Vol.2, No.5

Children's party games and activities

When you find you have extra time at a kid's birthday party, fill it with some of these fun activities!

Girl playing hide and seek
Photo Credit: Myron Unrau
No matter how much you plan and plan and plan for your child's birthday party, you are bound to find some time when the kids are bored or antsy. Maybe the clown scared some kids so you had to send him away, maybe you thought it would take an hour to eat and it only took thirty minutes, or maybe you didn't think you'd have to wait an hour for all of the guests to arrive before you could start all of the festivities. Or sometimes, parents are late picking up their kids after the party is over. No matter what the reason, extra time just happens at parties. Here are some ideas that are fun for kids, free or cheap and easy for you, and perfect for throwing together when you just can't think of anything else to do.

Games:

Kids love to run around. Take your party-goers out into the yard and set up a relay race or a racing contest between the kids and let them compete. You can add extra steps to the relay (like this one: run over to the tree and then to the picnic table! Then find a big stick and bring it back, then hand it off to Susie!) Or pick a game that they already know, such as freeze tag. The kids will get to burn energy and have fun and you'll get to sit back outside and watch the fun from a comfy chair.

Balloons are a birthday party staple. No birthday party is complete without a few balloons for decoration. But you probably didn't know that those balloons are more than just decoration. They are a science experiment too! Show the kids what happens to their hair when they rub a balloon on their heads. Then show them that they can take the static-charged balloon and make it stick to the wall. Hold a contest to see who can make theirs stay on the wall the longest. Or, have a contest to see who can make the biggest number of balloons stick on their assigned section of the wall in one minute. The kids will probably want to repeat this game several times.

Crafts:

Since this was a birthday party, you were bound to serve the cake on paper plates, right? If you did and you have extra plates, then you also have an instant craft project. Plates make great Frisbee-like throwing objects. First have the kids staple the bottom side of one paper plate back-to-back with the bottom side of another paper plate. Then, take the kids outside and see who can toss theirs the farthest. After that contest is over, you can start up a game or two of Frisbee.

Dance:

Put on some great kids party music. If you don't already have a kids' party CD, you should go ahead and buy one now. They are great multi-purpose things to keep around the house. Put on a CD and start dancing with a kid at the party. Make it look silly and make it look like lots of fun. All the other kids will want to dance too. Or teach the kids a fun dance like the Hokey-Pokey or the Chicken Dance.