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Child Birthday Party Activities, Entertainment, and Games
Planning Fun birthday party games and activities
The location of an party greatly affects the possibilities for activities, entertainment, and games. Some people have the budget to hire one or more of the following: Inflatable Attraction, Clown, Balloon Artist, Face Painter, Magician, Costume Character, Story Teller, Puppeteer, Animal Show, Singer, or Musician. It is important to remember to have a back-up activity if a planned entertainer cancels or fails to show. Don't be shy about asking friends or relatives in advance to assist with their natural talents.
Caricatures can make for fun child birthday party entertainment as well as party gifts. The individualized cartoon drawings of children with the birthday party theme can become a long cherished memorable gift. Caricature artists can be hired from the phone book, local art school, or from a local amusement park.
Advertised party centers provide entertainment without the worry of whether the entertainer will fail to show. However, organized party centers may be quite costly. They are a great choice for people who don't have the allotted time for party preparation.
A great filler activity is the old children's favorite "Musical Chairs". It generally does not require the purchase of any special items. Set-up and cleanup is easy. If you're having a child birthday party at home, many religious centers or community centers allow members to borrow chairs for free! Rental places may provide chairs in certain colors, but you will pay for them.
If you decide to do your own "home-made" activities, then think about including your party theme. A Pinata bought at a store or online, or homemade can be a delight for children of all ages. For safety purposes, do not use a stick or a broom. A baseball bat is generally required to strike a Pinata. Children need to be organized well away from the person swinging the bat. The Pinata should only be filled with toys and food that are soft such as cloth or vinyl objects with polyester fiber stuffing, spongy toys, and individually wrapped marshmallows. When the Pinata bursts open, the contents can fall as well as fly high in the air into guests. The Pinata should be hung from a safe, supportive object using a strong rope.
Home Made Birthday Party Games
My daughter and I like to take old party games or children's games and modify them. Old games can be decorated with stickers or paper decorations with two-sided tape to look like the party theme. I decorated the X's and O's of an old "Toss-A-Cross" tic-tac-toe game, so all the young children would win every time they tripped a square! Instead of "Bobbing for Apples", we had "Bobbing for Pears". We put towels on the garage floor under the tub for cushioning and to prevent slips from splashing water. For safety purposes, prior to the game starting, water was placed in a new, never before used painters tub (available in plastic or galvanized metal at most home improvement stores) and then emptied immediately after the game to prevent accidental slip injuries or drowning. The game can be modified for young children to grab for ducks or other objects. Toy fishing rods can be used for small children to catch objects floating in the water.
"Pin the Tail on the Donkey" is another well-known and fun game for children. It may be wise to purchase paper or plastic masks to cover the children's eyes. Children using the same scarf may transfer head lice or other germs. I have made homemade versions of the game such as: "Put the Tail on the Ghost", "Put the Lucky Fin on the Clown-fish", "Put the Horn on the Unicorn", and "Fit Cinderella with a Slipper". I made the games using a white shower curtain and permanent markers. I numbered each Tail, Fin, Horn, or Slipper before cutting them out of the curtain. I drew the Ghost, Clown-fish, Unicorn, and Cinderella onto a large square of the shower curtain. I only secure the game to the wall using "Perfect Release - Delicate surface, purple Painter's Tape". I use the same tape on the numbered pieces during the game.
"Catch me if you can" is a great game the kids will love. This game is best played outside in a large area such as a large yard or picnic area where kids can safely run and chase each other without the chance of running into trees or other objects. This child birthday game makes the birthday child the center of attention. Be prepared ahead of time for this game. You will need an old t-shirt that will be worn by the birthday child and be thrown away after the party. To prepare, buy a variety of wrapped or sealed candy pieces that the kids will love to eat after the game is played. Use a sewing needle and light weight thread to sew the pieces of candy all over the shirt. Put as many pieces on the shirt as you can. Usually 2-3 pieces per child is enough. What will happen is the birthday child will wear this shirt and the other children will chase the birthday child in attempts to gather as much candy as possible. Give the birthday child a head start and when an adult says go...you know what happens next. If enough pieces have been put on the shirt, multiple rounds can be played with each kid having a chance to wear the shirt and be chased. The first person to pull 3 pieces from the shirt wins that round and the game is paused in order for another child to wear the shirt. Continue the cycle until all the candy is off the shirt. The child with the most candy at the end wins. Avoid using hard or large objects on the shirt because if the kid falls down, they could get hurt by bulging items on the shirts. Small pieces of candy seem to work best. Use caution with this game to be sure the kids do not get to rough when they catch the runner. Caution the kids to stay within a certain area and stay away from wooded areas and parked cars. Safety first. Think ahead about safety. This game has been a big hit with my daughter's birthday party.
"Treasure Hunts" get all of the children involved. I like to have all the children working together on one clue at a time. I instruct them to a hidden envelope with an "X". I tell them to bring back the envelope to a starter/home position, so I can read the next clue to everyone. The last clue leads to the reward of the hidden treasure. Here are the clues I used from my last "Treasure Hunt":
|1) This is a room with a throne which only involves personal business. The clue you seek is located nearby under the place you use for your hands before you leave the room.||1) Under the sink in the Bathroom.|
|2) Look behind something big and green. It covers the front window.||2) Behind the curtain in the living room.|
|3) The clue you seek can be found by opening a door. It is where you put dirty dishes to be cleaned.||3) In the dishwasher in the kitchen.|
|4) Look down and wipe your feet to find the clue you seek. "Tweety" is standing on the clue you seek.||4) Under a doormat with a picture of "Tweety bird".|
|5) The princess birthday girl's thrown holds the clue you seek. Below her bottom, underneath the seat you'll find what will lead you closer to the treasure.||5) Under the seat the Birthday girl sits at the table.|
|6) A King or Queen has been known to recline while performing their daily routine. In the T.V. (television) family room is the treasure box you seek.||6) Under a recliner chair in the family room.|
Arts and Crafts
Arts & Crafts activities are great arrival activities. I use these activities to initiate guests to the current party theme, as well as to serve as party gifts, party games, and party bags. A large object such as a plastic truck for a construction theme can be signed and/or decorated with Permanent Markers by all party guests. The Birthday Boy or Girl can keep it as a treasured memento. Using crayons, White Paper lunch bags can be transformed into puppets and/or a bag to put prizes in from a Pinata. Highly supervised children can personalize vinyl or plastic toys from a dollar store using permanent markers. Plain wooden door hangers can be decorated using foam stickers and crayons. Visit your local Arts & Crafts store, Dollar store, or Supercenter store.
Lunch bag puppets can be used for free time playing and/or to perform in a play. I like to assign children to certain characters and then have them hold up their puppets behind a covered table as I read the story pertaining to the theme of the party. The children all loved being participants and being able to show off their puppets.
A great idea for older children is to hand out Disposable cameras. They should be instructed to take pictures of people having fun at the party and hand over the cameras at the end of the party. This functions as both an activity and an opportunity to obtain memorable moments for a picture album. It can save on hiring a photographer.
Children enjoy watching their accompanying parent/adult participate and compete in games. Parents can have a pie eating contest using small individual pies. Adults can play guessing games. For example, guess the weight of an object, such as a pumpkin or guess what is in a wrapped gift box. Don't forget to use your resources by encouraging attending adults to assist in activities and games.
Check out more ideas to help bring some life to your kids birthday party games and activities .