Birthday parties can be a real bummer if the planned activities fail to entertain your child’s guests. So while clowns and magicians may have been apropos decades ago, or they might be suitable for truly tiny tots, today’s youngsters expect more. They want to be engaged. And this will require some level of forethought on your part, especially if you’re not keen to plop them in front of movies or video games. The good news is that there are plenty of incredible party games that will keep kids occupied for hours. Here are a few fun ideas to try at your child’s birthday party.
- Board games. You might want to skip the classics that can go on forever and only leave one kid the winner. Instead, turn to modern co-op board games that call for players to work together to beat the game. Kids are sure to enjoy games like Castle Panic, Forbidden Island, Pandemic, and Sentinels of the Multiverse, just to name a few. You’ll have to make sure these games are appropriate for the ages of children at the party (some are 8+ while others are for older kids). But all are designed for multiple players and most of them offer expansion packs. You can get several gaming tables set up and have adults on hand to teach the kids how to play. The best part is that they sink or swim as a group, so when they work together, everyone wins.
- Scavenger hunt. If you want to keep kids occupied for the duration of the party, put together a scavenger hunt complete with clues and prizes. Divide kids into groups with adult support staff and then set them on a quest that begins with the first clue, leading to the location of a prize and the second clue. By the time you’re done, every kid will have a goody bag full of prizes to take home as a party favor.
- This ages-old game requires little preparation and no expense. All you have to do is come up with clues that are appropriate for the age group at your party to act out. Think about movies, books, songs, and so on that most kids that age would recognize. And make sure they’re old enough to understand syllables and such.
- Cupcake decoration. Technically, this is not a game, but what kid doesn’t love to play with their food? If you want to turn your dessert into entertainment, bake cupcakes beforehand and then create individual kits for every guest to frost and decorate their own cupcakes. You can either let them eat their creations at the party or you can send them home as favors and use your own pre-decorated cupcakes as dessert.
- Other activities. If “games” don’t fit in with yourbirthday planning, per se, consider other activities that could entertain the guests at your child’s party. If you have a pool you could turn it into a swimming party (with plenty of adult supervision). Or you could rent inflatable bounce houses, slides, or games from a company like Mid-Atlantic Adventures. These activities will get kids moving and keep them occupied for the duration of the party.