The middle child is intrigued by the Ancient Greeks. She recently finished reading The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and is now in book 2 of The Heroes of Olympus series. So, it was no surprise when she requested a Percy Jackson themed party for her 11th birthday. The homeschool mom in me got a little giddy about combining a birthday party with awesome literature!
Percy Jackson Themed Party Invites
Every good party starts with a good invitation. Since I was on vacation the week we were planning, I opted to grab these cute ones from Etsy. I blacked out the personal detail, but you get the idea.
This year she decided to collect food for the local animal shelter. We ended up with quite a bit of puppy and cat food.
Percy Jackson Themed Party Activities
Since she is all about Percy Jackson, my daughter did most of the party planning. In hindsight, I probably should have cut out a few activities as the party got a little long. We set the party up with multiple "bases" with activities for the guests. My husband used his wood writing pen to make signs for each god or goddess.
"Gods" and "Goddesses" Bases
When the guests began to arrive, they each received a blue or red t-shirt. These would be used for "Catch the Flag" later in the day.
They also chose a color of cord for their "Camp Half-Blood" necklaces. At each god/goddess base, they would have the opportunity to earn a bead for their necklace. My daughter had previously drawn the symbol for each god or goddess on the beads.
The first stop was Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty and fashion. Here they received their Aphrodite bead and a bead to write their initial.
At the Hephaestus base (the Greek god of blacksmiths), the guests chose to build either a sailboat or a birdhouse. I purchased these kits before realizing the amount of time and effort they would require. I would recommend an easier building or sculpting craft for the elementary crowd next time. However, the girls did enjoy putting theirs together the next day when they had plenty of time.
After they earned their bead at the Hephaestus base (or at least hammered a few nails), they could move on to Athena's base. Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom. At her base, guests were required to solve a mental puzzle. Again, these were a bit time-consuming and required a good deal of help from the adults. I would recommend some simpler puzzles for the under 12 crowd. Most of the guests worked as teams to solve one of the four puzzles so they could earn their Athena bead.
Artemis' base was one that was a huge hit with kids of all ages. Artemis is the goddess of the hunt and is usually depicted as a girl with a hunting bow and quiver of arrows. The girls are on a local archery team, as were several of the guests. For this activity, we set up targets and had two archers shooting at a time. When an archer hit the mark, they received their bead. There is something very satisfying about hearing the thump of the arrow hitting its target.
Zeus, the Greek god of the sky and wind, failed us this day. The air was still with no wind (that is until an hour after the party when the wind was so powerful that it knocked over all the tents. Thank, Zeus.). The plan was for everyone to have their own kite to fly. Since this wasn't going to happen, we moved to plan B.
Plan B: My oldest would ride the kids around on the ZeusMobile (aka the golf cart) while his best friend ran along behind to get the kite going. Though this plan failed miserably, it was the humor focal point of the day, and the kids loved the crazy golf cart ride through the fields.
Camp Half-Blood could not be complete without a battle, even if it's the water balloon version. Ares' base, the Greek god of war, was the setting of the epic "Capture the Flag" battle between the red and blue teams.
This was by far the highlight of the activities portion of the party. The teams divided and came up with strategies for capturing the other team's flag and for defending their own. If a water balloon hit them, they had to sit in the Ares tent until the referees let them back into the game. On a hot day like this July one, a little or a lot of hits from water balloons were welcome.
The end of the activities and last chance to earn a bead was at Poseidon's base. Since Poseidon is the god of the sea, the pool seemed like the appropriate place to end the party and give everyone a chance to cool off. The plan was to have a diving competition with blue rocks, but by the time we go to this portion of the party we (the adults) were getting a bit tired.
So, the kids jumped in the pool, and the adults had dinner...with a blue drink from Hermes, the messenger of the gods.
Percy Jackson Themed Party Food
The birthday girl insisted the food be in theme with the party. We had Greek pork loin, Greek potatoes, and a few other fruits and vegetables.
And in case you feared the children did not get their birthday allotment of sugar, we had a Percy Jackson themed birthday cake. My daughter requested a blue cake in honor of Percy's favorite color of food. The cake was a blue vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, and Rice Krispies treat decorations. Pages from The Last Olympian were printed on edible paper. I made the trident and spear out of fondant and edible paint.
The cake was based on the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series by Rick Riordan.