Another event that took up quite a bit of our time--mostly because I was in charge of it, ha!--was the elementary history party for our homeschool co-op. Our co-op has pulled off lots of great parties before, but they've never done a history-themed party. I got the idea from my friend Claire, who does an annual group party instead of individual birthday parties for her children (she's expecting #7! Go Claire!). A few years ago her party had a medieval theme, so when I pitched the idea to the elementary planning team last spring, I suggested we start with that. It seemed appropriate, since the Las Vegas Renaissance Festival is always in October, so kids who went on that field trip would surely be excited to follow it up with a similarly-themed history party!
And that's exactly what happened! I was blessed with a tremendous group of 5 other women who helped me plan and put together the event, PLUS a team of about 18 parent volunteers who showed up the day of the event to make it run smoothly. We had 4 craft stations--you can see Tobin working on his jeweled goblet above and Arden sporting his decorated crown here. Also, kids colored/decorated posterboard shields and made felt pouches (which were used instead of pockets). At each craft table we also had handouts that involved more detailed educational information about things such as food in medieval times, clothing of the time period, coat-of-arms designs and explanations, and so on. Ted worked on those for me and did a great job--he came up with a word search and a crossword puzzle for 2 of the activity sheets even!
Then we had 4 activity stations with 6 different activities (some shared a station): a may pole, which turned into a dance-around-while-holding-streamers station when the wind got out of control; a "storm the castle" station at which kids used bows and arrows to try to shoot into cardboard castles (from the Sonlight orders!); a lance-throwing contest (pool noodles through hula hoops); a jousting contest (pool noodles again); a tug-of-war type of contest that involved balancing on a small wooden platform while trying to pull one's opponent off the other platform; and a pin-the-sticker on the knight game.
We also had a preschool play area complete with Little People medieval characters, a child-sized castle, coloring sheets, and other things to keep the little ones busy. The whole event ran for a little over an hour and a half, and it was a huge success! We had 70 kids, not including preschoolers, which was the maximum we could take. I've received many great comments, and people seem to be looking forward to our spring history party. No idea yet what theme/time period we'll cover...any suggestions?!