Like last year, I wanted Hobbit/Lord of the Rings (see my Minecraft party post) but he had just read “Ranger’s Apprentice” and said how about that? Although we got him a ‘significant’ gift this year and I swore I wouldn’t do a ‘big deal’ party, I guess I just can’t help myself. Or I have some deep need to do something creative with my mind and hands. I swear, if I was a farmer’s wife I’d be crafting something from cow pies!
I think these activities and ideas would work with a “Brave” movie theme for girls or Robin Hood for boys.
First of all, I was leery about this book so I checked it out on several Christian momma sites and they assured me it was okay. (And after reading Lord of the Rings with him, how could it be more violent and icky than some of those scenes??) Usually I read the book first (like the Percy Jackson series) but I didn’t on this one. After the Minecraft party I realized the key to an “EPIC” party for boys: have something slightly risky/dangerous to do and make an obstacle course! Thus, we had an obstacle course with bow and arrows (running with them mind you) and archery contests. I didn’t make it wussy either. They had to climb a tree, shoot from there towards a wild boar who was skittering about and commando crawl under “wires.” So, let’s get started!
When the boys arrived, they made quivers. I got shipping tubes from my local Staples store and prepped them beforehand. First I drilled holes for the paracord later. Then I painted them roughly (you don’t want a lot of bright white showing when you’re trying to skulk around). When the boys got to the party, they wrapped their choice of camo duct tape on them. I didn’t have enough duct tape to wrapthem totally, but it worked out fine with the painting underneath. Then they attached the paracord and quivers were complete.
Silver Oak Leaves
According to the book, when you become a Ranger you get a silver oak leaf. I kept asking my son, “Are you sure it isn’t like the Lord of the Rings where it’s a pin for a cloak?” He then showed me the photos where in fact, it is hanging around Halt’s neck. I have never worked with FIMO, Sculpey or this Premo before, but it was easy. I found some that was silver with sparkles in it. I tried different approaches. Most people would have gone with the stamp-into-a-blob look. But I didn’t like it. Then I stamped and cut around it. But that left a negative impression (texture speaking). I wanted a positive impression.
So I over-crafted it (as usual) and cut out an oak leaf from a linoleum-type substance. It’s like an eraser but softer- from Speedball. Then I smooched the Premo into that, cut it out, made holes for string, baked it according to package instructions and Voila! Each boy had his oak leaf.
No party for 10-12 year old boys is complete or as much fun as it could be without an obstacle course! They love these things! First, they had to start out and run down a hill. Then they picked up a slingshot and tried to hit Scandia man (from the 4th book, drawn on cardboard).
Then they had to climb a stump, unsling their bow that they ran with, and shoot an arrow at a target. You got points for hitting the targets as well as overall time. There was a parent at each station.
Next, they had to climb into a tree and shoot at a “wild boar.” This is a boar I drew on cardboard. (I just Googled “wild boar” and sketched out the example I saw. Then I outlined it with some Tempura paint.) If I had no artistic talent, I guess you could go to Kinko’s and have them print out something you downloaded. Then I put a light rope on it and had a dad pull the string and make it skitter about while they tried to shoot it.
After shooting the boar, they had to jump down from the tree and run to the commando crawl. This is very basic, just string duct-taped to the sides. Not really wire or even remotely camo-ish. Then run to the finish! We compared accuracy and time. It took 4 parents to help out at each of the stations. They wanted to do it over and over of course (but the parents didn’t!). Next we moved onto marksmanship games.
Two targets were set up on hay bales. Two teams (4 boys each) competed as to which team could eliminate the four balloons I attached to each target. The boys would line up, take a shot, then move to the back of the line and keep doing that until all the balloons were popped.
Then we had a contest of who could just hit the bullseye, 2 arrow attempts.
Basically, I just used brown butcher paper from the hardware store. Then I used leaf and animal paw print stamps with brown and green ink pads. I put a bow in the middle of the table. Easy peasy.
For the napkins, I stamped them with a silver leaf. But it didn’t show well. So I outlined it with a silver Sharpie™ (of course, they have to be old enough to know you don’t wipe your mouth with that part!)
I drew silver leafs on the cups. If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten less shiny cups and plates. More papery and absorbent to ink. But still, it looked okay.
Halt’s cabin is made out of fat pretzel sticks. I ‘glued’ them with the frosting (an amazing caramel recipe my husband found that has become my kryptonite. Scary good). The campfire is a tea candle with 2 small squares of tissue paper around it for flame. Then the toothpicks are arrows. All in all, the participants had an “epic!” time according to my son!