Winter birthday parties are harder than summer ones for planning active little kid parties. My 3 girls were born in the summer and being able to include outside activities makes their parties so much easier to plan. Some years we’ve just paid for the convenience of doing the January party at a jump house or trampoline place, but my boy wanted a traditional party with games and activities this year.
So, I started brainstorming. It didn’t take me long to realize he’d love a Ninjago Ninja party. (He takes Taekwondo and is obsessed with Ninjago Legos.)
I used my Party Planning Printable to create the plan. The food and decorating were pretty simple – the majority of my effort was in making sure the activities were super fun.
Setting Up & Decorating
My inspiration for colors came from my son’s favorite Ninjago ninja characters that wear green and gold (yellow), then I added black to round it out.
I took out every breakable thing of flowers and any breakable decorations and set them on the surfaces of my room and shut the door. I wanted the main area of the house to be ninja ready.
Decorations were simple – balloons and streamers.
I used yellow paper and drew “ninja eyes,” then taped those to the balloons. These are inspired by the yellow Lego Ninjago characters. It doesn’t take very long to feel like an expert drawing ninja eyes – a dot with a squiggle. You’ll see this theme repeat a lot. It was effective and inexpensive, my two favorite ways to decorate for a party.
We turned the black balloons above into training balloons in our garage dojo.
We parked the cars in the driveway, swept up and mopped the garage, and taped off a portion for the dojo.
Games & Activities
We took a little family trip to the Great Wolf Lodge over New Year’s Eve this year (it was our kids big gift for Christmas). One thing the GWL has are these Wolf Passes, where the kids wear them and as they do activities, it gets marked off on their pass.
The GWL pass inspired the Ninja Training lanyard. Each kid got their Ninja Training card that coordinated with the activities I chose. I was shocked at how important these became to the boys. They were excited to have each number marked off! Who knew?! Okay, I might have had a hunch.
Meet Master Matt and Master Mary, the fiercest Ninja Training team in town.
The “gathering” activity as kids arrived was Ninja Pickup. The kids used chopsticks to try to put little items into their cups.
For the little things to pickup, I chose those little puff balls in the craft aisle, feathers, golden bells, and tiny marshmallows. This was another fun activity for the boys. They got really into it and everyone wanted to find the little golden bells.
We called the slime activity, Ninja Training in the elements. We made the GREEN element. If you’ve seen the Ninjago movies, you may know there is a joke about the green element. They have different elements – air, fire, earth, etc. … then “green.”
We let the Assistant Masters (aka, my older girls) and my mom help make the slime. This was an activity that was a must-have for Brian, so we made it happen.
I still couldn’t picture a whole bunch of crazy little boys actually making it and getting the unfinished slime everywhere, so they watched it get made and then got to play with it afterwards. They didn’t seem to care a bit.
One of the activities was an obstacle course. We utilized the entire main area of the house for it. And this is why I felt the need to remove all the breakable items like I said before.
Some parts of the obstacle course were put away, then we pulled them out when it was time. The stacked boxes here were used as obstacles the kids jumped over. We laid them out in a row.
The Dojo sparring was the boys having a “class” and getting to hit and kick balloons. I think it is probably obvious that the boys LOVED this.
My birthday boy: take every overly dramatic things moms say about loving their sons and insert that right here. This boys is amazing in every way and I am so lucky to be his mom.
At the end of all the activities, we put a bandana on each boy and officially called them a ninja! I heard from several moms afterwards that the boys took their new titles very seriously.
Full List of Activities
Here is the list of the 10 activities the kids crossed off their lanyard passes. You’ll notice lots of these were simple, free games!
- Chopstick Pickup
- Balloon Sparring in the dojo
- Obstacle Course
- Hover Shot (A nerf gun target game.)
- Master Says (like Simon says)
- Fuel Stop (Yep, they got ninja credit for eating cake and ice cream!)
- Marshmallow Race (They raced to fill up a cup with marshmallows, carrying them with chopsticks.)
- Freeze Dance (If you think boys can’t get into this, you’re wrong. Sure, it sometimes became wrestling, but, they enjoyed it.)
- Ninja Ceremony with bandanas
Cupcakes & Party Favors
I kept going with the ninja eye thing and used that idea for cupcakes and party favors.
We kept refreshments simple. There was no smorgasbord of food. I think when you hold a party at a non-meal time, then you don’t need to provide a meal. Like I said, the majority of our effort was in the fun activities!
I made cupcakes from a box mix, then piped blue or green frosting on top. Then, I created the yellow eyes out of colored chocolate. It was easy enough. I heated the yellow colored white chocolate and piped it onto parchment paper in little rectangular ovals. Then, I heated chocolate chips and made the eyes.
The piped eyes may look a little messy, but man, the chocolate decorations on these tasted so good! I definitely prefer edible toppings.
The party favors are tootsie roll pops wrapped with tissue paper. Then, once again, I made the little ninja eyes to decorate. It was so easy and what kid doesn’t love lollipops?!
A Great Party
After the party, Brian told me that all of his birthday dreams had come true.
Seriously, I tried not to cry. Isn’t that all we want when we go through all the work and trouble of creating these parties for our kids?! We just want their birthday dreams to come true!
I hope this helps inspire you if you’re planning a Ninja or Ninjago party!