While decorations, gifts and cake make a child’s birthday party festive, fun party games are what make it memorable! This way, everyone gets to participate and you’ll create that liveliness that’ll get the kids even more excited than they already are.Try starting with an icebreaker, follow with an active game, and wind down with a quiet card or board game. Keep plenty of prizes on hand so you can award every guest with a prize!
Classic kids’ party games include Pin the Tail on the Donkey, musical chairs, charades and Freeze Dance, in which players dance until the music stops and freeze into position. (Bonus: they’ll get a workout if they dance!) Board games, like Sorry! and Clue, work well at parties with a small number of guests, while more active board games, like Pictionary Jr., entertain larger groups. Card games, like Uno and Crazy Eights, wind kids down after cake and ice cream or in the late hours of a slumber party.
Fun party games have an element of silliness or creativity. Monster Mad Libs, clown-style makeovers, relay races with wet sponges or finger painting with shaving cream fit the bill. Make a simple game, like Duck Duck Goose, more festive by having players change the animal names, run backward or feed gummy bears to the person in the mush pot.
Don’t Keep Score
Forget about who wins Red Light Green Light or kicks the ball the furthest in kickball. Party games make everyone feel like a winner. Host a talent show, have a joke-telling contest, invent silly dances for Follow the Leader or build blanket forts rather than keeping score.
Make it Memorable
Children’s party games have the potential of being the highlight of the event. Make games more memorable by awarding silly prizes, such as whoopie cushions or gold-painted miniature statues to players. Film the players in action, and show the movie during the last few minutes of the party.
Keep it Timely
The best party games keep everyone laughing and actively involved–but not for long. Most preschool children stick with a party game for about five minutes, and primary grade children may last about 10 to 15 minutes. Preteens and teenagers, when involved in an open-ended or more challenging activity, such as Guitar Hero, a murder mystery or a role-playing game, can stick with a game for an hour or more.