Knights & Princesses -5yr- Enter Over Drawbridge
Michele in Roseville, CA ,USA
For my son's 5th birthday, we decided to have a knights and princesses party, since boys and girls would be attending. I got most of the ideas from this great website. Invitations were printed, using a fancy script font, on paper purchased from an office supply store that had a scroll printed on the majority of the page with a dark green background. They read, "Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Noble Knights and Fair Ladies are invited to a royal celebration in honor of Sir (child's name) 5th year of birth. Please join us for feasting and festivities at the (our last name) Castle on October 13th at 11:00. We hope you are able to join us for an enchanted afternoon. I placed the invitations in parchment envelopes adressed to Lady/Sir (child's name), and sealed them with a wax seal using a stamp with the initial of our last name. The children were asked to wear any princess or medieval/renassaince type dress-up or costumes. I purchased a knight costume for my son, a renassaince princess costume for my daughter, and a queen's costume for myself. (We will use these again for Halloween!) I also purchased gold jeweled scepters for the girl's, and sword and shield sets for the boys. My sister-in-law and I made most of the decorations.
First, we made shields out of poster board, and painted either gold or silver dragons, griffins, etc. on them. I purchased a few yards of felt and made medieval style banners and flags. We turned our backyard playset into a castle by cutting the top of a 4x25 ft roll of corrugated flagstone paper to look like a castle. We then made cut-outs where necessary for the slide and ladder, and attatched it to the playset with a staple gun. I hung one of the felt banners off the wooden beam that goes across the front, and attatched a felt flag (decorated with a gold fleu de lis) at the very top.
My husband constructed a drawbridge out of 8'x6" pieces of wood. We attatched a piece of rope on each side at the end of the drawbridge and the top of our doorway. I used a red plastic tablecloth down the center for our "red carpet" Above the doorway we hung a large 4 foot long purple banner with a red shield in the center. Inside the shield I used a gold paint pen to write (Last Name) Castle. Below the shield we drew a long thin banner and wrote "Happy 5th Birthday Sir (Child's name) Above the shield we used the same gold paint pen to draw on a knight's helmet surrounded by acanthus leaves. The kids loved the entrance to our "castle", and most of them wanted to know how we made the drawbridge go up.
The rest of the decorations were store bought, such as, streamers, balloons, tablecloths, and confetti. I did purchase the knights and princess plates from Birthday Express, as well as the matching centerpiece. I purchased a cd of Medieval and Renaissance music which we played as the guests were arriving. As the children came in, I handed them either a scepter or a sword and shield, then showed them to the kitchen where we had treasure boxes (Oriental Trading Company) for them to decorate with adhesive plastic jewels. (We preassembled the treasure boxes and wrote their names on them the day before) I also made "goblets" for each one of the children out of plastic wine glasses and the same adhesive jewels, then wrote Lady/Sir (child's name) on the base with a gold paint pen.
Once everyone had decorated their treasure boxes, I told the children that a dragon had broken into the castle and stolen the golden treasure. They were then instructed to go out on the castle grounds and search for the stolen treasure (gold chocolate coins-frozen) and place them in their treasure boxes. While the kids were out searching for the "gold" My husband snuck upstairs and put on a wizard costume, complete with long white wig and beard! When the children came inside, I told them we had a special visitor at the castle today and introduced Merlin the Magician. My husband then performed a short magic show for the kids which he had practiced the two weeks prior to the party!
He did a wonderful job, and the kids really enjoyed it! My dear husband then went upstairs and changed into his next outfit for his role as the "dragon" (green t-shirt and flames made from styrofoam with yellow and orange streamers glued on - he held this in his mouth!) I told the children that the town crier had just delivered a message that the dragon had been spotted near the castle, so Merlin had whipped up a special palace potion that would "slay" the dragon. He had placed the special potion inside magic balloons and all they had to do was throw them at the dragon. We then took the kids out back (hubby was hiding by the side of the house), and as soon as they spotted the "dragon" they started firing away with their magic balloons, (water balloons, of course!) After this, we had a dragon pinata. I purchased different colored bags and stamped a gold fleur de lis on each one for the kids to gather their "loot" from the pinata. Then, it was inside to eat.
Food was simple pizza and Merlin's Magical Punch,(apple juice, 7-up, and rainbow sherbert), served in a large plastic cauldron.
For the cake, I used the castle cake recipe from the Birthday Express website. This cake was fairly easy to make, and my son loved it! After cake, my son opened his presents. We had a special chair for him decorated like a throne, and another chair with balloons tied on next to his. I had each child bring their gift up and sit in the chair next to my son while he opened his gift, and I took a picture,which I will enclose in the thank-you notes. This was such a memorable party I hope you can use some of these ideas for yours.