It’s all in the games!
Children’s birthday parties can be hours of nonstop fun OR they can be minutes of unbridled over-excited children that can rampage through the party venue which, in some cases, may be your home!
The strength of any party rests on the activities and the games played and when it comes to food time, or getting some order back on the small guests, you can use games with prizes and gifts too; there are many ideas of small prizes available to purchase online
Getting the right mix
Getting the right mix so that children feel included and have fun, without going over the top, is a tricky balancing act and so it pays to…
- Plan a mix of calm and lively games, switching between the two to keep the pace of the party smooth, and the ambience ‘controlled’
- Deliver games in short, sharp bursts; there is an old music hall saying “leave your audience wanting more”; even if a party game is going well, don’t let it drag on!
- Have mini-helpers when playing elimination games; be prepared that not everyone likes losing…
|Balloon race – the ‘old, classic’ favourite that is bound to be raucous fun BUT, take care in mixing the teams and keep an eye on ‘rough’ play. Set some ground rules and reward the behaviour you want. You can pass the balloon over the head or between the knees.||Hats, gloves and scarf – sitting children down in a circle is a great way to introduce a calmer atmosphere. Passing round an object, such as a bean bag, when the music stop the guest holding the bean bag dresses in the hat, scarf and gloves and then attempts to unwrap a chocolate bar or other treat. A great variation on pass the parcel.|
|Musical statues or chairs – another classic which are both great fun, but again, keep the delivery short; aim for a maximum of two games, possibly even staggering these.||Make a face – balloons and felt tips can a great way of bringing the group together. With a blindfold and 30seconds on the clock, they are to draw a face on the balloon. Hilarious results but with children gathered in one spot.|
|Treasure hunt – depending on the age of your small guests, you can have a lot of fun with this. You can send children out to look for as many sweets as they can, or give it a theme or hide the goody bags. You can also have teams of pairs in this game too. With older children add extra ‘pressure’ with a time constraint and clues. But again, keep an eye on time, don’t let it rumble on or it has a habit of fizzling out.||Blind drawing – a variation on the above and can be done in pairs or individual. But, with large piece of paper and coloured pencils or felt tips, the blindfolded guest is to draw a character, shape etc. on the paper. Again, under time constraint this can be great fun.|
|Pinning the tail – usually a donkey, or you can improvise or ring the changes with anything from sticking dot son the bullseye or varying the animal. Again, keeping it short and sharp in terms of delivery is key.||“Ahoy there!” – choose a guest to be blindfolded and sit on a chair in the centre of the room (the pirate). In total slice (tough!), the remaining guests one by one, and when told by you or your games master, they are to steal the treasure from under the pirate’s nose. If they hear the movement of the treasure, they point and shout ‘ahoy there’; great for smaller parties and where the guests are older.|
|Hot Potatoes! – not using an actual hot potato for obvious reasons, but sing something small-ish and soft – bean bags are perfect! Pretend the bean bags are ‘hot’ and forming two lines of guests, they are to pass as many ‘hot potatoes’ down their line as they can in the time allowed. The last person could also run to the front of the line each time too.||Sleeping lions – we all know that lions are dangerous and should never be disturbed and so, all the guests are lions, lying asleep on the floor. You and your adult helpers roam the room; any lion caught sniggering or moving is ‘out’. Perfect for really slowing the party down; great for before food or home time.|
But the balancing act doesn’t end there!
It is important you have some games that don’t have winners or losers as it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is kept happy. There are so many party games that the research will take you down memory lane https://www.netmums.com/activities/25-childrens-party-games