Host a Kids’ Get-Acquainted Party

For many, the beginning of the school year is a Season of New. Children become new school-agers, change schools, or start after-school activities such as tumbling class or Scouts. Teachers, parent volunteers and other kids’ group leaders are likewise greeted by new faces. Sometimes there’s a little anxiety. Always, you want to start out on the right foot. The Shindigz prescription: a get-acquainted party, naturally!

Choose a Theme with Fins or Four Legs
Chances are you’ll need a theme that appeals to both boys and girls, and there’s one great big intersection of boy and girl interests called Animals. Here are a few animal-based themes we think would work especially well for this purpose:

These animal themes are easy to decorate and accessorize. Create a barnyard with a big red 3D barn, classic red gingham table covers and a herd of inflatable cows; an undersea universe of deep blue seaweed and tropical fish balloons; or a green equatorial paradise with a jungle trees backdrop and wild animal standups.

You will similarly find that it’s easy to match piñatas, crafts, party wearables and other party favors to any of these animal themes.

If possible, try to have at least part of the party outdoors, or in another setting where the children can run around.

Young “Animals” Get Acquainted at Play
Children tend to get excited about being around other children, so the best strategy is to work off excess energy with lots of active play right at the start of the party.

Games can be old or new, theme-related or not, but you will want to choose types where nobody has to wait too long for their turns, and select team games for team-building and getting acquainted. Relays such as egg races, pass-the-orange, balloon sitting, and crab walk races make for classic, dependable fun; just be sure to mix up the teams between each game. Circle games using a play canopy and foam balls or animal beanbag toys engage all the children on the same team at once and encourage coordination and cooperative play.

Food tends not to be a huge focus for younger party guests, and what there is of it can be part of an activity, too. Children can decorate their own cupcakes or whip up small sundaes. Otherwise, a few nibbles are probably sufficient. Provide peanuts in the shell to a band of elephants, oats (granola) for a herd of horses, half bananas to marauding monkeys and so forth.

They will absolutely get mighty thirsty. Create theme-related personalized water bottle labels for “jungle juice” or “sea water” and tint bottle contents accordingly with food coloring.

When the level of activity begins winding down and the end of the get-acquainted party nears, pull out the craft projects and coloring books from Everything Elementary.

Get-Acquainted Fun Continues Afterward
If you do create a herd of inflatable cows or a school of plush fish as part of the party decorations, be sure to have enough on hand for each child to take one home. Party wearables such as animal print safari hats, shark tooth necklaces and farm animal masks are emblems of fun both during and after the party, and photos taken in front of large party decorations and during games can adorn a bulletin board or the beginnings of a group scrapbook.

Our Favorite Movie Theme Parties

Movie theme parties are a breeze to plan because you can easily dress them up or down, and make them any size at all. Here are a few of our favorite theme ideas for movie theme parties.

Movie Theme for a Milestone Party
Theme ideas: “A Star Power Party for Susie,” “Joan is the Leading Lady”

Put your favorite diva under the spotlight for a milestone event using movie party supplies. Decorate:

  • Personalize a “Now Showing” theater marquee banner for the entrance to a baby shower

  • Set up a Walk of Fame™ star for a graduate or new retiree

  • Surround the entrance of a Sweet 16 or other milestone birthday party with paparazzi silhouettes

Purchase a tiara for the guest of honor, and plant a “Celebrity Limo Parking” yard sign near the driveway entrance.

Family Movie Night/Afternoon for School
Theme ideas: “Family Night at the Movies,” “The Not-So-Late Show,” “Mid-Term Matinee”

We like lots of kid-pleasing primary colors for this movie theme event. Try an eye-popping, reusable popcorn arch from Hollywood Entrances at the doorway. Provide red-and-white striped popcorn bags for treats and a roll of tickets as snack tokens – and oh, yes: be sure to stock up on fundraiser candy.

Movie Theme Premier Fundraiser
Theme ideas: “Red Carpet Affair,” “When the Stars Come Out”

Picture it: a twilit Hollywood Hills backdrop, exotic palm trees, long aisle runner and stars of gold and silver: a perfect red carpet entrance!

Customize Ticket to the Stars or Shimmering Stardom invitations and mix movie party supplies with Hollywood theme decorations to set the stage for glamour.

Marathon Movie Night Get Together
Theme ideas: Take your cue from the movie series you plan to show; add “Movie Marathon” to the title.

Make a movie theater out of your media room with movie night cutouts, popcorn plastic boxes and strategically placed decorative filmstrip. Then, “raid” party decorations that best go with your movie marathon: pirate party supplies for Pirates of the Caribbean, Halloween decorations for horror flicks, and so on.

Check the Standups department for cardboard cutouts of characters and celebrities that match your movie marathon. We have Disney™ to Star Wars™, Sinatra to Elvis, Harry Potter to the Wizard of Oz and more.

Movie Theme for a Dance
Theme ideas: “Reel Romance,” “Hollywood Dreams”

Reinvigorate a fall formal with a movie theme. The movie premier idea would work here, and so would building a movie set! Use a movie camera prop and a Tinseltown lighted 3D clapboard as entrance pieces or photo setting for this theme.

Place movie camera piñatas as centerpieces and Hollywood clapboard tin boxes filled with edible favors on tables.

Shindigz National Soccer Festival Features 44 Teams

Shindigz National Soccer Festival

Shindigz National Soccer Festival

The 2011 Shindigz National Soccer Festival returns to IPFW’s Hefner soccer fields for another year filled with 16 top-ranked collegiate soccer teams. The 2011 Shindigz National Soccer Festival will not only host a “who’s who” of nationally ranked Universities, but 28 high school teams as well during the August 19, 20 and 21 event. This year’s line-up includes the 2010 National Champion Akron, 2010 National Runner-Up Louisville and Final Four participant, University of Michigan.

Perennial ACC soccer powerhouse Duke will be accompanied by Creighton, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Denver, Michigan State, Ohio State,   Xavier, IPFW, Saint Francis and Indiana Tech.  Girls and boys high school powers from the Fort Wayne area and throughout Indiana, plus the addition of four Michigan schools, will square off on the pitch Friday and Saturday.

In addition to plenty of great soccer, families will enjoy a midway filled with games and activities for the kids. Try out the Speed Kick game or bounce in one of the bounce houses. Have your child’s face painted by Sweetcakes Entertainment or receive a fun balloon art sculpture. For the adults, a beer tent will serve ice-cold adult beverages.  Music will also be heard throughout the weekend soccer event making it a top midwest soccer party.

Advance Tickets can be purchased at any of the ProFed locations or Connolly’s Do It Best hardware stores through out the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, or at Soccer Plus. Tickets will also be available at the gate: $5.00 for students (college I.D. & under) for the entire weekend, $5.00 for adults for a day pass or $10.00 for adults for a weekend pass.

The Shindigz National Soccer Festival has grown to include the spring Kickin’ It At the Diamond as well as this annual multiday Festival in August. Teams attending the festival over the years have won 38 of the 52 NCAA National Championships and of the 48 teams who competed in the 2010 NCAA tournament, nine of them, including six who made the sweet sixteen and three who made the final four, are competing this August.

September Madness Is Here. Host a Football Brackets Party!

football inflatable goal post cooler

Ease your September madness for football fever by keeping your beverages cold in an inflatable goal post cooler!

ARE YOU READY for some FOOTBALL?!! You’ve no doubt heard of March Madness, with winter still hanging on and NCAA basketball fans going wild for the upsets that add to the excitement of the single-elimination college basketball tournament. What? Basketball is not your game? Well, never fear. Now we’ve got September Madness, a form of football fever that can’t be cured—at least, not without a little help from Shindigz, your September Madness bracket sponsor!

Shindigz Brackets for the Big 16—Only the Top 8 Move On
Shindigz has created the first-ever Big 16 College Football’s National Champion. The deal is YOU decide who wins! Just register to vote for who you think is the best of the Big 16. Voting ends on 9/7/11. At that time, eight winners will move to the Awesome 8 brackets. After that, the Fabulous 4 teams move into the top spots. Who will the finalists be? The Texas A & M Aggies? The Wisconsin Badgers? The ultimate champion will be decided on 9/28/11.

Host a September Madness, Football Brackets Party Ideas
Football fans have been waiting for a bracket opportunity like this! Get your game face on with team stamp instant press tattoos and rally your friends to get the September Madness party started.

  • Decorate with your favorite college party supplies. Choose plates and napkins with your college logo, or order your team’s solid color BIG value packs.
  • Line up the drinking games as your College Football’s National Champion party begins. Give away pom pom party favors.
  • Strut your team spirit with fan gear. From wild wigs and party beads to crazy towels and face paint, we’ll help you “cure” your football fever (or at least provide an outlet for your September madness!).

Go “All In” on a Casino Party

Not much can top winning it big at the casino. But throwing a casino party with your friends and family comes pretty close! Shindigz has the largest supply of casino related party decorations and supplies that are sure to make your guests go all in for a night of fun, entertainment and laughter.

We know it’s not easy putting together just the right variety of games and organizing the festivities so the party doesn’t “fold” under the pressure. Besides planning the guest list and food, there are some things you need to consider. How many games should I have? Which games should I have? How many volunteer dealers will I need? How do you even play craps? What the heck does “pairs plus” mean? Have no fear. is here. is your one stop information shop for everything casino games related. From baccarat terminology and definitions to blackjack rules and strategies, can help you determine which games you think your party guests would enjoy most! More importantly, the simple and easy to understand explanations of the rules and payouts would certainly come in handy if you need to “train” your dealers prior to the party!

While your at, you can also check out casino reviews, where to play online, how to PAY online and even check out the latest in gambling news. Need to practice your casino games prior to the party? also offers free flash games like video poker, roulette, blackjack and slot machines. This option offers your party guests a chance to play free slot machines at your party via a laptop or desktop computer set up in your gaming room!Our favorite thing about are the articles on what to do and what NOT to do when you visit a casino. The tips offered range from how to get the best drink service to how to get yourself kicked out a casino (we highly recommend reading this one).

Once you’ve played around at and decided which games you’d like to provide at your party, decide how many dealers you’ll need and come up with a layout of the party room(s). The next step is pulling it all together with the perfect look. Start with personalized poker chips to give your party that personal touch. The poker chip key tag also make great favors for your guests to take home.  If possible, we suggest placing your table games up against a wall in one large area to allow more space for guests to mingle as they migrate through the casino floor. Place green table covers on the tables to give that authentic casino look.  Place casino themed cutouts on the walls for background decor and integrate the food table with casino centerpieces and tableware. Finally, add that special personalized touch with a custom casino banner.

By following the poker guidelines at and offering the perfect setting for your casino night with Shindigz poker and casino party supplies, your guests are sure to win big!

*Shindigz and remind everyone to play responsibly.


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