I always seem to be at a loss for what to do for my kids’ birthday parties. All of my kids have their birthdays in the span of one month. Of course, each of them desires to be unique. I’ll be honest in saying that I feel a sense of relief if one says they just want to watch a movie at the theatre with a couple of friends. It just doesn’t get easier than taking kids to a movie theatre! 😉 So, when my one daughter insisted she wanted an Amazing Race birthday party for her 11th birthday, I had some thinking to do!
So I did what every good parent does and looked to Pinterest and Google! 😀 I knew from experience that I needed the race to last more than just a few minutes. Ideally, I wanted the Amazing Race birthday portion to last between 90 and 120 minutes. We had done an Amazing Race themed party a few years ago and found the race went by way too quickly. The kids were all like, “That was fun! Now, what’s next?!?” after about 25 minutes. I needed to avoid that this time around!
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My requirements for this Amazing Race birthday party were as follows:
1. The activities had to be of a variety that would keep the kids engaged and play to various strengths.
2. At least some of the terms used in The Amazing Race would have to be used at the birthday party (eg. Detour, Road Block, Pit Stop)
3. There would have to be a mixture between ‘active’ parts of the race and ‘logical’ parts.
4. The race would have to be time-consuming, yet achievable and fun.
5. Use what is handy within the neighborhood, but ensure no kids would become lost getting to and from places. Because we live within a short walk to an outdoor soccer space as well as a rec center, I decided to use these spaces for the race as well.
My Amazing Race birthday party plan was as follows (Italicized portions are what was put on the cards for the contestants):
Make sure the kids are with a partner they are comfortable with. Note: I was prepared to play a game to determine this or to pull names from a hat if necessary. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the kids had decided partners on their own at school before the party.
Explain the rules of the race. I also use this time to explain directions the teams will need to take when getting to stations in the community.
Face-off time! Have a chair for each team set up in the yard. At the whistle, the teams are to do a relay race to run to their team’s chair, one at a time, pop a balloon by sitting on it and run back for their partner to do the same. When teams complete this face-off, they are to go in the front yard and look for a hidden envelope indicating their first challenge.
The first card reads as follows: Head over to the soccer field near the rec center. The first team to arrive is to challenge the second team to a game of soccer. The team that gets the first point will get their card for the next challenge. The losing team must wait and challenge the next team to arrive. The team that does not get a point but is last in this challenge must score at the opposing end of their field before they move on. Good luck!
Card 2 given to teams once they score – Road Block: Make your way over to the rec center and ask for a cup of water from someone who works there. Have the worker sign the cup with their name on it. You have $0.25 for this challenge.
Card 3 given once teams show their signed cup of water. Head back to the soccer field and find (insert person’s name here). There, you must guess exactly how many jelly beans are in the jar before receiving your next clue. The rules for this one are you guess as a team, then back up and go touch the soccer goal post before going to guess again. Other teams also have to be allowed to take their turns. Once you guess correctly, the person manning this station will give you the clue to your next challenge.
Card 4 Detour – Song or Dance:
If “Song” is chosen, the team is given the following card – Return to the house to memorize the lyrics of “One Green Jelly Bean.” You may listen to this song using a device on the back deck. Singing it with no errors will allow you to move to the next challenge.
If “Dance” is chosen, the team is given the following card – Return to the house to view and memorize the dance moves from 50 seconds in up to 1 minute 45 seconds of Eye of the Tiger on YouTube. Once all moves are done correctly, you will be allowed to move on to the next challenge.
Card 5 Nailed It! – For this challenge, you will head on over to the table in the side yard to create a person made of candy. Your candy person must have legs, arms, hands, feet, a head, body, and lots of hair! (Okay, I know “Nailed It!” is from another show, but my kids love to watch that too so I went for it!) One tip is to have rules with this one such as making it mandatory that the candy person can stand up on its own or that it resembles a pre-made model so the kids don’t just slap candy together and argue that all of the body parts are there with little to no effort.
Card 6 Road Block: Head over to the deck to build a card tower. It must go up at least 3 layers and contain at least 16 cards without falling over. Successfully build the tower for your next clue.
Please note: The above roadblock was a total flop. The kids struggled way too much with it. In the future, I plan to replace this challenge with 32 piece puzzles to complete.
Card 7 Make your way over to the front porch of the house to see Sherry at the Pitstop.
The jar of jellybeans was the grand prize for the winning team. This seemed to work as it gave a bit of “bragging rights” yet they all actually won in the end since the jellybeans were shared.
Amazing Race Portion Complete
That’s it! The Amazing Race portion took nearly 2 hours to complete by the time all was said and done, which was perfect! The kids remained engaged other than frustrations with building the card towers. I will definitely avoid that challenge in the future and replace it with a puzzle challenge instead.
Things to buy/have beforehand to prepare:
Sturdy Chairs for the Balloon Game
An assortment of candy for the candy people
Plates for candy people as well as food consumed later at the party!
Tables set up in the backyard as well as the deck
Party favor bags to stick some of the leftover candy in for the kids
People to man the stations – Please note this doesn’t take as many people as it may seem. We alternated between two people just fine although three people would have been ideal.
Extras you may wish to purchase as fans of The Amazing Race!
My kids love watching The Amazing Race! They know a good race involves a variety of challenges that require various skills to get through. Based on the laughter and comments from the kids that attended the party as well as the fact that my other children are now asking for an Amazing Race birthday party next year, I believe this was a hit! I hope you are now able to have a fairly stress-free Amazing Race birthday party at your house as well!
How About You?
What has been one of the best home birthday parties that you’ve hosted for your kids? Have you ever hosted an Amazing Race birthday party? Let me know in the comments below!