By Elizabeth Donovan, M.A.
Gone are the days when girls had to have girly birthday themed parties. Many girls are now opting for fun, non-traditional girl birthday party themes like Transformers, Spiderman, and Star Wars. So when my 7-year-old daughter begged me for a Star Wars birthday party, I was totally supportive and up to the task!
Throwing the ultimate Star Wars birthday party for your daughter does not have to be expensive, but planning ahead is key to a stress-free fun time for all. Here’s how to plan, execute, and master the “Jedi” art of a Star Wars party. May the force be with you!
“Out of this World” Party Food:
• Yoda Soda. What’s a party without some delicious Jedi brew? To make Yoda Soda mix lime sherbet with Sprite and serve in a punch bowl. For added fun, make or print out a cardboard cut-out of Yoda to place by the Yoda Soda!
• Galactic pizza. Just good ‘ol fashion pizza, but with a savvy, super cool Jedi name! You can also make toothpicks with battle ships on them to stick in each piece of pizza.
• Wookie Watermelon. I’m big on trying to serve fruit or veggies to my daughters whenever I can, so for the party we carved out a watermelon, diced it, and used a decorative knife to decorate the edges. As an added touch, I printed out Chewbacca pictures online and made them into toothpicks for the kids to have their “Wookie Watermelon”. It’s a great way to have something healthy with pizza and kids are guaranteed to love it!
• Sebulba Sunchips. What’s a party without a bowl of chips? Not only are Sunchips not “quite” as unhealthy as other chips, but that nasty pod-racer Sebulba has found a way to bring the chips to the Jedi masses as a “peace offering!”
• Star Wars Cantina Candy Bar. My daughters love a themed “candy bar” for each birthday party, so we jazzed up our traditional candy bar with Star Wars characters. You can purchase a variety of candy at your local Target or Walmart and unique glass jars to place it in. Then I used cut-out’s I printed online and glued them to foam board to place by each type of candy. For the final touch we gave the candies fun, Star Wars names like: Leia’s Licorice; Jar Jar’s Jellies; Maul’s Milkballs; Vader’s Vanilla Marshmellows; Luke’s lollipops; Han’s Hershey Kisses; Grevious’s Gummies; and Padme’s Peppermints. The candy bar was a BIG hit with all of the party-goers and their parents!
• Star Wars Birthday Cake. Star Wars cakes are impossible to find in most bakeries and though my intention was to make an R2-D2 cake from scratch with fondant, I simply ran out of time. So, I did what most parents do when faced with an impossible situation – improvise. I ordered this super cool icing sheet with all of the Star Wars characters on it created just for my birthday girl. Then I purchased a pre-made chocolate sheet cake, added the icing sheet, and walaa – you’ve got a customized Star Wars cake that took minutes to make! Customized icing sheets can be purchased through your local bakery or online.
Great Galactic Games:
• Rebels vs. The Empire. I purchased this colossally cool game at a local party store for only $4.00. There are two teams – Rebels and the Empire – each team player is blindfolded and places their asteroid on a ship (played like Pin-the-tail on the donkey). You can also use a Star Wars poster and create a “pin the light saber” on the Jedi depending on what the poster depicts. Get creative!
• Inter-Galactic Jedi Training Course. This was the highlight of the party and by far THE most fun! I set up a Jedi Training Course for the kids to enjoy. Each station was created to “test” their Jedi skills like agility, balance, and endurance. Thankfully we had a swing set with a rock wall and slide, which made for an extra fun station. Each child had to carry Yoda in a backpack through the entire course. I found a plush Yoda at our local Target and used my daughter’s backpack. At the end of the four stations, the children had a chance to “battle” Darth Maul (also known as my husband) with large, pool noodles to use as light sabers. At the end of the course, each party-goer received their “official” Jedi ribbon. Way cool! I did give children the “option” of battling Darth Maul since he was quite a scary figure for some of the kids but most chose to battle him and loved doing so! At the end of the training course we had a moon bounce for the kids to play Jedi with their star wars light sabers.
You can substitute the items on the training course to suit your own needs. The course can be done inside or outside depending on weather conditions and adapted fairly easily. We did the following stations:
o Climb Rock Wall and go down the slide.
o Weave in and out of cones (kids can also do the ‘bear crawl’ around the cones).
o Dodge the asteroids (plush balls thrown at the children and they have to ‘dodge’ them)
o Battle Darth Maul.
• Destroy the Death Star. Upon becoming an official “Jedi” after completing the training course, it was time to ‘destroy the death star.’ I bought a soccer ball pinata and painted the white squares gray. Then once it was dry, filled it with candy. Then on party day, the kids hit it with their light sabers. (Even though the light sabers were fun to hit with, they’re not hard enough to open the pinata. So after a try or two with the light sabers, use something harder).
• Pass the Planet. Played like “hot potato” (use my daughter’s plastic planet and pass around until the Star Wars music stops). The kids all had a wonderful time with this one! You can make your own “planet” to pass around with a styrofoam ball and some paint or use one from a kit like I did. Either way, it’s “out of this world” fun!
Must Have Props:
• R2-D2 prop- poster. Making a prop poster is a fun and cost-effective way to decorate for the party. I used foam board and used a replica of R2-D2 to make the life-size cut out. Foam board is fairly in expensive and fun to use. You can make any of the Star Wars characters ‘come to life’ with these cute, decorative cut-outs.
• Pool Noodle Light Sabers. Pool noodles make excellent light sabers. I used a foil platter to cut out a handle and attach it to the noodles. Not only are they inexpensive, but nobody gets hurt battling the dark forces!
• “The Making of a Jedi” poster display board. This was one of the most memorable props I made for my daughter. I purchased a presentation board and made a cute display to put near the cake table. Then I placed a few pictures of my daughter through the years on the poster. It’s an easy way to show your child she is extra special!
• “Official” Jedi Buttons. Easy to make buttons are a great way to ‘reward’ young Jedi’s when they complete the training course. You can find buttons at your local craft store and purchase ribbon to match.
• Jedi Certificate. Each child received an official Jedi Certificate signed by Master Yoda along with their Star Wars goody bags at the end of the party.
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