Intro: Castle Crashers Party
My nephew's current favorite is the PS3 game Castle Crashers. He loves it and the rest of the family is starting to get hooked as well.
When I first asked my nephew what kind of party he wanted for his birthday, I was hoping he'd say something easy. But he immediately said "Castle Crashers!" So after a little bit of online research and playing the actual game, I figured I could do something fun for him. I had always wanted to make a piñata, so this turned out to be my dream come true!
But what's Castle Crashers, you say?? It's an awesome addictive adventure game where you play a knight that has to battle the ultimate evil wizard and save the princess.
I'll show you how to make your very own Evil Wizard piñata, Castle Crasher knight masks, and poster banners in the theme of Castle Crashers.
And, if you're not a huge fan of the game, you could easily customize the piñata to something else your child likes. I hope this tutorial is helpful to those of you who have the headache of planning a kid's party.
Step 1: PiÃ±ata
There are plenty of tutorials online for making your own piñata, so I won't really go into all the details. I used an assortment of sites but here is a simple recipe: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/papermache/a/nocookpmpaste.htm
Basically, you'll need:
- newspaper/circulars/plain paper strips
You'll also need at least 24 hours for the piñata to dry completely. After making a basic piñata, let dry in a safe place. When all the insides are dry, you can start painting it. As you can see, my piñata was white because I read a great tip online that said you should use white paper strips for the last layer, so that you can paint the piñata more easily (rather than have to paint a white layer to cover the newspaper).
1. Make piñata.
2. Dry piñata for 24 hours
3. Cut 3 slits and fill with small and light candy/toys/stickers/etc. Add some filler paper for balance and stuffing.
4. Tape the slit opening closed with masking tape. (Do not use smooth clear tape because you won't be able to paint on it)
5. Cut 3 small holes, insert string, knot the inside, and tie together on outside to hang piñata.
6. Sketch your drawing onto piñata with pencil.
7. Paint the piñata with poster or acrylic paint.
8. Let dry.
9. Hang piñata at party with strong rope or from a strong support pole.
10. Go crazy!
Can I use Bisquick instead of flour for piñata?
You have no idea how unprepared I was. Three days before the party, I had to get the piñata done, and all I had was an unknown flour container. After scouring the internet, and finding no definitive answer about using Bisquick for papier-mâché, I decided to go ahead. Turns out, it was indeed a container of Bisquick, and it made for a very yellow and thick, lumpy paste. That, and it made me feel like having pancakes at 1 in the morning. So now, I can say the difference is mainly that Bisquick makes a lumpy piñata, and there will be more lumps and bumps on the piñata (which adds more character, of course). Also, it gives the final product a yellowish color.
So, there you have it.
INTERNET: Thank you for coming! YES! You can use Bisquick instead of flour for piñatas and papier-mâché!
And lastly, most importantly, remember that the whole point of piñatas is that they get smashed around and destroyed by wild little beasts for the wondrous treasures that await inside.
So don't fall in love with your beautiful creation and don't cry. Or go ahead and make a piñata for keeps!
Step 2: Cake
What's a party without cake, right??
For his class party, I made individual chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting.
For the piñata party, I made a small layer cake version.
To make it extra fancy, I made customized Castle Crashers cupcake picks.
To make customized cupcake picks, you'll need:
- pictures laid out in Microsoft Word or Photoshop
- toothpicks, flat or round are fine
- white labels or sticker sheets
- white cardstock
Print the fronts on labels, and the backs on cardstock. Then all you have to do is cut out the shapes, place toothpick in the middle, and attach fronts and backs together.
Step 3: Masks
To make Castle Crashers paper masks:
- paper plates
- black marker
1. Get paper plates
2. Cut off four sides as indicated
3. Draw knight's helmet onto mask
4. Cut out eye holes and pierce two holes on sides
5. Attach two pieces of string through holes and let kids use crayons to color masks
You can use this idea to make any kind of mask you can think of. This is a great activity for kids to do at the beginning of the party, so that they can get settled in while waiting for any latecomers. Also, it gets them a bit more into the party, especially if they're shy.
I also hand-drew some characters on leftover labels for the kids to decorate as their own name tags. The little ones were so into it that they all wanted to color more name tags.
These paper plate masks are great because they're lightweight and kids won't have trouble breathing while wearing it. As for visibility, I advise you to make the eye holes bigger, and just be careful with younger kids.
Step 4: Music
Set up party music to help guests get into party mode. We used an iPad to play music, but you can use any method you like (iPod/MP3 player hooked up to portable speakers, laptop, walkman... etc). The music of choice was Castle Crashers' theme music, of course.
Here's the playlist I used:
Just keep the music playlist on a loop during the party so you have one less thing to worry about.
Step 5: Party Time!
Paint letters in the Castle Crashers themes: Green Red Blue Yellow
I sewed little bags with each guest's initial on it and they used it for collecting all the piñata loot and holding their masks as well.
Have an adult play and pause the music for this game.
Kids dance and move around wildly while music plays.
When the music stops, everyone has to freeze.
Whoever is caught still moving when music stops is kicked out.
Continue playing until last kid left becomes winner.
Steal the Ball Race:
Place a ball at the finish line. Use timer and record individual times.
Each child races down an obstacle course (mini road cones),
picks up the ball, and races back to the start line. The child with fastest time wins.
Balloon Sandwich Race:
Inflate several balloons, and let children pair up for teams.
Mark a start and finish line, and have two pairs line up at start.
Each pair faces each other and sandwiches the balloon between their chests.
They can link arms but cannot use hands to hold balloon.
The teams must race to the finish line first without popping the balloon.
(Even number of people)
Everyone stands in a wide circle, then steps in, extends one hand to someone.
Hold someone's right hand in a handshake. Then extend left hands out
and hold someone ELSE's left hand in a handshake. When everyone is tangled,
try to figure out how to untie the knots without letting go of anyone's hands.
Passing the Smile:
(Like Hot Potato)
Sitting down in a circle, pass around a ball or small object.
Whoever holds the object can smile. Everyone else must frown or be sad.
If anyone not holding the "smile" smiles, they are out. Last one remaining wins.
Let birthday child go first. Let each child have two tries and then keep going around
until piñata breaks and all the loot falls out. Let children scramble for all the prizes,
but keep an eye out for the little kids.
Step 6: Final Notes
This is the schedule I used, and it was very useful during the party. Most people like to make birthday parties short and smooth. Giving the kids too much time on one game usually leads to boredom and kids will slowly lose interest in the main activity. This is more than enough time for each activity so adjust as you see fit.
2:00p: coloring & crafts - DIY Castle Crashers mask & nametags (OUTSIDE)
2:30p: group party games (OUTSIDE)
3:15p: cake, snacks & drinks (OUTSIDE)
3:45p: pinata (OUTSIDE)
4:00p: free play (maybe video games in house)
4:30p - 5:00p: wrap up party, bathroom, clean up, water - parents pick up
Attached are more Castle Crashers reference photos. The foam sword we used for the piñata was just mostly for show. It caused 0 damage to the piñata, so we eventually switched the weapon to a plastic ice scraper tool which finally did the job (classy, right?).
If I did this again, I'd try to make my own weapon based on the different weapons available in Castle Crashers. I really wanted to make a rubber fish club, but given the time constraints it was hard to come up with it.
Thanks for reading all about our Castle Crashers Party. I'd love to see pics if you end up doing anything similar!