Medieval Party -5yr- Castle Ring Toss
Cheryl in Brooklyn, New York, USA
When my daughter was turning 5 she wanted to have a party and invite her whole pre-k class, girls & boys(18 children)so we had a medieval party. The invitations were printed in calligraphy on the computer on a sheet of parchment paper, the envelopes had each recipients name hand written in calligraphy.
INVITE: Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named____. On the anniversary of her birth day she invited brave knights and fair maidens far and near to celebrate. Their sovereign magesties King (dad's name) and Queen (mom's name) along with Princess ----of (last name) extend this invitation on this most joyous of occasions to noble knights and fair maidens across the land. The festival is taking place at 2 o clock on the afternoon of the 19th of May in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven in the castle courtyard located at (my address) in the shire of (city). celebrate with a medieval feast and partake of games of bravery and skill. The favor of a reply is requested by May 11th at (phone *)to proclaim yea or nay. If desired come dressed in royal finery as fitting a lady/lord of the realm."
DECORATIONS: Through some research I found our family crest online and made copies of it to make our "coat of arms". I purchased a ream each of red & yellow copy paper and cut them into triangles. Using a stencil I colored fleur de lis on them and hung them up and down my driveway as pennants. I saved corrugated cardboard from shipping boxes and cut them to make turrets and a drawbridge (I drew bricks on them with black marker) and put them on my garage. I made a balloon arch in yellow and red at the entrance to my yard with pvc pipe.
While waiting for all the children to arrive guests colored stained glass pictures with markers(clipart of knights dragons and princesses printed and traced with black marker onto acetate then put in a cardstock frame in front of slightly crumpled aluminum foil to give a shiny glow).Then we had a treasure hunt: a note (printed in calligraphy on parchment and rolled in a scroll) said" hear ye hear ye all knights & ladies who are able bodied are needed to embark on a quest. You must prove yourself intelligent skilled and brave to save our kingdom from the dreaded dragon and search for the holy grail.
The first trial is to prove intelligence-solve the riddle: I'm tall & green as you can see I give you shade if you sit by me." It was a little complex for some of the children but they really helped each other so all the children went to the tree in my yard where there was another note: "you've proven your wits no small thing now you must go to the tossing rings ring 3 turrets and you'll prove skilled to fight a dragon and not get killed." I purchased an inflatable castle ring toss from party city. After a child had tossed 3 rings they received a note "wits and skill are a good start but you'll have to be brave of heart a fierce dragon has stolen our silver and gold to line it's lair but it's been foretold that one who's intelligent skilled and brave will find the treasure and we'll be saved. Steal back our treasure but don't get caught or all your trials will be for naught.
The dragon is hungry and you will be a wonderful snack or 2 or 3". At this point my elder son stood with a dragon mask guarding the dragons cave(doghouse)where I had hidden treasure stones that I had made (kid concoctions book has recipe). Inside each stone was a dragon pendant ordered from oriental trading. The stones were spray painted gold. The children had to duck past my son to steal a rock. He really hammed it up and they all had fun while he tried to tag them even holding one child(a friend's who wouldn't get scared) upside down.
One rock had a note in it with the necklace:"congratulations oh brave and true and noble person! You have triumphed over the fierce and hideous dragon and have found the location of the holy grail 'buried in the desert sands'" this led the child to the sand box where a plastic wine cup painted gold was hidden. I then announced that Sir (or Lady)___ has found the holy grail let us all rejoice and partake in a feast and toast their honor.
FOOD: I used a sandwich maker to make "meat pasties" ham and cheese and pb&j. We also had chicken nuggets & fries chips etc. all served in wooden bowls. The children drank lemonade punch out of plastic wine glasses with jewel stickers on them. For dessert a castle cake in our colors of red & yellow with mini coat of arms pennants on skewers.. Afterwards childen posed with a plastic knight set or feather boa & tiara for pictures. They played a dart game an archery gamepin the horn on the unicorn pass the scepter and we did the pinata (a dragon).
FAVOR bags were a sword set or tiara stickers candy lollipop shaped like a dragon or castle and dragon pop-ups (oriental trading) the children also took home the stained glass pictures the necklaces and the pinata candy & toys. The party was a huge success and a hard one to top."