For my son’s special day this year, it just had to be a Dragon Master’s birthday party. If you haven’t yet read the Dragon Masters book series by Tracey West, they are just amazing. I’m not sure who looks forward to each book more, me or my seven year old!
As the party was going to be taking place with some social distancing restrictions still in place, we decided to invite a small number of kids to the forest near our house. It was the perfect setting for a dragon-themed party, and made social distancing easy and safe. The games and activities we did could easily be moved to any backyard, park or outdoor area.
I have zero training in graphic design, but I love how easy and fun it is to make custom invitations in Canva. Canva has this great “dragon skin” image for the background, and I made the green dragon stone out of a bunch of crystal shapes copy and pasted together. I printed them out onto card stock paper and we cut them out ourselves. Paper party invitations may be thing of the past, but I still love that they set the tone and give the kids something tangible to hold on to.
When the kids arrived, we explained that the dragon stone had “called” them, and they were going to complete their dragon master training. Each child was given their piece of the dragon stone – a home made rock candy necklace. These necklaces were so much fun to make; I love anything STEM oriented and delicious. I followed the directions in this recipe, but dyed ours bright green and flavoured them with green apple natural flavouring. The kids loved them, most devoured them right away (somehow I thought they might last the afternoon…). I’m sure the parents just loved the green sticky smear on the shirts that came home.
I experimented with a few options for how to make the rock candy into a necklace. I really wanted them to be horizontal like they are in the book, but it just didn’t work well in the jars. So, I went back to the original candy stick directions. After the rock candy was dry, I snipped the ends of the candy sticks off. Be sure to leave about a 1/4″ at the top. Using food-safe kitchen string, I made a hanging loop by wrapping it tightly around the end of the stick. The necklace was made from simple stretchy black cord I found at the dollar store.
Dragon Master “Training” (aka games)
Next up on the agenda were games, games and more games. Here is a list of the games and activities the kids enjoyed:
- Obstacle course – we set up our ninja line between two trees and added some “fire” hula hoops, some logs and other obstacles to cross over. The kids loved this, and probably would’ve been happy to play on this for most of the party.
- Splatter paint knight’s shields – We cut out shields from white cardboard sheets I bought at Staples. Then I taped on dragon silhouettes I had cut out of kitchen freezer paper (and guys, I do not own a Cricut, so this was not for the faint of heart…thank goodness for podcasts). The kids had a blast splattering paint and making their own custom knight’s shield.
- Dragon cave and nest building – While the paint was drying, we split the kids into two teams. We sent them to work in two sections of the forest to create a dragon cave and nest for their dragons. The kids were really creative with their fort building.
- Capture the dragon egg – Once the dragon nests were built, we played several rounds of capture the dragons egg. Played just like capture the flag, even the parents got in on this one.
- Pin the fire on the dragon – Not enough time to get to the pin the fire on the dragon, but we had a dragon poster ready to go for this activity.
- Dragon tail tag – Using scrap fabric, I cut out dragon tail shapes for each child. I had them tuck the top of the tails into their waistbands and they had a quick round of flag-football style tag. The winner with the most tails captured was rewarded with gummy dragons.
- Dragon egg hunt – While the kids were having cake and snacks, I had some of the parents hide the dragon eggs around the forest. See my post on DIY Dragon Eggs for more info on how to make your own. Best loot “bags” ever!
- Adopt a dragon – Finally, as the kids were getting ready to go, we announced that they had successfully completed their dragon masters birthday party training and were now certified dragon masters. They were able to adopt their own dragon to take home. The little Beanie Boos plush toy were a good deal with a coupon code at Michaels and Indigo.
Food and Drinks
Due to the pandemic, I didn’t want to prepare or handle any food. My preference is to serve homemade zero-waste food, but safety comes first. In this case, I just opted to put healthy snacks in as many green containers as I could find and call it good enough. Everything was gluten free and safe for the various allergies we had to be aware of.
The cupcakes were a hit with everyone – gluten free chocolate cupcakes decorated with green “dragon skin” buttercream, red and orange flames, and a dragon figurine for the topper.
Decorations and Loot Bags
With the forest as our backdrop, nature had pretty much done the heavy lifting to create a magical Dragon Masters birthday party. I made two medieval-style banners out of scrap fabric and washi tape. We used one for the entrance to the forest and the other for the main party zone. I also made a custom Happy Birthday banner on Canva using a medieval font and the actual Bracken family crest as an accent. It was my biggest fan girl moment! A balloon swag completed the look, along with our giant dragon eggs.
For the loot bags, I admit I went a little overboard on this one. We saved money on the free venue, and the decorations and snacks were pretty affordable. I felt comfortable giving the kids a few extra treats, especially since we all had a bit of covid fatigue. In the end, they received their candy necklace, a dragon figurine, the painted shield, the dragon stuffie, and their dragon egg. Inside the dragon egg I had a mini granola bar, some dragon stickers, and a homemade dragon sugar cookie.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about our Dragon Masters birthday party. Please leave a note in the comments and let me know what you plan to do for your next party!
It’s all made with love.