Welcome, knights of the realm!
That was how the guests of my son's birthday party were heralded in this morning. My little knight turns 6 tomorrow, but today was the day we celebrated.
Here is the invitation each guest received by email:
As the knights arrived, each was given a shield to paint. I had researched each family's heraldry, and had the appropriate colors and images available. After the shields were painted, the heraldic images were attached using just wet paint - no need for glue! Swords, tunics and helmets were then handed out. I made the swords using instructions from "Knight and Castle Things to Make and Do" by Usborne. The helmets were made from a pattern on the Cleveland Museum of Art website.
Don't these little knight's look remarkably handsome?
After the quick photo-op, I jumped right into my character; announcing "To test your loyalty to the king, you must seek and find the royal treasure! Twelve gold coins have been lost and must be returned to the king, time is of the essence! Go and return quickly before the king's anger is aroused!" The boys were directed to another room to hunt for twelve coins...I had only hidden 11, but it didn't matter; they only found 9! lol
I then proclaimed, "You have failed in your quest to return the gold! The king has ordered that you be shackled! But all is not lost, if you can escape your chains and help your brothers in knighthood escape theirs also, you will pass the test of honor." A black balloon was then tied to each knight's ankle (think ball & chain.) They had to help each other pop the balloons to be free. I wish I had gotten a photo of this, but the action was just too fun for me to remember a camera! lol They of course LOVED this (whereas when we played a similar game at my daughter's 7th birthday, the girls did NOT like the game at all!)
We continue the story with..."A daring escape! This display of honor to your brothers shall be rewarded henceforth! What is that I see? Could it be the twelfth coin? It is!" I show a coin at this point, and no one comments that it came from my pocket...or that it really wasn't the twelfth coin at all! "Your honor and loyalty are commendable, but are you brave and skillful enough to storm the castle ruins and rescue the fair maiden?" They were actually following my dialog and all declared "YES!" I explained, "With this slingshot, take careful aim! Knock down a parapet from atop the wall - only then will you be able to tunnel under the castle ruins, slay the evil dragon, rescue the maiden from the dungeon beyond and make your escape through the moat at the back of the castle ruins! Return the maiden to the king and your skill and bravery shall be richly rewarded!"
I had set up an obstacle course of sorts...our big screen tv box became the castle wall. I set four gallon milk jugs with a square of gray paper attached to each across the top to be the parapets. The tunnel was a quilt over the backs of two couches. After that they had use their swords to pop bubbles that the girls were blowing, then make their way around the couch to an overturned mini laundry basket.
Atop the basket was a "dragon" (really a plastic dinosaur) and inside the basket a fair maiden (my daughter's doll) waited to be rescued. Once that task was completed, the knights "snuck" out of the back of the castle but were faced with the moat - enclosed area of blue balloons. They had to sit on the balloons to pop them!
Of course, that was another extremely fun activity for the boys and they popped all 15 balloons we had blown up!
I then knighted each boy...
By then everyone had worked up quite an appetite! The cake was revealed, and everyone was so excited to see this dragon cake! (You can make one too, with directions from Family Fun magazine online.)
We all had SO much fun, and we finished up with gifts for the birthday boy...he is still playing with them 8 hours later! OMGoodness, we had to practically drag him outdoors earlier to play with an afternoon visitor! And because he is SO my son, he will not mix his toys, but required no less than four plastic containers and one large container to hold them all! We then arranged his bedroom so that he could continue to play in there after daddy arrived home!
Thanks to all the moms who wrote into BirthdayPartyIdeas.com and shared their ideas, which helped me to make my son's day absolutely wonderful! Another thank you to all the moms who came today and shared the morning with me! (I'd love to hear what your son's favorite part of the party was...or just his thoughts in general!)