Planning Awesome Birthday Games & Activities Programs

A Birthday Games & Activities Program is the single most important ingredient for a successful kid birthday party. It’s responsible for keeping all your little party goers busy throughout most of the party!

Now that you’ve got a great party theme picked out … is the single most important ingredient for a successful kid birthday party. It’s responsible for keeping all your little party goers busy throughout most of the party!

If you’re still working on selecting the perfect theme then check out these awesome lists of kid birthday party ideas:

… once you’ve picked an awesome theme then you’ll be ready to get serious about choosing some really great birthday games. So, don’t forget to come back and review our tips!

Now, if the thought of keeping a bunch of kids happily entertained for a couple of hours is enough to rattle you to the core, we’ve got just what you need!

Our Top 10 Birthday Games & Activities Party-Saver Tips

Tip #1 – Prepare For Your Birthday Games In Advance

Write out your whole birthday games and activities program in the order you plan to play each game.

You’ll want to gather everything you need for each birthday game ahead of time. Props and other supplies can be made or bought days or sometimes even weeks in advance. Balloons should always be blown up just a couple of hours before the party starts.

Tip #2 – Birthday Games Don’t Have To Break The Bank

Birthday games don’t have to be expensive. There are lots of fun, and exciting birthday games that can be made from things that you probably have lying around the house. So, before you go out and buy anything see how far you can stretch your party budget with a little creativity and some of your time. You may just be surprised at what you come up with!

Tip #3 – Don’t Forget The Birthday Party Music

Make sure you prepare the music that you’re going to use for each game ahead of time. For a game like musical chairs, you can pre-record the music with breaks, so the music will stop periodically as the game is being played.

Choose music that complements your birthday theme and will put the kids in a partying mood. And don’t just wait for the games to start … play your party music softly in the background as everyone is arriving!

Tip #4 – You Can’t Go Wrong With Traditional Birthday Games

You just can’t lose with traditional party games. They’ve been around for years simply because they’re fun and kids love them! After all, we all grow up playing these games!

Traditional games have an advantage over new games in that kids are familiar with them. They learn them at other parties and at school. So you’ll spend less time explaining how to play the game.

New games are great fun, too! Just make sure you put some thought into teaching the kids how to play them before hand.

Tip #5 – Don’t Plan Too Many Games

If your party is two hours long from start to finish (including arrival time, cake, refreshments, opening presents, etc.) you’ll only need to fill about an hour with birthday games and activities.

So, chances are you’ll only need a handful of games, but it’s a good idea to add a few more to your list just in case.

If you’re having an outdoor party it’s always a good idea to include a back-up list of games that can be played indoors just in case the weather has other ideas!

Tip #6 – The Lead, Don’t Ask! Rule

There’s a time and a place to ask questions. And it’s definitely not when you’re leading a group of kids through your games and activities program.

The Lead, Don’t Ask! Rule should never be broken. No matter how tempting
it is to ask the “little darlings” what they’d like to do next … don’t do it!

Let’s think of your birthday games and activities program as a game of “Follow the Leader.” (I’m sure you remember this very popular kid’s game from your own childhood years.)

As you recall, “Follow the Leader” is a very simple game where the “Leader” (you in this case) tell the kids what to do as you bring them through a bunch of “fun and exciting activities” (your birthday games and activities program).

What makes this traditional birthday game so much fun is that the leader “leads” and the kids “follow”. It’s a very simple dynamic, but one that should never be broken!

If you choose to break this rule, you do so at your own peril. Because you’ll soon find yourself playing a rather boisterous game called “Debate the Leader,” instead of “Follow the Leader.” And as the kids raise a ruckus over who wants to do this and who doesn’t want to do that, the birthday party fun will come to an abrupt halt.

You’ll find yourself heading down a very long slippery slope (about an hour or two) as those “little darlings” lead your well thought out and organized games and activities program into a state of anarchy and mayhem.

Of course, this “leads” us to how to deal with “nay sayers” …

Tip #7 – “Nay Sayers” – Be Firm, Yet Enthusiastic!

You’re bound to run into some little “nay sayers!,” sooner or later, so you’ll need to know how to deal with them.

You know the ones I mean, those kids that refuse to join in any birthday games (sounds sort of like a Christmas song, doesn’t it?). As their group leader, you must act quickly before this one small voice has a chance to become a unified voice. And the rest of those “little darlings” start snubbing their noses at your birthday games program.

At the first sign of a “nay sayer,” be firm and let them know that we’re all going to play this birthday game now and they need to join in. This reinforces that you’re the leader and you’re not going to let any of them spoil the birthday fun by not participating and drawing attention away from the game.

Always make the “invitation” to join in a birthday game as intriguing as you can!Just think of the excitement and allure that you feel when you hear the attractions being announced at the circus. You just can’t wait to experience what’s coming up next. Create that kind of anticipation and magnetism and your little party posse will eagerly join in your birthday games!

Tip #8 – Setting The Pace Of Your Games & Activities Program

As an on looker, it’s easy for a nervous adult to move through a birthday games program a little too fast. So, try to pace the games so that the kids can really enjoy playing each game. This is especially important for younger kids, who can easily become bored and distracted if not given enough time to play a game before being shuffled on to the next one.

On the other hand, you may need to encourage older kids to slow it down a bit. Left unchecked they may have a tendency to run through your whole birthday games list in record time.

Tip #9 – You’re Out! – A Word Of Caution On Winners & Losers

Competitive games (those with winners and losers, and those where players must “sit out”) are not recommended for preschoolers. Kids don’t really understand the concept of winners and losers until they’re around six years old.

If a game goes on too long, the losers who have to “sit out” may become bored. So make them feel like they’re still part of all the fun by having them assist you as the game continues.

Tip #10 – Don’t Place Too Much Importance On Prizes!

There’s an insane myth going around and it’s afflicting parents in great numbers. It says that “birthday game prizes have to be expensive.” Well, that’s just not true!

For most kids, the real prize is just winning the game. Giving away pricey
prizes can actually take away from the fun and excitement of playing the birthday games. An inexpensive trinket is the perfect way to acknowledge a child’s achievement and quickly move on without getting carried away.

So repeat after me, “birthday party prizes don’t have to be extravagant!”. Your birthday guests will be much happier carrying home favor bags full of small inexpensive prizes than one big expensive toy. You’ll save yourself a bundle of cash, too!

Here’s another little trick you can use to take the focus off the prizes. Hand them out at the end of the party. Just announce the winner and hold up the prize for everyone to see. Then tell the kids that their prizes will be added to their favor bags. This way the kids won’t be distracted by the prizes during the party.

By the end of the party they’ll loose track of who won what and how much. Then, hand each kid their favor bag as they’re leaving the party. This way they won’t have time to compare what’s in each other’s bags. If one kid has one or two more prizes in their bag chances are no one is going to notice.

Don’t leave anyone out! Make sure that every kid gets at least one prize. This is especially important for kids under the age of six. Find more Ages & Stages Party-Saver Tips for kid parties.

Get Ready For Our Awesome Selection Of Birthday Games And Activities

Armed with our 10 Party-Saver Tips, you’re all set to jump in and start planning an absolutely awesome Birthday Games & Activities Program for your kid’s next birthday party.

So where are the hundreds of birthday games and activities for kids? They’re all categorized so it’ll be quick and easy to find what you need! Go ahead, take a peek and you’ll see what I mean. Right this way:

Successful kid birthday parties don’t happen by magic … the really great ones are planned!

Click Here for More Awesome “Party-Saver” Tips & Tools!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sophie's World

Great tips! It’s so true that great parties require great planning!
There are still a few weeks left in summer so I’ll definitely be applying your fun-saver tips to my upcoming backyard water party!! Can’t wait 🙂

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