If you're looking for tons of ideas for a Minecraft themed party - you've come to the right place! (Or, if you're just looking to read a post about how one man went completely nuts making a party for his son - also, the right place.)
A couple months ago, our son had only a passing familiarity with Minecraft. He knew it existed, but didn't give it a second thought. After getting a real intro at a friend's house both he and our daughter were hooked. They used allowance money to buy both the iPad app and the PC version.
Neither of us really knew what they were talking about a lot of the time. Ghasts? Enderman? Who is this Steve and why are you spending so much time with him?
A couple weeks before his birthday we still didn't have a theme for his party nailed down. (Well...that's a bit of a lie...he declared he wanted a "Healthy Theme party, with healthy foods and lots of exercise". Noble choice, but that's even too dorky for us - and you know we're total dorks.) If you've seen our daughter's Secret Agent Birthday Party post - you know we thrive on a good theme - "Healthy" ain't gonna cut it!
Robin struck gold when she suggested Minecraft. He was sold (and we were relieved!).
Here is how it went down...
|Make Simple Swords - one of many lessons I learned from this party...|
One thing that allowed us to pull out all the stops was a small guest list. Our son only wanted two other boys at his party (his "best friends" who are as serious about Minecraft as he is). This made it easy for us to make lots of take homes for everyone.
You may opt to scale down the offerings at your party - we will offer suggestions along the way.
To Make Ahead of Time:
- Party Invitations
- Blocks and other Papercrafts from Pixel Papercraft (also the source for stickers and animal faces)
- Sticker Printables
- Create Torch or Torches (see below)
- Get your Minecraft Mixtape on.
- Cut out swords/Picks for painting
- Inflate Pig/Cow (possibly Chicken or Tofu) balloons with food tickets inside.
- Homemade Creeper shirts
- Cake, Food and usual party stuff
We were dealing with a pretty quick turnaround on this, so we were thrilled when Robin found this great simple Minecraft Invite from Ben Comics:
Then Robin added the party details on top with these great Minecraft Fonts from here.
First, kids arrived and got their Creeper shirts on. They went a little crazy for them.
- For this we used $5 Lime Green shirts from Michael's and T-shirt Transfer paper.
- We've talked about how to make custom t-shirts before - see our tutorial here from our Harry Potter shirts. If you follow the steps from that post, you won't go wrong.
- We made the Creeper face - here's the printable for you:
- Download the Minecraft font(s) of your choice from here.
|Each kid got a commemorative creeper shirt!|
2) Minecraft Music.
They then bounced around to Minecraft music for a bit.
Youtube is full of "Parody" and "Tribute" songs. Do not trust people who have made "Childsafe Playlists". Prescreen! Even a couple of the ones we settled on are a bit sketchy depending on your language threshold.
- "Creepers are Terrible" - A Minecraft Parody of One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful
- ''Diamond Mining'' A Minecraft Parody of 'Too Close' by Alex Clare
- "Hack That" - A Minecraft Parody of Akon's Smack That
- "I Love My Minecraft World" - A Minecraft Music Parody
- "I'll Make Some Cake" A Minecraft parody of Glad You Came by The Wanted (our favourite too)
- "I'm a Noob" - Minecraft Parody of Fun's Some Nights
- "Minecraft Style" - A Parody of PSY's Gangnam Style (similar - "Like an Enderman")
- "Not Mining You" - A Minecraft Parody of Not Over You
- "TNT" - A Minecraft Parody of Taio Cruz's Dynamite
- "Don't Mine at Night" A Minecraft Parody of Last Friday Night
I didn't want them to just sit and watch videos, so I made a CD of the songs.
Many are on iTunes, and if they aren't, use this handy site to convert the videos to MP3s for you. You could include the resulting CD in loot bags to bring joy to other parent's households too. (I now cannot hear fun's "Some Nights" without thinking it is about Minecraft.)
3) Minecraft 3D Shapes: Making and Playing.
You simply must visit Pixel Papercraft Printables. Hours of fun to be had there!
- We had them play our daughter's game - a hybrid of Angry Birds and Minecraft where you smash block towers and baddies by throwing Steve and whatever other paper people you get from Pixel Papercraft.
- We made these shapes ahead of time.
- The cutting, folding and taping were a little beyond the scope of the 6 year old guest list. Older kids would be able to do this as a party activity (our 9 year old was OK at making them). It would take patient, calm kids to sit and make all these - we've never had any of these at our parties - have you?
|Making these Minecraft blocks would be a great rainy day activity too.|
4) Minecraft Sticker Craft (with free printables for you!).
- Then they created pictures with stickers. All the kids did this except the birthday boy, who continued to dance to "I'll Make Some Cake" and "I'm a Noob".
- We have already recycled this craft when some other kid friends were over and wanted to do a Minecraft activity. It was a hit!
Behind the Scenes: Minecraft Stickers
- Get yourself some 5161/8161 label sheets and create sticker sheets.
- Save yourself tons of time by using these printables I created for our party (Inspired by the magnet sheets at Thinkgeek, where else?):
- Cut the sheets lengthwise into sticker strips. I made 4 sheets of most types, and we have lots leftover.
- Let the kids loose to create their own Minecraft relms!
- Editors Note: Some issues with the .pdf Label Printing - Here is our suggested workaround: Buy full sticker sheets (Avery #6503), print above printables all on them and then trim manually. Apologies for anyone who doesn't have success with 8161 and 5161 labels.
(While you're at it, maybe just pick up printable magnetic sheets, print up a bunch of grass, bedrock, trees and stuff, and turn your fridge or dishwasher into a Minecraft world - possibly better than stickers as they can be rearranged anytime.)
- I darkened the basement and blocked out the windows, then stuck post-it notes around the walls, furniture etc.
- There were 4 different colours and the kids had to go downstairs with their torches and picks and each collect all 4 shades. This was made more difficult by the constantly colour changing LED cubes I used to make the torches.
- With our small party, all 4 kids went as a team, but if you had larger groups and were looking to take more time, you could send 1-2 kids with a single torch and give them time limits (the actual game has Day/Night time limits - baddies attack at night, so this could ratchet up the excitement for older kids.
|The Post-It Notes that the kids "mined" in the basement turn magically into this stuff.|
Behind the Scenes: Making Torches
Got inspired by this beauty on ThinkGeek. I was not about to pay $35 for one though! Instead, I made 4 for less than $20. Here's how:
- Luck was on my side when I found cube shaped LED nightlights for $2 each at the Dollarama. I made my own.
- After that, it was a matter of creating a torch handle using a blown-up torch image from Pixel Papercraft and printing it.
- Then I glued it to bristol board
- Folded it.
- Taped it and mounted the light-up cube on the end with book tape (which is like the amazing wonder-child of Scotch tape and Duct tape).
6) Crafting Swords.
- After everyone had collected their 4 colour Post-Its, we went outside to our "Crafting Table" to forge the swords.
- I traded each kid a Sword for their Post-Its and they spend time painting them.
- Paint is great because it allows you to put the swords up to dry and avoid actual sword fights breaking out at the party. Kids seem to respect the fact that paint needs time to dry.
Behind the Scenes: Cut out Swords/Picks.
This was as dumb as I got about this. I started by making pixel perfect replicas of pick-axes from plywood and MDF. It was a hateful and stupid amount of jigsawing to do. If you choose to do this, get a sheet of foam that you can cut with a blade.
I learned my lesson, so when I came to create swords, they looked more simplified and analog. The kids honestly didn't care, so make it easy on yourself.
|Don't give your tools 8-bit edges. It will drive you insane.|
7) Hunting for Food.
- It wouldn't be Minecraft without having stuff to kill. This game had the kids hunt for their supper, sort-of - just like Minecraft does - sort-of.
- I gave them each a dollar store Bow and Arrow kit (again, larger groups could take turns hunting/ be given a "kill quota" so you could share weapons).
- I explained to the kids that if they wanted hot dogs, they should kill pigs, and if they wanted burgers, kill cows, and then get the meal tickets out of the popped balloons.
- I also imagined that they would be able to trade tickets with each other (trading is another game feature) but that never really happened.
Behind the Scenes: Making Pigs and Cows.
- Print simple faces for the balloons.
- Stuff them with food tickets (more on this later).
- Inflate and tie them up and tape the faces on.
I've seen Creeper Pinatas too; that could have been fun.
|The little tickets get rolled up and tucked into the balloons before you inflate them.|
8) Of course, we played Minecraft...
- Next we cooked the meal. To give us some food prep time we let the kids play a bit of Minecraft on the laptop/iPads (larger groups could watch some videos or perhaps have the food pre-grilling while they paint swords/hunt livestock).
- It sounds lame to play a video game during a birthday party - but that's only lame to us grown-ups - the kids loved playing around each other and hollering out the "amazing" thing they were doing then.
9) Minecrafted Cake.
There are hundreds of ideas out there for Minecraft cakes. The game itself even has cake as a item you can craft.
We kept ours very easy:
- Big sheet of brownies, iced with green icing and cut into cubes and stacked to create a mini-world.
- I sprinkled it with green for grass and made a little water area with blue.
- I also sandwiched some rock chocolates between layers, so anyone mining in their cake would be rewarded.
- I then printed some characters on photopaper and stuck them around to liven it up a bit
- Because this was a small party we were able to send tons home with friends and still come in under budget. A bigger party might mean just sending home a few less gifts.
- Loot bags themselves were pretty simple - Music CD, rock candies, pop rocks, and some take-home Printables from Pixel Papercraft.
- But, with our very small party we were also able to send home their Creeper t-shirt, a torch, bow & arrow set, their now-dry painted sword, and the pickaxes. Three cheers for small guest lists!
So that is all that went down. The kids loved the party and our daughter has announced that she wants a Minecraft Party for her birthday. So, I guess we nailed it!