For the love of Younglings!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... actually scratch that. Fairly recently, on planet earth, an aunt named Emily wanted to do something really fun for her nieces while they were visiting town. I had been wanting to throw a Star Wars party for the impending arrival of The Force Awakens for some time but was most definitely going to wait until December for that. But when my nieces came to town, and I told them "We'll have to have a Star Wars party in December!" they gave me crestfallen little looks to say "Well....we don't know if we'll be here in December."  Immediately I changed course and decided there was no better time than the present. Initially, it was just gonna be a little casual thing, and before I knew it...everything had spun out of control. Why only invite the nieces when the nephews would love it as well? Maybe it ought to be an epic costume party where every kid played a different character. Maybe it needed to be full of Star Wars themed food. MAYBE it could be a mini Jedi academy for younglings! All the possibilities raced through my mind and Pinterest only made the matter MUCH worse. Suddenly I had delusions of grandeur left and right. But could I pull it off?

The Menu

Thankfully early on my mom took this aspect off of my hands. I handed her my Star Wars cookbooks and she (mostly) took care of the rest. 

For dinner, we had Han-burger sliders, 

Watto-melon chance cubes, 

Jabba juice and much more. 

On my end, I prepared some lightsaber popsicles that among the hoopla still remain in the freezer untouched... and a Sarlacc pit cake. The cake was a beaut on Pinterest, but unfortunately I didn't have quite the same time or energy to perfect it like the original blogger did. But it still tasted yummy!

Sometimes they preferred playing with their props to eating.

But really, who is gonna get mad at such a cute little ewok?

And eventually, they enjoyed the feast.

And for those who couldn't eat, they just enjoyed the conversation.

The Photobooth

From the get-go I loved the idea of a photo booth but wondered if my nieces and nephews would have the patience for it. 

They're such active little kids, they rarely stop to take a picture. So I abandoned the idea when things got a little hectic. 

        And then... well I decided what the heck! It's not like it's gonna take that much effort right?

                                      I basically threw a green sheet over a couple ladders

so that I could photoshop the kids (and props) easily into different intergalactic locations.

My pal Courtney made some talk bubble signs and I found various toys the kids could pose with just from my garage. 

Thankfully, the photobooth was a hit and we got some great pics of the kids! 

And the adults!

And...the props.

Activity #1 Surviving the Black Hole

Thanks to this lady, I got this great idea of creating a cardboard box maze for the kids to crawl through and dubbing it a black hole.

Once the Jedi Academy idea took off, I decided the kids needed to overcome three challenges to graduate and this one looked like one of the funnest. 

While we didn't have the time or cardboard boxes available to make one on SUCH a grand scale as the woman who came up with the idea, my stepdad constructed a miniature version that was just as fun.

It was an instant hit and the kids were obsessed with it.

Activity #2 Crossing the Lava Pit

The second game is inspired by the events of Episode III where Obi-wan confronts Anakin on the lava planet Mustafar. 

The kids had to cross a small beam over a vat of boiling lava! (Though Luke needed my help.)

Since lava isn't too easy to come by, we had orange, brown and red tissue paper double for it.

The kids really loved this one too!

Maybe a little too much!

Test #3 Destroying the Death Star

No Star Wars Party is complete without a Death Star pinata. I bought a baseball pinata, spray painted it gray and then painted the rest of the details. 

There's something about those pinatas that kids just go crazy over.

Using a lightsaber to break it was certainly a cute idea...

But not a very effective one.

So basically the kids watched as I ended up tearing it apart with my bare hands.

They were just happy to see it finally destroyed!

Because they got their candy....so at the end of the day it's all the same!

Jedi Academy Graduation

So after the Death Star had been destroyed and all the candy was collected, I presented each kid with their very own Jedi Academy Certificate of Completion and a lightsaber sucker.

You can find some nicer ones online that you can pay for.... but me and my pal Mitch decided to just photoshop our own.

Galactic Drive-In

And finally, if we're going to have a Star Wars party the kids should actually get to watch Star Wars right?? 

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to have "drive-in movie night" where you made a cardboard box car and got to watch the movie sitting inside your box in front of a huge screen. 

But cardboard box cars will not do for a Star Wars party! They had to be cardboard box SPACESHIPS.

                      And... they needed to be Star Wars inspired.  At least a few of them anyway

 Since we had 8 older nieces and nephews I had a lot of ships to make since sharing isn't really a huge concept to kids.  It was no easy task I assure you. 

But their excitement at seeing all the ships was beyond worth it.

They loved their ships and they loved watching the movie!

Even if I was so strapped for time that the only thing I could find in the house since I didn't have access to a bluray player was... a dvd of Episode II.

They still were pretty riveted!

And surprisingly, no fighting occurred!

 Each kid chose their box and settled into the movie. 

I even decided to make a Cantina snack bar with R2 popcorn bags and plenty of candy

All in all, the night was a major success. And it lived on when I showed them this:

Star Wars Younglings from Emily Mackay on Vimeo.

Full disclosure: No copyright infringement intended. This was made just for fun. And second warning: please don't judge my video editing abilities on this. I didn't have a ton of footage to work with since I was running around the whole party long! However, the photography was so great thanks to my sisters Laurie & Sarah, and my sister-in-law Robin! So glad to have their documentation of the party!