Looking to create the best Avatar: The Last Airbender party on a budget? Youĺl find fun ideas for decor, gifts, food, and more in this post!
My little guy turned one recently. (Even with all the COVID-19 craziness, this year still snuck by.) Somehow, it seemed fitting to theme his first birthday after this awesome TV show. He’ll get to pick next year.
This post contains affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.
How to Throw An Avatar Birthday Party
Check out the party details! Hopefully, you’ll get some inspiration to throw your own adorable Avatar birthday party!
My husband had some scrap wood left over from a project, so I decided to make character blocks for the party table with it. We cut 5 x 5″ blocks from the wood and after sanding them, I used Mod Podge to adhere these adorable Team Avatar pictures (by Morgan Leung) to the wood. I love how they turned out. They added so much to the table spread!
I hung a little flying Appa from my light fixture over the table. If I had thought ahead, I would have made a cotton batting cloud to hang Appa from. It would have been a lot cuter, I think.
You could also use a plush Appa if you have one or want to order one as a gift for your little Avatar.
I wanted to add a few trinkets from the series to place among the food table. So I made a Katara necklace (grab one here if you don’t want to make one!) and placed it inside a teacup, which was a nod to Uncle Iroh.
After we ordered Chinese food for dinner (more on that later), I put an egg roll and chopsticks on the plate too.
Zuko’s Blue Spirit Mask made a cool, flat centerpiece, and it was easy to make with a Cricut!
Avatar Aang Backdrop
I really wanted to try something unique and have a display that looked great in the light, and also glowed in the dark as if Aang were in the Avatar state.
First, I cut out a large Aang silhouette out of black poster board and painted the eyes and hand symbols with blue glow paint.
I painted a large yellow number one and put the Aang in front of it.
Then I drew the four nation symbols on poster board with my Cricut and then painted them with glow paint as well. The glow effect was really cool when the symbols were fully charged, but I still think UV paint and a black light would have worked better.
I put these tiny lights inside blue balloons and put two clusters by the Aang to frame in the whole thing. The lights rock! They were still glowing for days after the party. You can reuse the lights too- just stick the white tab in-between the batteries again.
I actually used one of these to light my Eiffel tower centerpiece for my daughter’s Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir party. (Do not shake a balloon with the light inside! The light will bust into pieces and pop the balloon.)
I cut out the words “Book One: Aric”, which was written in the Avatar-style font (Herculanum). I put this above and below the Aang.
It was fun to turn off the lights and turn on a little disco light to make it look like Aang was in the Avatar state.
I hung red paper lanterns along the arch in my kitchen.
My older kids colored characters from Avatar and we hung them on our kitchen cabinets.
My mom gave me a cute photo display kit. It included 10 golden clips to hang wallet-sized pictures on a strand of fairy lights.
I made a door display of asian-style buildings (Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com), photos of the birthday boy, glow in the dark stars, and a picture of Princess Yue (made by Saabah from Deviant Art) in the moon. It looked like a quiet town from Avatar at night. I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of it at nighttime because it turned out so cute!
On our back door, I took the four nation colors and made a fringe curtain out of crepe paper. I would have loved to have the streamers at floor-length, but the birthday boy would have shredded them within a few minutes. I added a black crepe paper strip over the top to cover up the tape and then I added a nation symbol sticker over the appropriate color.
Avatar Costume Inspiration
Of course, we all dressed up! We happened to be Avatar characters last Halloween, so we already had costumes that still (mostly) fit. We even just cut the feet off my little son’s outfit so he could wear his Aang costume again.
Here are our pictures from Halloween.
Several of my family members came for the party, and I was impressed by the costumes they came up with just from a few minutes rummaging through our dress-up bin.
My brother-in-law dressed as one of our favorite characters: the poor cabbage merchant, who has the worst luck selling his cabbages. My brother was the pirate that Katara stole the waterbending scroll from, and my sister (you all know Madison!) was Chong, the earth nomad famous for singing the “secret tunnel” song about the Cave of Two Lovers.
I made my son an Appa onesie with an iron-on decal from Etsy. I added the phrase “Yip yip” to it with iron-on vinyl. Use the font Herculanum to make any Avatar-style phrase for your party clothes!
For dinner, we went real easy and ordered Chinese food to go with our theme. But here is what we did for our treats!
I fancied up a generic oreo ice cream cake from Target for the party. I added different things to represent the four elements: water, fire, earth, and air.
I painted blue gel food coloring around the edge of the cake for water and then green in-between the crumbled Oreos for earth. The Oreos kind of looked like dirt or boulders to me! I also left the whipped cream because I thought it looked a bit like clouds to represent air.
I made candy out of sugar and corn syrup for the fire. This was very sticky and messy and probably not worth the time. 🙂 An easier way is to just say the fire from lighted candles represents fire.
For the waterbending, I painted melted (blue colored) white chocolate to look like waves. Once dried, I painted darker blue gel coloring to increase the color depth. Make more than you need in case they break as you decorate your cake.
I loved this Funko Pop! Aang character that came with a Momo. It made a great topper for the cake. Amazon also offers other adorable figurines of Appa, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Zuko, Uncle Iroh, Azula, Korra, and yes, the Cabbage Man.
Note: If you’re using an ice cream cake like me, assemble the “fire” and “water” just before serving. Press carefully into the cake!
Four Nations Cupcakes
I made simple cupcake toppers out of cardstock. I drew the four symbols on paper with my Cricut and then laminated the sheets before cutting the circles out.
They worked great, but I would recommend putting the toppers in right before serving the cupcakes or attaching them to toothpicks before inserting. If left overnight, the toppers may fill with moisture and you won’t be able to see the designs clearly anymore.
If you look up Avatar birthday food ideas, almost all of them will mention to use green juice for the infamous “Cactus Juice”. I went a slightly different route and themed the punch after the Foggy Swamp tribe members.
I laminated a picture of their swamp monster to put in the ice cream.
I would have loved an all-lime sherbet in the punch to go with the green, but the store only had rainbow sherbet. I thought it still turned out cool and swampy-looking! Just add Sprite, a big can of pineapple juice, sherbet, and some green food coloring to make this yummy punch!
My husband suggested that we use Jello to make a fun smash cake for our little guy. It turned out great! I used a mini cake pan to mold the jello, and then we put whipped cream around it like it was a cake with frosting. The Jello was orange to represent Aang, and we added a blue 1 on the top for his arrow tattoo.
The second night, when we celebrated with additional family, I left the Jello in the pan and added a little Momo.
Avatar Training Game
Our main activity consisted of a bunch of mini-games that went along with Aang’s journey in the Avatar series. Obviously, my little guy couldn’t fully participate in the games, but he enjoyed observing and playing in his own way!
Aang learned airbending first in the series, so we started with this air-themed mini-game.
We did the classic game of Keep the Balloon in the Air, except we did something different each round we played.
Round One- Keep the balloon up with your hands.
Round Two- Keep the balloon up with anything but your hands.
Round Three- Try to be the last Airbender (a.k.a the last one to keep your balloon from touching the ground).
We let “Katara” show us some waterbending moves that she learned from the water scrolls. She was a great teacher!
Then we had a waterbending relay. We filled large straws with water (you know, with the finger trick) from a bowl and then tried to fill up our team’s cup before the other team filled theirs.
The Secret Tunnel
A perfect activity for a little Avatar is to go through a play tunnel, like the Secret Tunnel to the Earth Kingdom. We played the “Secret Tunnel” song from the show and let the birthday boy climb through the tunnel.
My other daughter dressed as Toph, and so she gave our group instructions on how to earthbend. She gave a very intense demonstration as well.
As mentioned before, my brother-in-law dressed as the cabbage man, and we practiced our earthbending by tossing soft rocks at the cabbages. We were blindfolded so we could “see with our feet” like Toph.
We listened for whistles from the cabbage man to know where the cabbages were. If we hit the cabbages, Alex threw them up in the air and exclaimed, “My cabbages!” like in the show.
We listened to this Youtube video for this part of the activity. It features the chakra scene in Book Two with Guru Pathik! It has relaxing music , and was a good opportunity to slow down.
*Bonus points to you if you drink banana onion juice beforehand.
Firework tents were up at the time we did this party, so we were able to get our hands on some sparklers. I got the super long ones so the kids would be safer.
First, my husband (a.ka. Prince Zuko) taught the kids some firebending moves. Then he instructed them to let go of their anger so their bending would come from the correct source. Then we lit the sparklers to represent our firebending.
The birthday boy loved watching the sparklers!
Final Challenge: The Melon Lord
In the show, Team Avatar practices fighting the Fire Lord by training with a watermelon dummy, or “The Melon Lord”.
We had a gravel pile in our driveway, so my husband put the melon head on PVC pipes. (I ran out of red material recently, so there was no robe on it like in the movie, but it still totally worked). We used a frisbee to be sort of like Sokka’s boomerang to hit the target until the pipe bent.
I just know my neighbors think I have lost my mind, seeing me dressed up and throwing a frisbee at a watermelon in my driveway.
Hope these ideas inspired you! We’d love to see pictures of your Avatar party!