Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slumber Party Success

I'm back again. I got a few good ideas from people who read my previous post about an upcoming slumber party. Most of them came in a bit late to use this time around, but I've got the ideas stashed away for next time.

We had a really good time. As it turns out, there were twelve girls between the ages of 4-11 and four young teenagers who were a HUGE help on the craft. As most of these girls live at the children's home, they are used to working together and looking out for each other. Things would have gone much less smoothly without them.'s how the event went down.

Flip-Flop Creations
Our finished creations.
The teens arrived an hour early to get the craft set up and ready to go. Ibu Wayan, my good friend who is on staff at the home, worked with these four earlier in the day to teach them how to do the craft. 

Ibu Wayan and I made several trips back and forth on our motorbikes to bring the younger girls to my house. As they arrived, the teens got them started decorating new flip-flops with ribbon and cloth bows. That took quite a while. The littlest ones needed quite a bit of help, but as I said, these girls are used to helping each other out, and all went well. I was really happy with the results.

Big Board Game
Big Board Game
As the girls finished their flip-flops, we moved on to play a "Big Board Game" that I set up in the garage. The garage WAS the big game board, and the girls themselves WERE the playing pieces. 

I printed out instructions in large letters such as "move forward 2 spaces, go back 3 spaces, roll again, trade places with another player, hop on one foot 10 times, do 20 jumping jacks, and sing a song with a voice like a chicken". I arranged these papers into the track they had to complete. I covered two boxes with wrapping paper (white side out) and put small squares of black duct tape on the sides to make large-sized dice. 

The girls took turns throwing the dice. As they moved around the track, they had to do whatever the instructions said. It was a bit much when all twelve little girls were on the track, but not too bad. I recommend doing this with no more than 6 at a time. Oh yes, to keep the papers from getting ripped up, I laid them out and then taped long strips of cheap clear plastic over them. I think I'll leave the big game board up for another week or two. Rachel and her friends will still enjoy playing on it.

I think this was the Duck, Duck Goose game.

Duck, Duck Goose
This game was one Rachel particularly requested. There wasn't room for all the younger girls to sit in the circle, so I had the 5th and 6th graders stand on the outside to help the littler ones go where they were supposed to go. It was an enthusiastic game.

Evening Devotions
At the children's home, they always have evening devotions before they eat. I keep up the practice when I have kids at my house. I told the story of the little servant girl who told her boss Namaan that Elisha could help him be healed of leprosy. The point for these girls is that God can use them even when they are young to do important things as long as they are willing to show God's love to others.

Time to Eat
Nasi bungkus for supper.
Meals are not difficult at all. I have a fantastic support system here for events like this. Since all but two of the girls would normally eat at the children's home, the cooks at the home automatically package up the food they would normally eat. (These packets are called nasi bungkus or "packaged rice".) Ibu Wayan brought it over at mealtime. We sat around on the floor and ate our rice with our fingers. Let me tell you...this makes for easy clean-up. The girls are so proficient at eating rice with their fingers that there was hardly anything to sweep up when we were done. I think I made more of a mess than they did.

Watching the movie
Movie Time
In my last post I mentioned that we would probably watch It Takes Two, That one went over well. There is enough physical humor that the girl's could get it even though their English is limited. The Indonesian subtitles helped, although I must admit, the translator sometimes just didn't "get it", resulting in amusing translations.

I borrowed the LCD projector from the children's home, so we had a nice big picture rather than having to watch on my small screen TV.  

The movie was on VCD a format that LOOKS like a DVD, but takes two discs for a single movie. We had a few light snacks during the first disc. Then we took a break. 

The girls brushed their teeth, used the toilet, and got ready for bed between discs. I anticipated that some of them would probably drop off to sleep before the movie was over, so I thought I'd make sure they were ready. 

Watch the movie or's up to you!
We lost two of the littlest girls, children of staff members, during the movie. They just weren't ready to stay overnight yet. Ibu Wayan picked them up and took them home.

At the end of the movie, they were mostly ready to sleep. (Keep in mind that these kids usually get up before 5:00 AM.) Believe it or not, they were all asleep by 9:30, the four teens in one bed, three older girls on the futon in my office, and the seven remaining girls on mattresses on the living room floor..

No, I didn't actually say that to them. My alarm went off at 6:00. I so much wanted to hit the snooze button for another ten minutes. That was not to be. As soon as she heard the alarm, Rachel called out, "Is it time to get up now?" We got up, washed faces, brushed teeth and rolled up the mattresses. 

Then we sang a few songs, had morning devotions. Each girl had a chance to pray a one-sentence prayer saying something that she is thankful for. Rachel's little friend Anggi, who is from a Hindu family, was not accustomed to this, so of course, I did not push too hard for her to participate. A few other girls are from Hindu families, but since they live at a Christian children's home, they are accustomed to things like that.

Ibu Wayan arrived with breakfast. We again sat around and ate our nasi bungkus

Make sure that blindfold is on right!
Pin the Tail on the Gecko
We had one more game before the girls headed home. I would have let it go except i had already prepared all their pieces. This variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey was reasonably OK. If I had it to do over, I would have somehow enlarged the gecko. It was way too easy for the girls to place the tail reasonably close to the right location. Still, it was fun.

The whole crew
Last Photos and Off They Went
Of course, we wanted to document the event with some photos. Ibu Wayan and I began ferrying the girls back home while the teens stayed with the girls who were still waiting transport. 

It was a really fun...and relatively painless event. We'll have to do it again sometime.

Did you particularly like any of these ideas? It seems tea parties are popular right now in the States, at least. Are there other you might suggest for a future event? Why not share them below? 


  1. Wow. I guess I do similar type things in a day teaching high school (planning, etc.) but that just seems crazy with that many little girls running around. Nice to see that they were well mannered despite whatever reason they were living in a children's home. The huge board game looked like a lot of work. I think I'll stick with emotional/attitude-filled teenagers.

    Way to make their day.

  2. The big board game didn't take as much work as you might think. I just made a list of the directions, enlarged it on my computer and printed them out one instruction per page. Had I printed them on something a bit stronger than regular computer paper, I could have avoided the step of covering them with plastic after I taped it to the floor. Still, with help, it took about 10 minutes to lay out the board on the floor. It took longer to make the dice.

    The kids are at the children's home because their parents can't afford to take care of them or school them. There has been no government intervention that placed the kids in the home. The families voluntarily do so, and can voluntarily take them back if they choose. In many cases, a parent (often the father) has either died or left the family, and the mother cannot support the kids on her own. Some of the kids have been bounced around from one relative's home to another for awhile, before landing at the home. They become kind of like a big family.

  3. I was wondering how the slumber party went! Looks like all the girls had a wonderful time! The flip-flops were adorable, and I loved the giant board game...might have to try that with my own kiddos! I especially loved all the pictures you posted; that really made the post come to life!

    ~Eve Mercer

    1. We did have fun. It wouldn't have gone off nearly so well without the teen girls to help me. I've left the big board game up for a while. Rachel likes to play it for a bit, even by herself, when we arrive home. Of course, my garage is used more as a storage place than a garage, so we can leave it up. I only drive a motorbike, and it gets parked under the carport outside the garage. You should try the board game. It is lots of fun.


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