ST. GEORGES DAY FOR KIDS
These St. Georges day party ideas could equally apply to a Knights and Princesses birthday party theme or a Medieval Party. All of which are always popular with both boys and girls.
WHY WE CELEBRATE ST. GEORGES DAY
St. Georges is the patron saint of England and he is most often portrayed killing a dragon.
According to a legend from the 14th century, a menacing dragon was plaguing a pagan town in Libya. The offering of a sheep to the dragon did not satisfy him so it was decided to start offering the citizens of the town. When it was the local princess' turn to be sacrificed, St. Georges came to the rescue and slaughtered the dragon thus saving the life of the princess. As a result the entire town converted to Christianity.
So what better excuse to party than St. Georges Day. Think of dragons, knights, sword fights, damsels in distress, heroes, banquets…
KID'S PARTY INVITATIONS
Send out St. Georges Day party invitations in the shape of a shield. Simply make a template of a shield and draw round it on some card. Then paint or color on a big red cross. Ask the children to come dressed up as knights or princesses and to "be ready to slay the dragon".
KID'S PARTY COSTUMES
Boys will probably want to come dressed as brave knights and girls probably dressed as beautiful princesses. Mum or dad usually gets to be the dragon!
ST. GEORGES DAY PARTY DECORATIONS
- First off is to think of red, white and blue. Red and white being the color of the England flag and blue being the color of the Garter.
- String up lots of red and white balloons, bunting and St. Georges Flags and if you have a strip of red cloth, you could use it as a "red carpet" at the entrance to your house.
- If you are feeling adventurous you could make large cardboard shields out of old boxes and place them round the walls so that your house starts to resemble a castle. In fact you could actually let the kids decorate them when they arrive and then hang them up – all kids like to see their handicrafts displayed.
- Dig out all those toy swords or make some out of those long cardboard tubes that come inside silver foil or Cling film wrappings and place them in a large basket ready for the dragon slaying pinata!
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR KID'S PARTY
There are a lot of good old English classic games that are traditionally played on St. Georges day. Many are played in pubs and not so suited to small children and some require a bit of investment so why not try out my 'adapted' versions instead:
Toss the Ring (Quoits)
Make your own quoits by securing 2 wooden pegs into the ground about 1 foot apart. Stand the kids about 6 feet away and get them to throw small rubber rings (cheap rubber rings bought from pet shops are perfect!) onto the stakes. Give points for the closest and extra points if they manage to get their ring on one of the post.
Amazon have a good selection of Quoits if you'd rather buy some.
Bash the Castle
This is my homemade version of skittles and great fun for those budding knights who want to do battle. Secure a long piece of rope to a ball by first putting the ball in a netting sack or cloth bag and then tying the rope to it. A football is perfect. Tie the rope to a high branch of a tree or to a swing frame so that the ball hangs about 6 inches off the ground. The ball should be able to swing freely. Make some skittles by filling several liter plastic drinks bottles with sand to weigh them down and arrange these on the ground below the ball and rope. These will be the "castle walls". The children take it in turns to bash the castle walls by pulling the rope back and then letting the ball swing. You could have one special skittle in the middle which is the gate of the castle and when that is knocked down the game is over, and the kid who knocked it down is declared "King of the Castle".
Get a large wooden board and bang several long nails into it but make sure to leave the nails sticking out a couple of inches. Paint a number next to each nail with the center nail being marked as the 'Dragon's eye'. Hang the board on a wall or tree and the kids take turns to toss a plastic or rubber ring at the board with the aim of getting the dragon's eye or as many points as possible.
You need lots of kids for this St. Georges Day game and a large space. Select one person to be the fearful dragon and everyone else are knights or princesses. The knights and princesses line up on one side of the garden except the fearful dragon who stands a few meters away. When the dragon shouts "FIRE, FIRE", everyone must run down to the other side of the garden and past him whilst he tries to catch someone. Whoever is caught is turned into a dragon and becomes his partner and together they try to catch more people when the knights and princesses have to run the other way. The game continues until there is one person left to catch and he/she is declared the champion knight/princess.
Save the Princess
You need quite a few kids for this game and an odd number and preferably quite a bit of space. One person is chosen as the princess and the others divide into pairs with one of the pair being St. Georges and the other his horse. The horses form a circle and the St. Georges form another larger circle around them. Meanwhile the princess goes and sits a few meters away. Either put on some music or get the kids to sing a rhyme and at the same time the horses must walk around clockwise whilst the St. Georges walk around anti-clockwise. When the princess shouts "HELP", each St. Georges must run to his horse, jump on his back and then they both race to save the princess. The first one to reach her is declared the hero.
Slay the Dragon Pinata
This can be the finale to the party and is a great way for all those budding knights and princesses to test their skill at slaying the dragon. Fill the pinata with sweets, trinkets and chocolate golden coins. Get the kids to take turns at bashing it with a plastic sword or one made out of wood. Here's how to Make your own pinata or you could buy a ready-made one.
ST. GEORGES DAY PARTY FOOD
Serve up good ol' English food for St. Georges Day like:
- Bangers and mash
- Pie and mash
- Pork pies
- Sausage rolls
- Fish and chips (eaten out of newspaper)
- Chicken in a basket
- Apple pie and custard
- Scones with jam
- Cake in the shape of a dragon or the England flag.
PARTY FAVORS AND PRIZES
If you decide to hand out prizes or small gifts at some time during the party, how about:
- Small plastic figures of dragons
- Plastic swords
- Jewelry or hair accessories
- Dragon stickers and tattoos
- Classic English books such as Beatrix Potter, Treasure island or Gulliver's Travels.
If you want to know more about St. Georges Day, here is a great article from TheSun newspaper