Birthday party activities/games on a budget for first graders - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-13-2011, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to hear your ideas on keeping kids busy/happy at a 2 hour party. Mostly 7 yearolds. We are doing it on a budget and I don't really have a space for a bouncy castle anyway.

Right now I have pumpkin decorating on the agenda. I've invited 12 kids.

 

Thanks in advance.  

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Old 10-13-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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Do you have outdoor space?

I just hosted an outdoor harvest themed party with a bunch of kids and we did a bunch of traditional games and activities (all super cheap), the sort you would have seen at an old time small town fall fair.

bobbing for apples

pumpkin bowling

3 legged and potato sack races

tug of war

carmel candy apple making

 

hth

Karen

 

 


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Old 10-13-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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My mom is a preschool teacher, and the kids LOVE when she does singing/action activities with them. At family parties the kids range in age from 5-11, so 7 fits right in. I believe they call them ring or circle games, and they usually stand in a circle. They can be done inside if it is cold, too.

An example:

Little Sally Walker

Little Sally Walker
Walking down the street.
She didn't know what to do
So she stopped in front of me.
She said, "Hey girl, do your thing,
Do your thing and switch!
Hey girl do your thing
Do your thing and switch!"

(You can change the lyrics for boys.)


Source with video: http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2409&c=23

More circle games: http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activities/circle-games.page-1.html

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:31 AM
 
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We HAVE to play musical chairs at every one of my son's birthday parties - he insists!  He is 7 by the way, but his cousins from 3-10 love it.

 

We had a Lego party this year and played Lego bingo.....that was a big hit too.  You can find printable bingo cards on the internet for just about any theme.  Does your party have a theme?  That might help me think of more ideas.....

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Old 10-14-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas. I have limited outdoor space - enough for some stuff but not something like a race or anything.

No theme - it will be 2 days before Halloween but it's not a Halloween party. Pumpkins and apples. I like bobbing for apples - do parents think that's gross these days??

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Old 10-14-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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These two only require music and the ability to stop it (a remote is best so you can be tricky)

Hot potato (or hot 'apple') - kids sit in a circle and pass the potato around; when the music stops, the person who has it is out; Keep going until one person is left.

Freeze dancing -- play music and have the kids; stop it randomly. Who ever keeps moving is out. Give them streamers (paper ones fine) to wave around to make it more fun.

 

Living room 'volleyball'. String a streamer across the room (about waist height for you). Blow up a balloon and divide the kids into teams on either side. The kids have to sit on the ground and hit the balloon over (only with their hands!) while staying seated. You can keep score or not.

 

Honestly, just having balloons to bat around keeps many kids happy.

 

ETA: A scavenger hunt -- you can do this indoors or out. Hide clues that lead the children from one clue to the next. At the end, have a simple 'prize' that they can all share, or something silly. If you're really creative, you could have 2 teams with different clues and race to see who can find the 'treasure' first (I'm thinking treasure = gold coins), with the caveat that everyone shares in the treasure.


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Old 10-15-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboyjunki View Post

 Does your party have a theme?  That might help me think of more ideas.....



 Actually, it looks like we are having an octopus cake because Ds is going to be that for halloween. I am not going all out with an under the sea theme, but maybe I can come up with something imaginative. I am committed to the pumpkin decorating now because I included it in the invitations.

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Old 10-15-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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The biggest hit at my dd's 6th b-day party (1st graders) was a home-made pinata.  It costs next to nothing to make, and you can fill it with whatever you want.  At this time of year you could get some halloween candy for cheap, and there's always stickers, erasers and silly bands from the dollar store.  For ds's pinata this year (4th b-day party), as well as toys and candies, I put baggies of popcorn (movie-theatre-style bought at the video store up the street) which filled space and the kids loved.  You can also make big confetti out of coloured paper (just let the kids loose with a pair of scissors!) and it's really festive when the pinata breaks open.

 

How to make the pinata:

 

First make your paste.  The ratio is 5parts water to 1 part flour.  Heat it to boiling in a saucepan.  Boil for 2mins.  Let cool.  Blend with hand blender.  Wash hand blender right away.

 

While the paste is cooling you make the strips of paper.  Rip newspaper into strips about 6-8inches long and 1-1.5inches long.

 

Blow up a good-quality large balloon.

 

Dip the strips of newspaper into the paste and use them to cover the balloon.  Leave an uncovered space at the top large enough to put the prizes in. 

 

Let dry, then do a 2nd layer. 

 

When the 2nd layer is dry wrap a long length of string around the balloon, top to bottom.  Tape it in place.  Wrap a 2nd string around the balloon at a 90 turn from the other string.  Tape in place.  There will be 4 string ends all at the top of the balloon (where the hole is).  These will be for hanging the pinata.

 

Now you can do the 3rd layer.  You might want to do this in white paper strips so that it's easier to decorate.  OR you can use brightly coloured strips for the 3rd layer and then the layer itself will be the decoration.

 

Let dry, then pop the balloon and pull it out.

 

Fill the pinata and cover the top with paper.  Tape in place and paper mache over it with white paper (or coloured if that's what you want).

 

Decorate to look like an animal, or whatever else, or just to be fancy and festive.

 

 

For ds's b-day we did the pinata inside because it was pouring rain outside.  We used a curtain rod (an old one we happened to have lying around - you could also use a broom handle) and hung the pinata from it with one person holding each end of the rod up.

 

ETA - IMPORTANT: leave enough days to complete the pinata.  I did one layer per evening so it took 3 evenings.  The decorating can take another evening.  I found it a pretty good veg-out activity while watching episodes of a tv show I had downloaded.  ;)

 


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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Old 10-25-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Hula hooping?  You can get 99 cent hoops at toys r us or the dollar store here...and then you can send them home as a "favor" instead of worrying about favor bags.

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post

Hula hooping?  You can get 99 cent hoops at toys r us or the dollar store here...and then you can send them home as a "favor" instead of worrying about favor bags.


:) I'll have hoops out (that's the reference in my username), I make mine but I agree they are a great idea for a favor!

 

So far I'm doing pumpkin bowling and stomp the balloon, along with the pumpkin decorating. Thanks for all the great ideas!
 

 

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Old 10-27-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post

Thanks for the ideas. I have limited outdoor space - enough for some stuff but not something like a race or anything.

No theme - it will be 2 days before Halloween but it's not a Halloween party. Pumpkins and apples. I like bobbing for apples - do parents think that's gross these days??



I have no idea what anyone else thinks of the hygenic properties of apple bobbing, but my almost 6-year-old reeeally wants me to do an apple-bobbing tub for her and the older kids at my 2-year-old's party on Saturday.  If we get more than 2 kids over the age of 4 showing up (not sure how many siblings will come) I'll set it up for her.  I don't know why she thinks this will be so great considering this is the same girl who won't put her face in the water at swimming lessons!  But she's desperate to try it.


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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I haven't seen apple-bobbing in awhile, but I don't think it is particularly gross. Just don't let any obviously sick kids do it. Another one I liked as a kid was trying to eat a doughnut with no hands. My aunt always did this at parties. She'd tie strings to a beam, and then attach the donuts a little bit above mouth height for us. We'd have to try to eat the doughnut with our hands behind our backs. I think they were usually the plain or powdered variety that held up pretty well.

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