Although I am fascinated by video games from a creative standpoint, I have very little bandwidth for playing them. I just don’t seem to have the hand-eye coordination needed to operate a controller. Even those large arcade-style games, like Dance Dance Revolution, would have my uncoordinated self in ICU quicker than you can say Evacuate the Dance Floor. Basically, I’m dead meat in the gamer universe.
However, when my young clients demand something like a Minecraft party, I put on my big girl britches, consult wikipedia, and try to make the best of it. With parties like this it’s best to turn to the experts, the kids. They know everything. I’ve also learned that if you can get the general idea, they will fill in the gaps beautifully, and bring the entire party to life.
Use green, black, and brown as your color scheme, and if you can find them, use square plates for food.
Everything in the Minecraft world is comprised of pixels, which is kind of cool, because it can be made out of or on squares. One of the fun things I did for a centerpiece was simply print out two pictures of Creeper on a sheet of cardstock, folded it in half and laminated them. I cut the bottom to make a pocket and slipped the art onto a dowel. I look a coffee can, covered it with green paper (you could add some pixel squares if you wanted, or a logo), filled it with sand, and stuck the dowel in the middle. I inserted a few pieces of sparkly star wire around the dowel base, and called it done.
Lego center - for that bit of down time when kids were arriving, I set up a lego table and let the guests create their own buildings, pigs, and chickens...the chickens were my favorite.
Mine the Materials Obstacle Course - This was a great hit and a fabulous way to divvy up the ore. Each guest had to make their way through a series of obstacles that ended with a container of sand, shovel, and sifter. Guests were allowed 2 scoops each. Whatever they sifted, they got to keep. I filled the box with bits of actual fools gold that I found on the internet, along with rhinestones, sequins, and gold spray-painted pebbles. Here’s where the kid’s imaginations went wild, as they started comparing the different findings and assigning them their worth (something I would have never even dared).
Make your own Minecraft
Minecraft is full of tools, weapons, and armour, all of which are made from different materials. I printed up a few suggestions from the internet: sword, pick-axe, shovel, etc, to give the kids a basic pattern to follow, but for the most part, I left it up their amazing imaginations. I used foam core from the Dollar Tree. It’s the best thing I’ve ever found. One, it’s inexpensive, and two, because it’s not the highest quality in the world, it cuts really smoothly with a nice sharp X-Acto knife. The one main investment was in the 1 inch square stickers. I purchased them from Online Labels. They are awesome. They come 80 to a sheet, and you can print them any color you want. I printed up multiple colors - brown, blue, tan, gray, and lots of black.
Using the stickers the guests created whatever shape they wanted and then brought it to me for cutting. Once cut, I added a second strip of foam core to the back with hot glue to strengthen. Note - I recommend you make make everything at least 3 squares wide for strength.
Zombie Dodge Ball - The basic idea here is to be the last man standing. The guests are divided into two teams, and each is given a squishy ball (one that won’t hurt when hit). A line is drawn in the middle of the playing field, with each team taking up one side of the field. On “go” players start throwing balls. If you are hit, you go over to the other side. It’s that easy. If you catch someone’s ball, you can claim one person from the other side. Play continues until there is only one person on one of the sides.
The game is fast paced, and there’s really not winner/ loser type of feel because everyone keeps switching sides.
My sister made the most amazing pinata ever by stacking and gluing boxes together. She then covered the boxes with decoupaged green tissue paper. When it was all dry, she cut the bottom box open, filled it with candy bags, and taped it shut. The pinata itself was too hard to crack open, so the bottom could be released once everyone had their turn. This made the birthday boy very happy, as he “conquered” Creeper.
Using Avery 1 x 2 5/8 inch labels I made TNT labels for Now or Later candy cubes. Each cube took two labels, and they were so cute when they were done. Likewise I make Creeper Candies that I wrapped around laffy taffy pieces.
I personally, am not a baker, so I can’t take credit for this amazing creation, but the dad at the party can! He baked two flavors of sheet cake then frosted them, cut them into exact squares, and laid out this amazing sword design (I think it might have helped that the dad is an architect).
This is actually a really great party for boys and girls, and it’s really not that important if you don’t play the game. - The basics of the game are simple: mine, build, enjoy. Oh...and kill a zombie or two!