This party is proof that girls can like Star Wars just as much as the boys do. It's also proof at the research a mom will go through. My daughter really wanted a Star Wars party and originally this was to be the year of the easy party and my husband couldn't wait! She had wanted a Jedi on Skates sort of ordeal, and as perfect as that sounded, and as restricted as I would have been on the planning, we discovered the skating rink is not open during the summer. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! But the owner was not willing to work with me. Oh well. Mommy planned party it was! And Daddy cried.
After that, we considered a Darkside party or Jedi Training Academy. My husband informed us we could not have a Darkside party, even if our daughter was dressing up as Darth Vader, so I knew our Jedi Training would have to have a few touches of the Darkside. It did help that our daughter was part of the Jedi Training Academy at Disney Hollywood Studios during spring break while at Disney, and she defeated Darth on stage, so that helped put her in the mood.
I researched the Jedi process and found a lot more information online than I ever thought was possible! I found the process from youngling to Padawan learner to Jedi Training. And I decided that although we were running an accelerated Jedi program, it would indeed be an authentic one. But the child would not let me make robes. She stated they were “unnecessary.” But I found other ways to strive for authenticity. So I spent months sewing, gluing, cutting, and typing.
Normally I make my own invitations, but I knew my time would be limited with work, so I went ahead and did something I never thought I would do- I bought them offline. But the design on Princess and the Peas was similar to what I would have done, so it was well worth the $20 for the digital file, just to save me the time. Then I had them printed off at Sam’s for 0.38 a piece! (Which is a steal!) I also bought Star Wars stamps off of Ebay and put a Star Wars magnet in each envelope.
We rented the local community center for the day because I thought the gym would be perfect, and it was. Although I was going to build Mos Eisley in the back room, and that room was disgusting and covered in fruit flies (I’m not kidding), so we had to move it to the gym as well. So went my idea of closing off the gym and introducing it after taking them to the Cantina. But as the kids entered the building, we had Boba Fett’s Bounty where gifts could go and Jedi Check-In. A lot of the kids came as I was stocking the Cantina and they sat on the bleachers inside the gym and could clearly see that something was going to be happening in the gym. I waited until most of the kids arrived, which put us a bit later, but that was okay. The kids were very patient and incredibly enthusiastic. I informed them all that they weren’t dressed properly so I needed them to follow me.
I took them back out to the lobby and to Jedi Check-in and they could see the Jedi Tunics hanging. I also had a bunch of ropes and scissors and assured them I wasn’t tying them up, except at the waist. We got all the kids dressed, except two little girls. One informed me “but I’m not a Jedi, I’m Princess Leia.” We also had two toddlers dressed up.
We went back into the gym through the Cantina door (there were two doors) and I asked the kids if they were ready to eat, but NO ONE wanted to go to the Cantina yet. They knew something better was on the horizon, so I told them we had to leave then. This confused my mother-in-law the most, at least according to my husband. So I took them back out in the hall and then talked to them a bit about the Jedi process, and then took them through the other door where a blue path started. I had a huge roll of blue craft paper that I put down on the floor for our Jedi destiny path. I explained that they were all younglings and to there was a paper that explained that younglings had to show they could control the force and wield a lightsaber. I handed them “blue devices” from my Jedi messenger bag I made for the party, and my father in law had found these at a cave auction. They were blue foil and you pull both strings and spin them, so I thought they’d be perfect for this task. Once they completed this task, I had them put their devices in their goody bags which were clonetroopers on one side and their name in a Jedi font on the other. Then each youngling wielded a light saber and off we went as Padawan learners to build our own lightsaber.
Padawan Learners wear braids on the right side of their heads, which are later cut off with a lightsaber once they become Master Jedi. I made these out of brown yard, miniature rubber bands, and hair clips. I placed them on a card with punched holes. On each card, I had the printed out story of the Padawan braid so their fathers would all know later why their sons have hairclips.
Now I KNEW this would be messy, but I really, really wanted to do it anyway. I had heated up white almond bark prior to the party and it was in a slowcooker, and a bit charred on the bottom to be truthful, but I poured it into four different old jelly glasses, dyed it four different colors- purple, red, blue, green, and the kids took pretzel rods and dipped their sticks and then set them on their plates that they stuck a nametag to with their printed name, and then they covered them with their choice of sprinkles- red, green, blue, purple, and then we let them dry before putting them in pretzel rod bags and again labeling the bags before putting them in their goody bags.
Now this is the only thing I would have done differently. Before having the kids sit down, I would have them tell me which color they wanted their lightsaber to be THEN set them down according to color and stick them in that section. But instead, we sat down, labeled our plates, then I realized it wouldn’t work, had them get back up and line up in front of their choice of color, then sit down to decorate and it worked, but the other way would have worked more smoothly. But again, I knew it’d be a mess, but I really wanted to do it anyway.
Now we could start the Jedi Trials! Jedi Trial #1 was the Trial of Skill. (First, I helped choose all the tasks, but my daughter chose which Trial they’d fit under.) The questions for this one was -Can you get Yoda safely across on your back? I had a green bucket that I gave Yoda ears to and inside were little felt Yodas and had tags that read, “____’s, Yoda this is.” I wanted to make this game that I thought of one day while driving, but I have a fear of lice, so instead of buying the Yoda pillow like I thought about, I made them. They had to crawl across a rolled up green throw on the ground. The kids were excited and everyone passed with flying colors.
Trial #2- Trial of Courage- Can you get past these Stormtroopers? Use Teamwork!
I had blown up lots of white balloons and drew Stormtrooper face son each and the object was to pop them all using any means necessary. Meanwhile, the Imperial March was playing, although we started it late.
Trial #3- Trial of Flesh-Can you handle facepainting?
Our favorite facepainter Pixie came and brought along choices of Star Wars themed faces! We had several Queens, DeathStars, Stormtroopers, and one Darth Maul, which was my child. For the record, Darth Maul scares me. This took a while, but the kids were fabulous and the facepainter is actually really quick.
Trial #4- Trial of Spirit- Can you use the force on Darth Vader?
We had a pullstring Darth Vader piñata and I had the kid gather around it and each had a string and we pulled all at the same time. Now on this activity, we also had a sign that reminded our Padawan Learners that Jedi are considerate of others, especially younglings, they share, they never take from others, and they only take what they need. I think the kids took this seriously. Inside the piñata, we stuffed pixie sticks, magnets and pencils from clearanced Star Wars Valentines from the past two years, star shaped silly bands, bouncy balls, poppers, and those pen bracelets from the 80s. The poppers and pens were from Oriental Trading’s “less than perfect” section, but they were great! Because of something that had happened the past two years, I also had a bag hidden of extra piñata goodies, and dispersed those evenly as I saw fit. Inside that bag were Starbursts, more star silly bands, pencils, bouncy balls, Star Wars fruit rollups, Star Wars fruit snacks, Star Wars chocolate coins, and whatever else was leftover from the piñata. The kids used their Clonetrooper bags for this. And not all of the handles held up, but they still worked!
Trial #5- Trial of Insight or Knowledge- Can you answer some questions?
I asked the kids just a couple things- who they carried on their backs, if they had fun, and if they were ready to eat. Then I passed out their graduation certificates and I almost forgot about cutting off their braids with a lightsaber, but luckily my neighbor remembered and he handled this task.
The Cantina- I had a second CD player over here and it kept playing the Cantina Band music and Weird Al’s “The Saga Begins,” both purchased from Amazon. On the Cantina table, I had this gold fabric on the table, a “No Droids” sign, a vase with the Cantina Band made from wooden spoons, and all the drinks- Vaderade, Jedi Juice, C3Po H2O, and Yoda Soda. I would’ve personally made the C3PO oil, but my daughter wanted the H2O after she caught my looking at something similar on Pinterest. I was still going to spray paint the bottles gold either way. I made most of those labels myself, except the Vaderade. I would’ve made those, but a nice lady had them available on her site for free, so I went ahead and saved myself some time.
The place had a rule of NO TAPE on the walls or any surface (boo!), so I couldn’t put up a backdrop. Since it’s a gym, the ceiling is also incredibly high, so I couldn’t hang anything. I was sad, but I made the dessert table the best I could anyway. We had Leia Buns (I also used those labels off of a blog site), Jedi Truffles (I made oreo truffles, dyed the almond bark blue, and used edible Stars and foil mini cupcake liners from Hobby Lobby), Star Wars marshmallow pops, cupcakes from Sam’s (and boy was that frosting BRIGHT), a Deathstar cake I made, which I nearly destroyed (ball cakes ROLL), labels I held up using Duplos, and Wookiee cookies which were chocolate Teddy Grahams inside snack sized Ziploc bags.
Then an extra Mommy touch- We had a “Come to the Darkside, we have chocolate” bar. We had edible tiefighters out of marshmallows and graham crackers, Obi Wan Fruit Kabobs with grapes, strawberries, and pineapple, Boba Gum, and Han Solo in Choco-nite, which nearly melted completely on me. Then of course, the chocolate fountain and more marshmallows.
The tables had silver tablecloths with blue runners made from the craft paper, silver square plates with Lego star Wars plates on top, both Lego Star Wars napkins and napkin lightsabers, and little signs inside IKEA frames in the middle of the tables.
We ate, sang to the Birthday girl, passed out ice cream cups (which we forgot to do last year) and then brought in the gift table. The Birthday girl was quiet, so I brought the CD player to her with the microphone. Her friend held the microphone like a future broadcast journalist and The Birthday girl kept slowly backing under the table until I shoved everyone back again.
When it was time for everyone to leave, I passed out lightsabers bought from PremierGlow for $2.30 or so a piece. They were awesome. They changed colors and made sounds! Some of the kids naturally had to start fighting each other, but at that point, it was time to go home, so I wasn’t nearly as worried. It was a lot of work, but it was an amazing day and I am incredibly proud of how well it all went together. But I must say, I couldn't have done it all Saturday without the help of my friend Angie and my husband. May the force be with you!
Deathstar cake for The Redhead- which I actually did destroy right before the party. Cakes shaped like balls roll, just so you know.
Their clonetrooper bags which they put their "blue devices" in, their Padawan braids, their Yodas, anything from the pinata, their graduation certificates, and anything from the food tables that they could fit inside. They also received lightsabers before leaving and they kept their tunics.
Activities / Games
Jedi Training Academy!
The enthusiasm of all the kids- especially the Birthday Girl!
K, a toddler, had a ton of fun destroying anything she could get her hands on. It was so cute! She also loved the music.
Most Touching Moment
T told me that she wouldn't wear a tunic because she's not a Jedi, she's Princess Leia.
Darth Bailey, naturally.
What People Ate
Leia Buns, Boba Gum, Cupcakes, Obi-Wan Kabobies, Han Solo in Choco-nite, tiefighters, Jedi Truffles, Wookiee Cookies, marshmallows, and marshmallow pops.
What People Drank
Vaderade, Jedi Juice, C-3PO H2O, and Yoda Soda