Tournament Of Champions -6yr- Jousting
Heather in Woodstock, GA, USA
INVITATIONS: I found stationary that looked like parchment and I used an Old English font to print out the following: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! In honor of the 6th birthday of noble squire (child's name) the King is holding a Tournament of Champions on (date) at (time) at (address). Your reputation for bravery is known throughout the kingdom and thus your participation has been requested. Only those pure of mind and true of heart will be awarded knighthood so prepare thyself!
DECORATIONS: I drew castle towers and turrets on butcher paper and hung them around the house and on the front door. I made torches, flags, pennants and banners out of construction paper and hung them all over. Lots of balloons in our colors: red, white, blue and gold.
COSTUMES: My husband was the King (plastic crown and cape from an old costume of my son). I was a jester (jester hat from party store and I sewed together triangle pieces of felt in green, gold and purple to wear around my neck). My older son and my niece were knights and wore armor-like vests over their clothes.
ACTIVITIES: As the kids arrived they were directed to the armory to decorate a poster board shield. I got the shields from Oriental Trading. I had animal stencils, construction paper, markers, etc. I also had pre-cut each child's name in block letters to glue on the shield. When they were done, we taped these to the walls of the kitchen for more décor. Then the king gathered the kids around and explained that his kingdom was always under attack and he needed knights to defend it. He explained that he knew all here today were brave and strong and that he was putting them through a series of challenges if they succeed they will be knighted. All the kids were super excited to begin the challenges!
GAMES: First, jousting to test their horsemanship and aim. We went in the backyard. My older son demonstrated what they had to do: while riding your horse (running from one end of the yard to the other on a stick pony which I made for a party a few years back) thrust your jousting pole (section of PVC pipe) through the center of the ring (rings were pre-made by cutting the middle out of small paper plates and stapling a long piece of crepe paper to the ring we taped the other end of the crepe paper to a length of PVC and had an adult hold it). If you didn't catch it on the 1st pass, you kept going til you got it. They all had fun with this.
Next, the king wanted to test their teamwork and had them defend the castle. We had an adult at one end of the yard and a group of 2-3 kids on the other end with a blanket. The adult hurled boulders (balled up newspaper taped around with masking tape and spray painted grey) at the kids and they had to catch it in the blanket. This was hard for some kids but we helped them and they had fun trying. Bravery was the next test. We got the kids in single-file line and blind-folded each one. We had them hold the shoulders of the child in front of them to form a train. The 1st child held on to my older son, who was not blindfolded. He slowly led them through the dark cave of the bats (he just walked all around the house) while the adults made spooky noises, blew in their faces, etc. At the end of the tunnel the king told them they had to reach into the belly of the dragon and retrieve a golden coin.
So, while still blindfolded they had to reach their hand into a giant tub of cooked, cooled spaghetti (4 boxes total) mixed with vegetable oil. I had buried about 30 plastic toy coins (OT) and they had to pull out one. It was gross and slimy! We had baby wipes ready for them when they were done. This was so fun and all the kids were good sports! Here we took a small break for snacks (carrot sticks, pretzels, grapes and juice) knights must be healthy. Intelligence is very important for a knight so the next test was to follow the clues and find the king's treasure. The king read the 1st clue which led the kids to some part of the house where they found the next clue. They all had a hoot with this figuring out the riddles and looking for the clues.
The last clue led to the bathtub where they found a treasure chest full of ring pops, necklaces, candy and coins. They brought the chest to the king who stated that since they were all such great competitors that after the tournament they could divvy up the loot. Now, they had passed all the tests so the king knighted each child. They took turns kneeling before him as he touched a sword to each shoulder and commended their skill. He then gave them an inflatable sword (OT) and a knight party mask (partypro). After everyone had been knighted, the King called them to feast.
CAKE: I made a dragon cake (www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fire-Breathing-Dragon-Cake). It was awesome and all the kids loved it! We also had ice cream. I ordered the Valiant Knight party supplies. My son sat on a throne (I decorated a poster board with gems, etc to look like back of throne and propped it up on a kitchen chair).
PRESENTS: Next my son made quick work of his presents. He sat on the throne again. The other kids had to sit quietly if they wanted to be called upon to give their gift. This works better then letting them all crowd around and push each other to give their gift next.
PINATA: After presents, I gave them each a treat bag and told them it was time to divide up the treasure. I gave my son the chest for 1st pick, but when he opened it all the treasure was gone! All the kids were shocked and confused for a split second until my husband (who was upstairs) flung the dragon pinata hanging from a rope over the banister! He also roared and made dragon noises. This part was so fun the girls shrieked and the boys all ran trying to smack it! Of course, we had filled it with the loot from the chest. We told the kids the dragon had stolen their treasure. Each child got a few whacks to slay the dragon and then it came apart spilling candy everywhere, but the kids cleaned it up quick! I got the dragon pinata from partypro.com. This ended up all being timed perfectly b/c 2 hrs had passed and parents who had dropped off their kids started arriving right after the pinata.
FAVORS: Each child took home their shield, sword, mask and treasure. This party was so much work and planning but I loved doing it and all the kids, especially the birthday boy, had an awesome time! And the games and décor were very budget-friendly.
Some ideas for this party came from this site thank you!