|By: Patricia B. Jensen|
One of the most important elements of any kids birthday party is the time spent playing party games. If well planned, they can make great memories for the birthday child and guests alike; if not, they can be a minefield of problems. Don't despair! A little forethought and common sense are all that's needed to make your game time a smashing success!
Follow these ten easy steps to great kids party games:
1. Group together at least six to eight appropriate party games then adjust down according to your party timetable. Remember it's better to have more activities planned than not enough.
2. Run through each game to iron out any glitches that might arise. The party child will be only too happy to help with this and get a sneak preview of the party agenda in the process!
3. Enlist other adults as helpers so things will run smoothly and stress-free. You can promise to reciprocate when their child's birthday rolls around!
4. Ages and abilities of your party guests should be considered when choosing your party activities. A five year old won't be capable of playing charades, but he can probably pop a balloon with his bottom to get the prize inside!
5. Timing is everything! Start your party with an icebreaker game while guests are arriving and end with a quiet game to help kids wind down from all the party excitement.
6. Gather materials you'll need for each party game in advance and place them in the pre-selected kid-safe location. Pin the Tail on the Donkey just isn't the same when you've forgotten the blindfold!
7. Arbitrate - adult leaders should understand the rules of the games and gently enforce them. Kids have a strong sense of what's fair and will look to the adults to keep everyone playing by the rules.
8. Make sure each child gets a prize for his or her efforts so everyone feels like a winner. Wrapped candy, stickers, erasers, pencils, coins, medals and other small tokens make great prize incentives.
9. Encouragement and enthusiasm keep guests motivated and happy. For a fun twist, change the rules of the game and give a prize not only to the first player, but to the last one, saying it was the secret plan of the game.
10. Success! Congratulate yourself on a job well done! When your pooped party guests go home to Mom and Dad, this is the part they'll talk about the most!
By taking the first letter of each of the ten steps above, you can spell out what you will accomplish when you follow this guideline: GREAT GAMES!