Boys Sleepover -8yr- Star Wars with Yoda Cake
Paula in Apex, NC, USA
For my son's 8th birthday, a sleepover party, we immersed ourselves in the Jedi World of Star Wars.
To begin, the invitations included images of Yoda and Mace Windu (available on the internet), inviting attendees to join us for a specially-convened meeting of the Jedi Council. The meeting was located at star coordinates (basically, the location was "Milky Way Galaxy, Solar System, Planet Earth, Continent North America, Country United States, State of Carolina, etc., right down to our street addresss). The invitation warned that star ships should not be parked on the yard; that Jedi must come alone (they could have escorts to assure safety but no non-Jedi could enter the Jedi council ship, aka our great room); that Jedi must be prepared to stay at the meeting for 15 hours, etc. I bought 15 yards of brown denim from a surplus fabric outlet and made full length Jedi robes with pointed extended sleeves and massive hoods. I made a mini one for my two year old daughter, and she played the role of Yoda (short and prone to being a bit grumpy when not taken seriously!).
These robes were hanging on the mantle in our great room for the Jedi to put on upon arrival; atop the mantle was my son's entire collection of Star Wars action figures and ships, fully posed. We covered all the windows in our great room with black fabric which had been affixed with white construction paper stars of varying shapes that we had cut out. We moved all of our furniture (except the sleeper sofa), and all of the trappings of Earthly living (framed photos, decorations, etc.) from the great room, leaving only the couch and the TV (on which we later showed the various Star Wars movies).
My employer had just received 25 new Gateway PCs, so I had the computer person give me every styrofoam packing "tile" from those units, which gave me about 40 Lego-type "bricks" (2 ft long, 10" wide, roughly) which I stacked to form a hyperdrive power conduit. This was built right inside the great room, so large that the kids had to pass thru it (it was like an arch) to get into the "ship." We had the John Williams Greatest Hits CD playing, with both the Star Wars theme and the Darth Vader theme on a continuous loop, so that when the kids arrived, they entered a darkened, non-Earthly, non-home looking room, and donned their robes. We then played Star Wars Bingo (free to print off at StarWars.com) which uses bingo-type gameboards with the heads of various characters, and you watch any of the films and when you see a character, you cover them. Prizes were various Star Wars toys.
We ordered Pizza Hut pizza, and of course told the kids it was from Pizza the Hutt which they thought was a riot. We also gave them their favors, which were Star Wars t-shirts and retractable light sabers. The kids all assumed Star Wars identities and role played all night long, only answering if I called them by their character name. Intermittently, they played with the action figures, Star Wars trivia board game, etc. After watching various episodes, we made Star Wars pretzels (also from the Internet..Star Wars Recipes); you bake the letters to spell the words "Star Wars" in the shape of the logo..very cool. Our bathroom was Dagobah, complete with Luke and R2 action figures on the rim of the sink, with Yoda on the other rim, and Luke's ship was "stuck" (resting) in the sink. On the mirror was pasted a note, "Use the Force to help Master Yoda raise the ship before you wash your hands."
We had a Yoda cake, complete with big ears and green frosting (bake two 9" rounds, make one his head; cut the two ears out of the other one..position all pieces on a large piece of cardboard and frost. Use flat plastic creature/frog eyes that you can get at a craft store I got big ones, nearly 2" across, and he looked SO real!) We also had a Jabba melon an oval watermelon, stood on end, with Jabba's face carved into the skin. First, cut a big hole in the top back of the "head." Carve out and cube the flesh of the melon, remove the seeds, set these edible parts aside in the fridge. Then, taking the melon shell, use a knife to etch the details of the face (mainly, his eyes, lips and creases of fat) on the green outside of the melon, barely exposing the white rind of the melon. Then put red food coloring on a paper towel and wipe it in/over the etches; the red sticks to the white part and makes Jabba come alive and look sinister. Then wipe over the whole melon shell with a very thin layer of vegetable oil to make him look wet and slimy (this also keeps the carving from drying out too soon). Refill his "head" with melon and refrigerate the whole thing until you are ready to show/eat.
The next morning, we enjoyed a Jedi breakfast of Paduan Pancakes, light-sabersausage (sausage links), and Jedi Juice(OJ). The boys were still in character from the night before, right until they left. We had given our son the choice of a large party or a small sleepover, and he chose the latter. In all, we spent about $70; it was a lot of work but so worth it…the pictures speak 1,000 words! In an age of huge parties at commercial entertainment places, a smaller party that is well-planned and themed is so much more of a treasure for the kids. They are all still talking about it. As Yoda says, "Do or do not, there is no try!"