A lot of these ideas could also work for a Percy Jackson party!! For us, we decided not to call it that so we could also focus on telling the stories too.
The idea behind this program was to replicate the success of our Dr. Seuss Birthday Party and have an event that was half stories and half activities. And as usual we had a blast coming up with some funny promotional stuff.
We had a really great event so let me walk you through it!
Mr. Mark and I started out by telling/acting out two different Greek myths. The first one was Hercules and his Twelve Labors. It was surprising easy to act out, since we picked out the easiest ones to perform. First thing I did was find a decent Hercules book, photocopied the pages we wanted to do, crossed out the parts that were too graphic or too long, and the just added whatever we needed to make the story flow better. We then taped it to the book to make it look like we were simply reading the story.
So we settled on five labors we were going to tell. We tried to make them as funny as possible, just like when we do our Dr. Seuss story time.
We started with the Hydra since it’s one of the most famous ones and it turned out to be the funniest. I made it easily enough with pool noodles, fake vampire teeth, and monster eyes. It was around Halloween so everything was real easy to find at the Dollar Store and it all cost under $10.
As Mr. Mark was telling this part of the story, I would hit him with one of the pool noodles. Then he would cut it down, and I would hit him with two more. We kept doing this until I was pelting him with six noodles, and he burned them with a cardboard torch that Jess made. The kids loved this part of the story more than anything else so it was great!
The next myth we did was the Stymphalian Birds. I just flew around him with a bunch of bird puppets as he was describing how vicious they were. The third time I flew around with a puppet I picked the moose, and the kids thought that was hilarious. He also explained that the birds would poop on people (no really, that’s in the myth. Weird right??) so I ran around the top of the kids’ heads with my bird puppet and they kids loved that part too. Hercules got rid of the birds by making noise, so we had the kids yell really loud to get rid of them.
Next myth was the Erymanthian Boar. Mr. Mark talked about how ferocious the boar was, but when I brought it out it was a little pig puppet. I hit him with it for a laugh. In the myth Hercules chases the boar up a mountain to get him cold, so we just ran around and I made the pig shiver.
Next myth was the Stables of King Augeas. Mr. Mark explained what a stable was and how disgusting these ones were. So he talked about diverting the river to clean out the stables and I sprayed him with some squirt guns. Kids liked that part too.
Last myth we did was the Golden Apples of Hesperides. We held out apples and Mr. Mark explained that they were guarded by the daughters of Atlas, and I pretended to be Atlas by hoisting a giant beach ball over my head. We finished up and went into our next story.
The second story we did was Theseus and the Minotaur, and we did this one pretty fast. I was Theseus and read a little bit of the background of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth. Mr. Mark gave me the Golden Thread and the sword–we didn’t have a wig to make Mark into a woman so we used a mop head and the kids loved that.
The rest of it was me walking through the maze with the thread that I taped off earlier. Mr. Mark finally came up behind me and we fought quickly.
That all took about 30 minutes, so now we were ready to move onto the Hero Training Camp.
The goal was to complete all of the tasks to pass the Hero Training Camp, and they could do them in any order. It tested all the attributes that great heroes have.
The Test of Agility was trying to throw a spear pool noodle through a hoop. Simple enough and kids loved it.
For the Test of Speed, kids strapped on some wings that Jess made to their shoes. Then they ran a simple obstacle course as fast as they could.
For the Test of Teamwork, one kid would be blindfolded and have to walk through the maze that we made on the floor. Their buddy would have to tell them which way to go to get out!
The last two test was the Test of Strength. Mr. Mark brought out his Tug-of-War rope, and it turned into parents vs. kids. That was really fun to watch! So if kids did all four challenges, they got a medal that they got to design. Not sure where we got these ones from, but I’m sure you can find or make something similar.
In addition we had a few crafts that kids could make. We had a coloring station set up with markers, string, and a hole puncher so kids could color the Medusa mask I made (with an assist from Jess.) Feel free to use this if you’d like, you can also download a copy here. Circ staff was nice enough to cut them out ahead of time, which was a huge time saver.
Next to that was a maze I made, so feel free to use this too. You can also download a copy here.
Last thing was a Cyclops Origami that I found on YouTube. It actually blinks, which is kinda cool! I made my own instruction sheet here if that’s helpful.
That’s it!! Very little prep and a great program overall.
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Amazing! It’s a great idea for every kids program! I like the way of how can children interacts with each other at the same time learning. I will use this one as a reference. I’m part of NGO, Childhope Philippines who work to promote the welfare, uphold, and protect children’s rights, particularly children in street situations. And this activity will be a great help for us. Thanks for this!
This is incredible!! Thank you so much for sharing it!