I know I say this for every kids' party we throw, but this one might be my favorite! For his seventh birthday my oldest's request was Ninjago. We invited his friends to come to our dojo to complete their ninja training in order to unlock their full potential.
For decor: HB banner using Asian themed scrapbook paper and white card stock. I used the Karate font and Chinese Takeaway font for all my projects for this party. Lots of crepe paper streamers and balloons in colors for the four original Ninjago ninjas; red, blue, white and black. I made large and mini Chinese lanterns from colored card stock in the Ninjago colors and hung them everywhere.
My family lived in east Asia when I was young, so I pulled some Asian treasures from my childhood to finish the decorations. I used these stone chess pieces as a centerpiece to play the part of our stone army.
This was my favorite part of the party- ninja training!
My husband took this and really ran with it. He set up the dojo in our garage since we didn't know what the weather would be like. To set the scene he hung big piece of butcher paper spray painted with Chinese characters from the ceiling. I knew his Chinese/English dictionary would come in handy someday (and yes, I know ninjas are Japanese, but we were working with what we had.)
To complete their training the kids had to crawl through a fridge box full of balloons, walk across a balance board, kick down boxes covered with pictures of ninja enemies, use their paper throwing stars to hit balloons off Pringles cans, climb through a hula-hoop hanging from the ceiling, punch Garmadon's face pasted on a punching bag, knock down plastic bottles with foam sword, use chopsticks to move serpentine (gummy worms) from one bowl to another, and finally cut through a butcher paper banner with their foam swords. Whew! The kids loved it! My husband even dresses up as Sensei and timed them.
After training the ninjas got to wail on the Garmadon pinata...
I made another balloon/paper mache pinata and added cardboard for the accents. Instead of covering it with crepe paper, I painted it. I filled it with fruit snacks, little green army guys, and these Japanese rice candies (found at Walmart in the Asian food section.) I made the paper mache part fairly thick to stand up to seven year old boys smacking it- it lasted just long enough for every kids to get one whack. The rice candy was deemed "gross" by all the kids, though. So much for cultural accuracy!
My son requested a ninja shaped cake that I knew I couldn't pull off. Maybe for our next ninja party? For the party with friends I made regular cupcakes and used these toppers from Craft, Interrupted. For our family party I made a layer cake and topped it with M&M's and Ninjago mini figures.
I kept food simple at the kids' party with pizza and fruit, but for our family party we went all out with potstickers (my son's favorite!), egg rolls, and lots of stir fry. We did have "ninjade" for the kids, inspired by this party.
For the take home goody bags I made take out boxes from card stock and glued Ninjago eyes in coordinating colors. Even with lots of tweaking my boxes came out pretty crooked, so I won't bother linking to the pattern I used. I filled the boxes with a Lego mini figure and a bag of M&M's in coordinating colors (I got my bulk candy locally at Fuzziwigs.)
The kids also got to take home their ninja headbands (idea also from Craft, Interupted), their decorated paper throwing stars (instructions found here- I got really good at making these!), and the foam swords.
To round out the activities the kids watched an episode of Ninjago and played Speed Slice on the Wii. All ninjas left having reached their full potential!