We had a Minecraft party for one of the kids and although I stole a lot of ideas from the internet a couple of original games and activities made it ours.
For instance from here http://www.buzzfeed.com/morganshanahan/birthday-party-ideas-that-will-blow-your-minecraft we took No. 6 Minecraft your windows and No. 16 Water blocks, neither of which worked out ;)
Also No. 18 Edible gems that was expensive for what it was but of course the kids loved the novelty, they tasted of nothing and had a funny rubbery texture, I really expected boiled sweets not jellies.
We did No. 26 Minecraft faces but with cut up paper not post-it notes and I wanted to do No. 27 Pin the tail on the [insert Minecraft creature], they suggest Pig we wanted Ender Dragon, but ran out of time.
We did like the food ideas from here http://parties4ever.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/minecraft-party.html like Cheese Lava
From here https://ichooseawesome.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/epic-minecraft-party/
I definitely took the Minecraft YouTube video idea which was a major hit! They also had the windows, food, Water and pixel masks.
I loved the Creeper cups from here http://abritofhappiness.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-fun-minecraft-party.html but the electrical tape or the cups made keeping them stuck on difficult. We also wanted to do the crispy coal but again ran out of time. With all the Creeper madness that is what we ended up doing as the cake design.
From there we got the "Potion of Healing" and TNT Diet Coke and Mentos. More on them below.
So what worked and what did not?
Well, we left this all the last minute and I was up to Early O'clock cutting/sticking and other preparation. So number one thing, get everything ready well in advance!
Minecraft music videos were a HUGE hit and a great help. There are hundreds of Minecraft music videos on YouTube and I downloaded about 25 of them. After reading in a blog that the language can be questionable I pre-screened all the videos and edited out the odd naughty bits. Then it was just a matter of showing them on the telly. I thought this would be so easy that I left it until the day of the party and then found all sorts of problems.
I had a Raspberry Pi
and I expected to install Kodi
(which is the new name for RASPMC) and then stream on to our Humax box. I had done it in the distant past and it had worked well. But, the Raspbian OS currently does/did not have Kodi so I just installed VLC. But the video quality was terrible, even though this was a Raspberry Pi
2 B with four processors and 1GB ram. I thought about buying a codec pack but then I remembered the Omxplayer
can run the full screen MP4s. Worked perfectly and I was able to run all the videos in a loop.
The pixel masks were hard work for me. I got a couple of big foam backing boards from Hobbycraft and a load of coloured paper and then spent some hours measuring and cutting to make sure everyone would be able to make an 8x8 mask. I was quite surprised how much the collection of 8-9 year old boys liked this activity with only one choosing not to take part and that may have been just because the room was so crowded. The kids loved being able to take them home at the end of the party.
The kids went absolutely nuts over the very simple water bottles that we had wrapped "Healing potion" labels around. Not one child complained that only water was on offer and many came back for multiple bottles during the day.
I had bought these two Minecraft paper kits to simply decorate the rooms, but there were so many bits to make we did not even open the big one until the party. Then the kids had lots of fun making blocks and items. This gave us something to shoot at with Nerf guns(had no Nerf bows). At the end the kids were able to take the blocks home. Strangely some kids found the waiting in line to shoot the guns to much and went off to make more blocks.
One of my original ideas that worked really well was Mine-Block-Race. Simple printed out six Minecraft block patterns with the names and thumb tacked them to six parts of the fence around the garden. Then with everybody in the middle rolled one of the Minecraft paper blocks that had written the name of the element, Gold, Iron, Stone, Creeper etc. Everyone ran to that poster and last one was eliminated. This got more involvement than any other activity and although we had only planned on one game the kids organised it to have extras, even though there was only ever one prize.
I have always wanted to try the Mentos and Diet Coke fountains and one of these party blogs mentioned marking the bottles as TNT. We used 500ml Diet Pepsi bottles with 3 mentos per child, this made a rather unimpressive 10-15cm burst and I thought the experiment was a bust. But, the kids loved it! FYI by hand we could not get more than three sweets into a bottle before it detonated.
Before we got to the food Sarah had suggested we get a movie to let the kids calm down and as the party was for four hours I had gone and bought the latest kids DVD Shawn the sheep. This film is quite slow and before 30mins half the kids had started an impromptu football match and I do not think anyone survived to the end.
Then the food. I had printed out lots of labels like "Sticks", "Lava" etc. that were in fact Twiglets and cheese cubes. To be honest I am not sure the kids noticed the labels were quite small. I really liked the idea of "Water cubes" made from blue jelly but 1) I added blue food dye to lemon jelly that made it a bit green and 2) we had no square bowls and 3) I forgot they were in the fridge :(
Finally the cake was just a sponge square with green pre-made icing and some black squares to make a Creeper face.
All in all everyone was very happy, Sarah and I were completely knackered and all the kids not only got a party bag but a Minecraft pixel mask and a few paper cubes.
So were are all the pictures? we were just to busy to take any!
Some printing and consolidation resources
FYI I had all the above links open in my browser for the week after the party in the vague hope I would write this blog post, and at least one of them used up serious amounts of CPU and memory. You have been warned!