Sunday, August 25, 2013

Minecraft 8th Birthday Party

My son just turned eight and wanted a Minecraft-themed party.  There are plenty of great ideas out there on the internet.  Here's what we ended up doing.

Decorations:
Minecraft papercraft -- We used free printable templates found at instructables.com.  My boys chose several things they wanted to make, I printed them out on white cardstock and they went to town cutting and assembling. They made this lovely Minecraft display for the party all by themselves!

Birthday Banner -- I cut 3-inch squares out of kraft cardstock as the base, punched holes in the corners and strung brown ribbon through the holes. (For a few of the blocks, I used dark brown and green cardstock instead of the kraft just to keep things interesting.)  I found a "grass block" image online and used Photoshop Elements to create one 2x2 block for each letter I wanted for the banner.  The font for the letters is a free download on dafont.com.  Type the letters on the grass block, print them out, cut them out, and glue on the cardstock squares.


Torches -- I used a Minecraft wall torch template that I found here. I resized it for 8 1/2 x 11 paper and printed out two of them.  Once they were cut out, folded and assembled, I stuck them to the wall using straight pins and tape.  I crumpled up some yellow tissue paper to stick in the top of the torches to make them look more like they were on fire.

Pixelated Window -- My husband drew on the window with window markers to make them look like the glass you use in your Minecraft houses.  He also drew a creeper and a zombie face as well as a few blocks.


Steve and Zombie heads -- one of the talented guys in our youth group at church was Minecraft Steve for Halloween.  He let us borrow his costume for Steve and a Zombie made out of cardboard and paint.  (These became part of a game later!)



Food:  The world of Minecraft includes food so I decided our party menu should include things available in the game.


We served carrots, watermelon, apples, chicken (nuggets), and potatoes (french fries). To drink we had water bottles and "creeper juice".


The Choose Awesome blog has a fabulous blog post about hosting an epic Minecraft party.  The blog made my life so easy because she posted many of the free printables that I used for our party.


The "creeper juice" was some kind of sour warhead green drink that I saw on sale.  I used the water bottle labels from the Choose Awesome blog post and then modified them a bit to make the creeper juice labels.  The boys at the party were very excited about the creeper juice.


Activities:
We had several crafts and activities planned for the party.  As the guests arrived they got to craft their own chest.  We provided brown paper lunch sacks and pictures of various Minecraft characters.  (Again, I printed the images from the Choose Awesome blog.)  They glued the images on their bags.  These became the party favor bags: I added some square candies (Starburst, Now and Later, Nerds) and the guests put all the things they made at the party into their bags.


The guests could also make a torch like the ones I made to hang next to the banner.  I gave them each a glow stick to put inside their torches, too.



Later, they could make a Minecraft pickaxe.  I found an image here of a diamond pickaxe and had several copies printed out for the guests.  The guests cut out the images and glued them on to cardboard axes we had cut out ahead of time.  Because cutting the cardboard (or foam board) required an X-acto knife, we did that job prior to the party so the kids wouldn't endanger any of their fingers.


Surprisingly more popular than the pickaxes were the perler beads.  Perler beads and Minecraft go together so well because they both have that pixelated look.  I had printed out a few examples of things other people had made out of these beads (thank you, internet), and let the kids use their imagination.  Here are a couple things my niece made.  Aren't they cute?


In between the crafting sessions, we had a game for the kids to play.  First, we had scattered some "diamonds" and "ore" around the yard (vase fillers from the dollar bins at Michael's).  The two teams had to gather up all their diamonds/ore and stash them in little square boxes (dollar spot at Target).  Later those boxes filled with treasure became each team's "flag" in a game of capture the flag.  To spice up that game a little, my husband and I dressed up as Steve and the Zombie and ran around trying to tag the kids.

Here's my niece in the Steve costume after I got too hot.

When it was time for cake, we had one more game for the kids.  In the game of Minecraft, you have to collect eggs, milk, sugar and wheat to "craft" a cake.  We made them find all those ingredients hidden in Easter eggs in the yard before they could have cake.


I made a square cake to look like the ones on Minecraft.


Happy birthday to my sweet eight-year-old.  May creepers never explode your house.

Edited to add .jpg files for the cake crafting activity:


4 comments:

  1. Kristen, I love your philosophy and thank you for some frugal but great ideas. I wonder if you would be willing to share the file with your cake crafting cards? I love that idea before cake, but I am not so handy with creating things like that.
    That said, we are having a blast planning my son's 9th birthday party - Minecraft style! Thanks again! Kristie

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    1. I would LOVE to send you the file! I'm technically-savvy enough to make the .pdf file, but Blogger only lets you upload .jpgs. I suppose I could upload the .jpg but I think then you'd have to mess with it on your end to get it the right size and stuff. OR, email me at imakedo@gmail.com and I will email you the .pdfs directly!

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  2. I was wondering if you have the idea sheet for the perler beads? I think this is genius and am doing a minecraft party for my son in less than an week!! I have been searching for the perfect craft and they can take it home and make keep chain etc. My email address is julie4370@gmail.com. I am going to Michaels and Hobby Lobby tomorrow and see if I can find all this stuff but not sure how to show kids how to make these things. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    Julie

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  3. Love your ideas. we are doing our second Minecraft party this year, its great to see what other people do.

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