We didn't decorate too much for our Minecraft party, but my son spent the anxious days before the party making these very cool paper decorations for the table. We were inspired by an awesome party we found online, through which we found directions for the paper crafts.
I snuck in a party craft without the boys noticing that it was a 'craft'. (Insert evil Party Mom laugh here.) Each boy decorated a soda holder to look like a Minecraft character or scene. We mostly did this so that we wouldn't get drinks mixed up during the party or the 'after-party' when the families came together.
In this house, we can't resist an opportunity to make something from fuse beads. The pixelated look of all things Minecraft is a perfect match for fuse bead fun, so my boys made a cake for each guest. It gave the boys something else to do in the days leading up to the party when they seem to enjoy asking me when the party is, what time it will start, who will be there...you get the idea.
To make the goody bags, we printed an screenshot of Steve's face (Steve is what most people call the main character of Minecraft) and glued the face to plain brown paper bags. I love of making goody bags from plain old lunch bags!
We added the fuse bead cake, a sheet for making a cute Creeper, and any candy we could find that was cube shaped, to match the pixelated images that make up Minecraft.
Most boys would resist the idea of birthday party games, but our games were geeky enough to win over our guests. We started with a game that was really a snack, Digging for Diamonds, explained here. Naturally, we played it outside, since it was a bit messy with all that scraping.
I've learned over the years that no birthday party is complete without a Pin-the-____-on-the-_____ game (think: tails on donkeys), so the boys indulged me with a very goofy game of Pin the Armor on Steve.
My son drew Steve and some other Minecraft characters on a poster. He even threw in some characters from other computer games. (See a little guy from Portal below.)
Then he made some armor and weapons out of another piece of poster board, cut them out, and we let blindfolded guests try to tape the pieces on the poster. [Did I mention that these kids are 12? They are a very fun group of boys to go along with this; it was hysterical!]
But I won't lie to you. This is a Minecraft party, after all. Once the boys indulged my Party Mom need for goody bags and party games, the real fun (for them) began: a game of Minecraft!
My son and my husband spent a few days before the party setting up a special game for the boys to play. The game was designed to take a little over an hour. We hooked up a laptop for each guest (the boys brought their own) and even had a few cousins and other friends play remotely from home since they couldn't be at the party for one reason or another.
At certain points in the game clues, maps, and directions needed to be read from secret envelopes. In the days leading up to the party, my son decorated the numbered envelopes and I emailed all the clues to the cousins who would be playing from remote locations.
The game was not without technical difficulties, especially at first while we tried to get everyone online (imagine horses in the starting gate...that is sort of how the boys acted while waiting for everyone to get online!) but once the game got started, it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed listening to their conversations...and enjoyed the opportunity to finally sit down and relax at one of my kids' birthday parties!