A Settlers of Catan Birthday Party and Game Night

by | Jul 23, 2012 | Birthday Parties, Precious Moments: 01 | 18 comments

This past Friday our oldest son turned 12 years old!   I still can’t believe he will be a teenager next year… His childhood is going by way too quickly…  He is such a great son, and we are so proud of the wonderful young man he is becoming!

For this birthday he requested a party based on one of his favorite games:  The Settlers of Catan!   We decided to have a game night and invite a few friends to join us.   He does have the extension games for Cities & Knights and Seafarers, but for the party (since some of our guests would be playing for the first time) we decided to just play the original version of the game with the 5-6 player extension.   We set up one game at the dining room table and another (my brother brought his game for us to use too) at the coffee table.   It was such a fun birthday party… “The best birthday!”  as my kids tend to say every. single. year!  ðŸ˜‰

.:  Catan Decorations & Games :.

I had all sorts of plans that I had hoped to pull together for decorations, but my time was extra limited this past week between doctors appointments and babysitting my niece.  I made his “cake” the night before, and then the morning of the birthday/party (while the boys were at Mass with their Dad and the birthday boy received a birthday blessing from Father!) I scrambled to pull a couple things together starting with a “Happy Birthday Banner!”

Normally I use my Cricut to make banners, but I needed something extra quick and easy, so I created the banner using reddish marble hexagons with the font Garamond MT (adding black lines to the edges and gradient color) in yellow.  I printed it onto white card stock, cut them out, and punched a couple small holes in the corners for the ribbon.   You can download my document here.

As much as I loved this idea to decorate plates (and even purchased clear disposable plates) I ran out of time and just went with red plates and napkins.   I did pull out all of my wicker serving baskets and trays, made up labels for our resource card inspired appetizers, and also decorated with all of our Catan game boxes.

.: Catan Party Foods :.

Oceanside/Harbor Drinks:   Pacific Cooler, Coastal Cooler, and Surfer Cooler Capri Suns

Forest/Lumber Terrain: Broccoli Forrest with Dip and Pretzel Logs

Mountains/Ore Terrain:  Oreo Cookies or Donut Holes

Hills/Bricks Terrain: Twizzler Cherry Bites and Cheddar Cheese Cubes

Pasture/Sheep Terrain: Popcorn/Sheep in a Sheepfold and a Sheep Butter Mold

Fields/Wheat Terrain: Wheat Stalk Rolls & Wheat Cookies

Longest Road:  Rocky Road Ice Cream

We also served Pizza and Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole.

.: Game Time :.

Captain choose his brother, his uncle (my youngest brother), and three more of his friends to play at his table. 

The girls and the adults (my brother, sister-in-law, husband, and a couple friends) all played at the other game table.   

And Snuggles kept us all entertained, as usual!  ðŸ˜‰ 

For prizes, I had a basket full of mini candy bars to hand out, one for every Victory point that was earned, throughout the game… 

… and the winner at each table also won a KING sized candy bar as well! 
.: Birthday Cake :.

Instead of an actual cake this year, we decided to make individual cupcakes representing the various hexes that make up the Settlers of Catan board game.   Here is the link to the post about our “Cupcakes of Catan.”

.: Birthday Gifts :.

Captain was blessed with so many gifts from his friends and family, including such thoughtful and loving birthday cards (and an extra funny one from Uncle Brian, of course, who is always so much fun at Captain’s birthday parties!), Nerf Super Soakers, Gift Cards, and Playmobil toys!

Bud was so cute to watch as he crawled around checking out all of the gifts and playing with the wrapping paper.

   Along with illustrating some beautiful cards for their brother, I loved that a few of his siblings had been saving up their tickets all summer to purchase him gifts!  Twinkle Toes redeemed 25 of her Summer Bingo Tickets to purchase him the new Lord of the Rings Gandalf Arrives Lego Set, Rascal redeemed his tickets to get his favorite big brother a new model airplane kit, and even Chiquita picked a stick of beef jerkey (Captain’s favorite) from the prize box, instead of something for herself!  ðŸ™‚

Hubby and I surprised Captain with the City Police Forest Station, a tennis racket, and one more expansion to his Settlers of Catan game series Traders and Barbarians.  

.: Birthday Campout :.

We rarely have sleepovers, but we decided to let Captain ask his friends to stay and “campout” in the backyard!

It was nearly midnight when I finally sent them to bed the tent… I think they would have stayed up all night, had I let them!   You would have thought they’d sleep in, but sure enough they were all up at the crack of dawn assembling that new lego set!

Happy 12th Birthday Captain!


  1. Bonnie

    Fantastic celebration! Very blessed young man.

  2. Collette

    What a fun birthday party – your ideas are all so cute and came together wonderfully! My oldest son will be turning 12 in a few weeks, too -it's a new (but exciting!) stage of motherhood, for sure 🙂 Blessings to you – and Happy Birthday, Captain!

  3. BlessedMom

    Cute party! I've never heard of this game before. (We're so out of touch!) My 7-year-old is a huge gamer; do you think a 7-year-old could pick up this game easily?

  4. Shandi

    So fun!!! That looks like a great game too! Love it Jessica!!!

  5. Charlotte (WaltzingM)

    Happy Birthday, Captain! Everything turned out great, Jessica! I'm showing this to my kids and seeing if that will inspire them to give the game another try.

  6. Anonymous

    Wow what a great looking party! I can't believe how much your youngest brother and Captain look alike (I would have thought they were brothers for sure). It is so sweet that you children are so close to their siblings and that they gave something they could have had to buy their big brother a present. I must ask though….where was Rose? She isn't in any of the pictures ans is always such a cutie…I hope she is feeling well.

  7. Kelly

    Wow! How magical! Happiest birthday wishes to your Captain.

  8. Christine

    Happy Birthday to your son. YOU do such a great job at parties. My parties are pretty cheesy…you make yours look so purdy.

    looks like a lot of fun.

  9. Amy

    This party looks like it was the coolest party ever! Of course, my being partial to strategy games may bias my opinion just a bit. I am sure the boys had a great time – way to go, mom!

  10. OldFashionedMotheringinJesusMaryandJoseph

    I love visiting your blog you are such an inspiration as a Good Catholic Mother! I wish we didn't live so far away anymore! I was wondering if you can point me in the direction of any good catholic mothering books that maybe has helped you. I have read A Mother's Rule of life which is really good however I am finding it difficult to do with My baby being so little still. Love and Miss you guys!! I can't believe how big your children have gotten! Hope to talk to you soon Mrs J

    Love Kassandra

  11. Lori N from MN

    You have such great birthday ideas, Jessica, and make it look so easy! Good thing my oldest son is nearing 30 – this is just the kind of party he would have loved when he was Captain's age! Best birthday wishes to captain and
    Blessings to all~

  12. Anonymous

    Hi BlessedMom, my nieces in Australia have learnt it, and they are not much older. It depends on how good your child is with strategy type games. Perhaps try him out by borrowing the game or visiting someone who has the game, and see how much of it he picks up.
    Cheers, Garry from Australia.
    PS Awesome party!

  13. Sara

    My son said he wants a Settlers birthday this week, and I knew there was one out there on the internet that I had seen. I should have known it was yours! We will have a lot of fun making snacks and the cake!

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Awesome! Happy birthday to your son! 🙂

  15. Jessica Gordon

    I agree. It's a little difficult for my 7 year old daughter, but my boys could have played at her age. It would completely depend on the child.

  16. Micah and Katie

    wow…this is so awesome!!! Thanks for sharing your amazing ideas.

  17. Anonymous

    This is so cute! I'm curious if you have the original template for the banner that I could use to make different letters? I need a "C" and I don't think that's on the original template. Thanks 🙂

  18. Jessica Gordon

    ooh… This was a couple computers ago… I'll do a little searching and see if I can find it.


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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