How to Create an Epic Minecraft Birthday Party, the Multicraftual Way
My kid is obsessed with Minecraft. Maybe you can relate? He asks to play Minecraft frequently. He wants to watch YouTube videos about how to craft new things in Minecraft. He wants to play Minecraft Story Mode on our tablet, he wants to constantly talk about Minecraft...he even LARPS Minecraft when we send him outside to play (think swinging imaginary pickaxes at the play equipment to mine for ore...)
So, of course, when he realized his birthday was fast approaching, he asked for a Minecraft party. "Okay!" I naively thought, "I can do this!" After cruising Pinterest for some ideas, I decided my best bet was to just go to the party store, pick up a bunch of Minecraft-themed party decor and find a few games. Easy, right?
Well, on my tour of the party store, I found absolutely 0 Minecraft themed objects. Nothing. Nada. Not a single plate or Steve? head piñata.
"Whaaaat?" I thought? This is a merchandising gold mine! How are they not exploiting this. So, since I was there, I picked up a few packages of square green plates, some tiny shot-glass sized clear containers (for water and lava jello buckets), a green tablecloth with brown table skirt for the dirt block snack table and several sizes of green balloons. Taking my measly finds up to the checkout counter, I asked the young man if I had perhaps missed something. Where was all the Minecraft paraphernalia? And do you know what he said? "Yeah, we don't stock that. But you know where you'll want to go?"
Yes. YES! Please tell me where to go to purchase these items!
...Ugh. That's where I started! Where everything looked like it would take every waking minute for the next three weeks to complete! Noooooo!
So I did what any self respecting multicraftual would do--I invented my own things. Was it time consuming? Yes, to a certain extent. But it was also really satisfying. And for any of you out there trying to plan a Minecraft Birthday Party for your young man or miss, I want to share what we did so you can throw a successful Minecraft Birthday Party too!
The Snack TableAs I mentioned before, I purchased a green table cloth and a brown table skirt that we use on a folding table to create a dirt block snack table. Each food item was labeled with it's corresponding Minecraft analogue. We tried to provide several healthy snack options (to offset our main course of pizza--can't go wrong with pizza). Here's a run down of what we stocked our snack table with:
Watermelon, Red & Golden Apples, Slime Balls (green grapes), Redstone (strawberries), Sticks (pretzels), Bread (different pretzels), Lava (colby cheese cubes), and Carrots. We also offered a variety of dessert options including Cookies, Sandstone/Dirt/Stone Blocks (rice cereal treats), Water Buckets and Lava Buckets (blue & orange jello in square cups), Emeralds & Diamonds (green & blue jelly beans), Coal (mini peppermint patties) and Iron and Gold Ingots (wrapped chocolates).
None of the snacks took very long to put together--it was mostly just washing fruit and filling serving dishes.
The CakeI made the cake from scratch, to look like a cake in Minecraft. You can read the full tutorial with cake recipe and links to make Marshmallow Fondant in this post. It was soooo tasty--everyone loved it!
The Party GamesWe had just a few guests who RSVPed for the party (Father's Day weekend is a tricky time for birthday parties!) but the smaller number worked out just fine for the amount of space we had inside and the games I had planned. I originally wanted to do everything outside, but with a forecast of 95*F+, I figured we'd need to be in the A/C for a good portion of the party for everyone's comfort. While we were digging into the snack table and the pizza, my husband snuck outside and hid large wooden craft sticks, small wooden craft sticks and balls of aluminum foil in the yard for the kids to find.
Activity #1: Craft a Pick AxeI told them our first game was the create a pick axe that would be used later on, so they needed to go out into the yard and find two big sticks, three small sticks and a ball of aluminum "ore". They scavenged around and everyone found the right number of materials and brought them back inside. The adults helped the kids to "build" their pick axes by attaching the sticks together with some super sticky glue dots. Once the frame was made, they wrapped the outside with aluminum foil. We twisted one of the ends into a point in preparation for:
Activity #2: Mine for OreWhile we were constructing these pick axes and labeling them for each kiddo with a Sharpie, my husband went back outside to distribute the "ore". Now, if square balloons were a thing, this probably would have been more like Minecraft, but we did the best we could with the materials we had on hand. The week before the party I bought small balloons and narrow candies (think Smartees, Tootsie Rolls, etc.). I placed one candy into each balloon, blew it up and tied it. I think I made about 100 different "ores". He distributed these balloons all over the yard while I explained the instructions for the second activity: mine for ore (aka candy) by popping balloons with your pick axe. I gave each kiddo a small party bag with their name on it and they went out to pop the balloons and collect their candy! They had a lot of fun mining! (Be sure you buy smaller balloons and/or fill them quite full of air so that they are easier to pop with just a twisted end of aluminum foil).
PLEASE NOTE: Popped balloons pose a hazard for young children--please keep little brothers and sisters in attendance in a separate place so everyone stays safe! We supervised younger siblings inside (they were watching a movie and playing with age appropriate toys while the older kids mined for ore).
After these two activities, it was time for a little break inside the cool house, so we sang Happy Birthday, ate cake and opened presents!
Once everyone had finished their cake and lemonade, we headed back outside for my very favorite game:
Activity #3: Creepers!I thought it would be really fun for the kiddos to pretend they were playing Minecraft survival mode in real life, so we concocted a Creeper from various sizes of balloons. View the full Craft A Creeper Tutorial here. The heads were filled with helium to keep them upright, and I drew their faces on with a Sharpie (I only made 12, so this didn't take too long). We used them for party decorations at first, and then took them outside for target practice.
We ordered these party favor bow and arrow sets on Amazon a couple of weeks before the party and everyone got to chose their color. We lined the Creepers up outside in a line and had each kiddo stand facing them (so no one was in the middle and everyone was aiming in the same direction). I was dubious as to whether they would be able to hit the Creepers, let along pop them, but I thought it would be fun to try all the same. But they actual were able to pop them after a little bit of trial and error (and shooting from close range!) so they got to collect what the Creeper dropped--in this case, a pile of "gunpowder" (aka a grey bean bag pyramid--full details in the Tutorial). The bean bags served the added purpose of tethering the Creepers down so they stayed in place. Everyone loved this game, and they really liked the surprise of the bean bag party favor at the end!
The games, and the party overall, were a smashing success! Everyone had lots of fun! We sent them home with lots of fun prizes too--the candy they had mined, their bows and arrows, a gunpowder bean bag and this extra prize bag that we ordered on Amazon. Needless to say, the boy was really pleased with his party and had a really fun time!
*This post contains affiliate links through Amazon. I only share links to products that I personally enjoy and would recommend to a friend! Thank you!