A popular theme for child birthday parties is Star Wars. Whether emulating the original 1970's George Lucas films or drawing from the newer prequels or animated series, a Star Wars birthday party is great for any child with a love of space adventure. Infuse the invitations, cake, snacks, and activities with aspects of these classic science fiction movies. Also remember that a Star Wars party would not be complete without character costumes! Face painting, Jedi lessons, and pictures with space backdrops are also fun activities for kids and adults to enjoy.
For parents or family members without Star Wars knowledge, familiarize yourself with the main characters or at least the most recognizable ones. The main human characters in Star Wars are Luke, Han Solo, Princess Leia, evil Darth Vader and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. The main robotic and animal characters are furry sidekick Chewbacca, beeping robot R2D2, golden robot C-3PO, and Yoda. Other popular characters that appear in one or more of the films include Princess Amidala, young Darth Vader (then known as Anakin Skywalker), clumsy Jar Jar Binks, gangster Jabba the Hut, evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious and Darth Maul, known for his painted red and black face.
Invitations are a great way to inform the guests about the party theme. Purchase pre-printed invitations at any local card store or get creative with the home printer. Tell the guests to arrive in character costumes or give them a list of activities to expect in order to dress appropriately. Start the invitation like the movie with, "In a galaxy far, far away" and include phrases like "report for Jedi Training" or ask that the birthday child "needs your help to save Princess Leia." For easy directions, tie Star Wars themed balloons outside on your mailbox or front door.
Face painting is an excellent way to incorporate Star Wars into an activity. Paint a full face using red and black paint for Darth Maul, brown and black for Chewbacca or metallic gold for robotic C-3PO. For those who are artistic or up for a challenge, watch a face painting tutorial online and make sure to practice a few times before the party. Temporary character tattoos placed on their cheek or the hands leaves a fun, multi-day mark of the event. For younger children, provide crayons and Star Wars coloring books. Each child gets a book color at the party and take home afterwards.
Since most parts of the movies take place in space or on foreign alien planets, use this element in your activities and decorations. Hang movie posters around the area of the party to help the children get in the spirit. Rent or make costumes for adults or pay actors to wear them around the party. If the children are young enough, they might believe that the person in the costume is the actual character. Bring a Polaroid camera and take pictures of each child with their favorite character for instant souvenirs. Provide each child with a fun frame to place their photo in or have them make the frame out of craft supplies like popsicle sticks and pom poms. Take the photo up a notch by adding a Star Wars themed backdrop, such as a poster of space or an alien planet.
Most party supply stores carry Star Wars themed goodies such as printed plates, cups, napkins and banners. Serving cake on plates with character faces will have the kids that much more excited. The cake is the perfect place to show some real creativity. On top, include a picture of the birthday child dressed as their favorite Star Wars character. This can be drawn in icing or printed out on edible photograph paper. You can make a cake in the shape of a character, like Yoda's unique head or Princess Leia's signature braided buns. You could also order a chocolate chip cookie cake with icing images of the Death Star, Millennium Falcon space ship, or asteroids.
There are many alternatives to the traditional birthday cake. Cupcakes are a great option that limit portion size and ensures each child gets an equal amount. Decorate the cupcakes with green frosting for Yoda or black for Darth Vader. You could also give guests plain or vanilla frosted cupcakes or sugar cookies to decorate themselves. Provide small, multicolored icing tubes that are easily squeezed. This might get messy so keep plenty of Star Wars napkins nearby.
Decorate the cake table with Star Wars actions figures, available at most toy stores. The figures double as decoration and toys for the guests to play with as they create or reenact their favorite scene from the movies. Throughout the party, kids love to snack. Create chocolate lightsabers by pouring melted chocolate into molds and refrigerating overnight. Take popcorn and sprinkle powdered drink mix over it to turn it blue or green for alien space popcorn. For a healthy alternative, celery and peanut butter can create the lightsaber shape and a bowl of honeydew can act as alien green food.
A popular weapon in the Star Wars movies is the lightsaber. These long, illuminated sword-like rods can be purchased from most toy stores or emulated with colorful foam pool noodles. Give each child a noodle, or light saber, and hold a Jedi Master class to teach children how to "use the force." Hooded robes are traditionally worn by Jedi Knights, so make sure your birthday boy or girl is properly dressed for the occasion. Another great physical activity is breaking a piñata. Create or order a paper mache piñata of the evil Death Star or Darth Vader's Helmet. With proper adult supervision, the kids will love destroying the evil forces with their lightsaber and defeating the bad guys using "the Force."
A Star Wars party would not be complete without the iconic theme music. Download the song and play it while the guests enter the party or use the music to start a fun activity like a scavenger hunt. Give your Jedi Knights a mission, like rescuing Princess Leia by finding and destroying the asteroids floating in space, or candy hidden in dark colored balls out in the backyard. The hunt provides physical activity and mental stimulation.
All of these ideas are fun ways to incorporate Star Wars into a birthday party to remember. With a creative cake, active games and arts and crafts goodies to take home, everyone will have a great time. May the Force be with you!