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Fun Birthday Party Games

Updated on February 3, 2012

String Game

The Mysterious Party Book

Did you ever have one of those moments where you couldn’t wait to discover your mom’s or grandmother’s big mysterious secret about something they were an expert at. Mine was my grandmother’s book of party games. She always threw the best parties for our birthdays or for her clubs. I remember a couple of mixed up luncheons that had all of her friends in giggles til the very end. And I remember waiting at the top of the stairs wondering what was going on at her New Year’s Eve party downstairs that had all those couples laughing so hard. But most of all I remember all of our birthday parties. And all of those ideas she kept secret in a big mysterious black overflowing binder. Several of times one of us would try to sneak in a peek, but somehow she always caught us, admonishing us to "Get out of there, that was her party book " I remember when I had kids of my own and she finally entrusted me with carrying on with her party traditions.

And some of those games had become a tradition. Some were so well loved that we had requested them year after year and I couldn’t wait to introduce my own family to Nana’s wonderful party games.

The most loved game I think was the string game. Now this game has to be the last to set up before the party and one of the first played. The reason becomes obvious after its description. My grandmother had a huge roll of string on a spindle. And before we arrived or came in from playing outside she would unroll that string all over the house upstairs and down through the laundry shute, around table legs, through towel racks, up over light fixtures, in cupboard doors, or closet doors, and under chairs, crisscrossing the string like a huge spider web all around the house. And at the end of that string was always a birthday present for the birthday person. Usually the birthday person would start the string and then give everyone a turn rolling it up into a ball. You never knew just exactly where that birthday present was going to end up in the washer, or stove or even in the laundry basket under dirty clothes. It was always fun and gave the adults a little time to rest after spending so much time getting ready for our parties.

Another favorite was splitting in teams of two and being given a roll of toilet paper to see which team could wrap someone up like a mummy the fastest.

And we played a version of musical chairs that was a lot more fun than just having a person sit out of the game. Nana suggested that we had to sit on someone’s lap if you didn’t have a chair. So in the end everyone was piled on top of each other on one chair and no one felt left out and you couldn’t help but laugh as you tried to keep from toppling over.

Have you ever raced to put a simple puzzle together for a game. Well my grandmother added another dimension to the game when we had to take off our shoes and socks and put it together with our toes. Yes our giggles verified the success of that one too.

Balloons are a blast at parties but always ask if there are latex allergies before the children arrive. My kids always requested the balloons sculptures which are quite easy to make, even older kids can make them for the younger ones. I have linked a couple of books that show how, and I recommend using a sturdy pump and don’t buy the cheapest balloons. Some balloons pop too easily and that can really bring the mood of a party down quickly.

Then there is always the popping a balloon game. Sometimes we had to tie it to our ankles and when we were younger we could even just sit on it. But the first pop was always the winner. Another way to pick a random winner is slip a tiny square of paper inside balloons before blowing them up and the one with the star is the winner.

And yes relays are fun. These always brought out the laughter: carrying beans on a spoon, rolling an egg with your nose, blowing a feather with a straw, or tossing water balloons like a criss cross water brigade.

A very simple game that was fun and often requested was dropping a clothes pin from the child's nose into a clean gallon milk jug. To make it easier for younger children just lower the level they are dropping the clothes pin from.

And another all time favorite that I passed down to my children was the scavenger hunt. Hiding clues with small poems on them that led to where the next one was hidden. We always had to bring the clue back to the adults to read them. Sometimes they just wanted to make sure that each child got to read one. Sometimes the clue was in an adults pocket in exchange for a hug or funny face made while singing a well known preschool song. Here’s a tip when setting up have a master sheet where you hid each clue just in case there’s a little snafu in the location of one of the clues. This game will have them whooping to be the first to find each clue as they run from place to place and is a great crowd pleaser. A scavenger hunt can also be played with everyone given a list of items they need to find and the first one that brings you every thing on the list wins. But this is less of a team game and can have each child running in different directions.

And I suppose we can't leave out Pin The Tail On The Donkey. I always added a twist to this game by adapting it to the theme of the party. For example one year we played tape the ladder to the fire truck.

And if you need outdoor games for older children, pinatas can be fun hung from a basketball hoop. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of hitting to get to the prizes and make sure all kids are far away from the child that is doing the hitting. A bigger hit than pinatas though, was the silly string. And the children love having the parents get in on this one so they can all gang up on you lol.

Well these are some of my childhood favorites that I passed along to my children. And when my grandkids come along this grandmother will be looking forward to handing the book to my daughter and watching her face as her children play the same favorite games she did when she was little.

Feel free to browse some of my other HUBS...

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SOME DAYS ARE LIKE THAT A not quite so typical day of a preschool teacher but one we can laugh about none the less. And as parents and teachers that can relate to one or more of the events happening in their lives, you realize when they all happen on the same day, all you can do is laugh when the mom finds you and the child in the bathroom with a wet shoe.

SHOES ON THE RIGHT FEET It's an easy parenting tip for teaching young children how to put their shoes on the right feet.

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DEVELOPING ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS It includes advice I wish I had known when I started the process of online dating such as using a separate email just for dating sites or new people, and setting up a buddy phone call code phrase for first dates that go south and you need an excuse to get out fast.

A Few More IdeasTo Make A BIRTHDAY More FUN

If you want to add a bit of surprise to opening up of the gifts, its always fun to wrap the gifts inside more boxes wrapped up inside of each other especially if the real gift is fairly small. The suspence this adds for the party child is so much fun. Another tip is to try and camoflage the present (especially if they think they know what they are getting) is to add weight or something that slides inside the box along with the present, so that it makes a little noise when they shake it. Don't all kids shake their presents lol?

Here is one gift I surprised my grandmother with after I moved away that she loved telling her club friends about. I put a Mylar balloon in a big box and had it shipped UPS to her. First she was puzzled by how light that big box was when she brought it inside. She just couldnt imagine what was in it. And second she was totally surprised having it fly up at her when she opened it lol Gotcha Nana! This granddaughter had a few surprises of her own through the years.

Here's a hint for those that like to make their child's birthday cakes but lack the creative drawing talent you think is necessary. Print off a picture the size you want on the cake. Then lay it on the unfrosted cake and use a toothpick to poke tiny holes through the paper outlining each different color of frosting you want too use. Just like the techniques for pumpkin carving now. As long as your frosting isn't a glaze consistency, it will cover the tiny holes without notice. And you will look like a cake artist.

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If you found it insightful or some of the tips helpful, please leave a comment and vote it up and useful. I would like to hear what game you are anxious to try or if you have already discovered the fun of some of these.

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