It's Zander's 9th birthday this year. Let me just say, man! where did the time go? Geeze, he will be grown up before I know it. Anyways, he has chosen Naruto for the theme this year.
Naruto is an anime about ninjas. If you haven't watched it, its pretty good and its on Netflix. Our party focuses on the beginning of the series up to the chunin exams.
The party plan is:
Welcome everyone to ninja training.
ninja training includes:
hide and seek,
what time is it Mr. wolf,
board breaking and,
hula hoop chase
After training, they graduate to genin and receive their head bands. Then they are split into 3 man teams.
Then they get their first mission: get a bell from sensei, second mission:
find a missing pet, and third mission: escort the bridge builder.
Next is a boss battle with Haru
Following that is the chunin exams. First is cheating on the test, then the forest of death, then one on one battles.
Sometime in there is cake and presents, and we have a party!
Step 1: Invitations
I went with a scroll design for the invitations. To make these you will need pencils, hot glue, string, scissors and the printed invites.
1. Design the invites. I used Photoshop to make mine and chose a ninja like font that I downloaded on dafont.com. One is called ninja naruto and one is ninja penguin.
2. Print out as many copies as you need. I used 8.5 x 14 size paper.
3. Trim the top and bottom of the paper. Leave the sides to roll up with the pencils.
4. Layout a pencil on each end. Hot glue the pencils in place.
5. Hot glue on top of the pencil and on the paper up to the black line. Roll the pencils up in the paper.
6. Once dry, roll up one pencil all the way to the other one and tie a piece of string around it to hold it in place.
I also made reminders to advertise the awesomeness of the party to try to entice more kids to show up.
Step 2: Ninja Training
When the guest first arrive, they are academy students like Naruto in the show. They need to train to be ninjas.
We will have 5 training activities followed by a final exam.
1. web crawl:
String yarn or such back and forth across an area to make a web. It would be best to have multiple layers of web walls. The kids crawl and climb through trying not to touch the yarn. I used a bar climbing thing at our park to make the web.
A test of agility.
2. What time is it Mr. wolf:
This game is easy to play. Establish a line somehow, like with tape or drawn in the dirt or marked with cones. All the kids stand on the line. One person is the wolf who stands a distance away from the kids. The kids ask "what time is it Mr. wolf?" and the wolf answers with a number 1 to 12, Ex: 4 o'clock. The kids take that many steps forward and then ask again. This continues until the wolf answers "lunch time!" instead of a number. At which point, the kids all run back to the line and the wolf tries to tag them before they get there.
A test of reflexes.
3. Hide and seek:
Just basic hide and seek. Kids hide, adults hunt. No tagging and no bases. A test of stealth.
4. Board Breaking.
Get a few cheapo foam core boards at the dollar tree. Cut them up to make several boards. I was able to get about 40 from 3 or 4 boards. These boards are foam with a paper backing on both sides. With the paper backings the kids can't easily break them,(tested) but if you peel off the paper from both sides, it is easily broken. Use these to let the kids karate chop or kick. The kids loved this one! We had enough for each kid to karate chop, kick, head butt, and punch a board.
A test of strength.
5. Hula Hoop Chase:
Buy a hula hoop or two. Have the kids line up behind you with a stretch of open space in front of you. Throw the hoop so it rolls away and the kids, one at a time, have to chase it down and bring it back. If you have 2 hoops, you can get through the kids faster and they can race each other or you can throw 2 hoops for each kid for a bigger challenge. To make it harder, you can have them have try to dive through the hoop before they can bring it back.
A test of speed
In the show, the final exam was to perform the clone jutsu. For ours, its to find the original in all the clones.
All the kids form a circle with one kid in the middle. Choose a kid in the circle to be the original and all the others are their clones. The clones must do what the original does. The kid in the middle has to identify the original by observing the actions and trying to tell who is moving first. Let each kid have a turn.
Step 3: Graduation
After the final exam, the kids graduate to genin. The first level of ninja in the show. They get their Village Hidden in the Leaves ninja head band to mark their status as ninja.
To make the head bands, I followed the instructables here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Naru...
I have edited the file from that 'ible to print in the right size. It printed way too small for me. This one I made has different sizes but the biggest one is what worked for me.
Then break them up into teams or squads of 3 like in the show.
Step 4: Mission #1
The first thing Naruto's team did was a test by their sensei to prove they were worthy of continuing. They had to work together to get a bell from Kakashi.
For this, we play it capture the flag style. I bought some bells and put them on string to make necklaces. You will need adults to help for this game.
Divide a large area in half. Make a center line. All the kids go one side and a couple adults on the other. Behind the adults on their side, hang the bells or if there is nothing to hang them from, have an adult or two stand still and hang them from their fingers.
The kids have to cross into the adults' territory and try to get past them to grab a bell AND get it back across the line. They can pass or throw the Bell to another teammate to keep it away from the adults, BUT each kid can only hold one bell at a time. If a bell is thrown and an adult gets it or if a kid is tagged while holding a bell, the bells get returned to the back of the play area. If a kid gets tagged, they have to freeze until another kid tags them free.
The first team that gets a bell for each of its members wins, but play until everyone has a bell.
Step 5: Mission #2
The first real mission shown in the anime, is a mission to find a missing pet cat. The team works together to trap and catch it.
For this game, I made mission scrolls. Each scroll has a picture of a lost dog or cat. Each team gets a scroll and has to find that particular pet hidden somewhere nearby.
I found the pet images on a Google image search. I chose 9 dogs and 9 cats and printed them out. Then cut them out, laminated them, and cut out again. These are to be hidden around the party area.
For the scrolls, I chose 3 of the dogs and 3 of the cats to make 6 scrolls, assuming I wouldn't need more than that.
First team to find and return the pet wins.
Step 6: Mission #3
The next major mission in the anime is a C rank mission to escort a surly guy to his village where he is working to build a bridge. The bridge builder lied about why he needed ninja protection. There was another group of ninja from a different village paid to kill him to prevent the bridge from being finished. The mission would have been ranked much higher if he had been truthful which puts Naruto's team in an advanced situation. They have to protect him many times along the way.
For this mission, one team will escort an adult through a path. All the other kids line the path and throw bean bags (UNDERHANDED) at the bridge builder while the team tries to block the bean bags and protect the builder.
Repeat the game for each team.
I made bean bags from balloons and rice.
Inflate and deflate the balloons.
Cut off the necks of the balloons.
Fill one balloon with rice.
Stretch a second balloon and insert the rice filled one in it to cover the hole.
This was fun to watch and the kids loved throwing things at each other of course. Some teams stayed with the adult and blocked like pros, other teams ran off and left the adult to get pelted! AND no one got hurt! yay!!!!!
Step 7: Boss Battle With Haru
At the end of the mission to escort the bridge builder, they have to battle against the ninja Haru. He is a very strong ninja and he nearly defeats Naruto. Haru has a jutsu that traps Naruto and Sasuke in a dome of mirrors.
Since I can't replicate this, we will just play a team game called Fox and Rabbits. You need a ball.
Set up an area of playable space. Players cannot exit the area.
The children are all foxes and one adult is the rabbit, in our case, the enemy ninja Haru. The kids must work together to tag Haru with the ball. The ball cannot be thrown at Haru, the tagger must have the ball in hand and touch it to Haru. The catch is once a child gets the ball, he or she is frozen to that spot for the remainder of the game. He or she can still throw and catch the ball and turn in a tiny circle but cannot take a step. The kids must plan ahead and figure out who best to throw the ball to to catch Haru. You don't want everyone frozen in one spot or on one side of the play area for instance. You want to use your frozen players as much as possible in order to keep some players free to move. The players who can move try to herd the rabbit near frozen players who can tag them. It is a fast paced game also because the faster you pass the ball, the more likely you will catch the rabbit. If the ball goes out of the play area, a player who is not frozen may go get it and give it to a frozen player to continue the game. The game ends when Haru is caught or all the foxes (ninja) are frozen and the rabbit (Haru) is out of reach.
Step 8: Chunin Exams: Cheat on the Test
The next development in the anime is the Chunin Exams. These are test to advance to Chunin level. The first of three parts to this test Exam is a written test. In the show, the ninja are given a 10 question test. The questions are super hard and should be well outside their ability to answer. The idea is that the ninja must cheat on the test without getting caught. There were ninja taking the test that were staged and knew the answers. Since I can't figure out a way to give the kids a written test and have them cheat, I came up with this game. You need several adult helpers for this one.
First, fill 8 to 10 brown paper bags or boxes or what not with knick knacks like candy and small toys. These will be the "answers" to the test questions. There are 10 in the show but I only did 8. I had a ton of small toys from parties past and candy that I used for this. I tried to put different things in each bag. I had tattoos, candy, small toys, bouncy balls, bubbles, balloons, and rings.
Find an area to tape off the shape in the picture. Just a circle for the kids to stand in and a spoke for each "answer". At the end of each spoke, place a bag or box of knick knacks. Have one adult stand behind each bag. The adults need to stand with their backs to the circle and turn slowly around to face the circle and slowly back around. They do this as often as they like. The idea here is like red light, green light. The kids have to sneak up each path, get an item from the bag, and sneak back to the circle. If the adult at that path turns to see them, they have to freeze. If they are caught moving, they go back to the middle. They have to get one item from each bag to pass the test.
The kids really enjoyed being sneaky, especially the birthday boy.
Step 9: Chunin Exams: Forest of Death
The next challenge in the Chunin exams is the Forest of Death. Each ninja squad gets one of two scrolls, the heaven or earth scroll. They are told not to open them or be disqualified. They enter the forest and have to make their way to a tower. Along the way they battle other teams they come across in order to take their scroll (s). The teams have to get one of each scroll and get to the tower to pass.
For our version, the kids will be in their team and we will do a series of one team vs one team challenges. The winning team from each challenge takes the opposing team's scroll(s). We play enough games so that teams have at least 2 challenges each.
First, we need to make the Heaven and Earth scrolls.
1. Get some paper. Plain paper will work.
2. Get some cardboard and cut out pieces that are slightly longer than the width of the paper. About 8.75-9"
3. Score the cardboard in quarters lengthwise.
4. Bend the cardboard using the score marks to make a tube like shape. Hot glue ends to stay.
5. Draw a circle on cardboard big enough to cover the end of the tube and extend out a little farther. Cut out enough circles to cover each end of each tube you make.
6. Glue a piece of paper starting with one side to a tube. Add glue and roll the tube up the paper until the paper is completely wrapped around the tube and glued down. These aren't made to be opened.
6. Glue the circles on the ends.
7. Draw out the heaven symbol on half and the earth symbol on the rest.
8. Paint the correct areas black on each scroll.
I made cards to keep on me during the party and pulled out a random card for each challenge. The games I chose are:
put out several small toys and candies. Give each player a set of chop sticks. On go, the players pick up as many items as they can with the chop sticks and put them in a bowl. The team with the most items wins.
Give each team 2 or 3 large pieces of cardboard ( big enough for 2 people to stand on). Establish a start and finish line. The teams must cross the area using the cardboard. They can't touch the ground. If at any time a piece of cardboard is left without anyone touching it, it floats off into space and they have to work with what they have left. If someone touches the ground or they are down to one piece of cardboard, they start over. First team to finish wins.
Hula Hoop Relay:
Have the teams stand facing each other. Each team stands side by side and holds hands.The first person in line gets a hula hoop. On go, the teams must get the hula hoop down the line without breaking hands. This is done by putting the hoop over your head, lowering you held hands to lower the hoop and stepping through it. Then lifting your hands up to drop the hoop over the next person. The first team to get the hoop to the end and drop it to the ground wins.
Creepers and Slammers:
Each team stands facing each other across a table. Give one team a coin, pennies work best. That teams huddles up backs to the opposing team and gives the penny to one person who puts it in one of their hands. Then all the players on that team make fists and turn to face the table. They hold their arms out hovering over the table. The other team chooses a leader. The leader calls either creepers or Slammers. For creepers, the team with the coin puts their fists on the table and slowly creeps their fingers out until their hands are laying flat. For Slammers, the team with the coin all slam their hands down on the table so that their hands are open and flat on the table. The calling team has to try to figure out which hand has the coin. The leader points at a hand and says yes, the coin is there, or no, the coin is not there. If leader says no, the hand pointed at is lifted off the table. This continues until the coin is found. If the leader correctly identified where the coin is, their team gets the coin for the next round. If the leader fails, the coin team keeps the coin for the next round. Play the best 2 out 3 or 3 of 5.
Get a piece of paper for each person, so you should need 6 for 2 3-man teams. Write a big number 1 on two papers, 2 on two, and 3 on two. Give a set of numbers 1-3 to each team. Each member holds one number facing out. Now either call out a three digit number using digits 1-3 or hold up the number written on paper. The teams must arrange themselves to make that number. First team to do so wins a point. Play best 3 of 5.
Get two pieces of paper and roll or fold each of them them long ways to make a long, thin rectangle. Have the teams line up one behind another facing the opposing team. The players put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The player at the end must have a back pocket. Put the folded paper in the pocket so it sticks out like a tail. These are now dragons, the first person is the head and leads the dragon. Each dragon tries to get the other dragon's tail while protecting their own tail. Only the head can grab the tail. If a dragon breaks, anyone let's go of the person in front of them, that team loses. The head must move at a pace the rest of the body can keep up with to avoid breaking. Play best 2 of 3.
Giants, Wizards,and Elves:
This game is like rock, paper scissors. The giant is rock, wizard is scissors, and Elves are paper, so, giant beats Wizards, Wizards beat Elves, and elves beat giants. The signs for each are: Giants: stand tall with hands in the air, Wizards: stand with bent knees and hands out in front like casting a spell, Elves: squat down and put your index fingers up at the sides of you head like ears. To play, establish a play area with a center line and a base at each end. Put one team on each side. Each team confers and decides what to be. The whole team has to be the same thing. Then both teams come to the center facing each other. On the count of 3, both teams give their signs. The winning team chases the losing team back across their side to their base an tag as many as possible. All those tagged before reaching base join the other team. Keep playing until one side gets all the players.
Team Cup Stack:
This is a cup stacking challenge with a twist. First get a rubber band for each team and tie 3 strings to each band at even intervals. Each team gets one of these contraptions to use to make a 3 cup stack. They cannot touch the cups with their hands. To use the contraption, each player gets a string. If they work together, they can pull at the same time to stretch the band to fit over a cup and relax the band to grip the cup to lift and move it. The hard part is getting the cup on top as you have to work well together to pull the band evenly to get the cup to stay. First team to build a stack wins.
Out Of My Yard:
Establish a play area with a center line. One team on each side. Put several balls or bean bags or such on the line. Works best with soccer like balls. On go, the teams rush to the line and kick or throw the balls to other team's side. Teams cannot cross the line. Play for a set amount time. Both teams rush to continuously throw or kick the balls to other team's side. When time is called, the team with least number of balls on their side wins.
All 3 members of a team stand in a triangle and hold each others forearms to make a secure triangle. Choose one person to be the target. Get one person from the other team to be the tagger. On go, the tagger tries to touch the target while the triangle teams rotates and raises and lowers their arms to block the tagger. Set a timer to see how long it takes the tagger to succeed then switch teams and repeat. The team with the quickest time wins.
Noodle Tag/ Dragon Noodle:
Get some pool noodles and cut them in half to make 2 shorter noodles. Establish a play area, a large circle. Station lines of teams on the boarder of the play area at even intervals. Give a noodle to the first player in each line. All players with noodles enter the play area and try to tag other players in the legs. Only hits in the legs count. When a player gets tagged, he or she gives the noodle to the next player in line. This is usually a free flowing continuois game. To play to get a winner, have all players enter at once and work together to protect and attack. Last team standing wins.
Typical relay race. Use a scroll as a baton and set up a course. Have one player start and run to the next and pass the scroll who runs to the last to pass who runs to the finish.
The team with the most scrolls at the end wins the Forest of Death challenge.
NOTE: We did not play all of the games. Also, we played two games with scrolls on the line before we ditched the scrolls and just played for fun the rest of the time.This is because, I chose these games for 3rd graders but I had some 3, 4, and 5 year olds that wouldn't be able to understand some of the games.
Step 10: Chunin Exams: One on One Battles
The last stage of the Chunin exams is a tournament of one on one battles. To avoid injuries, we didn't have fights of course.
I had 2 options going in. The first was to do push battles. Where you sit on your knees and lock hands with an opponent in front of you. On go, you try to push the other player over. This is a safe way to do physical battles, but since I had some littles there,we chose the option, rock paper scissors battles.
I had two lines facing each other. First in each line came to the center and played rock paper scissors. Loser was eliminated and winner went to back of line. Played until the last player who won the game.
I had prizes for this winner and the winning teams from previous challenges.
Step 11: Goodie Bags
I made goodie bags for the kids. I found images online and made these layouts to print out on white paper bags. There are tutorials to do this all over the internet. Basically, tape the flap down so it doesn't catch in the printer and the same with the opening of the bag. The rest depends on your printer and how it prints as to how to load the bag.
So I just printed each image on a bag and added some goodies:
a set of chopsticks,
a couple Naruto cards,
a chinese yoyo,
an origami ninja star,
a dum dum,
and a random small toy.
The kids write their name on the line on the bag and can color it later.
These came in handy through the party to hold their various prizes from the games.
Step 12: Party Snacks and Cake
For party foods we had chips, cream cheese wontons, and rice crispy sushi. I made these cute naruto food cards and glued them to cake pop sticks to stick in the food. The Photoshop file is here so you can edit them.
For cake toppers, I used inkjet printer shrinky dinks. Print the images, cut, and shrink. These were perfect for my little cakes. I made the little cakes using a cake boss pan I got at Michaels craft store.
I made his name from fondant.
The kunai, ninja stars, and swords are cast chocolate I made from molds that I cast from the items I shaped with oven bake clay.