Duration: 2 hours
Age: 8-10, 11+
Guest Numbers: 10
Venue: Your Home
Minecraft – it’s a game I cant get into but my children are borderline obsessed with, and have been for years. When my son turned 7 he was at the peak of his obsession which made it an easy choice to make a Minecraft themed party for him. The game has so many facets that you can take from and turn into real life items to keep the kids active and entertained which means that on the day you can relax a little
Doing this party at home is preferable because you will have A LOT of boxes and transporting them could prove problematic or at least painful. Using your backyard is perfect to give the real outdoor mining experience. It also means that everything in your home is safe from falling boxes and exuberant party guests.
As I’ve said before the invitation id the first people know of the party so getting the right feel is crucial. There are many ways you can go with a Minecraft invite – Creep, dirt block, Enderman, spider, Steve etc the list goes on. I think the key to this one is picking one that suits your child. Some like the bad guys better or the animals. Maybe they prefer to play in survival mode so a having the weapons on there is key, maybe its creative and having a large Minecraft structure is the way to go. What ever one you choose make sure the images don’t drown out the information.
Another reason to hold the party outside is the less need for decorating! There are a few things you can do to make your home feel like the Minecraft world that don’t cost a fortune.
Turn your front door into a Creeper or Enderman using a plastic tablecloth and some card. Cover the door with the tablecloth and secure with tape or blu tac. Cut out the card and tape it on. You’ll need a green tablecloth and black card for a creeper and a black tablecloth and 2 different purple cards for an Enderman.
Post signs around your house like the ones in Minecraft to help people know where to go and whats off limits: Toilet, Bathroom, This Way to the Nether (your backyard) or Danger No Entry are easily printed and stuck on doors.
Giant box Creepers and Zombies really add to the feel of your party. Use large boxes and tape them together to form the right shape. Making them the size of the kids is a hit but you could make smaller ones too. Paint them and have them around the yard. We used one at the mailbox to indicate which was our home and then my husband would randomly move the creeper closer to different kids and yell BOOM. The first time they all screamed the second time they all laughed. It takes a bit of time and patience to cut and tape the boxes but it’s well worth the effort.
For any other decorations like table cloths on the food table green, brown and black will be your friends. There are a lot of things in Minecraft that use these colours so it’s easily identifiable.
Food and Drink
The game itself has many food items in it so pulling these out to plan the menu was easy. The game uses carrots, apple, watermelon, cookies and cakes which are easy to replicate and the kids will instantly recognise them as part of the game.
To broaden the theme from just food in Minecraft you can use brownies with green icing as dirt blocks, pretzel sticks as wood, Oreo truffles as coal, chocolate in silver or gold wrappers as gold and silver ingots, make creeper face cookies with icing or just have square/cube shaped foods like starburst lollies and chocolate squares.
If you want to offer a hot menu it has cooked chicken, cooked fish and baked potatoes which could be chicken nuggets, fish fingers and chips. Burgers could also be the bread and steak from the game.
There is water in Minecraft so it’s an easy drink to offer. You could do a red drink and call it lava but be aware that red food colouring can hype up the children.
There are 3 main activities to run to host a fun filled Minecraft party: Weapon Making, Crafting, and Constructing.
Weapon Making – materials needed thick card, printouts, scissors and glue.
Download and print out images of pick axes, swords, bows and axes. Have the kids cut out 2 of their preference and glue one to a piece of card. Cut out the card and glue the second print on the back. They have now crafted their weapon.
Crafting – materials needed coloured paper, recipe cards and rewards
This game involves the children finding and collecting small squares of coloured paper and trading them in, in a particular way, to ‘craft’ an item. It can seem messy as you have to scatter the paper all over the yard but the kids will pick them all up on the hunt for whatever they want to craft.
To prepare for the game print and laminate or print on thick card/photo paper the recipe cards. They need to be durable because every child will be touching them. The recipe cards can be purchased here. Cut out a lot of little squares of different coloured paper to match the recipes and gather all the prizes you need.
The prizes used in this recipe pack are papercraft sets, bookmarks, stickers, cookies, cupcakes, key chains and potions.
Papercraft sets – just need to be downloaded and printed. The bookmarks are similar you just have to Google ‘free Minecraft bookmark’ and pick the ones you like to download, print and laminate.
Stickers- I used Vista Print and used images to create stickers from their range. They were cheap, quick and good quality.
Mini Poster – I designed and printed a mini subway art style poster and printed them on 5×7″ photo paper. You can download a copy of it by right click then saving the image below.
Cookies – A couple of packets of chocolate chip cookies takes care of these. We used giant ones to make it a bit more exciting.
Cake – we made cupcakes using this recipe and iced them white with red dots (you could use MnMs, smarties or cut squares with ready made icing).
Keychains – were ordered from Ninja Monkeys and were one of the 2 most popular items. Ninja Monkeys have a large range to choose from and while they did say we could pick our own set we just got a random selection. They arrived quickly and all the key chains were in perfect condition.
Potion bottles – were the other highly sought after item. I made them by colouring water and sealing it in a mini craft bottle then putting a tiny label on. I did 7 different ones – swiftness, strength, healing, fire resistance, water breathing, invisibility and night vision. I only made one bottle per child and if I was to do this again I’d make a whole set for each child. They cost less than $2 for a full set each so it’s worth it.
I limited how many potions, key chains and cakes they could craft to 1 of each but they could collect as many of the others as we had.
To set up the game have the paper all over the yard before guests arrive. Have a table set up with recipe cards taped to the front and the items lined up behind each card. Also have a ‘crating box’ where all papers can be returned.
To play the game kids collect the papers and bring them back to trade in for the item. They have to give the right number and colour pieces of paper to the adult before collecting their item. Have a bag or box for each child to put their items in as they collect them. Once everything has been mined or the kids are happy with their items the game is over. Send the kids to collect any last pieces of paper if they can see them and clean up is done too!
Construction – materials needed boxes, lots and lots of them, spray paint (optional)
Source as many boxes as you can before the day. Getting the same size helps in making large structures but isn’t necessary if you cant do that. Ask local shops that get frequent deliveries to hold the boxes for you for the few weeks before the party. We had over 100 boxes but the kids will use as many as you get and the more the merrier.
Assemble the boxes the day before because it is going to take awhile and if it’s not going to rain or frost then put them straight outside for a night. To make it even more fun you can spray paint the boxes to look like Minecraft blocks. Green on one side and slightly down the others makes a grass block. Random spots of gold, green, red, blue etc make gold, emerald, redstone and diamond, grey would be stone and so on. It’s a cool effect and we sprayed some but the kids don’t focus too much on what is on the boxes more how many they can gather and use.
Let the kids go crazy making their own buildings or set challenges for them to complete. They could have to make a maze or have 2 teams make the tallest tower, maybe they have to make a house and figure out a roof. The only real rule I suggest is that you cannot knock down someone else creation. It happens and when it’s on purpose there are big feelings and it can spoil the atmosphere.
If you want to provide an area where kids can go to settle down or that need a bit of quieter time, set a room with a TV and have it playing Minecraft You Tube clips and songs. There are so many on there, your child might even have favourites. Have cushions and blankets in the so they can just relax for a bit.
Make a life size version of a Minecraft cake to wow all the guests. Use our recipe and bake a circle cake. Once its cooled ice the top and halfway down the sides in white, you can even stagger the side icing for a ‘blockier’ effect. Pipe red squares in random places on the top or cut them from ready to roll icing and the cake is done! If you like to work with fondant then you can use white fondant to cover the top and cut in the square sides.
Party Bag / Thank you
In the same manner you decorated the door you can make party bags with an Enderman or Creeper face. If you’re keen you could use white ones and try a ghast or chicken, pink bags for pigs, green for a zombie etc. You just need the right base colour as the bag and use cardboard cut outs or print the face details and glue on.
You don’t need to fill them with anything if you do the crafting game as what they collect will be their loot to take home.
Start collecting all your boxes early. Keep them flattened until the day before the party so they take up less room.
Take the boxes to your local recycling centre as soon as you can afterwards. The last thing you need is 100 wet soggy boxes in your backyard (yes I talk from experience!)
Have an extra adult to help you run the crafting game. Having 10 or so kids all trying to craft at once can be full on and things will move faster with a second set of hands.
Have enough pairs of scissors so that each kid has one when you are weapon creating. It keeps things on track and kids don’t get impatient. Just borrow pairs from family and friends, there is no need to buy more.
Don’t over cater the food. I found the kids were too busy constructing to worry about eating much. Having the food between the crafting and constructing is a good point. It gives the kids a bit of a breather after the intense crafting session, because it will be intense.
Make sure you have enough items for everyone in the crafting game. Have extra of the printables or stickers so that kids who want to keep crafting for awhile can while others try to find their special pieces.
If you really want it to be like Minecraft you can print pages of stones images like the diamonds and stone blocks. Be aware uses a fair amount of ink if doing it at home and then you need to be a bit more careful when cutting. We have done the game both with printed stones and with coloured paper and just having the coloured paper didn’t decrease the games enjoyment at all.
In the pack there is a blank recipe card you could offer any reward item you like. Fun size chocolates, glow sticks, lolly pops the list is endless of what kids will like.
While you don’t have to be involved in constructing anything don’t leave the kids unsupervised outside. Things can become serious very fast. Keep an eye on the mood and if anyone’s structure has been accidently knocked over etc and intervene if necessary.
If parents want to stay have the help out with the supervising or crafting games. The more hands there are the easier it is on you.
To start planning your own Minecraft party you can download my easy to use planner with space for everything you need to track.