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Napoleon Dynamite Themed Party for Kids

Napoleon, Napoleon Dynamite

My son decided he wanted a Napoleon Dynamite party for his 11th birthday. I love planning parties, and this movie is so popular that I thought it would be a snap to plan. I did not find many ideas, so I had to get creative. This movie really tops my list as being a perfect movie. We can all watch it as a family and the 80s humor tickles me. In order to plan the party, we sat down and watched Napoleon about three times and the ideas started rolling. The party ended up being a total blast. Here are some fun things you can do if you are planning on a Napoleon Dynamite party for pre-teen kids:

We decided not to have a sleepover, but many of these ideas would work very well if the kids are spending the night.

Invitations: For the invitations, I got online and found a picture of Napoleon from the movie and cut and pasted it into my Print Shop program. We put the picture of Napoleon on the front and wrote, “Come to my Flippin’ Sweet Party…” and when the invitation is opened, it says, “and all your wildest dreams will come true.” Then the specifics of the party followed. We also included a picture of Pedro and a picture of a liger. One idea that I loved (but we didn’t use) was to have everyone dress as his or her favorite Napoleon character.

Activities: Of course, you will want to have the movie going during the party, with pre-teens; there might be some that have never seen it. It is very appropriate for this age; you don’t have to worry about violence or anything like that.

Glamour Shots: One fun idea is to set up a glamour shot area. Find a blank area on the wall and hang shimmery fabric and stars. Have the kids pose “Uncle Rico” style with their hands on their chins. Make sure you use a digital or Polaroid so everyone can take their picture home that night.

Dance Lessons: You have to get the music to “Canned Heat”, the song that Napoleon dances to for Pedro’s skit. Learn some Napoleon-style dance moves and teach the kids the dance.

Steak Toss: Buy a few of those rubber steaks (in the pet department) and make a target, such as a picture of Napoleon or a bicycle. Let the kids throw the steaks at the intended target, just like Uncle Rico does in the movie. You could do the same with a football, too.

Pin the Spoon on Tina: Draw a picture of a llama or enlarge a picture of Tina. Photocopy pictures of a wooden spoon and play pin the spoon on Tina’s mouth.

Make Boondoggles: In case you don’t know, those little key chains that Deb sells for college tuition are called boondoggles. You can easily make these using a handful of supplies. You can get instructions at almost any arts and craft store or on crafty Internet sites.

Trivia: Come up with trivia questions about the movie. Write each one down on the front of an index card and write the answer on the back. Take turns asking and answering the questions. Give the winner a “Vote for Pedro” pin.

Taste the Milk Defects: Napoleon and Pedro enjoy FFA. Your party guest can, too with a “taste the defects in the milk” contest. Add some flavoring to three or four glasses of milk and have the kids see if they can guess what is in the milk. Consider garlic powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, or chili powder.

Pinata: What Napoleon Dynamite party wouldn’t be complete without a piñata. You might not be able to find one that looks like Summer, but any kind of piñata will do!

Liger Drawing Contest: This idea is simple, but fun! Give everyone a drawing tablet and have everyone draw a liger. When everyone is done, have everyone vote on the one they like the best.

Food: There are so many ways to come up with food for a Napoleon Dynamite party. The possibilities are endless. If you are serving a meal, consider hot dogs and of course, tator tots. Look for plastic cafeteria-style trays to serve the meal during the party. Other foods you can consider are tator tot casserole, one percent milk (find the little cartons of milk), quesadillas, steak, hamburgers, onion rings and shakes.

You can make a cake, just like Pedro! Make a two layer round cake and decorate with white icing. Then, with red icing, write “Pedro “hearts” Summer. If you get really creative, you might be able to even make the cake look like tator tots! Make rice krispie treats and shape them into small tator tots. You could even tint the recipe with a little brown icing color before shaping them. Place your “tator tots” on the top of a sheet cake. Even another idea is to make a cake like a Mexican flag!

Party Favors: When we were planning our Napoleon Dynamite party, we got lucky and ran across a lot of Napoleon themed items in the dollar section of Target. We bought each guest a Napoleon Dynamite ink pen and writing tablet. Of course, you can come up with tons of other ideas. How about chapstick for when your “lips hurt real bad”? Other ideas could be wristbands, Big League chewing gum, boondoggles (if you don’t make them at the party) and a mix of 80s dance songs on a CD.

Also, consider buying a “Vote for Pedro” t-shirt for the birthday kid. Have each guest sign the shirt with a permanent marker before they leave. Napoleon Dynamite makes a great theme for a party, especially for pre-teens. Everyone will have a blast at this party!