Owen is obsessed with gems, minerals, diamonds, and anything that sparkles. It must be the age, because a lot of his friends are into them too. If it’s library day, he’s checking out books about emeralds. If he’s in the backyard, he’s searching for “gems” under the deck. For Christmas, Casey even got him a small pickaxe, so he can break rocks open and search for geodes.
So for Owen’s 8th birthday, I asked if he wanted to have a GEO party with his friends—something based on geology, geometry, and geodes.
He was totally into it.
And it was such an easy party to throw.
I guess because I like to keep birthday parties simple…just a few games/activities, a few treats, and plenty of time for the kids to play.
I also like to keep the groups smaller, about 8 kids or less, so it’s almost like a play date. Cause I just feel like some of the kids get lost in the large group, including the birthday kid.
To prep for the party I gathered some simple treasures that I knew Owen and the other kids would like–fake diamonds, fake gold pieces, rock candy, chocolate coins, and plastic coins. My original idea was to hide gems and gold in the dirt and let the kids go digging for them, like a geologist. But then Casey thought it would be more exciting to have an actual treasure hunt. So while the party was happening, he and Lucy came up with riddles and clues, and hid packages of treasure in different spots around the yard. Then I had little gold buckets for each child to hold their treasures as they found them—which became their party favors to take home!
For the geometry part of the party I covered the table with brown painter’s paper, and as the kids arrived at our house, they could draw shapes and pictures all over the table while eating snacks and pizza.
Then we did something I’ve always wanted to do!
The classic toothpicks + marshmallows thing! Haha. Does it have a sophisticated name? It’s been floating around Pinterest for years. And before Pinterest, I’m sure it was floating somewhere else.
And you know what….it was so fun! Why have I waited so long to do it??
After the party Casey and I even sat at the table and made shapes for about an hour. Simple pleasures. And the kids were so proud of their creations. I think one of these was a space craft??
After geometry fun, we played some other simple games, and had the treasure hunt—which the kids LOVED and went crazy over. They ran from place to place searching for a hidden bundle of treasure (each bundle had something with each child’s name on it).
What would have been really cool—since this is a GEO theme—is to make the treasure hunt a geocaching thing where they have to look up coordinates to find the treasure.
But we stuck with traditional hand-written clues + riddles. And at the end of the hunt, they dug up a small treasure chest from a hole in the ground, filled with all sorts of treasure to share. But the birthday boy got to keep the giant amber diamond.
He loved it.
Then we finished up with a good crowd pleaser:
Chocolate Marshmallow Cake.
I could eat it every day.
And that was pretty much the party, in a short 2 hours! And on a Friday afternoon (I love after-school parties).
Now I just wish I had some more of that cake…