Party Games: Give an Old Game A New Name

by Linette

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to party games. Some of the oldest games work the best when you’re trying to figure out how to entertain a group of children. Most children already know the rules and understand how to play these old familiar favorites. This means less explanation from you, and more playtime for the kids.

If you’ve overlooked a game because you don’t think it fits the theme of your party, think again. Many old favorites can be tweaked a little, or maybe just renamed to fit the theme of your celebration.

Pin the tail on the donkey is one of the most versatile games there is. All you need is a blindfold, something to be pinned, and something to pin on.

Here’s a great example: If you’re having a farm or tractor party, draw a large tractor on a whiteboard, or poster board. Cut a tractor wheel out of black card stock, or construction paper. Use sticky tack on the back of the tire to help it stick repeatedly, or have a helper hold the tire in place until you can mark the exact spot, and the initials of the person who last pinned.

Pin the tail on the donkey can be renamed to fit most themes. You can play pin the tail on the mermaid, pin the cord on the microphone (for American Idol, Hannah Montana, Rockstar, or Karaoke theme birthday parties). You can also try pin the tail on the Pikachu for a Pokemon party, pin the horn on the unicorn, pin the hook on the pirate, the tiara on the princess.

I think you get the idea! All you need is a little imagination, a poster board, some markers, and construction paper to change pin the tail on the donkey to fit your party theme. Don’t forget the blindfold!

Another fun game that’s easy to adapt is hot potato. Instead of a potato you can have an object to fit your theme. Some titles might include, Don’t Get Caught With Hannah Montana’s Hat, Don’t Be Left Holding the (beach, base, foot, soccer, basket) ball for a sports theme or beach party. Use a soft Nerf type ball for your “hot potato” game, in case someone throws the ball a little hard. If you’re having a jungle, dog, cat, dinosaur, Webkinz, or unicorn party you can use a soft stuffed version of the animal for the “hot potato,” and make up a name to fit. Whoever is left holding the “hot potato” when the music stops is out of the game. Keep playing until you have a winner.

Easter egg hunts can also adapt to several party themes. Rename them dinosaur egg hunts, Poke-ball hunt, or hide party favors for your theme around the yard or house and let the children find them.

A relay race is simple and works very well with most party themes. For a beach party you can have the children divide into teams. Each team will have to grab several beach related items (a towel, a pair of flippers and a snorkel, a beach ball) and race down to a marker and back. They then hand the items off to the next person who races down, until everyone on the team has gone.

You can make this a dress up relay for older children, the dress up relay works well for princess or pirate parties. Have a costume ready for each team to put on. Each person on the team has to put on the costume, race down and back, take off the costume and hand it off to the next person in line.

A scavenger or treasure hunt is another great game that can be adapted to fit your party. Simply hide items or clues around the house to match your party theme.

I think you get the idea, just use your imagination, and any game (with a little tweaking) can fit your child’s party theme. There’s a bonus. If you play a game that the children are already familiar with they will be less nervous, they’ll be able to focus on the game, and have more fun.

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3 comments

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls January 25, 2008 - 12:06 am

We did ‘pin the wand on Tinkerbell’ for my daughter’s 4th birthday party… And they’ve played other various versions of the game at other parties as well. It’s one that somehow never gets old!

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Laura January 28, 2008 - 9:17 am

I am currently planning a party for my kids birthdays (jointly) and we are having it at the zoo. Funny, but we are also doing an egg hunt! We will be doing an “Alligator Egg Hunt”, and the eggs are filled with mini candy bars and will be put into their favor bags to take home. Another one we like is musical chairs, just changing the music to fit the theme. Because my kids are little, we don’t make the person that didn’t get the chair leave the game, we just keep playing for the fun of it.

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giuliana July 7, 2011 - 6:59 pm

okay so my brother is having a party tht will be awesome.so my brother is about to turn 4 and he is going to have a power ranger samurai party he said tht if he does not have a awesome power ranger samurai party he will be upset so i said u will. i found a cake costmes and etc.

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