Birthday Party Games


Smiley Face Beanbag Toss
You'll be grinning from ear to ear as you toss beanbags at the ever-smiling faces on the cardboard target. Each player has five chances to toss a beanbag through the semicircular smiles.

Ages: All

A discarded refrigerator box is ideal for creating a target, but any large cardboard box will do.
On one side of the box, draw or paint five yellow circles with black outlines.
Draw a smile and two eyes in each circle; the smiles should look like semicircles.
Cut out the semicircles, making sure that they are larger than the beanbags. Make openings of varying sizes and at various heights.
Players try to toss beanbags through the smiles. Each player receives five beanbags.

Plan-Ahead Tips:

Ask an appliance store near you for refrigerator boxes or check with a local moving company.
Make your target by painting the box or drawing on it with markers.
Buy or make beanbags. Party goods stores, toy stores, and the online retailer U.S. Toy are places to look for beanbags.

Hit Parade Charades
Sounds like ... a little family heritage and a lot of fun. Players try to guess the titles to hit songs as a team member acts them out in charades. If Mom and Dad met at the disco, greatest hits of the '70s would be a perfect category for clues.

Ages: 8 and up

Played like traditional charades using favorite song titles for clues. Share a little family history and choose tunes from the decade that Grandma and Grandpa were born in or the year Mom and Dad married.
Write the titles on craft sticks.
Place the sticks in an empty coffee can.
Review the classic charades signals so clues will be understood.

Plan-Ahead Tips:

You can ask family members to send in song titles or choose them yourself.
Buy craft sticks.
Write the titles on the craft sticks.
Set aside an empty coffee can for the clues.

Chin-to-Chin Pass
Look, Ma, no hands! In this game, the chin is the thing. Fruit, rubber balls, or water balloons are passed from chin to chin, down the line to the last player. The first team to pass the fruit without dropping it wins.

Ages: 6 and up

Teams consist of 5 to 10 players.
Each team forms a line and is given a piece of fruit, like an apple or an orange.
The first player places the fruit under his chin and bends his head to keep the fruit in place.
The second player must use her chin (no hands allowed!) to take the fruit from the first player.
Players pass the fruit from chin to chin until it reaches the last player, who holds the fruit in the air to signal the team is done.
You can use a basket of fruit per team to make the game more challenging.

Plan-Ahead Tip:

Buy fruit, balls, or water balloons to pass.

Humpty-Dumpty Race
All the king's horses, all the king's men, and all of your family will want to play this spoon race game. Place a plastic egg filled with water (or a water balloon) on a spoon and see who can make it to the finish without dumping Humpty.

Ages: 4 and up

Give players a spoon and a plastic egg filled with water, or a small water balloon.
The player who reaches the finish line without dropping their egg wins.

Plan-Ahead Tip:

Buy plastic spoons, and plastic eggs or water balloons.

Share-A-Pair Race
Here's a togetherness-promoting variation on a three-legged race. Instead of tying your leg to your teammate's, a team of two "shares" a pair of pantyhose or sweatpants. Ideally, partners should be about the same height, but mismatched pairs make the race more challenging.

Ages: 6 and up

Every team is given a pair of pantyhose or sweatpants (cut off the toes of the pantyhose).
Each player places one leg into a leg of the hose or sweatpants so that the team is "sharing" the garment.
Team members put their arms around each other's shoulders to race.

Plan-Ahead Tips:

Buy pantyhose and cut off the toes.
To use sweatpants, you can start collecting early or go to Goodwill.

Source: BH&G

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