It’s all about the party games! Organised games can help to keep a lid on the craziness of having 20-something six-year-olds in the same room together and they will also ensure that all the kids join in – even the shy ones. Remember to keep it simple and fast-paced as the kids won’t be sitting around for long and will have short attention spans with all this excitement going on!
A great ice breaker is to have a craft table set up where the kids can sit down in small groups to make their own party hats. Tie in a theme to some of your games (see below) and you may also wish to have some make lion ears or pirate hats.
There are hundreds of games you can play. I have listed a few here to start you off:
Decorate six or seven empty plastic pop bottles and line them up at the end of the room (or garden, if it’s not too windy) in the style of skittles/ten pin bowling. Have three soft balls to act as the bowling ball. Each child takes it in turns to knock down as many as possible with their three goes. For older children, you can give each bottle a different value and they can add up the total scores.
Pirate Treasure Hunt
This is ideal for older kids as they will need to put a bit of thought into it. Hide various prizes around the house/garden and attach a clue to each one leading them to the next. Consider a little riddle to get them all thinking. Be sure to have enough treasure in the final find so that all the kids get something – a treasure chest of gold always goes down well (a decorated shoe box filled with chocolate coins).
This is great for babies and young toddlers and you may find that some of the older ones will also join in. Quite simply, blow lots of soapy bubbles and then help the kids to catch them. There are some cheap and cheerful bubble machines on the market that will keep hundreds of bubbles coming without you ever losing your breath! Even the family dog can join in with this one!
This is a great game if things are getting a little wild and you want to restore some order. All the kids lie down and pretend to sleep; you try to ‘wake’ them with the odd joke or little tickle and if they move or smile they are ‘awake’. The last sleeping lion to wake up is the winner.
If you are stuck for ideas for entertaining the kids, have a read through this article by Victoria Lambert for B-Loony Ltd