I was unsure if we’d be able to throw a birthday party for Travis this year, in the era of Covid-19. Luckily things in our state have reached a place where it was safe to invite a few close friends and hold a largely outdoor party. I was thrilled we could make this happen, not least because of all the parties I’ve planned, this was by far the most fun. Even grown-ups can geek out to Star Wars!
Of course things all start with the invitation. For a boy who loves the Dark Side, there was no doubt that this invite had to feature Darth Vader. We found the perfect template on Etsy.
Next we needed our intergalactic outfits. The birthday boy had a t-shirt from the new ‘Mandalorian’. A Baby Yoda print dress was just right for little sister. Meanwhile I decided to avoid the obvious route (cough: Leia buns) and be the whole galaxy instead, in a dress also from Etsy.
Dad’s shirt even featured Boba Fett!
Decorations were easy because Star Wars spans entire aisles of party stores. We had black and silver balloons, and a franchise tablecloth and plates.
For lightsaber napkins, I purchased a downloadable template (also Etsy). Wrap these around blue and red napkins as lightsaber hilts!
We had so much fun using Travis’s collection of Star Wars toys among the decor. Taller action figures held the balloons, while smaller ones dotted the empty spaces on the table.
The biggest expense for the whole party was a printed backdrop (again from Etsy), with the Death Star and Travis’s name. This was perfect for photo ops for each guest in front of the evil empire!
Star Wars also lends itself to lots of fun with food. For a late afternoon party, we served only light snacks (which was also much easier to manage while adhering to social distancing). We included Jabba Juice…
For dessert, we served chocolate cupcakes from Rubicon Bakery (available at Whole Foods), in Dark Side dark chocolate of course. I also baked Darth Vader cookies using this recipe. You’ll need to invest in a Vader cookie cutter for this one, but if your kids love Star Wars as much as mine, you’ll get ample use out of it.
Now on to the games! When the guests arrived, I welcomed them seriously to Jedi training academy. Each guest colored in a cardboard tube with markers for a light saber.
Oh no, they were under attack! I had invested in a bubble machine and it was time to pop those bubbles, er, buzz droids.
I then handed each guest a super battle droid (a.k.a. a balloon inflated with air, not helium) with the goal to keep it afloat with their lightsaber. Now that their training was complete, it was time to hit the Death Star.
This homemade cornhole was thanks to an artistic set of grandparents! See Darth Vader peeking over the top?
Next, for the perfect, socially-distanced version of tag, the kids played Jedi splash tag. To play, give one player a spritz bottle. He or she is the Jedi. The rest of the guests are Sith. Stand in the center of the playing area and have an adult say, “May the Force be with you!”. The kids scatter and the Jedi tries to spritz the others. Last player to get wet is the winner!
We headed inside for refreshments and more games. You can download Star Wars bingo cards for free and then print with vivid colors on thick cardstock at a local print shop.
Then it was Pin-the-Ears-on-Yoda! Again, many thanks to grandma for this one, with ears cut from green cardstock.
Winners of the games received a Mandalorian coloring book.
Don’t let guests leave without their Star Wars goodie bags. We used 16 oz kids’ cups as the packaging, and included Star Wars Pez dispensers, franchise stickers, additional “chew”bacca candies, and an inflatable lightsaber.
Now may the Force be with you!