Star Wars Party -7yr- Laser Challenge
Alicia in Baltimore MD USA
Star Wars Party for 7 year old. I had a schedule typed out but the party was successful because I used it as a guide, not as a rigid agenda. I looked into a Laser Tag Arena but they wanted a lot of money for just two twelve-minute games in a dingy place. For the same money, I did incorporate laser tag and did the following.
Invitations: On the front: Small to large yellow-orange print on a blue pyramid background with small lightened graphic of milky way: "In the galaxy New York, far,far away, was born in (date) a boy whom the Council named (name). Fellow Jedis, come join him in laser battle and celebration of your victories!(Date of party follows)". On the inside: "(Kid)is turning 7! We will have LASER CHALLENGE and the viewing of the film STAR WARS IV in the Jedi Training Center at the (Last Name) Domain, (Address, Date, Starting and Ending Time). May the force be with you!"
Decorations: Had black and silver balloons. We printed some images of Star Wars characters from starwars.com and pasted them to posters we made that said "Jedi Training Center". I wanted to put white lights in basement but couldn't find them at last minute. Saved some money by using dollar table cloths in gold and purple, which coordinated with the Star Wars cups, plates, and napkins. Arrival activity: I found some Star Wars coloring pages online and had them enlarged and thought to have the kids color quietly while everyone arrived, but that didn't happen! They were happy to see each other so they romped around. I had each kid pose with a borrowed light saber with a lifesize standup cardboard Darth Vader. I found him at Ebay.com, or call the mall's central office and ask which store sells movie memorabilia. $30ish is reasonable. The above was inspired by ideas posted here. The following is mine.
Main event: Laser tag at my house! I had hoped for outdoors, but we had record snowstorms so I set up the basement with tables and an old wardrobe box set up in a zigzag fashion, with the Laser Tag arena's maze in mind. If you had time and resources, you could get refrigerator boxes and decorate them in space themes. Familyfun.com has some refrigerator box decorating ideas that might inspire you. Or just use the boxes; the kids just need places to hide behind and under. I bought six pairs of Laser Challenge Team Force guns. They were $20 a set at Toys R Us. If your kids are much older, you might want to consider other Laser Challenge brand sets. Check out the reviews of Radar Extreme and Gotcha Extreme at Toysrus.com to help you choose. Note they don't have online the newest Team Force model as of 2/15/03. This new model which I bought has some of the nice features of the more advanced models. I saved even more by splitting the cost of the guns with another mom from another neighborhood whose son's birthday is a month away. We each keep 3 sets.
Laser games: I had them go into the room designated as the Jedi Training Center to put their target arm bands on and learn how to work the guns. The Laser Tag arena called this part the briefing. We had already put batteries into the guns and ensured they worked, and then put them back into the boxes, so the boys had the thrill of "opening" a new toy. Then I sent them to the galaxy, the basement. I let them for about 20 minutes just shoot at each other. THEY LOVED THAT!
Then, when I saw a couple looking a little dazed, I had them come upstairs, and I hung one target over the door and had them stand in line for target practice and prizes. That didn't work too well because they were all shooting and setting off the target. That might work better for older kids. Still, it got them quieter for a few minutes. I sent them back downstairs for a team game. Everyone with red guns were Jedis; everyone with blue guns were Clones (maybe Stormtroopers is better?). They switched their guns to team mode (see directions or product reviews online). I had printed Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader images from Starwars.com and went to Office Depot to get 11 X 17 enlargements. Cost me 80 cents each. I then pasted those onto to poster paper and gave each to the teams and said they had to protect their flags and get the other guys'. I was trying a paintball idea. You have to supervise the first couple of rounds. They were lined up on opposite walls and they figured out on their own that someone had to sit on their flag and some others had to run and shoot the others while some had to physically get the other guys' flag. A flag would emerge from under someone's rump, the Jedis calling triumphantly. Then I said they had to switch sides, so that the blue guns had a chance to be Jedis and the red guns Clones.
Movie: About an hour into the party, the pizza arrived and they marched upstairs to put their guns down in the training center then go to the living room where I had tables and chairs (no mess on my coaches please!) set up in front of the TV. I had the pizza place cut the pizza pies into 10, not 8, slices. I had Koolaid Jammers see-thru pouches with either red or blue juice, and the kids were impressed by that matching their guns(also, a blue juice is in one of the episodes.) As they ate, we turned on the movie. Right before the party, I had worried that while I had set the time format for 3 hours, figuring the movie was 90 minutes, the tape was actually two and a quarter hours! But, it worked out. While they were watching, I cleaned up their pizza stuff and then gave out popcorn. Then after they watched about an hour of the movie, I stopped the tape and did cake.
Cake: I had ordered the cake with black icing and asked for stars and planets to be drawn onto it. Then, on top I put some Star Wars action figures. Last hour of party: As they ate cake, I thought to put the movie back on but they said they wanted to go back and play more laser tag! So I then did gifts and sent them downstairs and they made up their own games using the flags. I didn't have to worry about viewing the whole movie; what they saw of it they seemed interested in it; and when parents came to pick up, each kid was loathe to leave. Moms later were telling me they had heard the party was awesome!
Goody bags: I had found at KB Toys 3 4-packs of Star Wars figures that were marked down so that each figure was $2.50! And these guys usually run $5-7. That alone made for a great goody bag. I bought Star Wars thank you cards and I am having my son type his notes in KidTypePaint font so it would be faster to do yet personal (you have to adjust the page size so the notes print out in the right spot on the cards.)