I’m participating in a Blog Hop with the gals from the 2014 Becky Higgins’ Project Life Team. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been busy planning a party for my little guy. As you can tell from the title, this post is about the big celebration.
My sweet boy turned four this weekend and we celebrated with a Star Wars birthday party. He’s been talking about having a Star Wars party off and on since November. I did not do any planning until after Christmas when Santa brought him a Darth Vader costume — that pretty much sealed the deal.
We were on a tight budget so planning ahead was super important. I did many google searches for game ideas and the thrift stores were a great source for cheap party decor and supplies.
I hung balloons upside down with black yarn to give the house a pop of color. Honestly, I was trying to save some money by not buying helium-filled balloons. My observant boy said to me (on the morning of the party), “Mom, how come my balloons hang this way and not this way?” My answer, “Because these are filled with carbon dioxide and not helium. Carbon dioxide is a heavy gas and makes the balloon sink.” Ha! My husband actually went out to get half a dozen helium-filled balloons for the birthday boy.
He got up at seven for a birthday breakfast of blue eyes and cheese bagel. He helped me with last minute prep for the party and asked me a gazillion times about when his friends would be arriving.
We started the party by giving each attendee a Jedi Training badge with a list of “missions” for the training. My son does not like party games (like me) and said he would be happy to be an observer at his own party. He was also super tired when he said that but I quickly changed the word games to “missions” and it grabbed his attention. From that point on, he was 100% engaged in discussing all the party “missions” or activities.
We started the party with an asteroid hunt. Samuel helped me make asteroids from pieces of aluminum foil and helped me hide them all over the house. I instructed each Jedi to find one asteroid and report to me once they found an asteroid. Once they returned with an asteroid, I gave them a sticker for completing the task. I gave the job of giving stickers to a parent at the party — this helped tremendously.
Then we played pin the Lightsaber on Yoda. I did not know how four year olds would feel about being completely blindfolded so I made blindfolds that did not make them feel like they were totally in the dark. I folded a piece of brown fabric in half (leftover from Samuel’s Jedi robe which he did not wear because he said that he wanted to be a Sith) which distracted their vision but did not make them feel uncomfortable.
The kids moved onto making Shrinky Dink art. My husband printed out a bunch of Star Wars pictures for them to trace and color. They loved it — and their parents did too.
Some got a little creative and made their own original art pieces. I printed the shrinking directions and stuck them in the goodie bags.
Then we played Save Princess Leia. I printed 6 storm troopers and 2 Princess Leias and placed them on a low table. The kids loved the using Nerf guns to blast the storm troopers. I gave every kid two tries so that everyone would get a turn fairly quickly. My boy came back several times and fired until he got a storm trooper. (Tip: Buy Nerf guns at Goodwill and buy new darts.)
At this point, I had the kids take a mandatory break from Jedi training to eat. We had fried rice and egg rolls (thanks, mom!), fruit, veggies, and crackers. I also put out cheese and salami to provide some protein. We kept it simple — and it worked out well.
After the rest period, we went out to the garage to Defeat the Dark Side with Silly String. We got the idea here, but changed the name. My husband printed two Darth Vader posters in Paint and I pieced them together. We were originally going to do this outside but because heavy rain was predicted for the day, we decided to set it up in the garage. I taped the two Darth Vader posters on large sheets of butcher paper and hung them up on our garage door. We also taped butcher paper to the ground for easy clean up.
The kids loved this. I wish I had listened to my husband and bought a can of Silly String for each kid.
Since the weather was nice, we took the kids outside for Lightsaber Training. I was going to make pool noodle lightsabers for the kids but my husband said, “If we’re going to have a Star Wars party, then we need real lightsabers.” He is so right.
I hunted for used lightsabers for about a month. I found some on Craigslist, at the Goodwill, and through my neighborhood Mom Resale sites. I paid somewhere between $0.50 – $2 a lightsaber. I found enough lightsabers for each kid — plus a few extra cool ones for us to keep. We let the kids take theirs home if they promised to use it — and boy were they (and their parents) excited.
Obi-wan (Jim) was a good sport. He watched a couple Jedi Training Academy videos on YouTube and led this mission.
The kids paired up for duals.
Then they all ganged up on Obi-wan.
They loved getting Obi-wan.
We headed back inside to complete the last two missions. I split the kids into two groups — one group decorated Star Wars cookies while the other made R2D2 paper models. Then they switched.
The Star Wars cookie cutters are from Williams Sonoma — but I got them used from a mom in my neighborhood (so I did not spend a fortune on the cutters).
Samuel’s strategy — decorate a cookie and then gobble it up immediately. Um … he also went a little nuts with the sprinkles.
TipJunkie has an awesome R2D2 craft printable and I followed her instructions to make each kid a kit.
It took me about half an hour to cut up the blue tape and punch out the circles for 13 kits. I put each kit in a ziploc bag and labeled with the Jedi’s name.
The kids enjoyed following the model I created. They were pretty proud of themselves for completing this mission with very little help.
We concluded the party with a special appearance from Darth Vader himself. Yep. My friend Becky helped me set this up. The costume worn by her husband is from the 501st Legion and is an exact replica of the one Darth Vader wore in the movie. We were blown away — and so was the birthday boy and all of his friends.
We held a little ceremony for the kids and they each got a photo op with Darth Vader. The kids were all given a certificate and a Jedi medallion (yep, I made shrinky dink medallions!)
My sister has been making Samuel’s birthday cakes for the last four years. She gets better every year.
In addition to the lightsaber, each Jedi left with a Star Wars coloring book and Darth Vader and Storm Trooper crayons. I bought the mold on Amazon and it took me about two evenings to make 96 crayons.
It was a good party. He loved it — and thanks me often.
The backdrop seen here (and in many of the photos above) is made from a sheet I found at the Goodwill. I painted silver stars on it and hung it up with the words, “May the force be with you.” Super easy and affordable.
My Princess Leia costume cost roughly $18. I made the dress using this tutorial — I used four yards of 58″ wide polyester fabric (about $12) and two snap buttons for the neck closure ($3). I found a silver belt ($1) at the thrift store and made the yarn wig ($3). I will definitely be wearing this again.I made his Jedi Shirt using silver glitter paint and freezer paper. I love the way it turned out. He had a terrific birthday. He is very excited about being 4.
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