Dash nearly demanded yet another Star Wars party this year, but I put my foot down and tried to interest him in other types of parties we could maybe half-ass our way through activities for. He jumped at the idea of a Percy Jackson party as he has LOVED the five Olympians books that his dad has read him over the past year. (Actually, his dad and I loved them too, and his sister was quite partial as well.)
There are some great and creative ideas for Percy Jackson parties on Pinterest, should you want to look there. But if you read on, I can tell you what you might consider doing and what we did.
Always the best way to start off a themed party. Print up a personalised invitation and you’re halfway there. I went to Canva and made something that looked like this, except with a name and address where I have so expertly blurred them out. You can too.
2. Decorating shields (and swords)
First you need a nice crafty activity to do while people arrive. I ordered pizza pans on Amazon for about 1.50 each, at the last possible minute. I got B to put holes through and attach duct-tape handles with nuts and bolts.
I didn’t pay attention to the size I ordered and ended up with personal-pizza-sized shields rather than bigger ones, but the kids didn’t seem to mind too much. We put some symbols around the deck with names of gods/houses in case they needed inspiration, but mostly they went with their own inclinations. We used acrylic paint, but be warned – it doesn’t wash off clothes easily. Also some washi tape and electrical tape, which was a quick way to make one that didn’t have to wait to dry.
We also had swords, because my experience of past parties is that while girls might be content to paint stuff, boys really just want to whack each other with foam objects. Pool noodles make better light sabres than swords, but they don’t care. They painted and taped the halved noodles too.
I bought two bow-and-arrow sets in the party store for 1.99 each (score!). We set up two targets and had the kids compete in teams. Most of the PInterest ideas tell you to assign or get the kids to pick houses to belong to, but Dash wanted to make it a battle of Olympians versus Titans, even though we tried to persuade him that nobody wants to be on the baddies’ side if they’re going to lose. So we had the kids pick “Titan” or “Olympian” out of a hat and none of the Titans seemed to care about being the bad guys.
4. Fighting Medusa
You could get, or make, a pinata for Medusa’s head, but I didn’t really want to provide a whole lot more crappy sugary stuff, so I used a punch balloon (the ones with elastic attached that are made of slightly stronger rubber). Dash drew a scary face on it and we stuck on some multicoloured leis that I’d found in the dollar store as snakes for hair.Not exactly scary, but fun – especially if you make a big deal of covering her up and telling them all to shield their eyes because she’ll turn them to stone if they look at her as you do the big reveal. The idea was for the kids to take turns looking in a mirror and hitting it behind their backs, but they all just set upon it. It was good for a few minutes anyway, until some young entrepreneur found a pointy object and made Medusa go pop.Then we had food (not themed, but you could easily do a blue-food thing if you wanted to), and then a complicated maze thing that had been Dash’s big plan but didn’t really work out very well so we’ll gloss over that. We didn’t get around to “Pin the Eye on the Cyclops”, though we had vaguely intended to do that. And then they just all happily whacked each other with foam swords, or got in some extra archery practice, which was mostly why they’d come.
Finally, they all got to take home their swords and shields and I printed out some certificates at the last minute, because what’s demi-god training without a certificate? And that was it. Birthday number nine, in the bag.