Medieval (5 months) Baloon Stomp Game
Valerie in Glen Allen, VA, USA
Dragons, Kings, Queens, and Knights. My son started about 5 months before his birthday asking for a "dragon" party. I was clueless, but used a lot of ideas from this website, plus a few of my own. Here's what we did, start to finish.
Decorations: Using poster board I made a large crest with my sons initial in the middle. We used red and purple crepe paper. We gathered some old refrigerator boxes (three) used silver and black spray paint and made a castle. One box laying down and the two others standing at each end. We cut out a castle design on the tops of the boxes, made a drawbridge at both ends and connected them together with duct tape.
We hand delivered the invitations which we designed with a card creator program - a castle and a dragon and the details of the party - using old English font. We rolled them into scrolls and tied with a ribbon. The invitation said that the child may come in costume if they choose to, but not required. Each child was addressed as "Lady so and so" or "Sir so and so".
On the big day, my husband dressed as a king and me as a queen. Each of our boys were dressed in knight costumes. (Easily constructed with about a yard of fabric each - fold fabric in half, cut a slit in the crease and slide on over the head. I had a piece of gold rope for a belt and painted a gold medieval symbol on the fabric). Old night gown robes worked great for the king and queen costume, easily disguised with the piece of fabric over the front) We purchased gold crowns for us.
As the children arrived they made a dragon, design cut from 10" x 10" cardboard, cut in half, using a paper brad to connect the head and tail. They colored the dragons and chose three pieces of tissue paper cut into strips for the tail. Then we sent them on a goblet hunt. I hid a red drawstring bag stamped in gold with a medieval symbol on it. (less than $3.00 to construct all of them - $1.00 yard felt fabric from Wal-Mart, sewn into 4" x 8" bags, hole punched the tops and weaved ribbon through the tops). Inside each bag was a "goblet" (translation - champagne plastic cup from party store) which was decorated with glitter glue. Each cup was a little different so the children could tell them apart.
Once each child collected a cup we announced that it was time for the feast and gather them around the picnic tables. I asked them what they thought kings and queens ate. Surprisingly they knew right away what the menu was. Chicken drumsticks on one platter. Grapes and cheese wedges on another, and two loaves of French bread. I explained that back in those days, they didn't worry about forks and knives, they just tore off a piece of bread with their hands. This was a BIG HIT!! They loved tearing off the bread. We also had wizards potion to drink - blue Kool-Aid mixed with ginger ale.
Then the king (my husband) told the guest that they had to "pay" for the feast they just enjoyed by going out to collect "taxes" from the peasants. We gave gold coins to the parents who stayed at the party and told them to have the kids do silly tricks in order to earn the coins. The parents and kids loved this. The kids used their red bags that the goblets came in to collect the taxes. When they reported back to the king, he announced that although they did pretty good they would still have to wear a "ball and chain" in the dungeon until the meal was fully paid for.
This lead into the "Balloon Stomp" game. Each child had a black balloon tied to his ankle. When everyone had the balloon on, we allowed them to break each others ball and chain, but keep their own safe. After that we had "festival games". Dragon, Dragon are you sleeping one child lays on the ground to be a dragon pretending to be asleep. Each child comes forward one at a time asking "dragon, dragon are you sleeping?" When the dragon chooses to wake up he chases the kids and the first one caught becomes the next dragon. We had a lariet through. I tied up some embroidery hoops, hanging by a ribbon and gave each child a turn to through 4 2 foot pieces of PCV pipe into the hoops. Cheering each child who was successful.
We had a dragon cake, decorated with chocolate chips, licorice for flames, and gum drops for scales. Opened presents. Then had the closing ceremonies. The children lined up. The king called forth each child, Ex. Lady _______ you have served the king well and have earned the title of princess. Each girl was given a crown made of ribbons and garland, a magic wand, a ring, and a temporary tattoo (the kings emblem). The boys were called forward "Sir _______, you have served the king well and have earned the title of knight." Each boy was given a "knights mask" (made from foam sheets and elastic), a sword, and a temporary tattoo (kings emblem).
As the boys were knighted, the king touched each one on the shoulders with the sword. Our son, the birthday boy was the last to be honored. The king made a speech about how he was getting old and was no longer able to manage the kingdom therefore he made my son King and gave him the crown, along with his sword and tattoo. It was great fun and lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Most kids said it was the second best birthday they had been to - the first being their own.