Greek Mythology -10yr- Pin the Eye On Cyclops
Kathy in Glenview, IL
December 2013 Winner
For my daughter's 10th birthday she requested a Greek Mythology theme. We rented a Park District field house with a kitchen at one end, a buffet counter, tables and chairs, a fireplace and open floor space. We had about 20 children.
INVITATIONS: For the invitations we printed the party information on parchment paper, using a Greek-style font. The headline was Party on Mt. Olympus! These were rolled up like scrolls, tied with a triple red, black, and gold ribbon, and hand-delivered.
DECORATIONS: On the fireplace mantel we displayed a lyre, lute, and pan pipes, brass goblets, brass Tragedy and Comedy masks, and a giant cutout plywood lightning bolt that we borrowed from a theater group I am involved with. Also we had two big plywood Greek columns borrowed from the school drama teacher. On the buffet we had gold serving platters from Dollar Tree, plastic Greek columns from the wedding cake section at Joanne Fabrics (you can also get them at Michael's), fake ivy, and bunches of plastic grapes. Around the edge of the buffet was a strip of paper painted with a Greek key design that my daughter painted.
FOOD: For snacks when the children arrived we had bowls of grapes. Later we had a dinner buffet which was pita chips and hummus, pita sandwiches with grilled chicken tenders or gyros and tzatziki sauce, sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, green and black olives, pomegranate seeds (Persephone), more grapes, dried apricots, and Greek sesame and honey candy. To drink we had sparkling grape juice, served in plastic wine glasses, which the kids loved! We used white plastic tablecloths, gold paper plates, and gold plastic cutlery.
CAKE: The cake was served on a separate island. I made a Poseidon Sea Serpent. It was two bundt cakes (one chocolate, one red velvet) cut in half to make four half-circles. The half-circles were put on a long board, standing on their cut edges, and trimmed off a bit of the head" end the "tail" end so it was like you were seeing loops of the sea serpent's body going in and out of the water. I covered it with green frosting and added spikes that I piped out of green candy melts plus black candy melt eyes red fruit leather tongue and blue and green birthday candles. The "water" was cubes of blue jello sprinkled around.
ACTIVITIES: Upon arrival the guests could do three activities (we set up three tables which later were the dinner tables). Table One was decorating Zeus sugar cookies which I made with a lightning-bolt shaped cookie cutter (I plan to use it again for my other daughter's Harry Potter party next spring!). These were put into labeled ziploc bags to take home. Table Two was decorating shields --we used gold posterboard and we had printouts of traditional Greek shield designs which they could copy using black Sharpies. Table Three was making laurel-leaf crowns. We had gold posterboard and sample cardboard leaves to use as tracers and the kids could trace and cut out their leaves and staple them to a black cardboard headband.
GAMES: We played Pin the Eye on Cyclops (the birthday girl drew the Cyclops poster) Golden Apple Egg and Spoon Race using gold glitter styrofoam apple Christmas ornaments and Pandora's Box. This was a basket with a lid which was filled with plastic bugs frogs lizards etc. each wrapped individually. We counted to make sure that there was exactly one item per guest minus one. They had to pass the basket to music and whenever the music stopped that person would take out a bug and be eliminated. The final person had no bug --the basket was empty. But wait! It had a false bottom made of cardboard and under that was one final item which was Hope (a golden butterfly ornament). We had lots more game ideas that we did not have time for including Musical Chariots Daedalus and Icarus Blind Man's Bluff (the blindfolded tagger would represent the Sun and everyone who got tagged would be "out" because they flew too close to the sun and their wings melted) How Many Snakes Do You Have Medusa? (like What Time Is It Mr. Fox) and a relay game where the teams compete to see who can wrap their team all up in string the fastest (to represent Arachne's web).
PINATA: We had a Medusa pinata. This began its life as a head and shoulders of Spider Man to get the right shape. We painted it peach color with a black "dress" and an evil-looking face. Then we added the snake hair --this was a bunch of snakes made of wide green curling ribbon. Each snake had eyes drawn with black Sharpie and a little forked tongue cut from a red sticker. Medusa even had little snake bangs to go with her long snake curls. She looked great and we filled her with gold coins gold-wrapped Rolo caramels foil-wrapped chocolate eyeballs left from Halloween (Cyclops) gummy worms gummy fish (Poseidon) and plastic snakes from Dollar Tree. After the pinata we had one more game --a "murder" kind of game where one person plays the murderer and the other players have to "kill" people with a signal --if you see the signal you have to fall over dead --and everyone who is left has to try to guess who the murderer is. For this game we called the murderer Medusa.
GIFT BAGS: The bags were white paper 2 for a dollar from Dollar Tree. On each one the birthday girl drew a Greek column with black Sharpie and then we attached a piece of fake ivy hanging down from the handle. The kids got to take home their decorated cookie crown shield and the candy and plastic snake from the pinata. Also each guest got a Golden Apple which was a small apple on a wooden stick dipped in white chocolate candy melts and rolled in gold sugar."