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Friday, December 12, 2014

Minecraft Birthday Party

Look who turned 8 last week!  He was SO excited - and who can blame him?  Birthdays are exciting, especially when you are looking forward to a party with a bunch of your new friends and one with the theme of your favorite game to boot.  Yup - Tyler, like many kids right now, is completely obsessed with Minecraft.
I have to admit I know very, very little about Minecraft, nor was I really in the mood to sit down and play the game with the kids.  So I relied pretty heavily on looking at ideas online with one of the kids at my side making comments.  It was kind of a fun process actually.  Tyler had lots and lots and lots of ideas. ;)  And Kaitlyn is great about helping me pull it all together.  In the end, we decided on the following:
Creeper Rice Krispie Treats went to school with Tyler for all of his classmates.  We just tinted the marshmallow green and the eyes are chocolate chips which I melted and piped onto wax paper to form the eyes and mouth.
Once the birthday boy was off to school I got to work on the cake.  He had requested a TNT cake, which seemed as easy as stacking a few cake squares on top of each other and covering it with red.  Uh huh.  Yeah.  First ever epic cake fail.  It started leaning after I got all the layers on and even with additional support, it had toppled before I could get the exterior frosting on it.

I had to laugh.  Really, what can you do but laugh?  And my brother, who was eating breakfast at the time, laughed at me too - and asked if he could "publicly humiliate" me by posting a photo on Facebook.  I told him that was fine, because I fully intended to blog about it ;)
So what do you do when your cake falls apart and you don't want to run to the store?  I turned it into Dirt Cake, that's what.  

The kids didn't have a clue - ha!  In fact, they loved it.  Couldn't get enough of the cake in the cups with the Minecraft toppers I printed at the last minute (found here).

 The rest of the food was pretty easy.  Tyler had been pretty quick to suggest a bunch of foods that were in the game:  "bread" was sandwiches cut into squares, "potion of healing" were just Hugs with labels on them (I was informed that the potions are always red but since it would have taken way too many boxes to find enough red drinks for everyone we used green too since Creepers are his favorite character from the game), "slime balls" were green grapes, "raw fish" were goldfish crackers, and carrots and gold apples were, well, carrots and apples ;)

 Printables for the food and drink lables came from here, though I did resize and edit them a bit, as well as use them for the base to make the other signs for the party.
I found the printable for the large Steve and the Creeper here.

The table set up was pretty simple (and inexpensive) too.  It doesn't take a lot to make a big statement.

 The plates were just green plates with Creeper faces that I had cut out of vinyl with the Silhouette machine.
And the table runner was green wrapping paper that I quickly cut into block-type forms on the edges.  I used the Silhouette to cut a pattern for the Creeper face out of cardstock and used it and a Sharpie to make Creeper faces on the table runner and on a bunch of green balloons.
 The balloons went downstairs in the "party area," along with my standard bead board birthday banner.  I also put a set a balloons out by the road and by the door, along with a Minecraft Welcome sign.  I always try to do something like that in case a guest hasn't visited our house before so they can easily tell where the party is.
 As I mentioned in an earlier post, Tyler had invited his entire class to his party and not knowing how many kids would actually show up, planning was a little tricky.  I decided to use the kitchen/living room for the food and do all the activities in the family room downstairs.  I only set up one table, which was perfect for the amount of kids that did RSVP but I had another table and extra decorations on stand-by in case we had any show up unannounced.  We only ended up with one that hadn't called ahead, so it was fine.
Anyway.  One of Tyler's first requests was to have "torches" as decoration so I printed off a few for the stairs/hallway and used crepe paper to form the "portal" (or am I confused and they only use that term in Skylanders??)

Downstairs, I had turned my craft tables into "crafting tables" (of course!).  It was just a simple matter of using electrical tape and a ruler to form the grid.  Minecraft is all about building, so I had a few crafty projects planned.
 And again, not knowing how many kids would actually attend the party, I had planned accordingly.  If we had a large number of guests, I had extra helpers on hand so we could split them up into smaller groups and do "stations" for the different crafts and games.  I put all the things needed for each activity in its own little basket so we could just grab them as needed.
 As it turned out, we had about 10 kids attend so they just did everything in one big group, but I was still glad I had planned ahead and set it up this way.
 I always like to have some sort of low key activity for everyone to start working on when they arrive.  This keeps the fidgeting and chaos to a minimum while still allowing time for any later guests to arrive without missing much of the planned activities.  For the Minecraft party, our Arrival Activity was making Minecraft masks.  I cut out a bunch of small squares out of colored paper and the kids glued them onto poster board that I had cut into squares with a couple of square openings for eyes.
This worked pretty well, but these kids were HYPER that night so as soon as we could, we moved on to the more active games.

This game was originally intended to be a beanbag toss, but the beanbags we have for our cornhole boards were too big for holes so we used Neft guns instead.  Nerf dart look close enough to the TNT in the game, right?  The kids didn't care - they had fun (though some of them were way too excited to wait their turns!).

The next game was probably the favorite for our rowdy crew.  I had filled a bunch of balloons and put a line of tape down the center of the room to split it into two parts.  Yes, I was all creative and used some of the Creeper balloons as well as some smaller colored ones which could represent the other animals in the game - but I don't think the kids noticed or cared.  The point of the game was to get all the balloons onto the other team's side.  We played music while they bopped balloons back and forth (had intended to find Minecraft parody songs but forgot to get them cued up and just ended up using whatever was on the IPOD) until the music stopped, then everyone would freeze while we counted the balloons on each side.  As I said - this game was a perfect way for them to use up their energy without hurting anything so we let them do 5 or 6 rounds before we headed upstairs for cake and gifts.

The time just flew by and by the time everyone had finished eating and all the gifts were unwrapped we only had a few minutes left before parents would start arriving so I gave them some block character printables to assemble.

This link has a lot of great printables for all of the blocks, characters, etc.

As I said, the time went by so quickly we didn't end up using some of the activities I had planned.  Like:
Minecraft character Perler bead keychains.  This activity alone probably would have taken them half an hour.
 And the bean bags were going to be repurposed to "Feed the Wolf."

But I'd rather have too many activities planned than have bored kids at the end of a party.

As they were working on the character printables, I also had them take turns assembling their own favor bags.
For the favor bag tags I used a pdf file I found online (see this blog), added the rest of the message (in Photoshop) then printed them 6 to a page.  

 The tags went inside a cellophane bag and the kids got to fill it with:

Creeper face lollipops, (had an a-ha moment on this one and instead of cutting them all out by hand I figured out how to make my own pattern for the Silhouette to cut out - go me!)
 glow stick "torches"
licorice "TNT" (Tyler was very pleased with those.  When he saw them all assembled he told me "Mom, you've really outdone yourself!") and Hershey Kiss "emeralds, red stones, and silver"
So there you have it!  Paper, scissors, a printer, and a lot of ink - that's really all it takes to make a little guy happy on his birthday ;)

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Sarah said...

Hello! I found your blog by googling Minecraft perler beads and I love your ideas! I think my favorite is the torches and the goodie bag treat, but I can see my son wanting a lot of these at his birthday arty. Great job!

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