Because it was so hard to find child-appropriate, police-themed birthday party stuff for Jack's 5th, I thought I might recap his party in case anyone out there wishes to host a similarly themed fete (and yes, I know that fete as a French accent in it, but due to tumblr's inability to handle a simple foreign word, I'm going to leave it as is). In addition to the fact that we had a blast at J's party, I am also hoping to help you avoid the "Mommy, why are those ladies in police bikinis?" OOPS occasions when googling police uniform does not bring back what you were expecting. Let me tell you, that is not an infrequent search result. Parents get your child blocks up now. I cannot tell you how much crap comes from innocent child searches for 'police badge'. Anyway, we made these badges which were darling:
I bought the gold and black cardstock at Paper Source, used my label maker for the names and used google images to let Jack pick out which badge was his favorite. Then Tom printed that image onto the gold paper. I bought pins from amazon and glued them on the back. Done!
Before I bestowed each badge to its officer, I had the child sit down at the fingerprinting ID station and assure me that his/her stated name was real and true. Using the mess-free fingerprint kit I'd bought (also from amazon), I then had each child put their thumb in the ink and on ID cards I'd made from index cards and my label maker. I studied each print carefully with a magnifying glass, pronounced them accurate and gave the child his ID card, badge, water pistol (it was really hot outside), and a pair of rearview spy glasses (the ones with mirrored edges so you can see behind you). These I found at a local toy store.
We decorated with Crime Scene tape (amazon) and a huge police car drawing that Jack made. I took his picture, printed it on an 8.5x11 piece of white paper, cut it out and glued it in the window so it looks as if Jack is driving the patrol car. It was a hit and also makes for something fun to roll up and keep as a memory.
For the main event, we created a scavenger hunt that utilized our neighborhood: two teams of "police officers" followed 10 clues each to find counterfeit money (we put Jack's face on Andrew Jackson $20s) and stolen jewels. Along the way, in addition to solving each riddle, they had to do tasks like paint a totem pole (thick wrapping paper tube), bowl 20 pins total (using bowling set we have), do 10 jumping jacks each, etc. When they returned with the money and jewels, they turned both in for a reward: a small treasure chest full of jelly beans. I think this was the most popular part of this party. Anyway...
For the cake, we made a double-layer chocolate and Tom (awesome clue-writer and cake-icer) iced it to look like a police badge.
All in all this was definitely a decent amount of work but really fun and not real expensive; Jack said it was the best day of his life.
Hope this helps anyone who's interested in hosting such a party.