One of the things most small children look forward to when they go to a birthday party is the fun and games. Running around and playing with their friends is what makes a party especially fun and memorable.
Of course, you don’t want kids to just be running around in circles and often jumping all over everything and pulling every toy out. You want something fun planned, even surprising and a little competitive and silly. Here are some great free or low cost party game ideas to get you going.
Often times, the most fun games are also the most simple. For instance, a summer party favourite is a big bag of balloons filled with water to toss at each other. Other games you can play with balloons are “Balloon Pop Up” where you stick little prizes inside of balloons and each child picks one to pop to see what they get.
Children really have a lot of fun with balloons no matter what the game. Plan a game trying to have a race from one end of the yard to the other while patting their balloon up in the air and trying not to let it fall, or holding it between their knees. Just use your imagination and think of more fun ways to use balloons.
One of the oldest and best known games is “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” or any variation of it. This very affordable game suits children ages four through ten. You can get more mileage out of this game by having the children draw the donkey and create the tails themselves.
Of course, you can find printable Donkeys online or find one at a party store if your budget allows. You can change the game from a donkey to a bunny and use cotton balls for the tail, or play “Pin the Antenna on the Alien” or whatever your child likes.
Pick a Duck
Preschoolers and other very young children need games that are easy to play and will hold their attention. A game that requires only luck and a few motor skills is ideal, like Pick-a-Duck. Check your local discount stores for floating toy or bathtub ducks. Using a magic marker, write numbers or shapes on the bottom of each duck and place them in a big bucket or kiddie pool full of water.
To play the game, simply let each child pick a duck. The number or shape on the bottom of the duck will correspond to a prize you’ve wrapped and put in another tub. The child gets to choose a prize from the tub and keep the duck. Perfect fun for very young children and it costs very little.
Musical Dress Up
This is a variation on musical chairs. Put a big table in the middle of the room and pile it high with old clothes, hats, and jewellery, the funnier the better. Gather the kids around the table, and start the music. The object is for the kids to grab stuff to put on as fast and funny as they can. When you stop the music, everyone has to stop getting dressed.
Have prizes for different things like “Most Colorful”, “Most Hats”, “Most Covered”, or whatever you like. Hand out prizes to the winners and give everyone a participation prize. If you don’t have a lot of old clothes around, a quick trip to your local op shop or even a garage sale will lead you to necklaces, ties, hats, shoes, scarves, and all sorts of fun stuff for very little money.
Remember, you don’t have to get stressed about the games. After all, any time spent with friends is a good time for kids. Just focus on helping them enjoy their time together and you’ll do just fine. Relax and have fun, and your kids will too!