Princess & Knight -4yr- Knighting Ceremony
Liza in Hilo, Hawaii
As my daughter's 4th birthday approached, we asked her what kind of party she wanted. "A Princess Party Mommy!" But because our daughter had a mix of boys and girls for friends, we decided to have a "Princess and Knight" party.
For the invitations, we scanned a picture of Kyla all dressed up as a princess. Then we addressed each invitation for "Sir..." for a boy, and "Lady..." for a girl. My husband created castles out of furniture cardboard boxes, using primer, grey, black and blue spray paint. I made flags using foam pieces and wooden chopsticks. Our front driveway had a castle bastion on each side so the guests had to enter the "castle premises". Then he made a huge castle to cover the front outdoor entrance to our home, complete with a drawbridge. Girls were encouraged to wear their favorite princess outfit and boys their favorite knight outfits. My husband wore a white shirt, black pants, boots and a black regal cape that I had sewed -along with a foil gold crown. He also wore a toy sword at his side. I wore a velvet wine dress with a gold pearl cross as a necklace, along with a crown. My daughter wore a wine velvet dress with ivory lace -and her favorite crown on her head.
As the guests arrived, they were given a treasure map with all the events of the day listed on it. Each X on the map was an activity followed by dotted lines to the next X. The final destination on their map was treasure in a treasure chest. After they completed each activity, they were given a sticker of a piece of armor (sword, shield, breastplate, etc). (Each mom was in charge of their children's stickers. I had an envelope made for each child with their stickers already in it.) For boys that didn't have a shield, my husband cut out shields from soda boxes, painted them white, and attached a handle on the back. The boys used permanent markers to decorate. The first activity was digging for jewels in a treasure box. (I ordered the jewels from Oriental trading company.) I filled the treasure box with flour and mixed the jewels in it. Each child had to dig for 4 jewels. Then they got a foil gold crown and their moms helped them hot glue the jewels on.
Once all the children had their costumes ready, we had lunch. We also had foil crowns for all the parents which they graciously wore. After the kids had their tummies full of food, we were ready to start the rest of our treasure hunt. We then had all the kids gather in the front entrance, inside the castle with the drawbridge up.
Next we had all the adults line up out side the castle, in 2 lines, facing each other. My husband also made trumpets, using cardboard tubes from wrapping paper and foam cups, spray painted gray and black and decorated with white ribbon. We had 2 fun young auntie's hold the trumpets, one on each side of the entrance and pretend to blow them. Then my husband the king, in a booming voice said, "Lower the drawbridge". One by one, we announced each child, my husband announcing the boys and me announcing the girls. "And now presenting Sir Michael of ...(last name)." Or "and now presenting Lady Grace of ....(last name)." Each child came out with the parents blowing party blowers and holding their hands out like swords forming a tunnel. Each child felt like royalty. Their faces beamed with huge smiles1 My daughter Kyla was last. And as she came out, she on her own decided to bow before the King.
The next activity was "The Jester says". A family friend dressed as a jester and made his grand entrance from the drawbridge to the guests. We then had them go the front lawn where he lead them in a game like "Simon says".
Our next activity was "Saving the damsel in distress". We had all the boys line up on one side and all the girls on the other. Because we had more boys than girls, some moms had to participate. My husband and his friend who was the jester changed outfits and put on long paper dragons on their heads and back. The boys had to get past the dragons, get a damsel and bring her back to the other side. We did it several times, even having the girls save the guys.
Next, we played "Princesses and Knights on their horses". We had the children hold hands and form a circle. We then had the parents form a larger circle around them outside. With music booming on a boom box, they marched around in their circle, kids going clockwise, parents going counterclockwise. When the music stopped, all the kids had to find their "horse" and jump on their parents back. (2 parents had to carry 2 toddlers on their backs because we didn't have enough parents). We did it several times and everyone had a great time. Then, we played "Slay the dragon". We took my daughter's slide and put padding on the floor in front of it. My husband got paper towels (2 sheets together) and drew dragons on each one. One by one, each child, with a sword in their hand, slid down the slide and "slayed" the paper towel dragon. The boys, esp. enjoyed this game.
Finally, we got a poster of Queen Esther (from Veggie Tales- Big Idea) and attached it to the wall. We blind folded each child and gave them each a heart. They had to pin the heart on the queen. When the last child was done, we gathered them all together and told them that although it's fun dressing up as a princess or knight, even when the costumes come off, they're still a beautiful princess or knight to their parents. And it's what inside the heart that's more important than what's outside. We then brought out a castle birthday cake for Kyla that I baked ( I got the idea from a Family Fun magazine) and we sang happy birthday to her.) I made it 3 tiers, covered with pure white frosting, pink icing, gumdrops and sprinkles, flags and a paper drawbridge.
We ended the entire gala with a knighting ceremony. The kids all lined up in front of the drawbridge in front of the king. They got on their knees, one by one, and my husband whispered a word of encouragement to each and then knighted them "Sir Michael Knight" or "Princess Grace". Then they came to me and the bigger treasure chest. Inside was their treasure, a gift bag full of toys and novelties (all from Oriental trading company) and a toy sword or a scepter. (I made the scepters out of dusty rose satin material, ribbons and silk roses). The girls loved their royal scepters and the boys were ecstatic about their new swords (which they quickly used on the court jester).
Each child felt so honored and special, including our daughter. For weeks after, we keep hearing the children talk about the party. And about how much fun they had. Parents kept telling us how their kids would talk about how they were a special princess or knight to them. We video taped the whole event and even now get requests from friends to watch it who weren't there but heard about it. Through it all, my daughter was honored and had a wonderful time. She wanted her 5th birthday party already- but we told her she had to wait a year. And finally, my husband and I had a blast together.
We had fun planning out the ideas, watching each other make things, dressing up as a royal couple and running the whole event- together. We can't wait for our son's birthday party coming up in April.
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