As a parent, each year it has become harder to find great birthday party ideas for my son. Entertaining 8 year olds is relatively easy, but once my child got a little older, it became increasingly challenging to find an activity that is meaningful, fun, safe, and not just about video games.
Many of the parties for boys in my son’s middle school class have been comprised of para-militaristic Airsoft gun battles. Although this is an entertaining idea, my son is no fan of Airsoft guns, so we were not going to go that route.
Instead we decided to have a SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) style party. We had a barbecue, made medieval weapons out of easy to obtain building materials, and then we all went with the kids out to the park to have a day of battles and mock jousting.
What happened was amazing. Boys this age are normally stuck to their video game controllers developing carpal tunnel syndrome, but these young men were all overflowing with creative enthusiasm, developing unique stylistic weapons and battle strategies.
Every kid crafted his own weapon, and each had a different idea about what it should look like. No two creations were the same. They then self-monitored all of the constructions to make sure that all pointy parts were protected with foam, so that they could wage a real battle without the fear of someone getting hurt.
The group then developed rules for the duels, gave each other battle names, and had a tremendous amount of fun. Over the course of the day they took care of each other and also had an intense battle. We watched my son and his friends as they were dedicated medieval knights for the entire afternoon.
What you need to create your own party:
Other simple materials might work as well, but we used duct tape, foam scraps from the foam and fabric store, 1/2 inch schedule 40 pvc plumbing pipe from your local hardware store (can also be found recycled), swimming noodles, and 1/2 inch pipe insulation.
The Rest is Up to Your Child’s Imagination:
Even the adults got into the action.