So, as usual, I had Jackson choose his birthday party theme somewhere near the end of last summer so we would have plenty of time to plan and purchase toward his party. He wanted Superheros and later I came up with a Superhero Training Academy.......well, i came across this theme in my searches and made the suggestion.
For each child i created a logo, printed it on printable iron-on paper, and then ironed them onto capes i made from a poly-blend. The poly-blend material can be cut without fraying, so you just cut and go. Hint, though, the printable iron on stuff only works correctly on white or light colored fabric. All the store had was black that would work for everyone and when we did the transfers, everyone ended up with just a sparkly shape that showed no color. I also got sheets of fun foam and cut out a mask and wrist bands for each child. Some elastic and stick-on Velcro dots and you are good to go. I also put each set of items in bags to be given to parents so they could help give the kids their items as they earned them.
Decorations: I used the birthday boy's superhero's signature color of green and made the cake in the shape of his logo which was a green lightening bolt.
Food: I did a 2 pm party so just did bowls of snack food and some green punch
First i welcomed the kids to the Academy. Then i introduced each of them to the class and gave their superhero names and powers. Then our villain (a friend's daughter in a black mask) ran through saying she was going to ruin the party and dumped a bunch of bombs (black balloons). I told the kids to think quick and defuse the bombs (pop them). Then they were awarded their write bands.
Then we did a physical strength training with an obstacle course. When completed, they earned their capes.
Then when we gathered up again, the villain came back and dumped 'ice-omia' (reusable ice cubes i picked up at 5-below) around their feet. I told them to be very careful and pick them up and put them in a cooler i had so everyone would be safe. i thanked them for their bravery and awarded them with their masks.
Finally, i told them i had one more tool for them (silly string). They had a few moments to practice before the villain came back and they got her. I didn't have someone to act like a cop so we decided the villain would say sorry and say she just wanted to come to the party and no one invited her. So, Jackson said she could stay at his party and everyone cheered.
then we sang happy birthday, blew out the candles, opened gifts and had cake and ice cream. As kids left they got to choose from either a superhero washcloth cube that expands in water or a superhero coloring book. that's it. Minimal mess and lots of activity. short and sweet.