Minecraft Mania -6yr- Minecraft Bingo
Joy in Wichita, KS USA
April 2014 Winner
My son has been obsessed with the Minecraft app for quite a while now. This was a great theme for his sixth birthday party. Most of his friends are familiar with the game since it runs on various platforms (computer, Xbox, etc.) Having his party so close to Easter allowed me to get quite a few clearance items related to the theme (eggs, carrots).
INVITATIONS: My go-to invitation is to create a PowerPoint slide using the theme font (Minecraft in this case-can be found as a free download), and theme colors for the party. Since Minecraft is a game based on pixels and blocks, I created a block format on the PowerPoint slide with all the pertinent information for the party. The location of the party was Alex’s Mine followed by our street address. After the slide is created, I save it as a jpeg and send it off to be developed as a 4x6 photo. Easy and cheap!
DECORATIONS: There is not much available to purchase commercially for Minecraft so we relied on various websites for homemade decorating ideas and added our own creativity to the mix (my 3 kids were my main resource since they actually play the game!). As guests arrived, they were greeted by a large green creeper on the front porch. This was a large box, spray-painted green with squares cut out for the creeper face. We put a black piece of plastic tablecloth inside so the eyes and mouth would appear black. This decoration would later be brought inside for a game of Creeper Toss and would also serve as a prop for individual photos of the guests! Gotta love a multi-purpose decoration! Hanging above the creeper were balloons resembling a pig, ghast, and a smaller creeper (just a pink, white, and green balloon with faces printed out and taped on.) For the ghast balloon we also taped white streamer to the bottom.
In the corner of the front porch was a spooky spider: black balloon, red square eyes (paper) and black streamers for the legs. Hanging on the front door for a sign that read, Keep Calm and Kill a Creeper. This was in a cheap frame that I knotted green and black tulle around to make a square wreath. I just printed out the saying and placed it in the frame. When we took the individual pictures of the kids with the large creeper, we had them hold this in their hands! They really looked cute. The main decoration in our living room was a huge creeper face on the wall. This was made with 6x6 squares of green and black paper taped to configure a pixelated creeper. I have also seen this done with square paper plates. Below the creeper we have a decorative shelf, which held 8 green take-out boxes on which I had drawn creeper faces. These were used by the kids to collect their gems during the party. Our fireplace was turned into a creeper cave by using a grey sheet around and inside. Inside the cave, I had folded creeper t-shirts that looked like they were coming out of the cave. Each child would earn a t-shirt after one of the activities.
On the mantle were the goody bags. Green sacks with creeper faces drawn on them. To one side of the bags was a large ghast. This was a large box wrapped in white paper, with a ghast face taped on the front and white streamers taped to the bottom. Hanging from the ceiling above were balloons made to look like creepers, pigs, and ghasts. These were just like the ones on the front porch with faces printed off on taped on. Also in the living room we had the candy bar. We hung more balloons above this and decorated the table to look like a grass block (covered with a brown plastic tablecloth then topped with a green one cut to look like the grass block). In one corner there was another large spider like on the front porch. These spiders were so easy to make and really made a big impact. The streamer legs can be tacked to the ceiling and all over to make it look really cool! Since both of my boys had Minecraft posters in their rooms, we borrowed them for the party and placed one on a wall and one in a large frame that was already on the wall.
In the dining room we hung a birthday banner with the Minecraft font above the buffet table. The buffet table was covered like a grass block as well. In the corner above the buffet was another creepy balloon spider. We used our tall, skinny computer cabinet that is next to our buffet and turned it into a giant Steve. I covered the bottom with blue paper, the middle with teal, made arms using empty 12-pack boxes, and printed out a large Steve head. The cabinet turned out to be just the right size, but this could be done using empty boxes as well. The dining room table was covered with a teal tablecloth (like Steve’s shirt) and I scattered gold wrapped mints down the center and a metal tub of water bottles. The cake table was also covered with a teal tablecloth and we hung two green lanterns above them with creeper faces on them.
ACTIVITIES/GAMES: The activities and games were set up so that as they completed each one, they would receive a designated number/type of gem (small plastic stones purchased in the floral department of a craft store). These gems would be used toward the end of the party to craft various things.
Pixelated Faces: As the children arrived they each got to make a pixelated face of themselves using paper squares. We had all different colors of paper and a sample for them to look at. As they finished they earned their gems to place in their containers.
Creeper Toss: We brought in the large creeper from the front porch and took turns tossing tennis balls through the eyes and mouth. Since the kids were pretty young, we didn’t keep score. They threw 3 balls and got back in line. After they got 2 balls in, they earned their gems, but could keep throwing. They had so much fun with this that we invented variations (try to bounce the ball in, underhanded throw, etc.) After this activity they also earned their Creeper T-shirt that I had made for each child. I just used a stencil and black fabric paint to paint a creeper face on green t-shirts. The kids were given a choice if they wanted to change into their shirt or not.
Gem Mining: A few days in advance I layered and froze different colors of water in a clear cup with different gems in each layer (5 layers total). We used spoons to mine the gems. I would recommend using old spoons or even cheap flat-head screwdrivers for this. This activity was a HUGE hit but took quite a while. To speed things along, my husband took a hammer to the blocks of ice if the kids wanted some help. We had paper towels handy and Ziploc bags to put the gems in. This was a little messy due to the colored water so doing it outside was a good choice. For this activity they earned the gems they mined.
Diamond Sword Crafting: We headed back inside and each child got a crafting table. I made these with empty cereal boxes wrapped with brown craft paper and then placed a 9x9 grid on one side. Their next job was to craft a diamond sword. I handed out squares of paper with sticks on them since that is one item they would need. They used the diamond gems from their containers and the stick printout to craft their swords (most kids knew what to do, but I had the kids explain how to do it for any who had not played). As they crafted their sword, we passed out the diamond swords, which were made from foam core with diamond sword printouts, glued to both sides. They were given specific instructions that these were just for pretend play and not to be used on each other. They earned more gems for completing this activity.
Balloon Attack: After we had our swords, it was time to downstairs and hunt creepers, ghasts, and pigs. They were allowed to use the swords as props, but we put them aside when the activity started to avoid any issues. We had a lot of balloons with pig, ghast, and creeper faces on them spread out all over the floor. They could use any method to pop the balloons. When they had popped 2 they earned their gems.
Egg Hunt: Next up was an egg hunt! In Minecraft you spawn chickens, which then lay eggs. Each child had to find 4 eggs (color coded so they knew when they were done). We took the eggs inside and got out our crafting tables again. One of the things you can make in Minecraft is cake. I asked the kids what they would need to craft cake and then they opened their eggs to find each of the 4 ingredients needed. Placing these on their crafting table meant it was time for BIRTHDAY CAKE! They also earned more gems for their containers. We gathered around the table for the birthday cake.
Present Opening: After cake it was time for presents. I always like to take a picture of each guest with the birthday boy. I take one before opening and one with the present. This also helps with thank you notes in case my note taking isn’t that great! Crafting Table Time: When the presents were opened, we took all our gems and crafting tables downstairs. I had set up 4 containers with various prizes. Over the years I have ended up with a variety of leftover trinkets from treat bags. I put all these things into these containers. In front of each container was a wiki with different color patterns in the colors of the gems they had collected during the party. Each child got to use the wikis and their gems to craft any 4 things and then choose items from those containers. I had 2 moms and my 2 older children helping the kids craft and choose to make this activity go smoothly. The kids got to keep all their gems and didn’t have to trade them for the items.
Minecraft Bingo: The last activity was Minecraft Bingo. This was a download I found online and printed out. Since I still had trinkets left in the containers, as children got Bingo (they had to yell, CREEPER) they could choose a prize from the containers. We played as long as we could until parents showed up and then anyone who had not gotten Bingo still got to pick a prize. This was slightly advanced for 6 year olds since the items required some reading, but my older kids and a few parents helped out and the kids really enjoyed it.
PARTY/SNACKS: Creeper Kabobs: While we were serving up the cake, each child got to make their own Creeper Kabob. This was a fruit kabob with fruit labeled in Minecraft lingo (strawberries-Redstone, green grapes-Emerald, purple grapes-Lapis, Watermelon-watermelon, apples-Golden Apples). The kids could choose what they wanted so there was less waste. I was able to find green serving platters and bowls at the dollar store that were square and had square sections. I used these to place the fruit in. I wrapped a can with a creeper face printout to put the kabob sticks in. I had a mom help with this since the kabob sticks are pointy and some of the fruit was difficult to put on. Buckets of Water: We also served buckets of water which were clear cups of blue Jell-O.
Sugar Cookies: I made sugar cookies with some of the main features from the game (Steve, creepers, sheep, pigs, TNT).
Slime-Ade: For a drink I made a mixture of lemon lime pop mixed with lime sherbet. Since Slime is part of the game we called it slime-ade.
Minecraft Water: Throughout the party the kids could grab a water bottle from the table. We made new labels for them that said, Minecraft Water and had some Minecraft graphics.
Candy Bar: As they finished their cake and snacks, they got to fill a cup at the candy bar. Each candy was labeled as follows (Hot Tamales-Red Stone, cotton candy-wool, red licorice-TNT, sour watermelon-watermelon, gummy fish-fish, malted milk eggs-eggs, pretzel sticks-sticks, Rolos-gold, chocolate carrots-carrots, Cookies and Cream Kisses-diamonds). These cups were labeled with their names and had a cello bag inside that we put a twist tie around when they were done so they could be taken home.
CAKE: I made a 2-layer cake as requested by my son. He wanted the bottom layer to be TNT and the top to be cake. The bottom was a square, red velvet cake covered in marshmallow fondant and decorated to look like TNT. The top layer was a white cake decorated to look like the Minecraft cake. It had marshmallow fondant for the white and red portion and I used a star tip and regular frosting for the brown portion.
FAVORS: Each child received a green bag with a creeper face on it. Inside we place a party popper with a TNT label, candy carrots, foam carrot football type toy, egg shaped slime, and gold wrapped candy. They also got to take home their creeper t-shirts, diamond swords, candy cups, gem containers, and their crafting tables. The party lasted 3 hours and this was just the right length of time. The kids were kept busy the whole time and all enjoyed it!