And so we come to the MOST important bit of the party. The games.
It’s all well and good to have a kick-ass invite, a pretty table, yum-yum food, amazing decos and awe-inspiring cake, but without good games, a kid is going to wonder when the party is going to start. Stylists beware – you’ve gotta have good games.
Never under-estimate the power of story telling. Whatever the theme of your party, there are so many wonderful games you can come up with that will enhance the story. Weave some words around all the activities and get the kids involved. At Capper’s Mermaid Party, we went on a submarine ride to the bottom of the sea to see what we could see. We could see amazing things, apparently.
Just about every party I do has a treasure hunt with some kind of ‘mystery prize‘ at the end. Treasure hunts are fab because they last and last and last. You get all the kids following you from one clue to another and they even line up sorta-kinda and behave themselves while it’s on. They are great fun to put together too.
A quick word on prizes before we leap into alternative options. My sister MultipleMum recently hosted a Scooby-Dooby-Dooooo party (as one does when one has cable and a five year old) and she came up with the brilliant plan of having a mystery to solve throughout the whole party: who stole the presents? The winner of each game (Pin the Tail, Pass the Passel, Ice-mania (more on this later) and other good times) got to be the one to read the next clue to solve the mystery. Brilliant idea, the children were delighted.
Another favourite of mine is medals. You can buy cheap medals at toy shops or make your own as I did for Maxi Potter. There isn’t a cheap gift in town that can top a genuine medal.
But, enough about prizes, let’s get on with the show!
I am not a fan of pass the parcel, but I went there for Capper’s Rainbow Party and, as expected, it was about as exciting as watching paint dry. However, I have never seen children so patient, so focused and quiet, so I had to conclude that they actually enjoy the odd paint-drying session and so can only recommend this old favourite as a stand-by. I used old tissue paper with different colours to wrap the gifts, but newspaper works just as well and you can even buy in the whole thing if you are feeling wrapped-out and listless (and rich).
Depending on your theme, you can come up with all sorts of cool party games. Some might question the sanity of a woman who sets up an entire cowboy ranch in her backyard complete with horse and panning for gold, but I say, ‘cool lady, can I come to your next party?’
[Main image from Grey Likes Baby]