet sponge bombs they could and deposit in their tams basket before time was up, dropped sponges were out. between heats teams were allowed to strategize and switch out their thrower/loader, really fun.

Jumbo marshmallows and oversized straws! Each team member got a straw, the yard was marked off in 4 sections (2 per side) with each team having a home base on their respective end. Teams had to split into their sections, giant pile of marshmallows dropped in the center and you had to suck a marshmallow up with your straw and carry it to the end of your section for another teammate to then suck it u and get it to your home base. This challenge was well underway when I ran in to check on or feast; when I came back out it was over and those crazy children were going wild eating all of the marshmallows, gag :)

For the Water Brigade, teams stood in line with a bucket full of water at one end and a tube with a ping pong ball at the other. First perdon in line had to scoop up a cup of water and then pour it into their neighbors cup and so on down the line until the last person poured the water into the tube trying to get their ball to float over the line marked on the tube first. Problem was, there were several holes in random places in all of the cups, really fun to watch them come up with ways to adapt :)

At this point everyone was starving like real Survivors, so we had an all tribe reward feast!

We had island delights like BBQ Pulled Pork, Crisp Slaw, Hawaiian Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Hot Dogs, Tons of Fruits & Veggies, Chips and an array of different Salsas, Smores on a Stick,  Lemonade & Punch (this was the only time they were allowed anything except water)

We were running behind schedule but we got in another challenge that they loved! :)

The Tribal Counsel Score Board kept a running tally

And the final piece, a Survivor Style roasted pig cake to finish it all off.

That pig didn't stand a chance against the ravenous hoards. After cake service most of the adults/helpers headed for the hills (aka the Margaritaville drink blender, lol) and set them free...wild, sugar-rushing children with torches and nets and the sun going down made our backyard look more like an outtake from Lord of the Flies vs. Survivor ;)

Everyone went home with a torch, tiki cup and these authentic Survivor style eating scoops that I picked up here. I'm bummed we ran out of time and didn't get to do our puzzle/food challenges and like always there were other things (like hidden idols, more tree mail & names on parchment attached to the torches)  I planned to do, but just ran short of time/hands, oh well. Overall this party was a huge success and a real blast for us to plan and host since my son and I are huge Survivor fans! Hope you enjoy this peak at our party.

TTFN, Andrea

10 Chit Chat & Feedback:


Girl, you have outdone yourself! I just can't get enough of your Survivor party. You must have been planning it since the birthday boy was born! The activities, the invitations, the food, the decorations, the cake (the CAKE!)- everything is to die for. It makes me wish I had a rowdy bunch of 10-year-olds to plan something like this for (my granddaughter is turning 10 in a few months, but she's the diva-Twilight-Shake It Up type). I know everybody who was there is going to remember this party for the rest of their lives - it's going to be the standard by which they measure all other parties. My hat is off to you!!!

Love Is In The Details

Aww thank you so much Marianna! And how funny that you say that, because I did have some of our past parties in the back of my head since before he was born, lol. I would love, love, love to do some super girl parties as I am a girly girl at heart :) The kids have so much fun every year and that is what makes it all worth it. They are so excited and animated and just pure to the core so it is a joy to see them having good old fashioned kid fun! I figure I may get one more year before my son just wants to take friends to the skate park or movies for his birthday :) Thanks so much for your nice comments! Andrea

Heather Painchaud

Fan-freaking-tastic party!!!! I mean WOW!! I love all of the fun tribal activities and the pig roast cake?? Awesome!! Pinning for when my kiddos are bigger ;)

Rachel B

wow!! I was browsing through the linky at TT&J and this caught my eye. So glad I came over for a closer look. I was already amazed at the planning and great ideas, then I saw that pig cake. Are you kidding me? That is fantastic!! Did you make it? This is hands down the most creative, awesome kid's party I have ever seen and I've seen hundreds. With parties like this, I can't imagine him ever wanting to 'just go to the skate park' :)

Love Is In The Details

Thanks so much you guys :) and Rachel yes I made the piggie! It was actually pretty easy in comparison to some of the others I've tried to pull off. It was in no way amazing in a cake decorating sense, I ran out if time and just trying to finish, so many flaws, but in a mom made a pig cake sense it was cool, lol, they loved it! Birthdays were always a big deal in my family growing up, but my parties were at Chuck E Cheese every year :) Andrea


Okay...trying to pick my jaw up off the floor now... HOLY COW!!!!!! I mean.... HOLY FREAKIN COW!!!! Your son must be the most popular kid in the city... I'm sure everyone wants to be invited to his parties!!! Andrea!! This is just the coolest thing EVER!!! And I'm not even a Survivor fan! What an incredible amount of work went into such an awesome day! What time did it start???? How long did it last? Oh so much fun!!!! Those kids looked like they were having a ball!!!! And honestly, when I first saw the pig cake I thought you found a plastic pig somewhere... that is tooooo stinkin cute!!! You just rock it all over the place!!!!!!
And an awesome Mom to boot!!!

Love Is In The Details

Thank you so much for saying such nice things! The party was scheduled from 5-8 p.m. but most guest stayed until 9 as we were still doing challenges and cake! I truly love doing parties and so wish I had more time to dedicate to it. I must admit the pig turned out totally cute even with all of the flaws that I was able to take a breath and not fixate and be disappointed about jacking him up. Let me tell you the dragon from last years party almost killed me and it should have been so simple. Anyhow I am learning to make things as easy for myself as possible on party days and ensure I let some things go while ensuring the big stuff isn't sacrificed (like being showered and dressed before guest start arriving, lol) Keeping this in mind and with the insane amount of help our friends and neighbors pitch in, party went off without a hitch and everyone had such fun! Andrea

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy

AMAZING!!!! I'm a huge fan of over the top awesome parties with even more incredible cakes. so WAY TO GO! and so many people attending! I look like they loved it so much and I bet the birthday boy loved it! Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesdays, I'm featuring your party today!!! LOVED it!


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The Blackberry Vine

Bill Kolesnik

OUTSTANDING!! I'm going to use some of your ideas for a summer camp where I'm working if that's alright. I was wondering though. Where did you find the "giant" drinking straws?


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