Here are some fun activities for you and your friends and family to try at home or maybe at your next party!
Purchase enough foam sheets so that there is one less than the number of guests. One child starts in the centre of the circle. Have a list of questions that you can ask the children (Such as: If you have a dog . . . change spots or if you are wearing blue . . .). Each question should be on an individual piece of paper and placed in a bowl. When the question is read, everyone the question pertains to must run to a different spot. The person in the centre runs to any available spot. The remaining child goes in the centre and another question is read. Continue this game until everyone seems at ease and ready for a party.
This classic game can be converted into any theme with just a piece of bristle board! Place the eye patch on the Pirate, stem on the pumpkin, egg in the basket, and bow on the bear etc.
For tossing, you can use balls, beanie toys, or anything soft enough so that no one gets hurt. The target can be made with a rope tied into a circle, a bucket, or even a laundry basket. The younger the child the easier you want to make it. Attach a hula hoop to the fence and have a water balloon toss.
Purchase bingo cards (recycled sheets) at a local amusement store and have the children put a line through the numbers with crayons. At these stores you can also purchase a deck of cards that have the bingo numbers on it for calling out. You can also just print the numbers, cut, fold and place them in a bowl to call out.
The ideas are unlimited what you can do with the balloon. First make sure the children participating are old enough not to put them in their mouths! Every child can place a balloon between their legs and race to a finish line. Also, form two lines and have a balloon placed between the chin and chest of the first children in the line. They will attempt to pass the balloon to the person behind them without using their hands. Of course, the line that passes it all the way to the last person first wins. If the balloon is dropped, it goes to the front of the line and starts again.
Have a container filled with candy and the children have to guess how many candies there are in the container. The person with the closest to the actual number without going over wins the candy to take home. Another variation is to have Lego or something else in the container and they get a prize to take home.
Often can purchase this activity in the summer toy section of a store. If you want to make one, you can use ice cream lids with the centre cut out and hammer surveying markers (sticks) into the ground. The markers can be found at most hardware stores.
Besides throwing water balloons at a target, you can have everyone break into pairs and give each pair one water balloon. After each successful catch, that person must take a step back. Eventually they get far enough apart that someone misses and gets a little wet. This is a great summertime game. You can also take a parachute (or sheet) and put a water balloon in the centre. Everyone tries to get the water balloon to go off the edge near someone else.
Divide everyone into pairs and give them a tie. Each pair will tie their adjoining legs together. When the signal is given, they will race to a finish line.
Divide the children into teams. Give each child a spoon that they are to carry an object on (ball, hard-boiled egg, etc.) to the finish line. They then must place the object in a bowl or bucket, and run back to the start line, passing the spoon to the next child. You can have it so that each child gets one or more turns.
Use old pillow cases – you can find some at a thrift store if need be. Each child gets a pillow case and steps inside of it. When the signal is given they will hop/jump/walk to the finish line.
Purchase a Pictionary game or make your own. Depending on the age of the children, you would use pictures or words that they can understand. Divide the children into two teams. Each child can decide if they want to draw or act out the clues. Regardless if the team guesses the right answer or not, the turn goes to the opposite team. You can choose to keep track of the score or not.
Have a black or orange (none see-through) large bag. Place in the bag items that any child could put on such as a shower cap, bright or funny mitten/scarf. Have enough items that the bag could go around twice. Play it the same as hot potato and when the music stops, the child must reach in the bag and put on the item. Continue until all items are gone or everyone has had a turn putting on something.
The idea of this game is that there is one less chair then children participating in the game. Music is played and when you stop the music, the children must find a place to sit. The one child that remains standing is “out”. A chair is taken out of the circle since there is one less child and the game continues until there is only one child left. **I’ve seen this played with coloured paper circles on the floor instead of chairs. For outside I would purchase the foam sheets. (Often the child that gets out receives a treat or small prize to lessen the disappointment) For larger events, I have seen the child receive a cup cake and the activity is called a “Cake Walk”. The winner would receive a donated cake.**
All guests sit in a circle and a potato (or soft toy related to the theme of the party) is passed around while music is played. When the music is stopped, the child holding the item is eliminated from the game. Again, it is a good idea to have a treat or small prize as consolation. The last child left is the winner.
Find 15 – 25 items from your child’s toy box and place them on a tray. Show the children the tray of toys for a few minutes. More time and less items may be necessary for younger age groups. Divide the children into two groups and have them come up with a list of the items. An adult may have to do the writing for the younger ones.
Have a variety of colours and let the children “Decorate” the driveway for the party. This will keep them busy until everyone arrives.
Great outdoor activity for children. Make it fun by seeing if they can blow a bubble and have it land on their finger!
IDEAS FOR LARGER EVENTS
Here are some ideas for large scale events.
Have a netted tent or area that you can tell fortunes. Be sure to keep the information general and positive.
Stack different size empty cans on top of each other. Give each participate three tosses to knock all the cans down. Have two or three distances to stand when throwing the balls depending of the age. If they knock all the cans down, they get a small prize.
Have a coffee table size platform with a lot of various sizes of jars spread out all over the table. Again, have two or three distance lines for the participates to stand on while tossing the pennies. If they get one, two or three pennies in (you decide) they receive a small prize.
Build your own! You need at least four (4” x 8’) or (6” x 8’) planks. Using a carpenter stapler, attach to the sides of the planks a heavy rope looped over the top. Leave enough room for feet to slide in. Line up the planks so that the rope is attached in the same spot on both planks. There should be room for four people to race on each pair of planks. The first team to cross the finish line wins!!
Have some sort of stand that you can place a board on top of. This board will have holes drilled in about 15cm apart. Drill the holes just big enough to fit snuggly a golf tee. Place on top of the tee ping pong or a light weight ball. Participants will try to knock the balls off with a water gun. If it is windy outside you may need something heavier so that they stay on.
** Make sure you have someone responsible looking after this activity. Take a 6’ x 4’ or 8’ x 4’ board and make ten or more small black dots on the board. Cover the dots with a thumb tack that pierces the balloon – near the knot – to the board. Have the area around the board blocked off so that people can’t walk in front of the participant and the balloons. Each participant gets one, two or three darts to try to pop a balloon. If a balloon does get popped, and there is a dot under the tack, the person receives a small prize.
To have a “fishing pond” you need magnets. One strong magnet tied to a stick with a meter long string. The pond can be as simple as different colour papers folded and sealed with a magnet inside. (One magnet for each 15 colour pieces) You can use the business card magnets and cut into small sizes. More elaborate ponds have ducks etc.