Star Wars Birthday Party
With the new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens coming out it was the perfect time to finally throw a Star Wars Birthday party for my boy. Plus, it was a great excuse to pull out the kids’ Princess Leia and Obi-Wan costumes from last Halloween. I loved them so much that I was so excited to see the kids wear them again!
So far this party has been my favorite. It was epic. My sister at one point said, “My face hurts from smiling so much.” And it was so true. The kids were having a blast and it was so wonderful to see their cute little face soak it all in. My hubby and I rarely spoil the kids. We have never been to Disneyland and we hardly ever take the kids to the movies. But when it comes to parties, we just can’t help ourselves. We have so much fun! And I love that it is something that we enjoy doing it together. It was so cute watching my hubby excitedly run around on the day of the party. Being married to a man who embraces and enjoys his role as father is the sexiest thing ever.
Star Wars Birthday Party Planning
Star Wars Birthday Party Invitations
What better way to introduce your party than with your own Star Wars opening crawl? After reading through some of the movies’ opening crawls, I came up with my own version from Return of the Jedi and emailed it out as the invitation. It is super easy to do, but you have to know a little trick first.
See full Star Wars Birthday Party Invitations tutorial>>>
Star Wars Birthday Party Decorations
I never spend too much time on decorations for boy parties because they just don’t care. At this age, they are way more excited about the games. So I kept things simple.
Star Wars Birthday Party Banner
I designed this simple Star Wars inspired birthday banner and had it printed at Office Depot. I love to share, so I made it available for download here for free!
Included in the file are some small posters with Star Wars quotes on them. The boys got a kick out of reading them all. I’ve also included some of the other signs I used in the party.
Star Wars Backdrop
During my last party for G, I discovered that our arch in the entryway makes a perfect party entrance. Last time I spent some time hanging up streamers, but this year I discovered I could do it much faster with a plastic tablecloth. I bought one of those cheap plastic tablecloths from the dollar store and then cut in into strips using my rotary cutter, leaving about an inch up at the top uncut. I reinforced it with tape in a few spots, and hammered in some sewing pins to hang it up. It took about 20 minutes total, including hanging it up. It is so easy and the impact is huge. And if you want it a little fuller or with contrasting colors, you can combine two tablecloths.
To make it look a little bit more like the movie’s opening crawl, I also hung the Star Wars logo over the curtain.
Star Wars Posters
You can find a lot of very cool Star Wars posters on Amazon for really cheap. So I used those to decorate and then later used them for B’s room. I love being able to reuse party decorations and B thinks the poster of the Battle of Hoth is so cool.
Clone Trooper Garland
Later in the party we were going to use Nerf guns, so I hung a Clone Trooper Garland for target practice. I just printed out the heads on my B/W printer. Super cheap and easy!
R2D2 Trash Can
The one decoration that I spent more time on was a little R2D2 trashcan I made using vinyl decals I designed. The R2D2 was a little frustrating because it took so long to design, but when I see how much B loves him it is totally worth it. It was also kind of a birthday present and he is now using it in his room as a trashcan. Now that I have done all the hard work, it should be much easier!
Star Wars Party Favors
I typically try to avoid the sugar loaded goody bags at parties and look for something a little more lasting. For this party I decided to make the Jedi tunics that you see all over Pinterest. It was hot outside, so I used sheets that I bought for crazy cheap from Walmart. They ended up costing just over a $1 a tunic. You simply cut out rectangles and then cut a slit up the middle. Some people had cut a hole for the head in the middle, but I thought having the two sides cross over was much more authentic. The only hard part was ironing each of them. I HATE ironing!
From B’s Jedi costume last year I had some hair weave leftover, so I also made padawan braids for all the boys. I used nice alligator clips so that they would stay in well. You can buy padawan braids on Amazon, but they are over $5 and I was able to make these for less than 50 cents each. I simply hot glued the hair on the clip! If the clips are bothering the boys or pulling at their hair, just have them clip it on the neck of their tunic.
Pool Noodle Light Sabers
I also copied the idea of using pool noodles as light sabers. I wish I knew who was the first person to come up with that idea so that I could credit them. It is brilliant. They are cheap to make and they don’t hurt when you get hit with them. But you have to be careful to grab some pool noodles from the dollar store during the right time of year because they don’t always carry them in the fall or winter.
Star Wars Birthday Party Games
Now for the best part! The games!
Gearing Up – Jedi Robes and Light Sabers
When the boys came to the party, the first thing they saw was a sign instructing them to gear up for Jedi training. In the invite, I asked them to come dressed in a white t-shirt and khaki pants if possible so that everything looked more authentic. I love having the kids dress for the theme because it really contributes to the overall feel of the party.
Green Screen Videos and Photos
I was really excited about doing a green screen for the party and was surprised at how cheap and easy it was to set up. Overall, everything cost me less then $10.
Once the kids were all dressed up, I put them in front of the green screen and we did some photos and videos. The kids loved it! It was so much fun! Later we used the photos to make thank you cards. My only regret was that we had so much to do that we didn’t have more time to play with it with the kids.
After photos, the kids headed over to the TV to watch a clip of Anakin pod racing. I have found that for parties based on movie themes it helps a lot to play clips of the movie before activities. It is a great way to give things context and helps to familiarize the kids that might not be as familiar with the movie.
After the clip, the kids headed outside to do their own pod racing! I had turned old Little Tikes cars into pod racers and my husband and brother-in-law pushed the kids around a racecourse.
They were such good sports even though it was crazy hot and they got a total workout. The kids absolutely loved it. I love the facial expressions in the photos!
The boys who weren’t currently pod racing stood on the side and pretended to be Tusken Raiders while shouting at the racers and firing at them with a Nerf ball gun or squirt guns. It was epic. Making the pod racers was surprisingly easy.
Next it was time for the kids to learn how to fight with their light sabers. I held off on handing out the light sabers until now so that the boys won’t get distracted. They watched a clip of Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader and then did our own “king of the hill” type stand off.
We taped off a fighting arena on the floor that they had to stay in. We explained that if they stepped out, they fell down the shaft and died. We then put two kids in the arena and let them battle it out. You were only allowed to use your light saber and if you got hit by the light saber, you were dead. The loser would then step out, and the next kid would fight the winner. It was serious business and it was cute watching the intensity on their faces. The light sabers were made out of pool noodles, so it was next to impossible to hurt anybody with it. It also helps to have a referee stationed at the arena to make sure nobody steps over the side and that everybody plays fair. The kids at our party were such good sports though that we didn’t have any problems at all. It was cute because B asked me if he could have the honor of battling me first. I know that some day he will prefer his friends to me, so I will enjoy it while I can!
Darth Vader Surprise Visit
B knew a lot about the party prep this year, but one of the things we kept secret was a surprise visit from Darth Vader. During the fighting my hubby slipped out and dressed up like Darth Vader. He made his grand entrance while I played Star Wars music in the background. The kids went crazy. The visibility in the helmet isn’t very good and I was afraid the kids were going to topple him.
My plan was to have them all line up and fight him one at a time, but the kids were way too excited. It was a free for all. B asked Darth Vader if he was his daddy and my hubby said in his best Darth Vader voice, “I am your father.” It was great.
Light Saber Pinata
But the surprises didn’t end there. The kids didn’t know that Darth Vader’s light saber was actually a pinata filled with candy. I designed it so that it wouldn’t break open from a hit by a pool noodle light saber so that all the kids would get a chance to fight first Vader. Then later I planned on bringing out a foam covered baseball bat that I made look like a light saber with duct tape.
The kids had no idea and when candy started spraying out of the top of the light saber they were so surprised. It was so much fun watching the kids scatter after the candy and some didn’t even notice because they were so focused on battling Darth Vader.
I had so much fun trying to engineer the light saber pinata so that it worked just right. I love pinatas and get a kick out of putting a new spin on them. We still talk about the time I filled a pinata with bouncy balls!
Nerf Gun Battle of Hoth
My hubby was super excited about staging an epic Nerf battle in our house. I wasn’t so sure how in the world we would ever get enough guns, but he started to painstakingly acquire Nerf guns from Craigslist and eBay. We also bought a bunch of Nerf darts. We were going to go with the cheaper knock offs, until we read that the tips were a lot harder. We didn’t want to send the kids home with welts, so we paid extra for the softer ones.
Our house has a great room that combines the kitchen, dining room, and family room all into one. It was the perfect place for a battle. One team holed up behind the couch and the other behind the kitchen table.
The kids were so intense, but even funnier was watching the dads. We are going to have to come up with some other type of party just to do this again!
Star Wars Party Food
There were so many cute ideas and “punny” Star Wars food I found while browsing around on Pinterest, but I wanted to do something totally different and a little more authentic.
So I decided to replicate the part of the movies when Luke Skywalker crashes on Dagobah and meets Yoda for the first time. In the movie Yoda raids Luke’s ration box and makes a big deal about how gross the food is. So I made little Rebel ration boxes for all the kids and they got to fill them with treats that looked like the stuff in Luke’s box in the movie. The kids loved it. (See full tutorial on the Star Wars party food)
I also had “Jedi Juice” which was blue fruit punch with some dry ice in it. I used the ice holder insert that comes with the beverage dispenser so that I could add more warm water when I wanted to kick up the level of fog. The kids were totally blown away.
Hans Solo Carbonite Cake
When I saw the Hans Solo carbonite mold on Amazon, I knew it would make the perfect cake. It was really easy to make and it has been fun reusing the mold for other stuff.
Since the cake was on the smaller side, I also whipped up some Darth Vader Cupcakes using the Darth Vader chocolate mold I also found on Amazon.
When it was time to serve up the cake, Darth Vader brought the cake to B so that he could blow the candle out. He thought having Vader bring him his cake was the coolest thing ever and couldn’t stop laughing. His face was pure joy. It was priceless. Later when we were asking the kids what their favorite parts were, G said it was totally her daddy. He made a wonderful Darth Vader!
I was also so proud of B during the party. He was the perfect little host and even thought to bring out water bottles for all his friends after they came in from outside. He was such a little gentleman about it. I was so proud. Before each party we always sit down with the kids and explain to them that the party is not about them, but about showing their friends a good time. That they are expected to keep an eye out for people and that they won’t get the first of anything. That a good host always lets others go first. As a result, we don’t get the meltdowns and they enjoy their party so much more because they are thinking about others instead of themselves. It also makes us so excited about doing it all over again for the next birthday!