Monday, March 30, 2009

How to Host a Jedi Training Academy Birthday

Isaac's birthday party was a big success this last Saturday. The theme was "Jedi Training Academy" and we tried to mimic the Star Wars show from Disneyland.

We started off with an excellent Jedi Master, Qui Gon Ethan. Ethan was responsible for leading all the games which both tested and trained each young Padawan's skills.

This was our group of younglings. Each was outfitted with a very simple felt tunic and felt belt and allowed to select their light saber (swim noodle cut in half with duct tape for the handle).

While younglings waited for the rest of the group to show up, they got Sharpie markers to customize their light sabers by drawing buttons and vents and whatever else they wanted to add (like their names).

We played several Jedi Training games:

1. Don't make the Jedi laugh - A Jedi needs to be in control of his emotions at all times. This game trained the young Padawans not to laugh under even the funniest of circumstances. They stood in a line while the Jedi Master performed all kinds of funny tricks to try and get them to laugh. Our Padawan learners couldn't hold out for long and the first one to laugh got to take a turn trying to make their fellow younglings laugh, and so on. Pretty soon, kids were laughing just so they could have a turn trying to be funny.

2. Light Saber Training - In Star Wars, A New Hope, Luke trains with his light saber using a floating training ball thingy. We used our light sabers and tried to keep balloons aloft for as long as possible.

3. Hot Lava Walk - We spread a plastic tablecloth down a long hallway and used blocks of wood to create stepping stones. Padawan leaners stepped carefully to make it across the pit of burning lava without falling in.

4. Scavenger Hunt - I hid 14 little Star Wars figures around a room and created picture clues for each one. (Our guests were 5-7 years old and I wasn't sure all were familiar with what the different Star Wars Characters looked like.) We separated the group into two teams and let one person from each team pick a picture out of a bowl. Then it was a race to run to the room, find their Star Wars guy, and run back to let the next person in line pick from the bowl and do it all over again. Qui Gon Ethan stationed himself in the room where all the figures were hidden and gave help by pointing his light saber if it was needed.

5. Jedi Training - Qui Gon Ethan taught the younglings a simple, but effective light saber routine. (He watched a couple Youtube videos of the Disney Jedi Training Academy to get ideas for his lines and moves.)

Once the kids had learned their moves, Qui Gon Ethan felt a disturbance in the force. It was Darth Vader! Each Padawan got the chance to try their moves on Lord Vader while Ethan prompted them from the sidelines. Good news...the dark side was soundly defeated.

I'm sure you remember the part in Star Wars where the young Padawan learners try to break open a pinata. No? Well, use your imagination or check out this picture because I'm sure it would have looked a little something like this:

After presents the younglings refreshed themselves with Yoda Soda (lime sherbet and 7-up) and Endor Cakes (chocolate cupcakes, green sprinkles).


Guests got to take home a goody bag with Star Wars stickers, a pack of glow sticks, a Star Wars Pez dispenser, and treats from the Pinata.

We totally had the Force at this party.

17 comments:

Gwen said...

Wow... That is impressive. Looks like a lot of fun, almost as much fun as watching Bill O'Reilly with Aunt Jean and Uncle Steve in their awesome house after Aunt Jean got the specialty pizza from Papa John's with artichokes on it(I'm being serious, it was fun!)

Erika said...

What a great idea! Did you make the felt tunics and belts yourself? I bet all those boys had such a blast, and what a good idea to have Darth there to fight with them!

Senia said...

Wow, this is one for the Motherhood Hall of Fame. GOOD WORK, AFTON!!!!!

Samurai Mom said...

That is awesome, I don't think our spy party will be able to top it.

Afton said...

I made the felt tunics and they were so easy. I could have made the v-neck opening a little smaller though. They kept slipping off the shoulders.

The felt is 72 inches wide and I cut 12 inch strips with my rotary cutter. I cut each strip in half so I had a 12x36 inch piece of felt. I folded that in half and cut a neck hole...the end.

megan said...

ummm...can you get any more creative??? That is about the coolest party I have heard about in a long time.

Angela and Kevin Taylor said...

Afton, you're amazing! Looks like so much fun! The pinata is hilarious. I wish I were a tenth as crafty as you!

BTW-My Delaware friends love your facebook comments on my status. The other day they were asking about you (they even remembered your name!) You're quite famous out here!

Afton said...

Oh Angela, don't encourage me!

Seriously, the party was much less crafty than it seems. Those swim noodles were surprisingly easy and satisfying to cut through.

The hardest part of the whole party was standing at the cutting counter at JoAnn's for like EVER.

Debbie said...

What a great post! This sounds like a highlight of his childhood! I'd still be bragging about that birthday I had as a kid if I would have ever had a party this cool!

Ann Agent said...

Wow, that turned out fantastic! Its good to know it went so well.

Marah said...

Okay, Gage is convinced that this is the way to go, so now we will be having our own Jedi Training Academy for his birthday at the end of May. Can we borrow all your ideas and your Darth Vader costume?

Travesty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Travesty said...

We had a star wars party too and ours sounds like it was just as fun! Here is my website. It has a bunch of downloads and stuff for the party! We have video there too...http://theforce.4ourthman.com

Emily said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post! You did all the thinking for me so this was such an easy party to do. We had a Jedi party today and used most of your ideas, and they went over so well! We added a "Use the Force" game based on our family's traditional "fishing" game -- each held up his light saber over a plastic tablecloth that had been hung like a wall and decorated with stars. We told them to "Concentrate" and "Feel the force!" and so on -- they closed their eyes and really tried hard on this. Things would fly over the wall (courtesy of an adult on the other side), like pillows and socks and other soft things, until finally their goodie bag would be called by the force to their light saber (we hung it on the end). They loved this game!

Afton said...

Glad it worked out so well for you Emily. I love the idea for the "fishing" game. It sounds like it was a lot of fun for the kids and hilarious to watch.

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