Birthday parties can be both fun and stressful. You may have planned the best decorations, packed the most exciting giveaway, and baked the perfect cake. Although, when it comes down to planning fun games and activities, you may be a little lost. Children don’t remember how delicious the food tasted, or how colorful the table setting was. They remember how much fun they had during the games.
When planning, keep your goal in mind: making your child happy. Select games that are in line with their favorites, hobbies, and other preferences. Make sure that each game are age-appropriate. To encourage participation from kids, conduct games that are new and exciting. Entice them with activities that are different from their usual list of fun things that they do. Give your child the best time on their birthday by trying the following games:
1. Musical Chairs with Pictures
Give this classical game a twist by incorporating pictures on it. Line up a row of chairs back to back. Instead of having one less chair, place equal number of chairs with the number of kids playing. Print pictures in pairs, stick one on each chair and keep the other for the host to place inside a basket. Use pictures of cartoon characters or anything that is related to your party’s theme.
Turn up the music and have the kids walk clockwise around the chair. Once the music stops, everyone must take a seat. The host will now take the basket and ask the audience to blindly pick one and match it with the identical picture placed on chairs. The child sitting on the chair with the matched picture will be eliminated from the game. Continue playing until one child is left.
Having equal number of chairs prevents the tendency for children to push each other, therefore making the game much safer and enjoyable. Choosing pictures from a basket and involving the audience with it makes it more exciting not just for the kids but for everyone as well.
2. Donut on Strings
Hang doughnuts on a pole or stick using strings. Have two adults hold it on each end. Let the child eat the doughnuts without using their hands. The first child to finish the doughnut wins. This game can be played individually, but most preferably in pairs.
Have fun in choosing flavors that you know kids will love! Make sure to avoid flavors that may trigger allergies. Prepare a package of moist towelettes and bottles of water for after.
3. Puzzle Hunt
Hide the puzzle pieces in easy, safe places. Let the children hunt for it. Personalize your puzzle by printing a theme-related picture. Make sure to show a solved puzzle model and let the child observe it for a few minutes. For 4-6 year old kids, use a puzzle with only 4-5 pieces. For older kids, 5-8 puzzle pieces are ideal. This works best with a small group of children. If not, divide children in small groups and make sure that the puzzle are color coded to avoid confusion during hunting. The first group to solve the puzzle wins.
This simple game can boost problem solving and pattern recognition skills, and even encourage teamwork among kids.
Get creative by incorporating your child’s birthday theme on the details of the games. When introducing a game, make sure that the host explains the mechanics step by step, even demonstrating it if needed. Always check the location and materials to ensure safety all throughout the party. Most of all, the more games, the merrier!