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5 party game ideas that cost nothing

How to entertain all the kids during a sleepover with fun party games has been a conundrum that has long puzzled parents.

Sleepover parties are great for older children and there are many ways to entertain your guests so that they leave in the morning, having thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

However, like everything, there is not a bottomless pit of cash waiting to be spent on an all singing, all dancing birthday party, although there are examples of some pretty extravagant parties in the press just recently.

If you haven’t got £500+, then you will be wanting to do the party on a much more realistic budget but, making sure everyone has a great time costs nothing.

All it takes is plenty of games and plenty of laughter. For minimal cash, and minimal resources or equipment, we have put together 5 of what we think are the best party games ideas that cost nothing or very little…

  1. Good old fashioned treasure hunt

There is nothing like a treasure hunt to get the creative juices flowing, and getting the excited kids out and about on a hunt.

Treasure hunts are not just about finding prizes and so on; it really can be about finding hidden treasure or a key or anything. The fun is in the journey, not necessarily the destination.

Be creative with the clues, but make sure they are age-appropriate; make the clues too hard and your guests could be looking for the treasure into the wee-small hours.

Once you have your map and clues sorted, get creative with how the clues look. Use cut out newspaper words and so on, or use visual clues such as picture cut from magazines and get the kids to identify the clue from that, such as a picture of a paddling pool and so on… and then find the water in the garden.  Use maths problems too!

Prizes: no need to be extravagant. Why not make the birthday cake the price? Or ice cream and jelly…?

  1. Bringing Home the Bacon!

This game doesn’t involved bacon but you will need two opposing teams and something that adds as the bacon; it can be anything from a mouldy slipper to an old toy. The harder it is to scoop up, the more difficult the game.

Have two teams, and give team members a number or symbol – do the same with the opposing team. So you will have two team, each with members labelled from 1 to 10 for example.

Stand the teams equi-distant apart. In the middle is the ‘bacon’. The moderator calls a number – “7!” – and both number 7s from each team run to catch the bacon and bring it home. Repeat this process until the kids can no longer run or its time to go home.

Ramp it up by calling out a math problem for them to solve, making sure the answer is from 1 to 10 (or whatever number). You could introduce the idea that two people need to run, for example if the answer is 73.

  1. The QUIET guessing game

Great for restoring a little order after stealing bacon; to play the quiet guessing game sit the guests in a circle. Choose one person as ‘guesser’ – they now need to leave. With the remaining quiet guests, choose someone to be ‘it’.

‘It’ needs to choose a quiet motion – patting the head, patting the tummy, touching the ear and so on – and all the other guests need to see this action. Bring the ‘guesser’ back in and – you’ve guessed it! – they need to decide who is leading the quiet motion.

A great game; can last for as long or as little as you want!

  1. Button, button – where art thou?

Everyone has a spare button lying around and the idea of this is for a group of guests to pass the button around, whilst one person or a small group attempt to decide who has it. Give them a few moments to pass it around and then call in a dramatic voice ‘Button! Button! Where art thou?” and the guesser makes their prediction…

This is great for adult parties too.

  1. Cross that shark infested river to claim your reward

This is a team working game.

The group, with only a small number of stepping stones (old sheets of newspaper, A4 or A3 paper) between them must cross from their save haven, to the other side of the room – anyone stepping on to the floor or gets left behind, gets eaten and the team gets points deducted.

A nice little game that doesn’t take too long to play either. Jazz it up by placing obstacles in the way or adding an extra rule that the whole team must either be holding the hand or clothes of the person in front or behind.

Parties and games need not be expensive to be fun and educational. Which of these games will you try?