A Minecraft Party Please
Unsure whether I fell asleep in a Delorean or put my clock ahead too far during daylight savings. The tiny Marge Simpson-shaped baby I held in my arms and watched open his eyes for the very first time in his new-born life, suddenly aged 5 years before my very own eyes. How can this be? It’s a joke, right? I have to be dreaming. After all, petrol is under $1.15, Gogglebox has been renewed for another season AND…Donald Trump is President of Dementia.
But sure enough, it’s ALL true. Our boy is five.
Hard to believe that only yesterday our toes were dipped in the relaxing serenity of a Balinese swimming pool and today, we’re completely submerged in the calamity of Lightning McQueen, YouTube Kids and Minecraft. None of which I had ever heard of or had any inkling about until our boy educated us on such matters. Now, it’s all a part of our every day lives, like Donald Trump memes or taking a dump.
So, it was no surprise when Indy told us he wanted to have a Minecraft Lego themed party for his 5th birthday. What was a surprise to us, is that he really actually meant it. So, it was off to the crafting-table blackboard to nut our heads together and plan a fun-filled occasion, for just such an occasion. Just one question first…
What the heck is Minecraft?
Minecraft is basically a heavily pixelated or ‘blocky’ world-building game that you can play online or on X-Box type-thingies, that enables kids to waste vast amounts of time in an entertaining brain-numbing fashion. Much the same as adults do on Facebook. Indy doesn’t actually play Minecraft, but does in fact, watch videos of other people playing Minecraft instead. (Insert weird eyebrow raise and forehead furrow here). The main character in Minecraft is ‘Steve’ and Indy’s favourite character is a yellow cat named, ‘Stampy’. I’ll end the lesson there, or else I may self-harm myself.
Crafting the Perfect Minecraft Party
If there’s one thing we pride ourselves on when it comes to our kids parties, is devising games that encourage fun and participation instead of competition. That way, every kid leaves with a smile, knowing they just had a really great time and didn’t miss out on a prize or a pick of the board for a thousand dollars. And since Minecraft is a world-building game of blocks, we decided to go old school and let the kids build whatever they want from their own imagination.
About a month prior to the party, we spent a few days painting boxes and crafting a couple of life-size ‘Steve’ and ‘Stampy’ mockups to greet people as they arrived. Indy was quite into helping out and the plan was to construct a whole heap of them. But after the amount of work that went into creating just two, I thought, stuff that, we need another plan.
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Mumma came up with a genius alternate idea and we got as many cardboard boxes as we could of varying sizes and shapes. Sliced them down one side, turned them inside out so they’re all pristine and taped them back together. Throw in a packet of washable marker pens and the kids were free to draw all over the boxes, climb in and out of them, make tunnels or whatever they wanted.
Next was a chocolate ladybug scavenger hunt around the yard. The trick being, they all have to bring their booty and deposit it back into one box to be shared evenly among them. They go mad for that one.
Then the kids had to file up in order of height to craft their own lunch from the assortment of Minecraft inspired snacks on the table. That way, we know they’ve at least eaten something at the party. Then we moved on to another food-related game of the classic ‘donut challenge’, where they have to try and eat a donut suspended by a string without using their hands. Quite hilarious seeing them chase a donut around in circles with their tongues hanging out.
Next came our ‘Creeper Knockdown’ challenge where they had to fire a bow and arrow at the blocky ‘Creeper’ to try and knock him off the table. This was a little slow-going to begin with as most 4 and 5 year olds couldn’t quite manage the dexterity required to successfully operate a suction-cupped bow and arrow. But once we replaced the bow and arrow with an AK-47 Assault rifle, it was a blast. In retrospect, it may have actually been a Lightning McQueen rubber ball, but the impact upon the boxes was just as explosive.
Our pièce de résistance, the Minecraft Lava Walk. The entire room engulfed in a red plastic sheet (4 x $2.00 red plastic table cloths gaffer taped together to be exact), with adults and kids seated around the perimeter. Eleven blocks of redgum stepping stones zig-zagged across the middle. The goal is to cross the stepping stones while everyone seated around the perimeter, makes lava waves by waving the plastic sheet wildly as they go. At the opposite end of the lava walk, is our Minecraft Minefield Lucky Dip box. A box of different compartments in which you have to take a little plastic hammer (or your hand), and dig into the compartment in order to find your special treasure. The kids loved this game so much, they took it upon themselves to then cross back across the lava walk with their treasure and avoid the next person coming across. It was really great to see even the adults enjoying making the lava waves.
The kids then lined up outside to receive their ‘Treat Box’ which in keeping with the theme, was a little box of take-home treats instead of a traditional bag, and had their photo taken next to our Steve and Stampy mockups.
We had so much fun, we almost forgot the cake!!!
Tada. Mumma spent a good five hours or so on this Minecraft cake with it’s Minecraft styled checkerboard innards and was just the surprise Indy needed to cap off the day.
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Thanks to all our family and friends who attended on the day and/or supplied us with an endless pile of boxes which will no doubt come in handy for the next one. Thank you for all your fabulous gifts, our birthday boy is most appreciative. Happy 5th Birthday to our little man and we can take a long hard breather until November when his sister turns three.
Break out the wine glasses on a job well-done ‘clink’.
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