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If you want more details and some behind-the-scenes prep for this party be sure to check out my Ninjago Instagram Highlights. Man alive are my kids obsessed with Ninjago. I mean they’re ninjas. And they’re legos. What’s not to love? For my son’s 8th birthday he requested a sleepover. I was hesitant because we haven’t really done sleepover parties before. And you know, like noone even lets their kids do sleepovers anymore, do they? But we decided to pick a few kids whose moms I know very well to try and make it work.
The plan was to keep things low key because he had his big camping party last year (despite what you might think I only throw them an all-out-bash every other year). But then he came up with the idea of the slumber party being Ninjago-themed. And you know what happens when you give a party planner a theme?? Think If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…
Ninjago Party Decorations
I was torn between going completely oriental with the decorations or keeping it Ninjago-esque with all the bright colors and ninja masks. I ended up doing a little of both with the bright colors for the dessert table and oriental for the dinner table.
For the dinner table I went with red, black and gold. The tablecloth is just a regular black plastic tablecloth from walmart and this is the tablerunner I got from Amazon. I wasn’t sure about the quality since it said it was paper, but it was a nice durable paper, and it survived the party so I just rolled it back up for another time! (Chinese New Year??) The plates and napkins are all just cheap-ies from Wal-Mart as well.
My favorite part about the dinner table was the centerpiece that my son meticulously and incessantly tweaked for weeks leading up to the party. Deciding which mini figures made the cut, what order they should be in, how far they should be spaced apart, which accessories they should be wearing/holding, and probably 32 other factors were carefully considered. Because I hung the paper lanterns so low over the table, I think this centerpiece was perfect for the occasion.
Each place setting had chopsticks, a fortune cookie, these adorable golden mini take out boxes and the “ninjago fruit punch”. Inside the take out boxes were these Lego bracelets and a minifigure of their own! Here was my big secret of the party that they still haven’t figured out (I was sure they would bust me!): They’re not real LEGO brand minifigures! I found this set on amazon that was much cheaper, and it was perfect because they came individually wrapped. And for my lego/ninjago obsessed kiddos you know they are good knock offs if even they didn’t notice.
The fruit punch I wrapped with yellow cardstock and the eyes I cut out with my cricut and glued on. The coaster is a lego baseplate I found at the dollar store. We had chinese for dinner (my sister said it should be Japanese if we wanted to be truly authentic…) so the chopsticks and fortune cookies are from the restaurant.
The dessert table’s only task was to hold the Ninjago sugar cookies. Hah and to look fun and cute of course. I saw the idea floating around pinterest to break up the table into different color blocks to represent the different ninjas. I thought it was such a fun idea! All the photos I found had broken links, however, so I can’t link to it here. But here is my version/interpretation!
Each color is just a plastic tablecloth from walmart. The masks I cut out of cardstock with my cricut. You could also do vinyl and then it would be like a sticker, but I was worried it would be to hard to apply without getting it all wrinkled and bubbly. If you don’t have a cricut, there are some free printable masks here.
This guy is just foam board covered in a gold tablecloth I got from walmart. The mask and crown (i’m told its not a crown…) I cut with my cricut and then added some green streamer for the headband. When I was planning the dessert table I asked the birthday boy who his favorite ninja was. He told me it was Lloyd, so I planned on making this guy green (feeling pretty good about myself that I knew that Lloyd was the green ninja). I went ahead and ordered these #8 gold balloons and later learned that he meant Lloyd after he becomes the gold ninja. Obviously, mom. If I had known he was going to be gold I would have ordered black #8s. Ah well.
So, cookie decorating is not my thang. I tried my best with these guys though! And I did it all with just a knife. I don’t have fancy things like piping bags and tips or fondant or whatever other witchcraft those amazing decorators use. I did use the wilton food coloring though to make sure I got true colors, I was worried about a having pastel ninjas. I got this cute idea from Wants and Wishes. She has a great Ninjago party post, go check it out! (and her cookies are amazing and make mine look like a 2 year old did them).
The paper lantern idea I also saw floating around Pinterest and once again couldn’t locate a working link to credit. There were lots of variations but I just used my cricut and duct tape! I was going to staple them on but that did NOT work out. So duct tape it was. My boys wanted to help glue the eyes on so some of the ninjas ended up looking more sad than angry. I hung them on fishing line from 3M hooks and used some scotch tape to hold them in place so they wouldn’t slide. These were the paper lanterns I got and I was very happy with them.
The last element to our decorations was the Ninjas Never Quit banner I made. I have this available as a free download at the end of the post. I just ask that you take a second and follow me on Instagram before you download, thanks friend!
Ninjago Party Games
Ninja Training Obstacle Course
The main thing birthday boy wanted to do was have Ninjago battles. For that we needed swords. Dad really came through and helped the birthday boy make 6 PVC pipe swords from scratch. They went to home depot to shop for the parts and then assembled them together. I helped spray paint them gold and then they added insulation and duct tape to try and minimize the damage the kids would do to each other (it was a nice goal). You can see more about the swords in my Ninjago Instagram story highlights.
As the kids arrived they could pick a t-shirt (for which ninja they wanted to be) and a sword. If you watch the video at the beginning of the post I demonstrate how you can tie a regular t-shirt like a ninja mask which I learned from Lemon Squeezy Home (be sure to check out her post, it’s full of tons of great ideas!) I found that a t-shirt a bit bigger than the size they would wear works best. For example for this lot of 8 year-olds I used size 10/12 shirts. That way the sleeves were long enough to double knot.
Once they were in character I had them run an obstacle course and I timed them. It started to get pretty competitive and several of them wanted to do it multiple times. By the end of it they were all very sweaty and hot and I was feeling better about all the sugar I was going to give them later ;). I don’t have a lot of photos of them doing the obstacle course as I was busy timing them, but if you watch the video at the top of the post that gives you some sneak peeks.
First they ran through a laser beam course, then they had to shoot a bow and arrow at a target (until they hit it), then they had to climb the jungle gym, then go across our see saw which we used as a balance beam, and then run up a hill to the finish line.
I had my boys build the laser beam course to keep them out of my hair until party time. They actually did a pretty good job once I gave them a little demonstration.
Once the Ninjas were deemed battle-ready we begun our battles. This was basically the boys fighting on the trampoline with swords. We did just one-on-one battles to minimize the injuries. And no ER trips were necessary. So we’ll call it a win. Everyone watched and cheered each other on while the two boys battled. Check the video for a clip of it!
Arts & Crafts
After the battles the boys had worked up quite the appetite, so we went inside for our chinese food dinner. After dinner we did a direct draw of Lloyd. I put this you-tube video up on the TV and all the boys drew Lloyd. We were going to make some oragami throwing stars too but they were anxious to be done with Arts & Crafts time ;).
Build a Ninja Fortress
Our last activity, because it was a sleepover, was to build a fort to sleep in. Birthday boy was very anxious for this part. We used all the sheets in the linen closet and all the chairs in the house. It was a mega-fort! We ended the night with cookies, presents and the Ninjago Movie.
Ninjago Party Shopping List
Not an exhaustive list but some of the main items I bought for the party and their sources, hope that helps!
- Asian tablerunner
- Gold mini takeout boxes (the gold was out of stock when I wrote this post so I linked to the natural color).
- Lego bracelets (the kids LOVED these)
- Gold number balloon
- Yellow & black cardstock
- Ninjago minifigures
- Wilton food coloring
- Paper Lanterns (I really liked these, came with fishing line to hang and they were individually wrapped).
- Tablecloths in various colors (walmart)
- Plain T shirts (walmart)
Ninjago Free Printable
I made this Ninjas Never Quit banner available as a free download. Just head over and give me a quick follow on Instagram and then click the button below to download. Happy party planning friends! I’d love to see your parties! You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me in your posts!