Hunger Games inspired party
Little Jo is all about archery, being in the woods, and of course, The Hunger Games. It came as no surprise to me that this year, she wanted a birthday party fit for Katniss!
The first step to decorating the party space was covering the wall with a piece of black fabric, and over that I draped a gold curtain backdrop from Kara’s Party Ideas. Then I hung some gold Mockingjay symbols that I created using by following a brilliant (and easy!) tutorial from Hostess with the Mostess.
Then we went crazy with printables! We found a huge collection of The Hunger Games inspired party printables on Etsy and used them everywhere. We started with a pennant banner with all the letters and numbers one could need to wish any Katniss-wannabe a happy birthday.
Then we made tiny favor boxes (which I filled with macarons) and popcorn boxes filled with cheese balls. The “Girl on fire balls” tent card was the perfect way to label this tasty snack! For drinks, we served water bottles emblazoned with the capitol emblem and fitted our straws with flags that said “May the odds be ever in your favor”.
To round out the table, I used two more items from the Hunger Games printables collection. I put some little “Mellark Bakery” labels on simple paper bags and stuffed them with sugar cookies, and I wrapped the forks, spoons, and napkins with the cutlery wraps. A final sweet treat was gumball tubes filled with chocolate candies.
To help decorate the party space, we hung posters featuring quote art inspired by The Hunger Games.
Chica made the cake, of course, which featured a mockingjay pin replica that she sculpted from fondant, then brushed with edible gold lustre dust to make it shine. She added fontant flames around the edge, which she made by swirling together yellow and orange fondant, then accenting with red food coloring that she brushed on. As pretty as it was, my favorite part was the chocolate fudge cake and peanut butter cream filling!
As an appetizer, we had crackers with Prim’s Goat Cheese with basil. For dinner, we served up some Capitol Lamb Stew and Peeta Bread Sandwiches with a side of Nightlock berries. The food was all marked with our coordinating tent cards that came from the Hunger Games party printables set on Etsy. They work great as bag tags, too.
You can’t have a party without an invitation, right? That same printables set also included a really cool invitation that’s available in both print-ready and customizable versions.
THE PARTY GAME
The highlight of the party was our own version of The Hunger Games, which we held in the woods behind our house. We used trail marking tape to mark borders and keep the kids contained to the game area and close to each other.
The kids started in a circle around the cornucopia. Each tribute’s life in the game was represented by the three flags hanging from their flag football belt. When their flags were gone (more on that later), they were out of the game. The winner is the last tribute who has at least one flag left, and who has in their possesion a weapon, food, and water.
The cornucopia was a pile of drawstring bags containing survival supplies, as well as one of the three items needed to win the game (weapon, food, water). I transformed simple black canvas backpacks with a Mockingjay logo that I made with gold spray paint and a stencil I made on my Silhouette machine.
Besides the normal survival items in the bag, I included a few items customized to match the Hunger Games party theme, using labels from the printables:
- Tracker Jacker Repellant (a small can of Off Family Care bug spray)
- Tracker Jacker Antitode (orange Tic-Tacs)
- Burn Ointment (Neutrogena travel-sized hand cream)
- Fresh Water (plastic canteens)
The flags represented life, but the kids couldn’t take a flag from another tribute unless they had a weapon. The weapon was also one of the three main items they had to find before they could win the game. We hid plenty around the woods for them to find, and also put a bow and arrow on top of the cornucopia at the very beginning.
Once we explained the rules, we had a countdown and the kids were off! They were only allowed to take one pack from the middle at the beginning, but they were allowed to keep as many items as they could find in the woods.
Besides the weapons, there were two other main elements they had to find to win. One was food, so we hid marked plastic bags containing trail mix and beef jerky. The other was water. The kids all started with canteens in their bag, but they had to find the water source in the woods to fill up.
Throughout the game, sponsor gifts would appear to the tributes. These were simply mini paint cans tied to a balloon, and they contained an extra flag. The kids who had lost a couple flags already were very excited at the prospect of getting an extra.
The kids teamed up at first but you never knew when they would turn on each other!
We also created Tracker Jacker nests by gluing some plastic toy bees onto yellow paper lanterns that we hung from the trees. If you were lucky enough to find one of these and hit a fellow tribute with it, you could take TWO of their flags. The nests could only be used once, so aim was very important.
We found that the kids were having so much fun just playing in the woods that we had to keep them on track at times. We came up with a few ideas to help the game along.
- If the kids are too spread out in the area, do as the game makers did and create some chaos! We had a “fire” spread across the top section of the arena and they all had to move down the hill to a smaller section for the rest of the game. If you don’t have different elevations, just move in your arena markers or set up game makers along the edge of the new arena.
- When a kid is eliminated, let them become a “mutt”. They can re-enter the game and take a total of two flags from the remaining tributes, without being hurt themselves. This makes the game move along and it keeps the first few “out” kids from getting bored by just watching.
- After attacking and taking a flag, make the kids count to 10 before they are allowed to attack again. This prevents someone from quickly tagging someone three times and being out.
Little Jo really loved her The Hunger Games party, and all her friends can’t stop talking about how much fun they had playing in the woods. And quite a few of the parents were intrigued enough that we’ve talked about doing a grown-up version too.
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