Friday, December 27, 2013

How To: A Minecraft Birthday Party

A birthday trip to the land of Minecraft?  When my daughter, on the cusp of her 11th birthday, informed me that this was her party theme, I have to admit I wasn't quite sure how we would make that work.  But with a little creativity and a lot of cardboard boxes, we pulled it off. Here's how. 

The Party Plan:
We were inviting about 5 close friends for a few afternoon hours. Luckily her birthday is in the fall and the weather is usually good for an outdoor party.   We decided on some minecraft-related games & activities, decorations and food.

The Games:

We decided kids would earn 'diamonds' for winning games or participating in activities.  At the end of the party, we had a table of prizes that you could trade your diamonds for.
  • Pin the tail on the Pig:   This was easy enough -we created a minecraft-looking pig picture and the "Steve Head" (a painted case of wine box).  The classic game - transformed.

  • Creeper Targets:   For this game, we attached pictures of creepers to a string, and made some "creeper" balls out of small green rubber balls we found at the Dollar Store with black electrical tape to make the creeper face. The kids had 3 tries to hit the targets for points.

  • Scavenger Hunt:  My daughter loves scavenger hunts, so we hid clues around the yard. Each clue had some sort of puzzle, word scramble or math puzzle to solve.  The "treasure chest" at the end held more diamonds. 
  • Potion Making:  We bought every possible flavor of Gatorade and poured it into various bottles and jars for the kids to mix into "Potions".  Prizes for drinking your concoction. 
  • Creeper T-Shirts:   A simple stencil let the kids spray paint the "Creeper" face on these plain green t-shirts:
  • Water Balloon Sword Fights:  This was a bit of an unplanned activity but one of the most popular.  We had a lot of solid cardboard tubes left over from some of the boxes we had collected, so we spray painted them to make "Swords".  Then, we threw water balloons which the kids tried to hit & destroy, showering themselves when they did.  Even though it was raining out, this was the hit of the party. 
  • Ender Dragon Pinata:  We found a black dragon pinata and added a little purple spray paint to make it look more appropriate.   The Steve head came in handy again here, but the plywood sword was a bit TOO hefty & cracked open our pinata on first attempt.

The Decorations:
We let my daughter & her friend be in charge of the decoorations.   They created cardboard trees & towers (above) & decorated the front door. 

The Food:
Snacks & cake were Minecraft-themed.    Rolo candies make great "gold bars" and beef jerky makes "rotten flesh".  We also had licorice for TNT.   For the cake, we cut out a blocky shape, covered it in green & brown frosting, and used Fondant to make the animals and creepers.

In the end, a good time was had by all, and we managed to hold them off the game itself for a good 2-3 hours before all converged in front of the x-box.


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