Monday, July 30, 2012
How to throw a minecraft birthday party
For most of this year Oliver has been pleading his case for the best and biggest birthday celebration he's had yet. His number one argument is that this is the only time he'll be changing to a different diget. He apparantly isn't trying for the 100 year club. 10 is a big deal, he fervently says. Well, I'm inclined to agree. It's not much longer that he'll want a "themed" birthday party with party favors and fun invites and a pinata. I'm not sure I'm ready for him to move on to the "too cool" teenage years. One year I'm sure he'll just take a few friends on a hike or to a movie or a waterslide. But for now, when he says he wants a Minecraft Birthday Party, he doesn't really need to twist my arm too much (nor Nate's I found out) to get it.
I had to laugh as we were putting together some of the stuff for the party and Oliver realized how much work was going into this party and how cool it would be, he said, "Wow, when I told you this was a big year because I was moving up a digit, it really worked. I didn't think it would, but it worked."
We gathered some ideas online and took the best ideas that would work for us. Oliver woke up in the morning to a Creeper shirt that I had stenciled using the freezer paper method. I think it looked really cool. Then the party began with having the kids make their own "Steve heads" which also doubled as a prize/candy bag later on. The Steve heads that you can download and print off or color copy would have been much too expensive for a large group of kids. Shoe boxes aren't the right shape or color, but I found that brown gift bags from the dollar store (2 for a dollar) were the perfect shape and size and could easily be decorated to look like a Steve head or a Creeper or any other Minecraft creature. I always like beginning a birthday party with a craft so that those who come late aren't missing out on the games and can always finish the craft later or even at home.
Next we moved on to the "mining" portion of the party. We had previously hidden 160 colored cubes all over the backyard and when we gave the go ahead each child was let loose to find and collect 12 cubes and put them in their bags.
When each child had found their 12 allotted cubes, they brought them over to the "crafting table" to turn what they had mined into prizes. There were 10 prizes:
A diamond sword made out of blue pool noodles.
A sheet of tattoos
A brain eraser
A balloon powered car
A porcupine pen
A punching balloon
A plastic pointer
A madlibs book
A few of the items (sword, silly string and eraser) we had one for each child. There were about six of each of the other prizes so that the kids had to decide wich prizes they really wanted. It was ok to trade different colored cubes with other kids to get what you wanted.
The crafting took a while, but it was fun watching the kids look through their cubes, look at the "Minecraft Wiki" and figure out how to place the correct cubes in the table to get their prize.
After everyone had surrendered all or most of their cubes, we moved on to the house building competition. Nate had the idea of building really big houses out of large boxes. He spend a good part of a day going to different liquor stores and gathering free boxes--60-70 in all. It's actually a pretty cool thing to have that many boxes that you can build a life size structure.
We divided the kids into three teams. Each team had three minutes to work together to build a house. When time was up they got to admire their house and the next team got to come in and destroy it with their diamond swords of course. The destroying part looked like a lot of fun actually.
The last activity was the "Ghast" pinata. It was very simple to make as it is just a square box wrapped in copy paper and tissue paper with white streamers hanging down. I had intended on making a Creeper pinata but Oliver wanted a Gast. It really makes it nice that everything in this game is just simple squares and cubes.
We served sandwiches for lunch--really just ran out of time to make cool "Minecraft" type food though we saw some really fun ideas with cheese cubes and other square foods. But the cake was fun. Oliver wanted a cake like the cake that you can actually make in the Minecraft game. Again, so nice that everything is square. I did a tripple layer cake to get more of a cube shape--although Oliver was quick to let me know that the cake isn't supposed to be a perfect cube. I made a chocolate cake with white frosting and some red and pink random squares on the top--simple but it actually looked very similar to the the cake in the game.
After presents some of the kids went back to the crafting table to finish off the prizes that were left and we all said goodbye. It was a great party and now the only problem is... what are we going to do with 70 cardboard boxes?