Knight Party -4yr- Pillowcase Tunics
Alison in Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
My son has been fascinated by anything to do with Knights for the past couple of months. Of course when I asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted for his 4th birthday, he enthusiastically exclaimed "a knight party". So we decided to have a Knights and Princesses party (since there would be girls attending).
First I made invitations as scrolls on handmade paper. I printed them on the computer using a medieval looking font. They read: "Noble knights and Ladies fair are invited to Sir Liam's birthday for feasting and festivities. Please have your carriage drop you off at Sears Castle at noon on the twenty second day of February. We hope you are able to join us for an enchanted afternoon".
For decorations, we used royal colors of red and purple (red and purple balloons, purple tablecloth with red plates and cutlery, red and purple streamers). I made goblets out of plastic wine glasses. I used fabric paint to paint a "turret-like" design (in red and purple of course) along the top and bottom edges of the cups, then I hot glued jewels all around the glasses. They looked very royal indeed. I also made several family crests out of red felt. I cut them in the shape of a shield, and cut purple felt dragons to go on them. I decorated the edges with fabric glue and wrote "sir Liam, and his age - 4 - in roman numerals". I made one of the crests differently to put on the front door. It said "Sears Castle" on it.
I made tunics for each of the guests out of pillowcases. I made red ones for the boys and pink for the girls. On the boys I stenciled silver dragons on the front, the girls had silver stars. I used purple and silver fabric paint to decorate them, and cut the bottoms in a turret design. I then used braided rope as belts to tie around the tunics. Each guest received their tunic when they arrived for the party.
The boys each received a plastic sword (to ensure no "fighting occurred, everyone had to place their sword in a "stone" (made of floral foam) and were only allowed to use them for slaying the dragon (pinata). The girls received magic wands (bought at a party store). Throughout the party we played music from "The Princess Bride" and "Shrek" (Not very medieval, but very upbeat). When the guests had all arrived, we first did a craft- making crowns. I provided plain gold crowns that I bought at a party store as well as cone shaped party hats in case the girls wanted to make princess hats. I also provided glitter glue and jewels to glue on.
We then proceeded to play "pin the knight in the dragons tummy". I had enlarged a cartoon picture of a dragon and laminated it (it turned out really well - Liam now has it on the wall of his bedroom). The children were blindfolded and spun around, and had to try to pin the knight in the dragons tummy. Several children wanted to do this again and again. We then slayed the dragon (pinata). I was disappointed with the "pinata filler that I had found in party stores, so I purchased my own things to go in the pinata, since I wanted everything to fit the "knights and princesses" theme I bought "sword pops" (suckers), mardi gras necklaces, rings, chocolate gold coins, mini kaleidoscopes and a few other trinkets. This was also a huge hit.
We then had a puppet play. I hired a babysitter from our neighborhood to come and do a puppet play called "the Dragon in the Forest" about a a friendly dragon who everyone thought was mean. I was lucky enough to have a puppet theater ( a really nice one that hangs in a door frame) and a set of four royal puppets (a knight, a dragon, a princess, and a king). Each of the children was mesmerized during the performance. When the play was all over, we went on a "dragon egg hunt". I told the children that the king had informed me that there were dragon eggs hiding in the kingdom and that we must find them. I also told them that Dragon eggs are very special and have treasures hidden inside them, most importantly "magic wishing stones" (small glass stones from a craft store tied in little pouches).
I made clues on scrolls and hid them in different locations. The clues were in pictures so that the children could help to "read" the clues and guess the location (i.e., "where the mailman (picture of mailman) puts letters (picture of letter) and the answer was hidden by a flap that the children could lift up to reveal the correct answer picture - "MAILBOX"). We would all then run to the location to find the next clue. The final location had a nest (made of Spanish moss) with a dragon egg (large Easter filler eggs) for each child. Inside the eggs were the magic wishing stones, little characters (princesses for the girls, knights for the boys), and stickers.
Finally we ready to eat. We had pizza, and I made punch with raspberry sherbet and sprite, so that it bubbled like a "magic" potion. The cake was a castle cake (which I found the recipe for at birthday express). When we opened the presents, Liam sat in a special "throne" (a chair covered with red velvet fabric) and as each of the children presented their gifts they were "knighted". Each received a gold medal to wear around their neck. This party was so much fun. All of the parents were impressed with how well it went. One even said that she had recently been to a birthday party planned by a professional party planner, and that mine was ten times better. I had many suggestions from parents that I should start a business as a party planner. Who knows, maybe I've missed my calling. I can't wait to plan another party next year.