It seems these days that the expense of throwing a child’s birthday party can get really out of hand. Theme and location parties are all the rage, but they also take a heavy hit on the wallet. Although kids certainly can enjoy these events, how about a shout out to some old fashioned inexpensive (or even free!) party fun? With a little planning, you can hold games for the kids that keep them engaged and leave your budget balanced.
1) Who Am I?
This is so simple, and yet can be such a riot. Think up names of famous people or characters that kids would recognize. I like to use cartoon characters, but any names they would recognize will do. Write these names on sheets of paper in large letters. Without letting the kids see the names, tape a sheet to the back of each child. The children are allowed to ask the other partygoers yes and no questions to figure out who they are. The first person who guesses their identity wins.
2) A Variation on Pin the Tail on the Donkey
It’s a fun game, but even store purchased pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey games are pricey. Instead, draw a figure of your choice on a large sheet of paper. Then, draw and cut out something you can use to “pin” on your figure. For example, you could draw a princess and cut out crowns to pin on her, or a train and cut out cabooses to pin to the end of the train. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!
3) The Cotton Ball Game
This game requires two bowls, lots of cotton balls, a big spoon and a blindfold. Put all of the cotton balls in one bowl, with an empty bowl sitting next to the full bowl. Blindfold the first player and hand them a spoon. Have them try to move as many cotton balls from the first bowl to the second. Whoever can move the most cotton balls during their turn wins. Trust me, this one is much more challenging than it sounds!
4) Stuff the Union Suit
If someone you know has an old fashioned adult size union suit, or if you can purchase one inexpensively, this game is crazy fun! It works best if the union suit is much larger than your players. You’ll need to blow up multiple balloons—20 or so should work. Divide your group into two teams. The team will choose one person to wear the suit. You start a timer for 30 seconds or a minute, depending on the skill level of the children, and the children stuff as many balloons as they can into that suit until the buzzer goes off. Have the player wearing the suit remove the balloons as everyone counts them. Record the number of balloons and let the next team have a turn. Compare numbers of balloons to determine the winning team. The kids will want to play this one over and over!
Photo Credit: iClipart