March 8, 2012

Knight Birthday Party

Christopher turned 5 in February and so we set about planning a party for him. He was the most opinionated child about his party I've ever worked with, and he kept changing his mind about what he wanted every other day, so it was tricky to plan.  Finally, he settled on a knight party.  Actually, he settled on a knight, king, princess, dragon, and pirate party.  I focused on the knight part.

I had done a knight party for my son Joshua a few years earlier, so I just used a lot of the same things I had done then.

When the kids arrived, they sat down and worked on decorating their shields.  I had bought some 12 inch cake decorating circles so I didn't have to cut cardboard.  We mostly used sticky jewels and foam cutouts because markers and crayons didn't work too well on the shiny surface.

On the back we had made handles out of duct tape for the kids to slide their arm through and hold on to.  The loops were made with the tape sticky sides together.

After everyone had arrived and decorated their shields, we gave the knights their shining armor.  When I had done Joshua's party a few years earlier, I had just bought a gray plastic tablecloth to use for the armor.  I cut it into strips, and then cut big slits in the top for the head to go through, one horizontal and one vertical down the back, so the slits looked like a T.  I hope that makes sense, because I didn't take a picture.  The gray plastic tablecloth I bought this time was so see through after I opened it up that it didn't work well for armor, so I went back and bought a shiny silver one that looked better, but was quite easily torn and made lots of crinkly noise.  But it worked, and the kids looked like knights for a while.

fierce knights

Then Joshua (who Christopher said could be the king) knighted them with his scepter and sent them on a quest to defend the kingdom and rescue the princess from the bad guys' castle.

First, the knights had to dodge the poisonous snakes.  Remember the part about Christopher being very opinionated about his party?  When we were looking for party favors, he found these plush snakes that he just had to have for his party. So, we decided the knights would be going through the jungle and these snakes would jump out at them and they had to whack them away with their shields so they didn't get bitten.  The kids lined up at the back of the room and then tried to run to the other side without getting hit by the snakes that we were throwing at them.  I don't really have a good picture of that.

Next, we jumped the moat. We used a blue blanket for the moat and at first had it all scrunched up so it made a very thin line.  The kids lined up and took turns jumping over it.  If the didn't touch it, they went to the back of the line.  At the end of each round, we pulled it out a little bit more until it was it's full width.  The kids had a lot of fun trying to jump over it without touching.  And then just to be funny, we decided to also throw the snakes at them while they were jumping to see if they could both jump and block with their shield at the same time.

little moat

big moat

Now that they had jumped the moat, they had to fight the bad knights.  I had bought 3 silver helium balloons and drawn knight helmets on them with a black permanent pen.

We taped them to the hallway floor and gave the kids balloon swords.  They lined up and went down the hallway, knocking the bad guys with their swords.  (by the way, balloon swords are really easy to make and the kids love them.  We use the Klutz book of balloon twisting.)

take that evil knight helmet!

Finally, they came to the red castle where the princess was waiting for them.  I had originally planned to use big boxes we had in the garage to build the castle, but then remembered that Grandma Pam, who was coming to the party, had these great brick building blocks.  She was kind enough to bring them down for us.  We built a wall and groups of 3 kids took turns throwing the cannonballs (bean bags and balls) at the wall to knock it down.

We then celebrated the successful recovery of the princess with opening presents and eating cake and ice cream.  Christopher was very particular about what kind of cake he wanted, and he wanted a green dragon up on top.  I, however, was unable to get my dragon to stay on top of the castle, because I used airheads to mold it and they are kind of heavy and floppy.  I really should learn how to do fondant one of these days.  So, we decided the knight had already vanquished the dragon.  Joshua suggested we stick the sword in it's body, but I thought that was perhaps a bit too graphic for 4 and 5 year olds.

I'm tough

fine, I'll smile

When the kids finished eating, some of them pretend fought each other with their swords and shields, and some went and kept building the castle wall and knocking it down until their parents came to pick them up.  The whole party took about an hour and a half.

For party favors, the kids took home their shields, a plush poisonous snake, their balloon swords, and then a little bag full of Robin's eggs candy, which we said were dragon eggs.

Now just so all my knight party ideas are in the same place, I'll tell you what we did differently at Joshua's party years ago.

For the activities, we had the kids run a knight's obstacle course to prove their knightly skills. We didn't have a lot of kids there, so the kids sat on the couch and watched and cheered as the other child ran through the obstacle course.  It started with jousting with a pool noodle a balloon that was dangling from the ceiling.  Then they had to jump over a moat.  Then they had to block fireballs with their shield (beanbags that the kids on the couch threw at them) and then they had to use beanbags to knock down a cardboard dragon.  Each child ran through it a couple of times.

Cute little Joshua.  I just love his smile in this picture.

Also, he requested a dragon cake for his birthday that year.  I copied the one from family fun.  He wanted a red one, but I couldn't make red frosting no matter how hard I tried.  I figured he didn't want a pink dragon, so I added some yellow and he had an orange dragon.  He was one happy knight.


  1. What lucky kids you have! This looks like a lot of fun!

  2. I'm planning a "Sword in the Stone" party for my boy- can't wait to use some of your ideas. Thanks for sharing!!!


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