Knights in Armor Party 4yr
Bonnie in Freehold, New Jersey, USA
Knights in Shining Armor: 4th birthday for a boy For our son's 4th birthday we decided to do a Knights in Shining Armor party. The scene was set with the invitation which I printed out Calling all Knights of the Round table to a banquet to honor Sir Ian.
Invitations: The invitation had a fantasy like castle and prince on it. The invitations were rolled up as scrolls and hand delivered by 'court' messenger. (these were my nieces and nephew).
Decorations: To decorate our dining room I painted a large castle turret on a card board box which I cut length wise to achieve desired height. I decided to use black paint as it covered the brown of the box better and gave a more fantasy look to the event. A gold paint pen was used to draw on bricks. A hanging dragon loomed over the turret as if ready to attack the knights. (I re-used the dragon I had used for my daughter's Oriental themed birthday). Black and Royal blue streamers hung from the opening in our dining room and were tied back to create a curtain effect.
The table was decorated with Prince Philip (Disney) table cloth, plates, napkins and cups. Purple napkins were used as well to add to the color scheme. An assortment of toy dragons and knights were placed surrounding a castle we made out of a cardboard box also painted black to add to the fantasy appearance. The turrets were made out of toilet paper and paper towel cardboard rolls cut to size also painted black. Using the black paint allows you to use less detail on castle. I used yellow construction paper to create windows and blue paper to create draw bridge opening.
We used this box castle as the pinata. (this is both a cost saving idea as well as a custom pinata you would be hard pressed to find in a retail store or on line). Instead of hitting the pinata we had the kids pull at the trap door made from a slit at the bottom of the box. I used painters blue tape to close slit in order to hold goodies in pinata and simply had kids pull on tape which then opened trap door releasing the kingdom's loot.
Costumes: Each 'knight' was greeted at the door by the Queen and knighted by her paper sword. They were then presented with their own card stock sword that had been painted in silver paint and adorned with glitter paint jewels. A breast plate armor was also given. I made these out of a large piece of card stock in the shape of a dress that I purchased from an online party suppler. I cut the paper dress down into the shape of breast plate armor and painted them with metallic silver paint. The armor was embellished with a paper dragon that was painted red, this too was purchased from an online party supplier. They come unpainted and were left over from my daughter's Oriental themed party.
The kids also received shields which were painted in the design of a coat of arms. I used the dragon design from the napkins that I purchased with the Prince Philip tableware. I simply enlarged the image on my computer, cut it out, traced it onto card stock and used it as a template for the shields. Each shield was painted in different colors but each had the dragon design centrally located to add continuity in design.
Activities: The party was opened with a story about a knight and a dragon, the kids sat down in a circle like they are used to doing during school and listened to story. When choosing this story I looked for relevance to theme and age appropriate content. Bright vibrant colors and repetitive speech patterns make it easier for this age group to maintain a level of attention required for story time. After story time we moved on to a higher energy activity which in this case was pin the heart sticker on the dragon. My daughter and I had drawn a 6ft long dragon on easel paper which we taped to the wall in the foyer and followed the general rules for pin the tail in the donkey. We opted not to blind fold kids, we asked that they close their eyes and not peek. After the kids had all successfully completed the game we handed out prizes to everyone. These prizes were dragon and prince stickers.
The arts and crafts for this party were sand art, sticker scenes and decorating spy glasses (paper towel cardboard rolls which we had pre-painted black). The sticker scenes were fun as they encouraged the kids to create a prince or fairytale scene. The sand art consisted of filling small plastic castles with royal blue sand. We set up small funnels for kids to use and taped down newspaper on our kitchen table to help with clean up time. Party snacks: After these activities were completed we all gathered in the dining room for pizza.
Cake: This time I decided to buy a store cake and decorate with a plastic toy dragon. I usually make my cakes but in an effort to save time I opted to do decorating of cake only. By doing this I was able to pay special detailed attention to the hand made decorations and as a result a high quality end product was achieved.
Party Favors: As party favors the kids took home the swords, breast plate armor, shield, loot from pinata, and all arts and crafts made at party. I have found that it is easier to put thank you cards in the goody bags to be sent home at the end of the party rather than mailed out at a later date. I made the thank you cards in the same fashion as the invitations which included a castle and prince design. Our son's 4th party was a great success and we enjoyed all of the planning and execution required for it's success. Most of the prep work for this party was done over a few weeks time whenever I could find down time from taking care of the kids, home and husband. With a little planning and time management this party can be achieved with little stress and a great reward at the end….the smiles of truly happy 'knights in shining armor'.