Dragons have fascinated the young and the old for centuries. These days, dragons can be found in books, movies, toys, video games and kids' fast food meals. So it’s no wonder that dragons are a favorite party theme for kids. Planning a dragon birthday party should not be a difficult quest. It simply involves some creativity and imagination.
There are several options when designing an inexpensive dragon-party invitation, and each involves some card stock or construction paper, glue, markers and your imagination.
Create a castle invitation by cutting a piece of construction paper into a castle shape and folding the sides together to create a “castle door.” Decorate the outside of the castle by drawing windows (be sure to include the shape of a dragon in one of the windows), and write the party details inside.
Another option is to create a dragon invitation out of green card stock. Cut the card stock in half length-wise, and then fold it in half hamburger-style. This will create a folded card that’s 4 X 5 ½ inches. This is your dragon’s mouth. Cut a curve in the end of the mouth, and cut two “humps” at the top for dragon eyes. Glue eyeballs and nostrils on the outside and teeth and a tongue on the inside. Write the party information inside the dragon’s mouth.
When decorating for a dragon party, think dragon’s lair or castle. Hang some brown and black streamers from the ceiling to make the room feel like a cave. Put some large yellow flames on the wall using yellow and black construction paper.
For a castle look, hang some large cardboard windows to look like the inside of a castle. Have guests wade through green, black and yellow balloons on the floor as if they are crossing the moat to the castle. Put some toy dragons and horses around the room as well.
If you have a large appliance box, have your child create a castle out of it. Decorate the castle inside and out, and have guests take turns exploring inside.
As soon as guests start to arrive, hand each of them a toy sword and lead them through the castle to the table. Have some medieval music playing in the background to set the mood. Get the guests started on their craft and snacks right away. Most guests should arrive within the first 15 minutes of the party. Allow another 15 to 20 minutes for them to make their craft and eat their snacks.
Your guests will arrive with a dragon-sized appetite, so provide some snacks related to the dragon theme. Chicken wings with ranch dipping sauce are always popular. Other ideas include sandwiches cut into the shape of dragons, fruits and vegetables with toothpick swords and even goldfish crackers (for friendly dragons to eat). Provide some inexpensive plastic goblets for guests to drink their knight’s ale (ginger ale, fruit punch, and rainbow sherbet).
Keep crafts simple and easy. They should take no more than 15 minutes to make, and materials should be easy to clean up. Dragon sock puppets are a great idea because guests will be given a toy sword when they arrive, so they can create their own dragon to slay.
To make the puppets, each child gets an adult-sized green sock. Provide some wiggly eye stickers, some felt (black, white and red), glue, glitter, scissors and markers. Show them how to cut out scales, horns, nostrils, etc. from the felt and glue it to the sock to create their very own dragon. Don’t forget a long red tongue.
As soon as craft time is finished, move the kids to another area to play games. While they are playing, an adult can clean off the table to prepare for the cake. Games should be easy to understand and simple to organize. No more than three or four games are needed. They should last about 10 minutes each.
If your guests are knights, have them compete in some “quests” such as a ring toss onto a toy sword, a scavenger hunt looking for treasure or a relay race to rid the castle of dragon’s eggs.
For a Knight relay race you will need two spoons, two bowls and some plastic Easter eggs. Divide the guests into two teams. The first person from each team must carry the egg in the spoon across the room and drop it in a bowl. They then run back and give the spoon to the next player, who must carry another egg. The first team to get 10 eggs in the bowl wins.
If your guests are dragons, they can do a wheelbarrow race across the moat to capture the princess. Put them in pairs and have one child hold the other’s legs. They race across the room toward a doll that’s the princess. The first pair to reach the princess wins!
Another dragon game is hot potato. Have guests sit in a circle. Play some party music while they pass around a stuffed animal or other object that the dragon has set on fire. When the music stops, the child left holding the object is out, and play continues until only one child is left.
When the games are over, it’s time for cake. Gather guests back to the table to sing Happy Birthday to the guest of honor. A homemade dragon cake is not difficult to make. It just takes some creativity and patience. It will take three boxes of cake mix: two round cakes and one set of cupcakes. The first round cake is the dragon’s body. The second cake should be cut in half in a yin-yang shape to make two swirls. The first swirl is the dragon’s tail, and the other is the dragon’s neck. Arrange the cupcakes to make the dragon’s head and feet.
Decorate the dragon with green frosting, white eyes and a red tongue. Finally, arrange Hershey’s Kisses across the back for the dragon’s scales.
Guests should never leave empty-handed. Your dragon goodie bag should include a sword for slaying dragons, a small stuffed dragon to slay, beads and rings for treasures.