January 4th brings the first of our family birthdays, namely that of a young lady, who turned seven today. Over the next year, I will, each month, present ideas for an historically-themed birthday party for young history buffs. Since the one pictures has always been big on princesses, and her daddy (the kid in the middle of the castle cake photo) was an ardent junior member of our local SCA group, I’ll start with a Medieval party theme.
Having guests come in costume (or don what you provide) adds to the fun. Long dresses for little girls can be found in most thrift shops and adapted for medieval use, and boys just require a man’s’ large T-Shirt with a belt around the middle.
For a knight’s costume, visit:
Dragon and unicorn costumes are a bit trickier. If you’re not into sewing (that’d be me), and your child really wants one, buy it.
If you think your child and the party guests might go for authentic medieval food, all of those listed below were in vogue ‘back then’, and can legitimately be served. Being mindful, of course, of guests’ allergies and religious observances.
- Salad made up of vegetable of the times (lettuce, carrots, turnips, cabbage, watercress)
- Vegetable Soup (Good luck with that one. Most kids hate it.)
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Meat Pies
- Chicken Legs
- Ginger Ale
- Root Beer (the non -alcoholic kind)
If you think they’re not likely to go for an authentic cuisine, give modern party fare a medieval twist.
- Edible Jewels (various colours of gelatine cut into diamond shapes)
- Dragon Scales (potato crisps/chips)
- Fish Finger Cart – Place two fish fingers upright, with another laid on top, use cucumber slices for wheels and stick pretzels for handles. If you want to get really fancy, you can have it ‘pulled’ by a horse-shaped cookie.)
- Edible Round Shields or Round Stained Glass Window (hamburgers) Kids can make designs on them with mustard & ketchup.
- Swords in Sheaths (hot dogs) Cut hot dog lengthwise to make it flat, then stick a corn-on-the cob holder in one end as a hilt sticking out of the bun sheath)
- Shish Kabob Fruit Swords (grapes, strawberries, chunks of melon and pineapple, stuck into a small tangerine ‘hilt’)
- Ice Cream sprinkled with candy ‘jewels’ & served in mini tankards
- Marzipan Pigs
- Chocolate Coins
To be totally authentic, the kids should be eating with their fingers from wooden bowls, drinking from pewter goblets, and wiping their hands on a convenient hairy hound, but paper tableware with a medieval theme works, too. If your local shops don’t have any, try:
https://www.birthdayinabox.com/categories/boys-medieval-knight-tableware which also carries medieval-themed lollipops, favour holders, piñatas and the like.
Cakes, of course, can incorporate a number of medieval themes – carriage, princess, knight, dragon, castle, and so on.
For instructions on making a castle cake, visit:
In addition to the obvious making of cardboard swords, shields, crowns, and, if you’re really ambitions, a cardboard castle (team effort), check out some of these:
https://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/sealing-wax/ (adult supervision required)
- ‘London Bridge’
- Dancing Round The Maypole
- Bobbing for Apples
- Foot Races
- Shooting at the Butts (requires toy bows & arrows & a target)
- Styrofoam Sword Play Fights *
- Storm the Castle: Kids hurl nerf balls at a cardboard castle.)
- Rescue the Princess/Prince: ‘Princess/prince’ stands behind a ‘guard’ who has his/her back to the brave knights, who tiptoe towards the royal captive from a starting point. If the guard senses their approach (or is alerted by the expression on the royal captive’s face) and turns around, any rescuers who don’t immediately ‘freeze’ and are caught moving have to go back to the starting point.)
- Don’t Wake The Dragon: Kids hold hands in a ring around a ‘sleeping dragon’, who has before him or her, a ‘treasure box’ of toy jewellery. Kids take it in turns to sneak up and try to steal the treasure box without the dragon sensing the would-be thief. If the dragon awakens, the thief must get back to his or her place in the ring before being tagged by the dragon. If tagged, the thief is ‘out’ and is imprisoned in the dragon’s cave (has to sit inside the circle with the dragon). If treasure box is successfully stolen, thief gets to pick out a jewel before returning the treasure box to a different dragon for another round.
- Medieval Trivia: Divide kids into teams and ask medieval-based questions.
- Chess tournament (older kids)
- Seasonal: Conkers *: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GaGw73LijM
* Yes, fingers get hit. Don’t play with younger children or older ones with low pain thresholds.