My son is a wee bit obsessed with Minecraft. Put him and a friend together and the discussion inevitably turns to zombies, creepers, red stone and TNT. I don’t play video games at all (nope, not even Candy Crush suiciopath like the rest of you!) so I can’t begin to understand what they’re talking about and I know I’m not alone.
It’s a phenomenon, and the great thing about it is that it hasn’t been bought up by a major marketer just yet. I’m sure it will, but right now it’s sort of an (excuse the pun) underground game and is a cult classic among the elementary age set. Or, the 20-something guys who make a huge amount of Minecraft videos on YouTube and I’m 99% sure do so from their mother’s basements.
Do some Google reading and you’ll find some great arguments for why Minecraft is actually beneficial for kids. I’m sure there are arguments on why it’s a huge waste of time and sunshine-and-fresh-air-stealer as well, but I prefer to ignore those since my kid is obsessed and I want to believe this has some sort of positive end game. My friend Jeni wrote a hilarious post this week here.
So – back to the party. Because of the lack of Minecraft marketing, you can’t really buy anything in stores. We did happen to find a Creeper doll at EB Games a few weeks ago, and Think Geek has a few items as well.
Invitations were easy. I just searched for Minecraft wallpapers and then let my son pick which one he liked the best. I used a simple photo editing program (PicMonkey) to add in the details and printed them on 4’6 photo paper at Walmart. The invitations were under $2.00 for over a dozen.
For the rest of the items, since I have no drawing or design skills, I did what everyone like me does – I went to Etsy!
Here’s a look at some of the items I found, should you be so inclined to throw a Minecraft party for your little creeper-obsessed fan as well!
I decided to do a candy-buffet because it could double as loot-bag contents. Instead of the usual plastic bags, I opted for brown sandwich bags and ordered these Minecraft Creeper Favor Tags from Etsy. One staple and done! Like a boss.
Adding to the fun, I ordered Minecraft Water Bottle Labels for our refreshments. I’m actually planning on using these all summer long on water bottles since my kids think they’re awesome. I can print as many as I like so why not?
Now it was time to figure out contents for the loot-bags. Candy bars are an easy filler since they’re big and you can buy them relatively cheap after the holidays (Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc.) Freeze them and use them later (see more frugal birthday party tips here!) Back to the bars. These Minecraft Candy Bar Wrappers are best for flat bars. We used Aero and Caramilk Chocolate bars (in Canada we call them chocolate bars, not candy bars…I don’t know why!)
I asked my son what some of the ‘stuff’ in Minecraft is and he rattled off a list! Off to Google I went to source images. I found a suitable wallpaper, then just subbed in the image for each item along with the name. I printed them out on card stock to display beside each item on the candy table should the other 9 year old’s question which Minecraft item they had in front of them! Of course, at the time it didn’t occur to me how hard it would be to find a candy resembling diamonds or slime, but we figured it out!
These Dirt Blocks were supposed to be coal. I had seen a great Pinterest photo of rice krispies looking like coal. Brilliant! Except that my husband and I had no idea how to turn them black without black food coloring and try as we might, mixing red and blue and purple didn’t work. Instead we got a mucky brown color.
I asked my son if they had a lot of gravel or dirt in Minecraft and he looked at me like I had two heads. “Yeah mom, dirt blocks everywhere.” Eureka! And so, my husband nearly got arthritis in his hands carefully shaping each rice krispie bunch into a perfect Minecraft Dirt Block. The end. These are awesome Minecraft candy bag toppers stapled on to sandwich bags!
The rest of the candy…
We used Licorice for the TNT, Jolly Ranchers for the diamonds, Werther’s Original for the gold, Juice Drop Pops for the slime (another idea was green jello but…mess…gah!) and Cherry Bomb candies for the redstone. And then…the cake! I have no cake making skills whatsoever, but I knew someone who did and – with no knowledge of Minecraft whatsoever – she made this amazing cake:
The end result, a child who proclaimed his cake and party EPIC and a mom who considers it a job well done sourcing out everything she needed to make her 9 year old son’s birthday party one to remember!