My son Zander just turned 7 and chose the ever popular Skylanders for the theme. Skylanders has been around a little while now and there have been 3 versions released thus far: Spyro's Adventure, Giants, and Swap Force. He wasn't particular about which version so we just did a general Skylanders theme.
There are lots of resources online for anyone wanting to plan a party with this theme. There is even a guide made by Skylanders. I looked around on several different sites and blogs and took ideas from various ones. Among those that were most helpful were: http://www.skylanders.com/content/dam/atvi/skylanders/giants/funstuff/Skylanders_Party_Guide.pdf , http://prettyperfectpartyideas.com/2013/07/26/skylander-birthday-party-2/ , http://www.skylandsandbeyond.com/Buy-Skylander-Giants-Birthday-Party-Invitations-Personalized.html , and http://pluckingdaisies.com/ultimate-list-of-skylanders-party-ideas/
Now that credit has been given where its due, lets get to the 'ible.
Step 1: The plan
In skylanders, the characters are broken into groups by elements. There are 8 elements: fire, water, earth, air, undead, magic, tech, and life. So the plan is to have 8 games, one for each element.
I saw several different ways to do this in my research (fancy, make you feel smart word). Some gave prizes after every game, some gave small trinkets after every game and a big prize at the end, and some gave only one prize at the end. I settled on the following:
Make each child a Passport with all the element symbols on it (thanks to the original thinker of this). They wear it as a necklace throughout the party and upon completion of a game get that element punched out with a hole puncher to mark progress. When all 8 games have been played and all 8 elements have been punched, they collect their prize. The prize idea came from one of the sites I mentioned previously and was an awesome idea so I used it. I wont go into depth in this step but know of its greatness to come!
Now that we have our basic plan in place we need to start planning the details.
First lets start with printed stuff.