In honor of yesterday being May 4th, official unofficial “Star Wars Day,” I present the first Birthday Basics party theme. You guessed it! Star Wars. May the Force Be with you!

We actually threw this party twice in our household, once for a ten-year old girl and again for a six-year-old boy eight months later. Remember to check out Birthday Basics: Don’t Break the Bank … or Your Brain, for some general party planning tips.

Invitations

I already mentioned I don’t spend a lot of effort on invitations. For my daughter, we handed out printed sheets with a picture of Princess Leia talking to R2-D2 that said  “Help me, [fill in name]. You’re our only hope.” My son isn’t allowed to pass out paper invites at school, so we did a generic space Evite.

dani invite

That being said, if you enjoy a more memorable invite, the Internet is full of them. I almost caved and made one I found with Obi-Wan fighting Vader that used Pixie Stix in the place of light sabers. It’s just so fun!

Decorations

Party stores stock plenty of Star Wars themed signs and hangings, but why not spend less money and make thing more unique?

IMG_2474 (2)Instead of buying the balloons with characters, we bought stars and silver circle mylar balloons from the dollar store. We drew the rebel sign (which is much easier than the Jedi sign) on them with permanent marker and stencils. This sounds more complicated than it looks. Recruit a few family members and you can finish in about ten minutes. Plus, mylar balloons stay up forever, so they can be done early. Use my favorite Internet tip to spread balloons through the party grounds. Tie the end of the ribbon around a golf tee then stick it into grass. Balloons can go anywhere this way!

We also bought glow-in-the-dark stars from the dollar store, drilled holes in them, and hung them using thread. We added printed cut outs of the movies’ most recognized ships, an X wing, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader’s TIE fighter, etc. By the time my son’s party rolled around, he had an amazing Star Wars themed paper airplane book, so we ditched the print outs and folded really cool paper airplanes in those shapes. For a focal point, I drew a giant rebel sign on poster board, cut it out, and painted it silver.

Of course, many of the things we used in Activities doubled as Decoration as well. Throw in the Star Wars gear any fan is sure to already have in bulk (like plastic light sabers, masks, or ships), some star garland and shiny star confetti and you’ve got a well outfitted party.

Food

I don’t do a lot of thematic foods, so our snacks didn’t really wow anyone. We did offer “Hutt Dogs” for the outside version of the party and we made sure to buy teddy grahams since they look just like Ewoks.

IMG_8472 (2)A few themed foods online really tempted me. I would have loved to make jello with a Han Solo “frozen” into the middle. How funny is that?  Also, someone spray painted water bottles gold and labeled them “C-3P0 oil.” They look amazing.

I usually try to do something cool for the cake because it can double as a “center piece” for the snack table. And let’s face it, I like the challenge. In this case, we dumped a Cocoa Rice Krispie Treat recipe into to glass bowls and made Ewok huts, skewered them, then tied on “bridges” out of material. It wasn’t “The Cake Boss” but the kids got the point. Then we used mini cookies and candy to decorate Ewok cupcakes. These cute faces went over especially well with the girls, who took about an hour to choose which one they wanted!

Activities:

If you are trying to keep things very simple, you only need one activity at a Star Wars party: pool noodle light sabers. Buy a bunch of the cheaper pool noodles, cut them in half, then use silver duct tape and electrical tapeIMG_8455 to make the ends look like light sabers. Both sets of kids got their hands on these and started epic battles. But no one got hurt because it’s only a piece of foam!

We added to the Jedi fun with the easiest Padawan costume ever. They were just rectangles of felt with a slit through about two-thirds of the middle. Put it over their shoulders, cross the two sections, and tie it with a strip of brown cotton. The girls got to make their own Padawan braids with clips and embroidery thread.

For my daughter’s party, we needed more of a Leia presence, so we came up with a “spying game.” It went over so well, my son wanted it at his party, too. I drew “Death Star Plans” on a huge sheet of paper, then cut it up. For the party, we hid the pieces all over. As the girls found the pieces, they put them into an R2-D2 trash can I painted. IMG_2181a(Disclaimer: I was willing to spend time painting it because I knew they’d like it in their room. If only for a party, this is definitely not worth it!) At piñata time, we took the pieces out to recreate the plans then plan an attack on the Death Star piñata.

Let me just say I’m not a big fan of piñatas! One year, our stick broke and flew off into the crowd, so I refuse to have piñata hitting at any of our parties. This year, I made the Death Star by putting to plastic bowls together, cutting a hole in the bottom of one, and then painting it. After shoving candy through the hole, I covered it with a thin layer of tissue paper that the kids’ annihilated with squirt guns. The worse thing that could happen is someone gets wet! And I can sleep that night!

The Star Wars universe offers so many ideas. Even non-fans had a great time. If you start down the path, be forewarned, you will just keep thinking of fun things to do. Figure out what parts are really important to your kids and go with it!! Enjoy your partying!