Your child is about to celebrate a birthday, she loves Sesame Street, and your home is about to be invaded by a horde of kids. No problem! With some planning, those two hours in the weekend afternoon will be full of fun, laughter, cake and presents.
One thing parents always wonder about are the games. Sure, there’s “Pin the Nose on Elmo” and musical chairs, but how about something involving more interaction, excitement, and even a learning experience? Here’s four games that kids will definitely love.
This is a fun game that everyone can play (even parents). Have one person be the leader (Elmo). The birthday child makes a great first leader for the game. Elmo can make funny movements and expressions. The rest of the group will have to copy what the leader is doing. Clapping, silly walks, waving the hands, anything goes.
After a set amount of time, you will change leaders (a small bell is a good acoustic cue). Go around the group giving everyone a chance to be the leader. The challenge is to see if the leaders can be creative enough not to repeat the moves someone else has already led the group to do.
Grover’s Alphabet Soup
This is a great way to feed the kids at the party while sneaking in some educational practice. This is the time they will get to play with their food! Once the soup cools, the kids can see how many letters they have by taking one of each letter from their bowl and laying it on a plate on the table. Using the letters they have they will try to spell as many words as they can. The one that spells the most from their letters or the one that spells the longest word wins.
A less messy version is to use Alpha Bits cereal. They can also take string to make an alphabet necklace for home.
Bid Bird’s Balloon Race Relay
For this game, have the children split into two teams with an even number of players. Each team has a bright-colored balloon that is placed in between their knees. The object of this game is for the player to go across the game area, around a turn point, and back to the start to hand the balloon to the next team mate. If the balloon falls or pops, they must go back to where they lost the balloon and continue on. (Have extra balloons on hand!) The first team who completes all their laps wins.
Snuffleupagus Goodie Hunt
This is a great hunting game for children, especially near the end of the party. Instead of simply handing out goodie bags (or ripping open a pinata), you’ll be hiding the toys.
Previous to the party, take Zip-lock bags and divide the items into three small packages. Label them with the child’s name and hide them in an area away from the main area (in the summer, this can be the back yard – otherwise, the basement play area is a good idea.)
When it’s time for the hunt, announce that Snuffleupagus took all the goodie bags in his trunk and hid them. Give each child an empty goodie bag or box, and instruct that they have to find three items with their name on it – and to only take the items with their name. Then, set them all free to find their items. The first to find all of their items wins first choice of another toy in a separate goodie bag you will supply.