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.
Step 2: Photo-shopped and Printed Elements
Photoshop was my best friend for most of this. I have attached the Photoshop file of most things so if you have the program you can see what I did and change layers and words to fit your needs. The font I used is called pincoyablack. You can download it from dafont.com
Now available for purchase on Etsy if you would like me to edit them for you.
Passports: the passports are used to track progress through the games. The elements in a column along the left side are the ones you hole punch, I made them in photoshop similar to those that were done by others before me. I printed them 2 to a page so they were about 5 x 7. Use the hole puncher to put a hole in the top center to thread through a piece of yarn or string or a lanyard to make it into a necklace. When guests arrive, write the child's name at the bottom and have them wear the passport.
Invites: I found a place online that was selling invites that I liked so I made some of my own. I have taken out the party location and rsvp information but you can see where they go. Again, the photoshop file is there for you to change. These are made in a layout to print 4 invites to a page. Cut them out and pass them out to intended guests.
Cake topper: Following the lead of others, I Photoshoped the skylanders logo to change Spyro's adventure to say Zander's adventure. This will be used in the banner and as the cake topper. I printed this in 5 x 7 on card stock and taped it to bamboo sticks to use as a cake topper. Type out your child's name and print it out on card stock. Cut the letters out and tape to tooth picks. This will also be a cake topper.
Banner: The banner was a centerpiece in my decorations. I enlarged the element symbols to take up as much area of a piece of paper as possible. All 8 are posted here. Print them out preferably on photopaper or card stock because its thicker than normal paper. Cut them out and punch a hole in the center edge on both sides of each element( right and left side). Cut short lengths of string to insert through the holes to tie one element to the next. String along 4 of the elements. In the middle of the banner I put a circle that had my child's photo and the photoshopped logo(see photo). Again I have attached the photoshop file for editing. String along this part next and then string along the remaining 4 elements. Tie a long length of string to the first and last element to use to hang the banner up. (see next step for assembled banner)
Food labels: The next 3 images are food label cards, You can print them just as they are if you do the same foods or edit them to fit your needs. Again, best done on card stock.
Color sheets: The next several images are coloring sheets I used to put together a coloring book for each guest. Print one of each for each guest. I hole punched them using a 3 hole punch, stacked one of each in a pile, and tied them together by using a short string to tie through each hole.
Game Signs: The next 8 images are the signs for each game. If you choose to do the same games, just print them out as is. I glued them to foam core board to give them a good rigid backing and posted them in the area I had planned for each game.
Prize box labels: The next 2 images are labels for the prize box. See the step about prizes to find out more. The files attached are in the size I needed for mine, the size you need may vary.
Blue sapphire wings:The last image is something you will need for one of the games. You will need to print about 1 to 3 sheets of these. I printed mine on clear plastic paper like shrinky dink paper or transparency paper but the ink kept smudging so I ended up using spray adhesive to glue on a blank sheet of paper to the back. These will be submersed in water so Im not sure if just straight paper will survive.
Step 3: Games: Dino Rang Toss
Now lets talk games. I will break them down one at a time. We chose our order based on when we wanted to be inside and when we wanted to be outside. It was in December and pretty cold so we wanted to jump back a forth from inside to outside to keep warm. I will just post the games in no particular order but we played ours in the same order as the elements on the passport.
First up, the earth element game: Dino Rang Toss
a Frisbee or 2
I don't have good photos of this but its pretty straight forward. Just use the chalk to draw a large bulls eye on the concrete and label the point values. We did 100 in the center, 50 the next ring out, 25 the next one out and any other area was 10. Choose an appropriate distance away and mark it with an X to mark where the kids are to stand to throw from. I made 2 such places so that 2 kids could play at the same time and the lines would move faster.
When it comes to ending the game, you have options. We just played until it seems the kids were losing interest and we started with a combined goal to reach. We wanted to get 1000 points total and that turned out to be too easy to reach so we played on a bit longer.
When the game is over punch out the earth element on the passport for each child.
Step 4: Games: Ghost Roaster Hunt
Undead element: Ghost Roaster Hunt
So this game may have been better thought out, but it went alright.
blind fold for each kid
We blind folded each child using a long sleeved shirt or jacket from my kids closet. The idea here is to pick a SAFE area to do this in. Have a parent or other person stand in a spot within the area after the kids have been blindfolded and rattle a chain. I used the chain to a chain wallet I had laying around, it made enough sound for the kids to hear. The kids will then seek out the chain shaker. When they catch the chain shaker, they win the game.
Again make sure the area is SAFE because the kids cant see.
When the game is over, punch out the undead element on the passport
Step 5: Games: Hot Dog's Buried Treasure
Fire element: Hot Dog's Buried Treasure
slips of paper or index cards
This is a simple treasure hunt. I wrote rhyming clues to lead to different locations around my house. The kids started with a clue that led to a new place where the next clue was hidden and so on until they found the treasure. I think I did about 8 clues and the treasure was just a pile of fake coins from the dollar tree.
I didn't get any photos of this game because the kids moved too fast! They were excited and everyone was racing to be the one to find the next clue.
They split the pot of treasure and got the fire element punched out.
Here are the clues I used but I'm not sure how much use they will be since they are made for our house surroundings.
1. Your mission is to find
Hot Dog's buried treasure in time
To begin your mission
the portal of power is your first destination.
2. Hidden under the portal of power:
The next clue lies
behind the birthday boy's eyes.
3. Hidden behind Zander's picture on the banner:
The next clue can be found
under the sentry proud.
4. Hidden under the pelican statue outside the front door:
Follow the walking stones
and you will be shown
the place the next clue hides
is where the fire dies.
5. Sitting in the ashes in the fire pit:
Beware of the ticking clock
do to the benches and look under the rocks
6. Hidden under rocks on the benches outside:
You guys make a great team
next you should go to the swing
7. Taped to the back of the swing in the gazeedo:
Hot Dog is a clever fella
look near the table under the umbrella.
8. Hidden under the picnic table with an umbrella:
This game has been a tease
the treasure lies beneath the leaves.
The treasure was hidden under a large pile of leaves.
Step 6: Games: Trigger Happy No Gold No Glory
Tech element: Trigger Happy No Gold, No Glory
Again no photos of this one since it was a fast paced one. Before guests arrived, we hide lots of plastic coins all over the party area. Some easy, some hard. The kids just had to find all the coins they could. They wanted to keep them of course so we gave each child a paper bag with their name on it to keep them in. These came in handy through out the party.
Punch the tech element.
Step 7: Games: Ninjini's Magic Potion
Magic element: Ninjini's Magic Potion
Small containers (pack of ten at dollar tree)
markers or pens
water beads (air freshener kind at dollar tree)
Objective was to make a magic potion and label it with a name and a purpose. We had potions to fly, potions to make you fart, and so on. They put their potions in their paper bags when finished. This was a popular game.
Punch out the magic element
Step 8: Games: Slam Bam's Ice Prism
Water element: Slam Bam's Ice Prism
printed blue wings from previous step
blue table scatter jewels (dollar tree)
super glue or E-6000 glue
This one takes some prep work. First we need to prepare the Blue Sapphires. In the game, players collect these to earn upgrades. Print out the blue wings and cut them all out. Carefully glue a blue jewel to each one in the center of the wings. Let these sit a while to dry completely
Now we need to freeze these winged Sapphires in an ice block. I prepared 12 of these. Get a paper cup for each one you want to make. Sit inside a sapphire or 2 and pour in water until the water covers the sapphire. Sit them all in the freezer for a few hours. When the water is mostly frozen get them out and do it again. Add a sapphire and cover with water and freeze. I did 3 layers this way. Leave them in the freezer until needed for the game.
The game is to collect the winged sapphires. I had 2 pairs of safety glasses and 2 hammers so we did 2 kids at a time. You need to make sure there is an adult supervising each kid to be safe. Have the kids wear the glasses and go within an area of boundaries the other kids cannot cross. We used our bulls eye from the other game so the other guests would stay away from the hammers. Let the kids have fun busting up the ice and collecting the sapphires. They of course wanted to keep them so put them in their paper bags. This was also a very popular game.
Punch out the water element.
Step 9: Games: Stomp Smash Smashin' Sheep
Life element: Stomp Smash Smashin' Sheep
string or yarn
The balloons are sheep. Tie a length of yarn to the balloon and the other end to the child's ankle. They must protect their sheep while trying to smash the other players' sheep. Give the kids boundaries to stay within while playing. When your sheep gets smashed, you are out, pick up your balloon pieces and go to the side lines to get an adult to cut off the string from your leg. as the game goes on, you may need to shrink the playing area to move the game along. the game is over when one person is left with a sheep and they get to keep the balloon.
Punch out the life element.
Step 10: Games: Warnado's Dizzy Spin Attack
Air element: Warnado's Dizzy Spin Attack
rope or string
This is your basic pinata gig. I was lucky to find this ghost pinata given away for free at my son's school after Halloween so I just used it, even though its not exactly within our theme. Oh well, he didn't last long anyways :p
Make sure you get the kids nice and dizzy before they swing and be careful! It hurts to get hit. We didn't use blindfolds since our area was small and had lots of stuff around we didn't want to get beaten.
This pinata was a tough one and by the time everyone had had a turn if was just missing an arm and no candy had come out so I picked it up and walked around a small area dumping out candy as I went. This ended up being a great thing so that all the kids could get candy without being crowded in one spot. This eliminated the mosh pit of pinata candy doom.
Punch out the air element.
Step 11: The Prize or Prizeliness: Making the Box
Now all the games have been covered, we need to give the kids a prize!
For the prize I made a sorter box. I looked for sorter boxes in stores in the craft section and fishing section but all were too expensive for my budget so I made my own.
1 stiff cardboard gift box per child (it was around Christmas so dollar tree had plenty.)
2 sheets of foam core board (dollar tree)
scissors or razor blade
prize box labels from previous step.
Measure your box Length and width and depth. Cut out a rectangular piece of foam core with the width being a little smaller than the depth of the box and the length being only a smidge shorter than the length of the box. This piece should wedge nice and tight in down the middle of the box lengthwise. Be sure it fits how you like and use it as a template to cut out more. You need one per box.
Cut a rectangular piece of foam core with the width being a little smaller than the depth of the box (the same width as the previous piece) and the length only a smidge shorter than the width of the box. This should fit nice and tight in the box width wise. make sure it fits and use it as a template to cut more. You need 3 per box.
Now you have all the pieces, you need to cut out slivers where they will intersect and interlock. On the short ones, just cut out a sliver in the middle. Cut it up to about 2/3s. See photo. One the long one, divide the length into 3rds. cut a sliver out at every 3rd. You should have 3 slivers. See photo.
Now take 3 short ones and one long one and interlock them as shown in the picture. The slivers align. Then put the interlocked pieces inside a box. They should fit snugly enough to not need to glue in place.
This gives you a box with 8 compartments.
The box is still pretty plain though so now we need to put on the labels.
Hopefully you have printed the labels in the size you need for your boxes and cut them out.
Go outside or to a well ventilated area to adhere them. Use spray adhesive to stick the element pack label to the top of the lid and the sorted elements label to the underside of the lid. See photos.
Step 12: The Prize or Prizeliness: Fill 'er Up
Now here is the fun part. The box is ready to be filled. Choose a prize or 2 for each element. The kids will choose what to put in each compartment at the prize table.
Here is what we did:
Use plastic bowls to hold the different prize options. We stuck in each bowl a Skylander card of the element that bowl was for.
Here are the options we had:
water: Goldfish and finger water guns
earth: chocolate rocks and chocolate coal
fire: hot tamales and nerds
undead: vampire teeth and gummy worms
magic: pop rocks and mouth coloring gumballs
life: play dough
tech: chocolate coins and marbles
Air: marsh mellows and bouncy balls
The kids use the elements label on the lid to know which compartment was which and filled the compartment with goodies from those element bowls.
Step 13: Setting the Scene and Food
We went minimal on the decor but here is what we had.
What is a skylanders party without the game? We had the game hooked up and ready to play in the living room. We also used all Zander's Skylander figures for decor by scattering them around on various shelves and tables.
In our dining room, we pushed the table up against the wall of windows and draped the banner across the windows. I also hung a few strips of fake vines from the dollar tree over the banner for more of a nature look.
We used a blue table cloth, plates, napkins and plastic ware since skylanders colors are blue and orange.
We set up the table with the cake in the middle, 3 platters of party food in front of that and the prize boxes along both ends.
We scattered on the table some fake moss from the dollar tree as well and displayed the portal of power from the DS game with a skylander on it on the table.
We arranged the prize table and the magic potion table.
The ice blocks:
we simply used ice cube trays for a jello mold. We made blue jello and removed as best we could from the ice tray.
Insert pretzel sticks into cubes of cheese.
Get the jumbo marshmellows and insert a bamboo stick into the center. Use black icing or black sparkle jel to draw on the sheep
I had a friend make the cake and she did an awesome job. It is 2 layers of round cake. Top frosted in blue for sky and bottom frosted in green for land. Surrounded by brown frosting for mud. She made grass clumps with coconut, Scattered chocolate rocks in the mud, and marshmellows in the sky for clouds. My son pick a few skylanders to put on the cake and added the cake toppers we made in a previous step.
There you have it. A Skylanders party of amazing funess. When the games were over and cake and presents were done, those who were left just played skylanders until parents picked them up.
So, let me know what you think, leave a comment if you like and enjoy.