Traditional Birthday Party Games
Once you've had your party entertainment and fed the children, usually there is still some time left before the party is over. Have some of these games ready to play so you can keep control and avoid the nightmare of trying to control a crowd of over excited kids dashing around shouting!
Games at Home
Games for a hall or larger space
this is a well known game and is always lots of fun.
There is just one rule: everyone must do exactly as the leader says, but ONLY when they first say 'Simon Says'
This sounds simple, but it can be easy to cath the players out! For instance, say several Simon Says moves in quick succession, then change your tone and quickly say, "Right, everybody sit down". You get the idea!
Its possible to play this game competitively, with peoiple who fail the instruction being eliminated after a few practise rounds, but I think games are much more fun and inclusive if we leave that out and keep it as fun-for-all!
Pin the Tail on a Donkey
Another well knowm but really fun game!
You will need a simple picture of a donkey minus its tail to stick to the wall, or better, a board at an easy to reach level for the players. The other component, the tail, can be paper, or straw, or a small piece of rope or line, etc. This needs to be fixable to the donkey with a thumb tack (drawing pin) or blu-tak, etc
The kids take turns to pin on the tail. But of course first they need to be blindfolded, and then spun round a few times so they arent quite sure where they are.
Of course the tail gets in all sorts of unlikely places! You could take a quick photo of each child standing by 'their' donkey, and do give each one a small prize afterwards! (not food I suggest as they will already be maxed-out on sugar)
And if you like, this game can lend itself to lots of different animals as well as a donkey. Try 'pin a tail on a lion' or 'pin a tail on a fish'!
This is a stalking game really, it goes back a long way and it's really fun to play and quite fast moving. You dont need any props or equipment!
One person is chosen to be 'Grandmother' and they stand at one end of the room. Everybody else goes to the other end of the room; - perhaps it's best to put a start line out using a length of rope or line for the players to stand behind..
Grandmother faces away from the players, but at any time can turn round.
The plan is to creep up on Grandmother and tag her, but without her seeing anybody move. So, the players have to be ready to freeze when she turns round, as if she sees anyone moving they have to go back to the start line.
There are different strategies to win, either you can go slow and never be seen, or take a chance on a mad dash (which will have to be very quiet) and go for broke!
Another simple game to stage, as it doesnt require much equipment. You'll need to use a couple of pieces of rope or washing line etc to mark off a 'home' area at each end of the space, with enough room for all the children to get behind it. Then set another line at the centre of the space and you're ready!
Divide the children into 2 teams, and each one goes to their 'home' area at each side of the hall
Either you can let the children quietly(!) decide on an animal, or you can have a hat with lots of choices in it for them to choose one randomly.
Either way, once decided, the chosen team then advances to the centre line and starts acting out their animal. This should be done silently, as a mime. The other team members put their hands up when they think they know the animal, and you choose them to say what it is. If the guess is correct, the animal team runs back home, and the home team try to tag them before they cross their safe line. Any tagged children get to join the opposing side!
This is a great one for blowing off steam!
A great game where you can lead the players round and keep them busy for quite a while!
You'll need to set up beforehand with a serioes of clues, one leading to another, and finishing with a 'treasure' of some sort - which could of course be the birthday food.
Just make the difficulty of the clues suitable for the age range.. for younger kids keep it really simple but for older ones you could set riddles which take a bit of thinking about!