Taking the stress out of your child's annual celebrations!

Posts tagged ‘party games’

A Mermaid Game for Birthday Parties

I was never  content with just making  bucket sandcastles  when I went to the beach as a child. Even as a 6-year-old, my inner artist was begging to surface.  My favourite thing to do was to make a sand mermaid. I would sculpt her face and tail from sand and then decorate her with seaweed and shells that I retrieved from the nearby rock pools.

 

Rock pools : for me, this was a magical world that was so visually rich and full of potential. What strange and wonderful clawed creature was hiding underneath those fronds of seaweed? What scary creature lived in that pretty shell? Sea anemones, well they were just strange, marvellous,  wiggly beauty , living  animal flowers of the sea and starfish still fascinate me to this day. As a child, all I needed was a beach, a bucket and net and rock pools and I was happy for the day.

Strike that, as an adult I’d be just as happy. I must get myself down to the sea sometime soon.

 

Given the challenge of coming up with Mermaid themed games recently, I turned to my fascination for rock pools. Surely they were mermaid’s gardens?

I had a basic idea of musical islands with a twist:Musical Rock pools.

Music played , children dance and when the music stops  I shout out a rock pool creature or thing.

Seahorse!

Then the children need to find a rock pool with a seahorse in it to stand on.

I found a seahorse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I made some rock pools from some off-cuts of vinyl flooring. I painted them blue and added rock pool creatures , painted in some seaweed and then varnished them to make them nice and durable. After all, I hope that lots of little feet will be stomping all over them for many years to come at future children’s birthday parties.

Dark, mysterious, magical rock pools

 

Mind your toes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spy a jellyfish

I like playing musical rock pools!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t wait to play this game at Mermaid parties.

 

 

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Easter Bunny Games

In my time as a  London Children’s puppet party entertainer I’ve played many a game. The sort of games I prefer, that fit with my non-competitive party ethos ( surely everyone wants to have fun at a party?It’s no fun to be a loser….)are usually singing and circle games. Many can be adapted to fit a theme.

Here are a few Bunny games:

Sleeping Bunnies

( All children lie on the floor. Make sure everyone has plenty of space around them and remind the children to think of their friends around them and be careful not to bump or kick each other. Be aware of any feet near faces !)

See the little Bunnies sleeping till it’s nearly noon

Shall we wake them with a little tune?

Oh how still …

Are they ill?

Wake up…

NOW! ( Everyone jumps up and hops)

Hop Little Bunnies , Hop hop hop.

Hop Little Bunnies , Hop hop hop

Hop Little Bunnies , Hop hop hop

Hop Little Bunnies, Hop hop  hop!

(Repeat until the Bunnies are puffed out.)

Bunny Bunny EGG!

This game is a variant on the popular game, Duck Duck Goose.

Everyone sits in a circle ( start with ring a ring a roses for a quick circle making song)

One child is “IT’ and leaves their circle space and walks around the outside of the circle, tapping everyone on the head and naming them Bunny. At some point the child who is “IT” will name someone EGG and when they do , that child will chase “IT” until they reach the space that was left at the beginning. If the person who is “IT’ reaches that space first, the EGG person takes over  and becomes “IT’, starting the game over. If they get caught before the space is taken,  the person who is “IT” continues in the role until someone can’t catch them.

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Everyone stands in a circle and one person is nominated to be Little Bunny Foo Foo. Everyone claps as the song is chanted  and Bunny hops around the circle, bopping people gently on their heads.( You could have a special soft ‘bopping pillow ‘ prepared beforehand) When bopped on the head, the child sits down on the floor.

It would be  fun to make some rabbit ears from paper and a headband for Foo Foo to wear and a have a fairy wand and wings ready for the person nominated to be the Good Fairy.

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said ( One child is chosen – perhaps by the birthday child- to be the good fairy and says:)

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I’ll give you three chances,
And if you don’t behave
I’ll turn you into a goon!”

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I’ll give you two more chances,
And if you don’t behave
I’ll turn you into a goon!”

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I’ll give you one more chance,
And if you don’t behave
I’ll turn you into a goon!”

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I gave you three chances
And you didn’t behave
Now you’re a goon! POOF!!” ( Bunny Foo Foo acts out their interpretation of a goon. Expect lots of monster type actions!)

The moral of the story is:
HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW

Pin the Tail on the Easter Bunny

This is an adapted version of the classic game , Pin the tail on the Donkey.

First get yourself a large sheet of paper ( lining paper is a good and cheap option) or white card and draw up this simple bunny shape. Get the children to decorate it at the beginning of the party with crayons or marker pens. Use your imagination, cover it with flowers, or Easter messages or patterns.

Next you will need some cotton wool balls and double sided tape. Cut small pieces of tape and stick onto each piece of cotton wool. ( One piece per child). Remove backing tape and arm the child with sticky tail. Blindfold the child, spin them round in front of the Bunny and let them stick on the cotton tail where they think fit. Write the child’s initials to identify the tail.

The child who gets the closest to the Bunny’s actual tail, wins.

An Easter Egg would make an appropriate prize.

Don’t forget the traditional Easter Egg hunt to end the party!

Happy Easter folks!

Toddler parties : celebrating those terrible two’s.

So your baby is growing up and you face a birthday party with a child who is learning to tantrum and you have visions of all the guests ( being two years old or roundabout ) having tantrums all at once! AARGH! The vision has you filled with dread.

It’s probably too early to play traditional party games at your party.They take a certain degree of reason to be considered successful.Pass the parcel will probably result in a few tears as ‘sharing’ is probably not one of a two year old’s best skills. They understand that in pass the parcel you get a prize if you have the parcel, so hold on to it and refuse to let it go, music or no music. It’s all pretty understandable. If  you are going to play musical bumps/statues, understand that this age group will not understand the concept of being ‘OUT’ so be prepared to act like the silly grown up and not be able to see who is out. Basically it’s just an excuse to dance to some music. You will  have to lead the statues quite visually, giving the children ideas of what an elephant, etc will look like when the music stops so expect to make some funny faces all in the name of fun.

Soft play toys and/or a bouncy castle and/or ball pool is probably a better idea than party games at this age.  If your budget doesn’t stretch to hiring out this equipment, don’t despair. A really nice alternative is to play some simple circle games where everyone is a winner and no one is out or gets a prize. ( Sometimes ‘winning’ a prize can be counterproductive and end in tears or with tantrums of ‘don’t want that , I want what Johnny has’. )

CIRCLE GAMES: Fun where everyone is a winner.

Ring a Ring a Rosies is a lovely simple traditional game and is also a VERY useful way of getting the children into a circle for a picnic tea round a cloth or at any time when you require them to sit in a circle. Have you ever tried herding reluctant two year old’s into a circle before? It sounds simple enough but can take a lot of time. Just say we’re going to play Ring a Ring a Rosies and hold out your hands to invite children and mummies /daddies to play. Once everyone is holding hands, the parents can encourage the children to hold hands with each other once the confidence has grown, and then you can start to play.

Ring a Ring a Rosies

Ring a ring of rosies( circle around to the left or right)

A pocket full of poseys

Attishoo ( mime a sneezing action)

Attishoo

We all fall down! ( Fall down and sit on the ground)

( Alternative extra verses)

Picking up the daisies

Picking up the daisies

Attishoo

Attishoo

We all jump up!

The cows are in the meadows

Eating buttercups

Attishoo

Attishoo

We all jump up!

Fishes in the water

Fishes in the sea

We all jump up with a 1 2    3 !

( fun alternative for a pirate themed party is this:)

Ring a ring of pirate ships

A pocket full of cutlasses ( wave your imaginary cutlass)

Hoist up the mainsail ( pull up imaginary rigging)

We all jump over board. ( Hold nose and jump )

Crocodiles in the water

Sharks are in the sea

Jump out the water with a 123!

The Farmer’s in the Dell ( one child stands in the middle of the circle as the farmer the others circle round singing)

The farmer’s in the dell , the farmer’s in the dell

Ee aye , Ee aye, the farmer’s in the dell.

The farmer wants a wife , the farmer wants a wife ( the person in the middle chooses a child from the circle to join them in the middle)

Ee aye , Ee aye , the farmer wants a wife.

The wife wants a child ( the ‘wife’ chooses another child ..)

etc.

The child wants a nurse ( and so on)

etc.

The nurse wants a dog ( child chosen mimes being a doggy, on hands and knees)

etc.

The dog wants a bone ( doggy chooses another child or preferably is encouraged to choose  an adult in the circle , you’ll see why in a minute)

etc.

We all pat the bone, We all pat the bone( everyone from the circle comes into the middle to gently pat the ‘bone’ on the head.)

Ee aye , Ee aye , we all pat the bone.

If you have the energy /space /inclination it is always great to have  game of Hokey Cokey. There’s nothing like it for getting the party spirit going and it’s such a nice game for the children to have fun with grownups on their own level.

Just be careful of the surge forward , monitor how hard people pull, and if there are older siblings involved, press upon them to be gentle with their siblings as it is very tempting to pull people over…

Hokey Cokey ( everyone join hands in a circle )

You put your left leg in ( leg towards the inside of the circle)

Your left leg out ,

In out , in out ,

You shake it all about

You do the hokey cokey and you turn around ( hold hands together in prayer motion and rock them back and forth, then turn your whole body around . )

That’s what it’s all about!

Ohhhhhhhh, (GENTLY rush into the centre of the circle , everyone together)

Hokey Cokey Cokey ( Back out again)

Ohhhhhhh ( Rush in again)

Hokey Cokey Cokey ( out again)

Ohhhhhhh ( In again)

Hokey Cokey Cokey (out again)

Knees bend arms stretch

Ra Ra Ra ( Clap three times)

( more verses, follow the instructions in the song and repeat as above)

You put your right leg in etc…

You put your left arm in.. etc

You put your right arm in ..

You put your bottom in ( this always raises many a smile and giggle, especially when we get to the shake it all about bit! )

You put your whole self in , ( Jump in )

By the time you have completed this, I can guarantee you will most probably collapse in a red faced satisfied heap on the floor. Who needs a gym subscription when you have children?

Puppets are great for two year olds parties. Toddlers are able to focus on a more formal puppet show by this stage. An hour’s session should suffice, but do remember that sometimes young children require a little bit of ‘get to know you ‘time before they get into their groove. If you would like support with your party, maybe a full two hour party with an entertainer wouldn’t be a bad investment for peace of mind.

Again, the secret is KEEP IT SIMPLE.

For minimum tantrums, keep the present opening till the end of the party when the other guests have left. Too many times I’ve seen very upset party people crying because their friend played with their new toy. Remember sharing isn’t easy. This is a social skill that takes practice and time. I like to impress on boys and girls that sharing is what ‘big boys and girls’ do. We all know how little children strive to become big boys and girls, a little impetus to learn to share never harmed anyone!

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