Happy Star Wars Day! Several months ago, X-man decided that he wanted a Star Wars party for his 6th birthday. As you can imagine, his father was ecstatic. The party turned out to be great fun- we all loved it. When I described the party to my sister, she decided she could not be left out of this fun and so flew across the country- with a seriously awesome costume- to attend.
Two months ago, in a galaxy not too far away…
A birthday party was being planned for a young boy who was about to turn 6 years old. Invitations were sent out inviting young padawans to attend a special Jedi Training event to celebrate this young boy’s life.
With my sister’s presence at the party, we had access to her ipad- which was wonderful as we used it to play music from Star Wars throughout the party (at the entry, when kids were arriving, we played the opening title music; at snack time, we played Mos Eisley music; during our “award ceremony,” we used Throne Room music).
As the young Padawans arrived at Jedi Training, they were first welcomed by Masters Obi-Wan and Yoda (a foam board poster my husband made). Then, we issued them a uniform, a light saber (green and blue pool noodles cut in half with black tape wrapped around the bottom for a handle), and a Yoda Tag which listed the items to accomplish during their training period. Immediately, all Padawans began dueling with their light sabers and had a wonderful time. We also had a “Jedi Mind Trick” area where kids could decorate their goodie bags with Star Wars stickers, do a Star Wars maze, or color a dot-to-dot R2D2 picture. But mostly, they just wanted to play with their light sabers.
When everyone had arrived, we started the games. First, Master Scottywalker led Light Saber Training. He showed all of our Padawan Learners some cool light saber moves. Then we gave them each a balloon to practice with- they had to bounce the balloon in the air with their light saber (though unlike Luke with his training remote, they were never required to be blindfolded). When they had done this, we separated them into two teams (by color of light saber) and gave each team a balloon- whichever team could keep their balloon up the longest, won. Go Green Team!
Next, we headed over to a grassy area to do some Yoda Yoga strength training. I found an awesome image during a Google search of Star Wars yoga poses. I worked through these poses with the kids- and I was surprised- they were all into it! It was funny! And my baby sister took full advantage of photo opportunities of her sister looking absolutely ridiculous. After we went through most of the poses, we played a Star Wars version of “Gorilla, Man, Gun” (for those of you who do not know, this is a fun full body version of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”). It was called “Emperor, Vader, Luke.” The kids stood back to back, chose one of the three options, assumed the position, and turned to face each other. The Emperor defeated Luke, Luke defeated Vader, and Vader defeated the Emperor. All of the surrounding adults helped arbitrate.
Our next activity was Blaster Target Practice and it did not go quite as planned. When I tested this activity before the party the nerf gun worked amazingly well and it was so much fun. However, the gun got shy or something because it absolutely refused to fire. So, we picked up pebbles from the ground and used them to toss at our Storm Trooper targets. (The pebble idea came from a brilliant young Padawan who I think was tired of waiting for the gun to work- such creativity! Very impressive.) We tallied up all the targets the blue team shot down and all the targets the green team shot down. Go blue team!
Our last “Training Exercise” was our obstacle course with Yoda. We costumed up two of our green stuffed animals (Scout, the dog from LeapFrog and the Parrot from Dr. Seuss’s tongue twister book) in Yoda outfits and a Yoda mask. Each went into a backpack. So, the kids all lined up and we did the obstacle course one section at a time with two kids going at once (blue team member, then green team member). The first section was hopping on stepping stones, avoiding the pebble “asteroid field.” Once they all accomplished that, they went to the ropes course. A tangle of clothesline tied up on metal BBQ skewers stuck in the dirt provided a fitting challenge for our young Padawans. They had to run through the criss-crossed rope and then duck into a “Storm Trooper” Tunnel.
The next part of the obstacle course was everyone’s favorite activity. Our canopy was filled with balloons hung down from the poles at varying lengths. The goal was to make it through the canopy without getting touched by a balloon. They had to use their light sabers to beat the balloons out of the way. Then they had to walk across a beam without falling off, go under, over and under a few PVC pipe sawhorses, and through a colorful tunnel to finish and deliver Yoda to our baby orange tree. They received a Star Wars sticker on their Yoda Tag and a (Easter Egg sized) Yoda, Vader, or R2D2 filled with a few skittles (I got these at Easter from Target) when they completed this task and they were released for their “Nutrition Break.”
There were so many ideas on the internet for good snack foods for a Star Wars party. We had Wookie Water and Yoda Soda (just regular soda, titled impressively), Leia’s Cinnamon Rolls, Jabba the Pizza Hut Mini Pizza Bagels, Vader Veggies, and Grape Sabers. We also had an “Alderaan Cheeseball” with “Death Star Crackers.” I also had used a small star cookie cutter to make some little cheese stars to put on the crackers. Finally, we made Tie Fighter cookies- a brilliant idea gleaned from the internet- two chocolate graham halves (Master Scottywalker cut off the corners to make hexagonal shapes) attached together with a marshmallow and a little nutella. On the starry sky background (though you cannot see this in the picture below), we had a poster of an AT-AT and titled it “eAT-eAT.” I forgot to put out the juice boxes I had and thought later that I really should have made another tag: “Jawa Juice.”
After our snacktime, we called all Padawans together for a little Rebel briefing. We had received intelligence regarding the weakness of the Death Star (hitting it with a big stick) and the Rebel Alliance was calling for all pilots to join the attack on the Death Star. We all assumed our X-Wing positions and flew to the Death Star Pinata, hanging in our cherry tree. Each child was given one turn with the Death Star’s only weakness (the big stick) and at the end, the treats spilled forth on the ground and there was a mad dash to pick up the Star Wars pencils, Star Wars fruit snacks, and Starburst candies.
After the Death Star was destroyed and cleaned out, I gathered our little Jedis to the canopy where I congratulated them on defeating the Emperor, the Death Star and we believed Darth Vader as well! As I was speaking, Darth Vader (in a plastic mask, black plastic tablecloth cape, and carrying an awesome red light saber which was my sister’s birthday present to X-man) started creeping up behind me. I yelled at the Padawans to grab their light sabers and defeat Darth Vader! They all attacked him with their light sabers until finally, falling down upon the ground, he was revealed as X-man’s father! He bestowed upon X-man the light saber as his final act. We gave all of the Padawans a gold medal for special services to the Alliance.
We ended the party with cake, ice cream, and presents. All of our young Padawans continued to whack balloons with their light sabers until it was time to go home. Altogether it was a very fun party and X-man loved it. When asked what his favorite part was, he replied, “Presents,” (of course) and “Hitting the balloons out of the way with my light saber.”
The next day found our little Jedi Knight deciding to turn to the dark side and dress up like Darth Vader. His little brother decided to go all Han Z. Solo and try to take him out with a blaster. They had a great time!
There you have it. May the force be with you.