I’ve told you about this year’s birthday pinata (here goes the mighty angler fish!), but I have yet to tell you about the actual party.
Generally, birthdays around here have gone like this: one casual gathering with the family over a BBQ plus one birthday party just for the kids. I don’t know about you, but I’m not all Martha-Stewart-let’s-have-a-birthday-party kind of gal. In fact, I am all for forking out large sums of money to avoid having the party at my place. In fact, I’ll go ten steps further and say that I am philosophically against having parties at the house. Like if I had a religion, it’d be against it. I think you get the picture.
But this year, Stella starts going on about wanting to have a party at the house. I could very well have swayed her another way, but nooooo, hubby jumps in and says, “Great idea! We can do old-fashioned party games!” Oh, if looks could kill, the man would have evaporated on the spot. But alas, we all know that doesn’t work, now don’t we?
So, we had a party at the house. With old-fashioned party games. (“Old-fashioned” is kind of a funny adjective, because, really, we’re talking about games from when we were kids. Okay, well, it’s either funny or we’re just old.)
In case this grand idea is something you’d like to pursue, I’m going to do a refresher on party games for you.
#1: The three-legged race
Pair the children up and stand them facing forward. Then tie up the two legs of each child that are closest. Voila, now instead of having four legs, they have three! The pair that makes it to the finish line first, wins.
#2: Egg and spoon race
Each child gets one spoon and one egg. The children need to race with the egg sitting on the spoon. The egg can fall off and be put back on — if it’s still in one piece! Once your egg is broken, you’re out of the race. The first to cross the finish line with their egg still in tact wins.
#3: Pin the tail on the donkey
In this case, we did “stick the teeth on the angler fish.” Each child is blind-folded and provided with a tail (or tooth!) that has their name on it. He/she then tries to pin (or tape!) it as close as possible to where it belongs on the large poster. The child whose tail (or tooth!) is closest to the right spot on the poster, wins. We used this game to determine the order of who gets to bash the pinata first.
#4: Pass the parcel
This was Stella’s favourite of the bunch! What happens is that there is one parcel, wrapped in many layers of paper (you can use newspaper, wrapping paper, etc.). The children all sit in a circle and the parcel starts to be passed in one direction, from child to child. When the parcel arrives to a child, it is his/her turn to unwrap one layer. The excitement lies in knowing that the person who happens to unwrap the last layer gets to keep whatever is in the parcel! To mix things up a bit, you can include notes between layers, such as “Pass the parcel to the next person who is wearing red!” or “Tell a joke or miss your turn!” We also tricked the children with the size of the parcel by wrapping a bunch of layers on a box, then hiding that box into a larger box and adding more layers. (Stella felt it wasn’t fair that only person got a prize in the end, and so our final box included a small prize for each child to keep.)
So what’s your personal philosophy on birthday parties — home or away? Do you have tips to share on how to keep the little angels occupied? Do tell!