Birthday Party Games: Keeping Your Guests Entertained
Picking the right birthday party games to play (or have the kids play) at an event is crucial to whether the party succeeds or fails. There are few situations more awkward than suggesting an activity or game and getting blank stares in return. If all you have are games that are generally received in that lukewarm manner, then you could consider starting it off with an icebreaker. One great child-friendly icebreaker is to have the kids all gather around, with each kid stating what he/she likes to do or what their favorite thing is; this will get all of the children–even the introverted ones…and believe it or not, this works with adults too!—talking and it would additionally give them a deeper idea of what the other children are like.
Most young kids won’t have the restfulness to sit still through a board game; however, there are many interesting and cheap ways to keep the children entertained. For example, in the birthday invitations, you can ask each child to bring their favorite stuffed toy and set up a tea party for the children, where each child could introduce their toy and have a grand old time with the other stuffed bears. Alternately, you could theme one room of your house, for instance fill your living room with plants, lanterns, and sparkly things, and tell them it’s a magical forest. From there, you could even give each child a role to play and possibly go as far as giving them a prop to utilize. These birthday party games for kids will certainly keep them occupied for several hours!
Birthday Party Games for Tots
There’s a chance you’re going to want to be a little more involved than just leaving the children in your living room—although, you could just sit off in the corner with the other parents. (Hey, you could even dress up as a wizard or elf!) If this is the case, then don’t fear! I have a plan for you, too. First of all, I’d like to point out that yes, musical chairs can be fun—if you win. If you’re not the winning child, then you’re just going to feel bad that you lost; this also goes for pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and basically all kids birthday party games where only one child wins. You don’t want to single out the children, especially at such a vulnerable age where they could easily get jealous. Instead, aim for games like treasure hunts or reverse hot potato; basically, this is like hot potato, but when the child is out of the game then give them a prize! This way, all of the kids will get a prize and the competition becomes friendly competition.
If your little one is too young to play complex games like hot potato, then you’re going to have to turn to simpler methods of entertainment—which may end up being easier for you, anyway. You could implement the “Bring a Toy” rule mentioned above here, but without the tea party. It’ll most likely just be exciting for your baby to have other like-minded babies to play with; the risk here, however, is that the baby could see something that it assumes is theirs now. Simple 1st birthday party games should involve things for short-attention spans, such as blowing bubbles or having a sandbox for them to play in; you will probably want to focus on how to entertain the older children and adults if the party being thrown is for a one-year-old.
Birthday Party Games for Older Children
In the case that the kids birthday party games are meant for children above the age of 9, you might need to put a little more effort into planning. Fortunately, they are now old enough to not be upset over games like musical chairs, but you might want to be more imaginative than that. Try implementing different “stations” within the party area; for example, you could have one small area for arts and crafts, one area for puzzles, one area with a piñata, an area with a movie playing, and other kid-friendly things. You could play around with this and come up with something you find fitting for your home and the people that you know, but this is a sure way to have several fun birthday party games and keep the kids entertained for hours. One final tip that I have that would be a hit all-around is to include an RSVP in the birthday invitations with a note attached. In the note, you should ask that the child include one or more birthday party games in their response—this way, you’ll have a handful of ideas of what’s popular with the kids today and certainty that they will be distracted!
written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd