Spring is a great time to host this action-packed birthday bash that is based on Australia’s outback. A party that celebrates the Outback can be just the thing for a birthday. The contests are just right for keeping a group of rowdy kids entertained. And because the party takes place outdoors, it is also a great opportunity to fire up the grill (or the barbie, as it’s called in Australia) for a birthday lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs.
Miniature outback road signs will inspire guests to hop on over for a real birthday adventure. To make each invitation, simply cut out two 3-inch yellow card stock squares and turn them so there are corners at the top and bottom. On one square, draw a black border and a kangaroo silhouette (you can make a template for the kangaroo or try drawing it freehand). Glue the top of a colored Popsicle stick (available at most craft stores) to the back of the square. Print the party information on the second square. Now you just glue together the two squares with the printed sides facing out.
Devils Marbles-In this party game, the Devil’s Marbles are 3 or 4 large rubber sports balls clustered in the center of a 12-foot-wide circle. The aim of the game is to knock as many of them out of the circle as possible. To outline the circle, lay a ring of string on the lawn or use chalk to draw on a blacktop. When you are ready to begin, have the kids line up 10 to 15 feet from the circle. Hand the first person another ball and tell him he can throw or roll it at the Devil’s Marbles. He gets three tries to knock as many giant marbles as he can out of the circle before they are put back in place and the next person then gets a turn. If there’s a tie, the players enter a second round, and so on, until one person gets the best score and wins the game.
Kangaroo Cruise-In this game/challenge; teams of kids try to cover as much ground as possible in a single jump. To get the game started the first child in each team jumps from the starting line without taking a running start. The next child then jumps from the spot where his teammate landed, and so on, until everyone has had a turn. The team that advances the farthest wins a prize!
Reptilian Roundup-The object of this scavenger hunt is to round up as many plastic crocodiles and/or snakes as possible. The prize for this game is taking home any you find. Before the party, you can purchase a package of them at a department store or hobby shop and hide them in your yard. Then let the roundup begin!
After competing in these adventure games, guests are bound to have outback-size appetites. To satisfy them you can cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and serve them with chips and ice-cold sports drinks. For the birthday finale you may want to consider serving a jeep cake to keep with the outback theme.
Tips for the Spring Outback Adventure-
- For a fun twist try making a kangaroo-crossing sign (a bigger version of the party invitation) and hang it on your front door to let your guests know they are heading into the outback.
- For extended party fun pitch a tent in your backyard and turn this party into an overnight camp-out.
- Survival Gear Favors: Send the party adventurers home with compasses, bandannas, granola bars, or gummy worms for mementos of the outback!