Over the years we’ve hosted quite a few birthday parties for our girls. Inviting your children’s friends for a birthday celebration doesn’t have to be daunting. A bit of organizing and planning will make sure that the party runs smoothly. Some of the best parties we’ve thrown have been the easiest to put together. Remember, kids love to be together and laughter and fun make for the best parties. A few scheduled activities will make sure everyone stays entertained. It is important to be flexible and adapt to the mood of the children. Not all the children will want to play each game, so think of ways to allow these guests to help you run the game. Make sure you have enough adult helpers on hand. The younger the children are, the more you’ll need.
Here some of the best-loved games and activities we’ve done over the years:
Side Walk Chalk: Greet guests outside, have freezies or other cold treats ready and let the guests write and draw birthday messages on the driveway or sidewalk. This is a great activity to do while waiting for everyone to arrive.
Dress-up Race: Fill two suitcases with adult clothing. Make sure each suitcase has enough clothing for each guest. You might want to include hat, shirt, pants, dress, skirt, socks and gloves/mitts. Divide the party guests into two teams. In a basement or backyard place the suitcases a fair distance away. Line up the teams and explain that one at a time each guest is to run to the suitcase and put on an outfit (over their own clothes) once the outfit is on they will run back to their team and the next team member will go. Continue till all guests are dressed up and then take a photo of the group. This photo is great reminder of the party and can be added to the goody bags for the guests.
Scavenger Hunt: Hide candies or other treats and have the guests find them. Make the hiding spots appropriate for the guests’ ages.
Coloring Pictures: Coloring pictures are great to have on hand for down times, perhaps to be used while waiting for guests to arrive or be picked up. Squigly’s Playhouse has lots of free coloring pictures you can print and use.
Memory Game: Place various items on a tray. Let the guests look at the items. Now move to another room and remove an item or two and then return to let the quests determine what is missing.
Watermelon Eating Contest: Slice big pieces of watermelon. Have each guest sit around the table and tie their hands behind their back. Serve the watermelon and let them go to it.
Present Pass: Buy a small gift and wrap it multiple times using different paper for the layers. Have guests sit in a circle and tell them to the pass the gift around. Start the music and each time the music stops the guest who has the gift unwraps one layer. The guest who unwraps the last layer gets the gift! This is also fun with a gift that can be shared among all the guests.
Land, Air, Sea: This game is best played in a large open area. Once you have the guests attention: point to three distinct areas and name them land, sea or air. Tell the guests you will calling out names of activities and things and they are to run to the area where you would use that type of thing. Here are a few suggestions for each to get you started: Land: car, snowmobile, bicycle, ambulance, skateboard, hopscotch, house, school, zoo. Air: Hot air balloon, airplane, helicopter, clouds, lightning. Sea: Sailboat, fish, water skiing, swimming, algae. Make the game as simple or difficult as you like.
Charades: Before the guests arrive write names of popular movies, songs and books and things your children and guests will be familiar with. To play divide the party into two teams. Each guest takes a turn selecting a charade to act out. Remind guests that only the guessing team may call out answers. If the team does not successfully guess after 1 minute of play, the opposing team may guess. Play goes back and forth between the teams until all the charades have been guessed or interest wains.
Egg Toss: Organize the guests into teams of two. Have the team members face each other and start out a small distance apart. Hand one member from each team an uncooked egg and have teams toss the egg back and forth. After each successful toss and catch each team member takes a step back increasing the amount of space between them. If a team breaks the egg, they are eliminated. The last team tossing is the winner. If you think your guest might be to squeamish to play with an egg, water balloons will do too!
Make Your Own Pizza: This is a fun party idea. Invite guests to come for lunch or dinner. Have toppings pre-cut and dough made. Divide pizza dough into individual serving sizes, about the size of a tennis ball, and let the guests take it from there. Kids love spreading the dough (oil their hands first) and then let them top their pizza.
Decorating Sugar Cookies: Make the dough for your favorite cut out cookies and when the guests arrive let them use cookie cutters to cut dough and then have sprinkles of all kinds and colors available for decorating. Kids will love eating the cookies once they are baked. It might be helpful to have a few extra pair of hands for helping.
~Happy Birthday Party Planning