Thursday, June 30, 2011

Police Birthday Party

Can I have a police party, Mama?  Sure son!  Oh um, now what?  What can we do for police-themed games that are non-violent and fabulous for 6 and 4 year olds?

The invitation was a simple card printed at home and glued onto file folder shaped yellow cardstock (template here).  I used a cute photo as a watermark for the inside left of the invitation and "Minya nouvelle" font in Microsoft Word for party details on the right side.  The tab on the folder had the guest's name.  The front of the folder had "TOP SECRET" and little thumb print from my son, both in red ink.

When the 10 volunteer police officers arrived, they were given badges, ticket books (notebooks), identification, pen necklaces, hats and packs.  Names or photos were on everything for easy relocation!  Junior Special Agent identification credentials were from the FBI kids site.  I inserted a photo of each kid and had them laminated at Office Depot.  I also printed the kids faces onto a badge clip art, printed this on fabric, and ironed them on their fanny packs.

The officers first job was to do an aerial search of the neighborhood for crime using police helicopters (from ebay).  This kept everyone busy while guests were arriving. All helicopters stayed in the hood!

Occasionally, a mom was observed breaking the law (graffiti on windows, I gave them some window paint; not picking up dog "poup", see below). Despite my warnings to the moms to be "sneaky", they were promptly discovered, issued tickets and sent to jail (behind a gate at side of house).  The Moms preferred to stay in jail!  Note to self: do not put cooler of adult beverages in jail if one needs the Mom’s to help run the party! 
the officers LOVED writing tickets
the moms really LOVED jail

Dog "poop" scattered by the careless moms was gathered.  (Wanton dog poop had been making headlines in Boise’s newspaper).  It just so happened that our sparkly "poop" was actually made of salt, flour coffee grounds, sand and glitter (see basic instructions here, but add glitter).  Inside were mini-collapsible telescopes.
Officers were instructed to see if they could “spy” any other crime/criminals.

"dog poop" scattered by moms were secret message balls with prizes inside

Indeed, the officers located bad guys (bandit-painted plastic golf balls).  They were quickly rounded up and jailed (painted box).  The officers were rewarded with toy cell phones for their heroic efforts, so they could better answer future 911 calls. The phones were a HUGE hit!

Bad guys painted by my son and I (plastic golf balls colored with sharpies)
the bad guys had been stealthily distributed throughout the yard while the officers were busy with the previous game

the bad guys were put in jail, a big painted box with a door cut out

Almost immediately a call came in regarding a car crash.  The officers found two clues, a letter “K” and number “9” while they were investigating.  Turns out those bandits stole a car full of K9’s that were to be used by our department!  Inside the car was a stuffed pup (ebay!) and some dog bone candy for each officer.

officers found the letter K and the number 9, clues to what the bandits had been up to

the bandits had crashed a car (crudely hot glued/painted paper box!) into a tree

officers successfully rescued the stolen K-9's from the wrecked car
Another 911 call!  The bad guys also stole something else, look in the lake!  Our official department handcuffs were sunk in the lake bottom!  This is a job for police boats! (made of foam and wine corks, with string holding a magnet attached to bottom).

toy handcuffs were sunk in the swimming pool lake with a metal binder clip
officers maneuvered their personalized boats over the handcuffs so the magnet at the bottom could attach to the handcuffs

After all the handcuffs were retrieved, we played a game to show a surprising way how handcuffs could be helpful to police. The kids raced across the yard while Dad timed them. Then, they ran again while cuffed.  Race time went from 3 seconds to 7 seconds!  Cuffs really slow bad guys down!

the first part of the handcuff game was to time a group sprint across the yard
then we "cuffed" the officers
the officers learned how hard it was to sprint with cuffs on, took them nearly twice as long!
All that racing made for some hungry officers. So, we let them have some donuts (mini ones).  The trick was they had to attempt to eat the donut from the handcuffed officer in front of them.  Good job gang, you’ve earned your keys and a traffic cone key chain to go with it!

officers had to eat their donuts from the person in line ahead of them


Oh, no!  Jail Break!  While the officers were busy eating donuts, the bad guys escaped (thanks to Dad, who did another stealthy move)!  Officers were issued police whistles and batons (silver painted yogurt drink bottles hot-glued to black painted cardboard tubes with a coat of polyurethane for strength).    (City made from soccer party pizza boxes: library, school, car wash, pizza restaurant, fire station, and zoo!)  This was MOM's favorite game.  :)

the pizza box town was set up in our driveway, officers used their cardboard tube batons to chase the bad guys (plastic golf balls) through town and back into jail

each box had a door to hit the balls through (boxes were slightly open and held upright by canned food)

eventually, all the bad guys were returned safely to jail

The officers did such a great job, they were awarded light-up flashing batons for night jobs.  But before they could enjoy them, there was another 911 call!   A child hears monsters under his bed. Can the officers get the monsters out?  You bet.  (For a great tutorial on making stuffed felt monsters, click for Nina's tutorial here).
officer taking the 911 call

officers searching for monsters under the bed, room decorated in glow in the dark paper stars lit by black light

love monsters made by Mom for each of the kiddos

Could there be one last 911 call?  The bandits hid stolen money in a train!  (The train had been in our garage since our last train party, so I just HAD to find a way to use it one more time.)  A “money” bag for each officer had chocolate coins, stickers,  bracelet,  police pen, paper money, and bubble gum coins. Each bag had an officer's name on it to help control chaos a little.

bags of stolen money were found inside the train

Mom found cool money fabric on clearance to make each officer a money bag with treats!

Oh no!  The parents found the officer's water shooters and think the kids are the train robbers!  Water fight!
water gun fight!
take cover in the train!

Then we broke for cake, presents and more play mayhem! 

I really am a pathetic cake decorator, even with help from a friend's Wilton cake pan!  The kids loved it though!
It was nearly impossible to find decorations for the party apart from crime scene tape and balloons, so I made my own themed garland.  Paper shapes of hats, badges, and handcuffs hung from a white fluffy string. Templates are here! 

badges, hats and handcuffs made from paper for a party garland

  All police officers got a love monster finger puppet as a good-bye gift!  Template of love monster finger puppets here.


  1. My son is already asking for a police party for next year (will be 6) - these are great ideas and the pic of the moms in jail was hilarious!

  2. :) Good luck with your party, I'd love to hear how it goes!

  3. where did you get your hats for the kids?

  4. From Rhode Island Novelty:

  5. You are a lifesaver! My soon to be four year old is a police officer from the time he gets up to the time he goes to sleep... I think I will reuse all of your ideas! Thanks for posting!

    1. Oh BOY! I was frequently under "arrest" at this time... I can very well imagine! Thank you for taking the time to comment! Good luck with your party!

  6. This party is amazing! You did such a fantastically creative job on this party. How fun for all those kiddos. I would love to share this blog post and party ideas with some police wife friends if that's ok.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! Yes, please share, and link back or let me know how things go! I love stories! :)

  7. I have to say what an amazing mom you are! I run several day nurseries in the uk and I'm always looking for ideas to entertain the children, it is rare that I can find something that I haven't done/seen before and today having come across your site I found several! Well done!! I'm so impressed - wish I could hire you ;)

    1. Thank you!!! You just made my entire week!

  8. Thank you for this. As the grandson, and great grandson, and nephew twice over of police officers, and it comes as no surprise my almost 5yo has been a cop the last three Halloweens. He wears his (real) modified gun belt EVERY DAY. With his birthday fast approaching, not a creative bone in my body and zero help on the Internet, you can not imagine the shrieks of excitement that filled our house when I came across your post. This is awesome. I cannot wait to try to recreate some of your ideas. There is going to be one ecstatic 5yo in 3 weeks. I pinned to Pinterest. Hope you don't mind.

    1. Your comments sure made me smile... I can SOOO picture that 5yo and his police enthusiasm, cheered on by his family. I hope you had a wonderful celebration! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. awesome suggestions. My son is graduating from a police academy soon and these are great ideas for even an adult party. thank you!!!

    1. So cool! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  10. My son is asking for a rescue truck party for his fourth birthday. Finding ideas for a fireman/fire truck theme is easy but finding police officer games was more difficult. I can't wait to try out some ideas at his party next month. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  11. This is absolutely fantastic!!! I am a Kindy teacher and will def be using your ideas for some lessons and activities during our community helpers week!!

  12. What an awesome party, I am also planning a Police party, and had a lot of ideas, but just gained a few more, Thank you so much... I love the Train also, My husband is a Conductor for the Railroad, and my son would Love that. THANK YOU

    1. Yay! I'm glad to have been helpful! I hope had a wonderful time!

  13. Oh are so creative. I loved it all!

  14. Thanks for sharing. This is really awesome and creative!

  15. My soon to be 5 year old has requested a police party. I have been looking for non violent games to keep the kids occupied. These are awesome, so glasses I found this post!