Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Gaming With Kids: Superhero Birthday Party

I think I've mentioned it before, but my boys are growing up geek. A consequence of this is that my youngest has asked for a super-hero themed birthday party. Well, that party is coming up this weekend and while mommy will be handling the costumes, it's daddy's job to come up with the superhero entertainment.  My current thinking is this:

Come up with some some iconic super powers and origin stories and have the kids choose them randomly. This could be a card draw, but it would be especially fun if they could randomly pick little objects that represented the powers (like a plastic spider for a pseudo-Spiderman). Mostly, I'll stick to the common superhero powers represented by famous characters. These are young kids and imaginations vary. (Though I gotta say my own boys are quite capable of inventing weird or silly super-powers on the spot. My oldest was Sticky Man for several weeks).

Team Formation
Simple and brief: gather the kids and recruit them into a League of Superheroes or some such. This is where daddy gets to do a little role-playing. Maybe I'll where an eye-patch for the whole Nick Fury effect (though I'd be surprised if any of the kids get the reference).

Danger Room
Here's where I'm a little fuzzy. I'd like to provide a few games where the kids can practice being superheroes. Quite possibly I'll adapt some classic party games and present them with a superhero twist, but  I'm still trying to think of something more interesting. Even better would be games that allow each child to do something that is marginally connected to their superhero power. I'm still working on this and suggestions would be welcome.

Superhero Mission
As the games are winding down, I'll interrupt the action in my Nick Fury persona and inform the kids of the nefarious activities of one or more super-villains (Gorilla Grodd is my kids current favorite baddie). There won't be any direct confrontation because I'm not sure I want to be responsible for introducing the thought of violent conflict to kids that I don't know particularly well. But a villaonous theft with a string of clues is more what I had in mind. It would be great if each child can pretend to use their super-power to advance to the next stage of the quest. Once again, suggestions from the peanut gallery would be welcome. I'm flying blind here, though I've done all of this an individual basis with my own boys.


Trey said...

That sounds like it will be a lot of fun for the kids. I think the "letting them use their superpower" part is a good idea.

Since your thinking about coming a with a group of powers for them to choose from, you could come up with an "obstacle" that each power would be able to overcome. Then maybe you coach them a little if they don't come up with it. Of course there's always room for creative on they're parts.

I think adapting the party games to a superhero them is a good idea, though off the top of my head I don't have any good suggestions. I think the first step would be making a list of the games that it would be easy to play, then brainstorm how to adapt 'em once you've got a narrowed list.

I'm interested in seeing what you come up with.

greywulf said...

That sounds like it's going to be one birthday party to remember!

Can I come? :D

Matt said...

A year or so ago, the youngest member of my group wanted, as his b-day party, a session of super-powerful D&D characters fighting Cthulhu. I spent a week creating an array of 20th level d20 characters (including Darth Vader and Master Chief) and we had a pretty good time. I think the Great Old One ripped through seven or eight of the good guys before we finally called it a night.

Risus Monkey said...

@Trey: Adapting powers is proving to be a challenge for the party games. I'm having an easier time of it for the step-by-step mystery that will lead to the "disarming" of the birthday cake bomb (I'm going to rig things so that the birthday boy has a bonus super breath power). Party games seem to be more general hero skills and teamwork exercises.

@Matt: That sounds like a hoot. Other than "Baby's First Mythos", I haven't sprung Lovecraft on the boys just yet. ;)