Some simple ideas for hosting a ‘Crazy Crafternoon for Kids’ or ‘Arty Party’, either for a birthday, a school holiday activity, or just because 🙂
Another post with birthday party ideas… I know some people aren’t big on birthday parties for kids. I think it’s “each to their own” in this area, although I do believe every child’s birthday should be acknowledged somehow, as each one is special. We haven’t had any posts on boys’ birthdays here on “The Forever Years” yet either, so I thought it good to do one!
Anyway, our eldest son turned 10 recently. We do “themed” parties and he said he wanted a “Minecraft Party”. At first I thought, “Uh-oh, he just wants to game for the whole time his mates are here.” I wasn’t super keen, because there wouldn’t be enough tablets or computers for 6 boys and also, we often have “Minecraft arguments” at home among our own children (like when someone goes into someone else’s world and kills them or builds stuff without their permission or pulls down or blows up stuff without their permission… it gets complicated).
My son got a Minecraft Magazine from his school library, which had some ideas in it and we also got onto Google and made up some ideas of our own. I found it a not too expensive and, in the end, quite fun party, so will share some of what we did here, for anyone else whose kid likes Minecraft and wants this kind of birthday party.
1.Creeper… theme (black and green)
I always find it helpful to have a colour theme for kids’ parties, it gives them a kind of uniformity and cohesiveness. Minecraft’s Creeper’s green colour, plus black (which is in Creeper’s face and on most of the other Minecraft characters) became our theme: green drink, green and black balloons and green and black streamers. For the drinks, my son and I drew “creeper faces” on green cups and had lime fizz in bottles with creeper faces too, which we re-named “Creeper Juice”. We also drew creeper faces on the green balloons. The good thing about Minecraft is that everything is in squares, so I found it fairly easy to copy characters and faces, block by block.
2. A Creeper Pinata
We created a “creeper pinata” out of old boxes from the supermarket. It was VERY easy. The main challenge, I found, was putting paper over holes in the box so that there were enough “weak spots” that the pinata could actually be broken. Rather than put loads of lollies inside, I put bags with each child’s name on them, so that there were no fights, and in the bag, as well as a couple of lollies, there were notebooks and Minecraft stickers… I didn’t want to send those kids back to their Mums and Dads buzzed up on sugar. (In this photo we were still in the process of painting Creeper: we put light green small squares on his body like the Minecraft one).
We made “party poppers” and red jelly into “TNT”, to further fit in with the minecraft theme. I used stickers over the poppers and on the cups for the jelly.
4. Wall decorations: Minecraft Characters
My son loves drawing Minecraft characters, so we let him go for it. I find decorating the walls for a birthday is great, because it really helps set the scene/ theme and it’s an activity for the kids to do… I think it’s great to get them to help wherever possible, it’s their birthday, after all. My other children also enjoyed doing this and it became a family activity.
5. The Cake
Fortunately for our family, my husband has a natural flair for decorating kids’ cakes. For this party, he created a very cool Creeper. He said that this was one of the easier cakes he’d decorated, however, again because of the “square” factor that comes when doing anything with a Minecraft theme. (Doing “natural” looking curves on cakes to make them look like animals or other “real” things can be tricky). The thing which took the longest, in decorating the Creeper cake, was attaching the hundreds of tiny square icing “tiles” in different shades of green. For those who don’t feel up to doing that, giving Creeper a pale green body, then painting it with food colouring in different shades of green would also look effective.
Overall, this party went well. I was a little nervous about the pinata, as we’d never done on before. The prizes were in the Creeper’s body, not in the head, so I had to tell the kids to wack the body. I think the reason I haven’t done a pinata before is that belting them until they split open always seemed quite aggressive and violent to me. But kids love them and we tried to keep it orderly so everyone got a turn.
The party was for two hours, 2pm-4pm on a Saturday afternoon. I think one reason things went smoothly was that the kids were older (I’ve had some parties for younger kids where their over enthusiasm has caused chaos… including one party at which a wee girl projectile vomited, as she was so excited when she saw our daughter’s 3rd birthday “pony cake”…). After doing parties for four children for a decade, I’ve also discovered that having a list helps. For this party, my list was: guests arrive, Joe opens presents and thanks guests, eating, birthday cake, pinata, watch some Minecraft on Youtube if time at the end, guests parents collect them. Very simple, but something to go back to when noise levels were high and my brain was addled and also plenty of things to chug through in two hours.
I hope this article and the pictures of what we did will inspire and help those of you who want to do parties for kids who love Minecraft. We held this party at home and the most expensive thing was probably the cake. The overall party was fairly cheaply done. Please comment if you have any other great ideas for parties with this theme and I’ll put some links below that I found helpful when organising our son’s one.
By Sarah Wilson
What is your take on children’s birthday parties? By Sarah Wilson.