The surprise of creating a pickaxe, or mining your first ore. Figuring out how to light your first fire. Discovering the meat explosion that comes from a pig. Realizing how to swim—and learning never to dig straight down. These are my favorite memories of Minecraft when I started playing the beta version back in 2010.
Enderman didn’t exist back then, we didn’t have guidebooks on how to build everything, and we had to learn how to make our own torches all by ourselves. We built our own servers and played on safe mode because we died from the creepers every single night. Oh, how times have changed.
Since then, the game has become a toy, party, and tech phenomenon beyond my wildest dreams. When I was asked to help plan a Minecraft birthday party for the kids I babysit, I jumped at the chance. Together, we came up with party decor, treats, and activities to turn their home into a mini gamer boys’ paradise.
Creating the World of Minecraft in Your Living Room
9-year-olds become immersed in a video game world because of the details, so tap into this tendency with your party decor. You can spend a fortune on premade Minecraft decorations, but the homemade versions are even more impressive (and cheaper).
From hanging purple streamers in a doorway to mark the Nether Portal, to adding white electrical tape squares on your windows to imitate the look of glass blocks, it’s easy to discover the “perfect seed” at home.
Looking for an easy DIY that will help tie all your decorations together? I had a lot of fun crafting Minecraft-style balloons for my little friends to ooh and aah over. I picked up about 20 latex balloons in common Minecraft colors, including lots of green, from the party store and had them filled with helium. Using some of the acrylic paint I had leftover from our Valentine’s day craft party, I went to town with a foam brush painting creeper, ghost, and pig faces—along with a healthy sprinkling of red TNT balloons. Create any other mobs that strike your fancy and allow the paint to dry before tying them around the party space. The kids will have so much fun with the creeper-face balloons, it’s so worth your time!
Restoring Little Gamers’ Health (and Hunger)
Along with some basic party food classics like pizza, chips, and candies, you’ll want to add in some themed elements as well. Set the table with a grass-green tablecloth, black square plates, and splurge on some pixelated napkins to tie everything together.
Take care of those hit points by setting out red stone strawberries or lava punch. While the mini-Steves are working on their party craft, you can offer them a sweet snack that’s easy, inexpensive, delicious, and impressively on-theme. The birthday boy might have to take off his creeper mask, but these grass block-inspired Rice Krispie treats are worth at least 4 hearts.
- 3 Tbl butter
- ⅔ cup chocolate nut spread
- 10oz mini marshmallows
- 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- A square cookie cutter
- Green frosting
- Grease a 9×13” pan with baking spray.
- Melt the butter in a large pan and add in marshmallows, stirring until they have melted completely.
- Add in your chocolate nut spread (or leave out to allow for nut allergies—your blocks will just be cream colored instead of brown). Stir until well incorporated.
- Fold in 5 cups of Rice Krispies. This step is sticky and can be tough, but be sure to mix well!
- Plop your cereal mixture into the greased pan and top with a sheet of wax paper. Press on the paper to make the treats flat in an even layer.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove your treats from the pan and use the cookie cutter to create perfect squares. If you have a smaller group of kiddos (or more batches of treats ready to go), you can double stack these squares to make more of a cube shape. Squish the touching edges together to make the treat look like one piece.
- Frost the top of each brick with bright green frosting, and your dirt and grass blocks are complete!
Interactive Activities to Bring Minecraft to Life for Your Littles
As exciting as digital gameplay can be, it’s really fun to bring the Minecraft world off the screen with interactive play. Within the world of Minecraft birthday party ideas, you have about a million options, from stenciling creeper faces onto green t-shirts for a take-home party favor to playing “Pin the TNT on the Creeper” with a handmade felt creeper face. You could even play minecraft bingo and give away a foam diamond sword as your grand prize or make creeper pinatas that the kids can whack at with a faux wood ax.
It’s up to you what direction you’d like to go, but when the kids have gotten some energy out, try this (Mine)craft to settle the energy back down. All you’ll need is a huge bucket of mixed color fuse beads (and maybe extra bags of green and black), a square peg board for each party guest, an iron, and some wax paper. Set up the crafting table with some printed pictures from the game and a mix of sample patterns to help out younger kids, then let them go crazy picking out beads and making their Minecraft designs.
When their Minecraft masterpiece is finished, have them bring the peg board over to the kitchen counter where you (the adult) will be ready with a hot, dry iron and wax paper. Place the entire pegboard on a kitchen towel and top with a sheet of wax paper, then iron over the paper for 10-20 seconds, using even pressure and circular motions. When the beads are fused, you can peel the paper away from the pegboard, taking all the beads with it. Hand the pegboard back to the partygoer and let them make another design while you wait for this one to cool for ten minutes or so. And make sure to write the initials of the artist on one side of the design in permanent marker so you don’t get everyone’s creepers mixed up!
Minecraft is the sandbox game of the future, and has been popular among boys, girls, and adults alike. I’m happy to support screen time with kids when it involves creativity, problem solving, and an immense level of discovery at every turn—which is exactly what Minecraft does. But, it can be even more fun to get away from the screen for an afternoon of interactive birthday party fun.
If your child is as obsessed with Minecraft as my young friends are, they’ll go crazy for a party themed around the most addictive video game since Tetris. Welcome to the future of gaming—and a really awesome birthday party.
Looking for gift ideas for the birthday boy now that the party is all planned? The elves have made a handy gift guide that’ll be perfect for any little gamer. Be sure to share your Minecraft party success with us on our Facebook page, on Twitter @Elfster, or Instagram @Elfster. We can’t wait to see your (Mine)craftiness!