Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Party like a Padawan

I feel the need to throw a party, but since I'm not going to just yet, here's a great one to try for your little Jedi.

There's nothing like Star Wars.  Except Harry Potter.  But that's a discussion for another day.

Star Wars has it all.  Jedi's, good vs. evil, creatures big and small (who doesn't love Wookies and Ewoks??).  And there's Leia to give a nice feminine edge to the whole thing.  I was totally going to wear the gold bikini to throw this party, but ya know...it didn't seem the best for serving cake and helping with x-wing fighters.  Carrie Fisher has me beat on that one.

I was thrilled that my nephew was going to let me try my hand at an epic Star Wars party for his birthday.  The planning turned out to be incredibly easy.  It's helpful that Star Wars never really seems to go away.  I was able to find a lot of already themed items for decor and favors, and the color scheme of black, silver, and blue was easy to work with, too.

This party has very similar core ingredients as any party I throw for children.  You want some theme elements in the food, decor, and activities:

For the food, I just got creative with renaming a couple of favorites.  Drinks became Jedi Juice, Cheez-its became Darth Cheddar, cookies became Wookie Cookies, and snack mix became Ewok Niblets.  Super easy.  Even funnier, if you have something that requires a fork, please use the label "Use the fork, Luke" on the table.  That's just hysterical, right??  Also hilarious is to serve mini pizzas and name them "Pizza the Hutt". Oh my word, that's funny.

I happened upon a cupcake set at William Sonoma in a Star Wars theme and on sale!  That was a definite way to make things easy and affordable too.  

If I had not come across that set, I probably would have looked from something similar on Etsy.  I'm just a fan of using a themed cupcake pick; a nice alternative to a themed cake from a store.  While I love when people are talented enough to create adorable cakes, I do not love grocery store character cakes.   Oh, and one more way to stretch that set from William Sonoma.  I didn't need the cupcake liners since I ordered the cupcakes, so I used them to line clear plastic cups holding snack mix.  A quick way to use what I had and add to the decorations on the table.

The rest of the decorations also doubled mostly as activities.  Jedi training was a huge hit for the Littles.  I made scads of Jedi robes out of a $9 drop cloth. 

Displayed on hangers from a tree, it just takes you right back to Endor, no?  After being bestowed with the robe, each Padawan was given a light saber.  We made these from pipe insulation and colored electrical tape (far easier...and cheaper...to wield than a pool noodle). 

Now we play!

There were Stormtroopers to fight.  Just draw their weird faces on helium balloons.  This little course was so much fun.  It was even fun to watch the Storm Troopers float away through the neighborhood.
Next we made X-Wing fighters (aka paper airplanes...so easy, and the kids were so into it!). 

Winner of the flying contest got Jedi street cred.  Congrats to Emily!  She nailed it.

I made sure to meet with the birthday boy to make sure I had relevant and accurate things to use during the party.  He let me know that there was one element that was very important to include. "Lava.  I want lava like in Episode 3."  Oh dear.  Okay.  I'm thinking on the inside "Are you kidding me?? That's a terrifying scene when Anikan actually becomes Vader."  But what precious child wants, he gets.  The obvious idea was to just make it a game of "the floor is lava"! Always a classic, right?  Tissue paper to mimic the fire/lava and a wooden board from the garage to make it a bit of a challenge.  This silliness was actually the biggest hit of the party, as far as the kids were concerned.  They kept wanting to duel!

The part I liked the best was the Death Star pinata that the Hub made.  

 Ah-mazing.  Actually ridiculous.  It took the most man-hours and made the biggest mess of anything done for this fantastic party, but it was so worth it. Look at it.  It's amazing!  Just paper mache and some crazy dorky craftiness for us to create the crater, tape off the lines, add the glitter.  
Oh the glitter, what a mess. It takes a special man to agree to work with glitter in his garage.  It looked like Tinkerbell's lair for quite a while. 
Anyway, we packed it full with candy and treats.  Any pinata is awesome because for some reason kids love to hit things.  But to destroy the Death Star?!  Yes. The culmination of all the Jedi training we'd just done.  Epic! These kids weren't playing around.  

I'm pretty sure this homemade pinata was harder to break than store bought things like our Jabberwocky.  I could be backward on that, but I do know the Death Star was an brilliant prop hanging over the party and an even more enjoyable activity.  Kids love to destroy things ;)
One more activity, that's easy to adapt to a lot of party themes:  the red solo cups.  Build them into a pyramid, add some Star Wars figures.  Let target practice with Nerf guns ensue.  The same idea could be adapted to a water party with squirt guns.  This was the second favorite for the kids.  "Again!  Let me do it again!"  (I advise that you get a wing man to help you set up the pyramid over and over again. Just a tip, but trust me on that one).

Finally, I had a quick idea to try for this particular party.  Like I mentioned, Star Wars merchandise is still really easy to find.  So as my nephew's gift to take home, I bought and framed a Star Wars poster (seen in top picture) and used it as decoration during the party.  Depending on the theme, I think doing something similar is an excellent idea to add to the decor and provide a (non-toy!) gift for the birthday Kid. 
Off to dream up more parties!  May the Force be with you always.