Throw a Fear Factor party for kids
I had to share the details of one the most fun birthday parties we've ever thrown, and it didn't cost very much either. We had a Fear Factor party for my son's 9th birthday. The kids at the party ranged from 3 to 13 and the challenges included who could stand in a bucket of ice water the longest, picking small toys out of a bucket filled with live jumping crickets and eating chocolate covered ants (Raisenettes), roast beef hash they were told was dog food, gummy eyeballs (that looked quite real), and sardines.
I was surprised that pretty much all of them did the challenges, though some of them dropped out of the yukkier eating challenges. I was downright shocked how many kids willingly ate a sardine!
I even did the ice water challenge against my husband. (I won, but I did it by tricking him into thinking we were quitting at the same time to call it a draw. Psyche!)
So here's what it cost
Cricket bucket: $11 for 100 live crickets at Petsmart. I probably could have paid a lot less than 11 cents a bug for this if I'd shopped around, but I ran out of time. I put small balls and toys at the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket and the crickets were jumping around on top of them. The kids had to pick out 5 of them to get the points. I was shocked that even the 3 year old did this, squealing the whole time.
Ice bucket challenge: $1.39 for a bag of ice. I set up two chairs facing each other with two large buckets of icey water in between. Two kids at a time faced off as we counted down 3, 2, 1... stand in the ice bucket! My son and his cousin did it the longest. We finally called it a draw at 2 minutes. The stubbord cusses later went back and faced off again and it went on for 4.5 minutes before I called them in for birthday cake!
Food challenge: $2.50 for Raisenettes, $2.89 for a can of hash, $5 for two cans of sardines (I love sardines so I'm saving the leftovers in the fridge), $5.99 for gummy eyeballs (I know I paid too much for these at the party store but I couldn't resist), $2 for gummy worms mixed with crushed chocolate cookies.
Toss the eyeballs into the skull: This was a simple toss game I came up with using Halloween decorations I already had. Another alternative would be Toss the Snot Through the Nostrils. Use store-bought or home-made slime. Draw a huge nose with two nostrils on poster board and get points for landing a loogie in the right spot
Prizes: I had a laundry basket full of prizes I got at the dollar store. The kids with the most points from challenges got first pick, and then it went down from there. I spent about $10-$15 on prizes.
So about $40 for entertainment and games. I held it from 2-4 p.m. so I just had snacks, chips, veggies and dip, a bowl of fruit. My mom made a spooky-looking cake with lots of worms and lizards on it. I'm still smiling. It was so much fun.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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