When you are throwing a birthday party, the last thing you want is an awkward silence to permeate the room. You don’t want to have kids sitting around in chairs, just looking around. If you don’t do anything to help, this stilted, ill-at-ease behavior can ruin a party mood. To avoid this party downer, be ready with some icebreaker games.
Getting to Know Each Other
Help the kids find out about each other by, before the party, writing down a list of items that a child may have done, such as rode a horse, played an instrument, ate oysters or traveled out of the country. Include a signature line after each item. Give this list of items and a pencil to all the party guests. Each guest has to go around asking people to sign their name next to any item that pertains to them. After they are done, people can read the results if they like. The party guests may find out information about their friends that they never knew before or find out that they have something in common with guests they don’t know.
Who Am I Game
Before the party, prepare a card that you will tape to the back of each guest as they arrive. You will have written on the card a person or character that they are almost sure to have heard, such as Miley Cyrus or Donald Duck. The guests have to approach other guests at the party asking questions to try to figure out who they are. This is a way to get the guests circulating and talking to each other.
Kids at the party can create bonds by finding out that they share common experiences. Have the kids stand in a circle. The first child goes to the center and asks a question, such as, “Has anyone ever gone fishing?” Anyone who has, joins the person in the center, and gives him a high-five. Everyone takes turns doing this.
Get Them Moving and Acting Silly
Played like the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” the game “Giants, Wizards and Elves” should get the kids laughing. Divide the kids into two teams. One person from each team plays a round when at the count of three; each kid becomes a giant, wizard or an elf. To be a giant, the kid stands on tiptoe, lifts her arms and says, “Roar,” in a giant-like way. To be a wizard, the child will crouch a bit, flutter her fingers as if she is casting a spell, and say, “Wooooo.” An elf gets on her knees, cupping her hands around her ears, while saying, “Eeeeee,” in a high-pitched voice. Everyone should practice all the roles. When they play, the giant beats the elf, the elf beats the wizard, and the wizard beats the giant. The loser goes to the winner’s team.
Working as a Team
Kids who are 12 and older might enjoy the human knot game. This game allows the party guests to work as a team in close physical proximity, according to the Group Games website. Have the group of kids stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, facing each other. Everyone should lift his left hand and grab the hand of the person on the other side of the circle. Repeat with the right hand. The kids need to figure out how to untangle the knot they have become, without letting go of any hands.
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