You’ve all been to birthday parties with magicians and clowns, and maybe even with mad scientists and animal handlers, right? Well, when I did not register my son for fencing camp in time, I thought, “Why not hire a fencing instructor for his birthday party?”
It was a huge hit! I had seen the instructor working with a preschool fencing club at our local park. They used foam swords from the dollar store (no bruises! no lost eyeballs!) and practiced Official Fencing Positions. Sure, when they broke off to spar, very few of them stuck with proper form, but it’s fun, not the Olympics. I figured if he could handle a gang of preschoolers, he could handle my eleven-year-old and his buddies.
The event went off so well, I hired him again to do my seven-year-old’s party. Boys and girls loved the event equally, and, not a word of a lie, when I was sparring with one of the girls, I tried my hardest and I could not touch her with the sword. Take that, princess in distress stereotype! The kids all went home with their foam swords and a sheet illustrating the fencing positions they had learned. (I heard later that one boy was showing off his moves to his grandparents in England on Skype.)
You could do this with any number of skills: drumming, playing the harmonica, jewelry-making, painting, cartooning, knitting, carpentry. The loot bags create themselves, and the kids go home with a new skill. What’s not to love?