Castle Party -6yr- Quest for Royal Goblet
Margie in Los Alamos, NM, USA
Castle Party, 6yr: For my son's 6th birthday, he wanted a dragon party. I expanded this to include knights and castles.
I ordered metalic purple castle-shaped invitations with silver accents from Shindigz.com. They came in several color choices, but my son chose purple. The doors opened and inside they said, in an Old English-style type font: "Hear Ye! Hear Ye! To celebrate the anniversary of the 6th season of his birth, Sir ________ _______ invites all noble knights to take part in games of bravery andchivalry. Festivities will commence on (date, lacation, time.) We mailed these out with silver castle shaped confetti inside.
The only decorating I did was with red and purple baloons and streamers. I also sprinkled some left-over silver castle confetti down the center of the tables, on top of purple plastic table clothes. Upon arrival, each child received a red placemat. I bought these on-line and they had games/activites printed on the back (ie, word search, maze, etc.) I had found a paper castle and court craft set on Ebay. We colored the characters ahead of time. There was a king, queen, knight standing, knight on horseback, minstrel, lady in waiting, page holding a banner, jester, and castle. Then we color copied them and cut them out. Each child received a full set and glued a royal scene onto their place mat. I chose to color the characters ahead of time because I don't think most kids this age would have had the patience to color each character - especially not most boys. Most of the kids glued a really nice royal scene onto their place mat, with the king in the middle, the queen at his side, etc. Later, when I had a spare moment, I covered each place mat with clear contact paper, that I had precut to the correct size to save time. Each guest took his placemat home at the end of the party.
Now it was time for games. I told the kids that they were going to try to become knights, but they had to prove themselves worthy by showing that they possessed knightly traits: intelligence, bravery, skill, and loyalty. In order to do this, they would all be going on a "Quest for the Royal Goblet." I had purchased knight costume sets for each child that consisted of a helmet, breast-plate, and shield. I also found some really neat bubble swords (when you unscrewed the sword and pulled it out of the hilt, it made large bubbles.) Before the quest, each child received a breast plate and shield. I had made up 1-2 paragraph rhyming clues ahead of time.
The first clue took us to a box filled with the bubble swords (and the 2nd clue.) The kids each received a sword. The next clue told them that they had just prooved that they were "intelligent," since they had figured out the clue, but that they would need these swords for the next task which was "slaying the dragon." This was a red dragon pinata. The kids used their swords to hit the dragon. The pinata was filled with some candy, castle/knight/dragon stickers, etc, and the next clue. The clue told the children that they had just prooved their "bravery" but they would have to show that they were skilled as well.
This led us to our next activity, the "lance throw." I had made a lance using a small paper plate and long wrapping paper tube. I cut a hole in the center of the plate and put it about 3" up on the tube. I taped it into place and covered the entire thing with siver foil. I also made a large target on a poster board and hung it between the 2 ropes of a swing on our swing set. The kids took turns throwing the lance and trying to hit the target. Now, they found the next clue (taped to the back of the target). The clue stated that they had prooved themselves skilled and that the roayal goblet was at hand. They had to figure out the clue, which led to the royal goblet: A gold and purple plastic goblet for each child that I purchaced on-line. But, there was a surprise clue with the goblets. It told that children that the king had just been captured and that they would have to proove their loyalty by finding him and releasing him. The "king" was my husband wearing a simple plastic gold crown (that we had around the house from a previous event) and a red sheet tied around his neck.
He was hiding in a castle play tent that we had set-up in the back yard while I had accompanied the kids to the front yard, were they found the goblets. After they rescued the king, he knighted each of them. They kneeled in front of him (on one knee) and he used their sword to knight them on each shoulder and head. Then, they received their helmet and a certificate stating that they had, having prooven intelligence, bravery, skill, and loyalty, become knights. I had printed these up on our computer ahead of time using an Old English font and some knight helmet with plumes clip art. The kids really "got into" this ceremony. I have pictures of them in their costumes, kneeling on 1 knee before my husband with their heads bowed and their arms to their sides! They were so serious and cute! To calm down before cake, the kids decorated their goblets using glitter glue and plastic jewels.
Then we all had cake and ice cream. I made this terrific cake using the Wilton castle cake form. The background was blue and the whole cake was a castle in 2 tones of gray. The pointed roofs were a dark blue and the windows had red banners hanging from them. The biggest, central banner had the number "6" on it and it said my son's name under it. You can find this cake idea, as well as the cake pan, on the Wilton cake decorating site. I used castle/knight plates and napkins and red or purple forks from Birthday Express. The kids drank red royal punch from their goblets (also from Birthday Express.) After cake it was time for opening presents. The kids took home their placemats, a bag filled with pinata loot, and their knight costumes. The kids were really excited to take their outfits home and to have become knights - even the girls! I had wondered how the girls would react, but I didn't want to leave them out of the fun of becoming a knight. It turns out that they loved "not being treated like girls." My son helped me make thank you cards on our computer. We put a castle wall with a banner on the cover and included more castle confetti before we mailed it.
The next week, he took cupcakes to school. I frosted each cupcake in purple frosting and sprinkled edible purple flakes on top. I made royal looking mini flags on my computer. First, I made a red and purple harlequin (sp?) background (alternating purple and red diamonds.) In the center of each flag I pasted a "knight helmet with plumes" clip art. I cut these out into rectangles and folded them around skewers that I cut in half. I poked a skewer flag into the center of each cupcake and put 2 gold chocolate coins around it. They looked very "Royal." He took these to school with extra castle napkins (I had purchased extra for this purpose.) I have to end by saying that there are a lot more great castle party ideas out their that I would have liked to do, but we only had 2 hours!
One other idea I liked was to do a "Pin the tail on the donkey" type game, except make it a "feed the dragon" game, were kids put food stickers on a poster of a dragon, trying to get close to his mouth. Another idea is a "pull the sword from the stone" game were you spray strofoam, cut in the shape of a rodk, gray and stick those sword-shaped toothpicks into it. Some are glued in and some are not. Each guest gets 2 or 3 tries to pull the sword from the stone. Well, that's it! Have Fun!