Secret Agents, Cars, and Cake

Our youngest turned 5 yesterday! He has been asking me for a big party since last year’s birthday. We figured that turning 5 is a pretty big deal, so we did it! Up until a few days before the party, he had wanted it to be VeggieTales themed. We made the mistake of finally letting the boys watch Cars 2 a few days before the party. Suddenly, he wanted a Cars 2 party. I told him no. BUT I hadn’t actually gotten any VeggieTales things for the party, yet, other than a couple of gifts. So, when I went to the grocery store and found the Cars 2 items available on the aisle, we switched gears! A couple of nights later, Alex came downstairs with several of his toys and told me that they were his spy gadgets. Then I realized that it wasn’t the cars that he cared about — it was the fun of being a secret agent! So the decorations were the characters from Cars 2, but the activities were more in line with the 007 plot from the movie. Planning this was really fun. But it was even more fun to see how much the kids enjoyed it. My husband made these great ID cards that included the participants pictures. When the kids arrived, they put their fingerprints on the cards, chose a spy name (and learned what “Alias” means!), and decorated a notepad. Once everyone had his/her secret agent ID, I explained the mission — they had to follow the clues to find and diffuse the bomb threatening our party. They divided into two groups. Each clue took them to a station (the world grand prix, Mastermind, and the bomb) where they had to complete the activity to get the next clue. They all (adults especially!) enjoyed the car race. I ran the Mastermind game (homemade using plastic necklace beads, paper, and pen). I wasn’t sure that they would enjoy or even understand that part, but I walked them through how to think about the clues and solve the puzzle. I also kept it very simple — only 5 colors to choose from and the pattern was only three colors with no repeats. The first group took only three guesses and the second took four. And they seemed to be excited at their accomplishment. Once they finished the first two stations, the last clue took them to the bomb — a metal case under the cake. Inside was a 48 piece puzzle. Both groups worked together to solve the puzzle before time was up. Alex’s Sunday school teacher even managed to find a ticker on his phone! Between all the stations was a laser maze. This is an activity that I highly recommend. It was the definite favorite of everyone! Several of the kids even sat down in the maze to eat their cake! Alex liked the spy mission so much that he didn’t want it to end — not even for cake and presents! His cousin who is younger by only 6 weeks was overheard saying, “This party is SO fun!” I’m going to have to do something similar again. It was loads of fun, and the kids were learning without even realizing it! I need to somehow incorporate this into my older son’s math lessons!

I made a fun slideshow of the party, but it won’t embed on WordPress. You can access it here: http://s39.photobucket.com/albums/e199/Kquinlan/Alex%205th%20Birthday/?action=view&current=eef792b6.pbw

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