Need a few creative ideas to top off a party? You just may find them here…These are games, favors, prizes and ‘general tips’ that work for a great variety of parties.
Additionally, in the ‘Categoy List’ on the left side of each KidActivities page, you’ll find tons of wonderful activities and ideas under the ‘Seasonal, Holiday, or specific Theme’ Categories! Be sure to check it out for loads of ideas! All themes and Holidays have tons of ideas for a great children’s party!
“30 IDEAS” TO USE AS PRIZES FOR GAMES & PARTY FAVORS
TIP: My favorite method is to stock up on things “AFTER” a holiday or season to use the following year! After an occasion or season you can get great deals/discounts at any store or online at places such as Orientaltrading.com. My closet is now full of ‘little inexpensive things’ for next year’s winter, Christmas, spring and Easter ocasions! Keep it small, affordable and simple. Barb
The following are some ‘general ideas’ to use for prizes and favors:
1. Put a small plastic toy, sticker, stringed beads, coins, small candy, etc. inside an inflated balloon
3. Sidewalk chalk
4. Washable tattoos
6. Hair ornaments
7. Small puzzles and fidget toys such as Koosh balls, squeeze balls, bendables, etc.
8. Glow necklaces and bracelets
9. Small decks of cards
10. Small packs of crayons
11. Small coloring books to go with season or theme
12. Unused fast food toys
14. Beach balls
16. Tiny Notebook
17. Cute erasers
18. Address book
19. Plastic or cardboard Tiara
20. Suckers or small candy
21. Seed packets to plant
CHILDREN ‘MAKE AND TAKE IT’ HOME PARTY FAVOR IDEAS:
ACTIVITY AND TAKE HOME GOODIE IN ONE! Kids love to make crafts and these double as party favors for children take home...
22. Make homemade play dough; put in a baggie and tie with a ribbon
23. Personalize and decorate foam sun visors
24. Personalized and decorate bookmarks (Purchase kits or visit KidActivities Book Mark Making Category)
25. Handmade potpourri sachets or homemade soap; see directions for sachets and soaps in the Gifts that Smell Good category
26. Make sand jars
27. Make refrigerator magnets
28. Hand paint sun catchers
29. Make beaded jewelry or friendship bracelets
30. Make craft stick picture frames with the kids; when complete attach a digital photograph of the child!
MORE PARTY FAVORS…
→ You can fill empty toilet paper rolls with small candy and tiny toys for a party favor. Once you fill it up– close up each end and decorate the tube… or wrap in tissue paper and tie the ends up with a pretty ribbon.
→ PARTY CRACKERS (Not the kind you eat) A version of above…
To make party crackers, take an old paper towel roll and cut it in half or thirds. Place small favors such as erasers, tiny toys, stickers, or small wrapped candy inside. Roll the filled paper towel roll in party wrapping paper allowing extra paper at both ends. Twist the excess wrapping paper at each end and tie with ribbon or yarn. Party crackers!!!
→ NOISELESS NOISEMAKERS AND STREAMERS (This is also fun for a Christmas, New Year or 4th of July theme!)
Need: plastic film canisters, crepe paper, popcorn kernels, stickers, glue, glitter, paint markers, ribbon, and cardboard tissue tubes.
1. Have children fill film canister halfway with corn kernels and decorate with stickers.
2. Adults can then poke a hole in the lid of each canister and children can thread some curly ribbon through the hole.
3. Knot the ribbon on the underside of the lid and let the rest stream out of the top.
To make the streamers, have children glue (or have a staff member staple) lengths of crepe papers to the inside of a cardboard tube. Decorate as desired.
→ POMPOMS (Make them in colors to suit your theme!)
- Cover toilet tissue tubes with red or blue construction paper and have children decorate them with silver star stickers.
- Cut red, white and blue crepe-paper streams –into long and narrow strips.
- Have children glue the strips to one end of their tubes to make pompoms for shaking.
→ MAKE A PARTY LEI- Great to make for a party, celebration or just for something pretty!
They aren’t only for a Hawaiian theme!
- Lay out pre-cut long pieces of string, twine, raffia, or fishing line, long-tube pasta and plastic or fabric tropical flowers. Kids can string together the flowers and pasta to make a fun to wear lei necklace.
MUSIC & DANCING…
Who can hear the music and not feel Good!!! Not only fun at parties but it increases flexibility and balance.
A variation to the traditional Limbo is to go under the rope or limbo stick in pairs. Be sure to play the music!
Beyond the traditional—be creative and change the words to fit the themes.
Instead of the Hokey Pokey Dance—Do THE TURKEY JERKY (Change the words to fit ANY ANIMAL/HOLIDAY THEME!)
“You put your right wing in, you put your right wing out,
You put your right wing in, and you gobble all about.
You do the turkey jerky and you turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about.”
Next would be:
Also have fun with:
- Conga Line
- Free Style
- Hustle/Electric Slide
- Teach Square Dancing
- Line Dancing, etc.
- Hip Hop
- Move to how the music make you feel…
- Do you have the any of the Wii ‘Dance, Dance Revolutions’? Kids of all ages like them! Some follow the moves better than others–but most kids have fun trying and it’s great exercise!
TWO UNIQUE WAYS TO SERVE PARTY SNACKS…
#1 SNACK TUBES
Put small amounts of trail mix, cereal, pretzels, etc. in plastic sandwich bags and insert them in cardboard toilet paper tubes. Wrap the tubes in a piece of tissue paper and tie the ends with yarn or ribbon.
Nice way to serve snack at a “party”…Give snack tubes to the children at snack time or to take home…
#2 GIFT WRAPPED SNACKS for a festive party touch
In a large bowl, mix together such foods as dry cereal pieces, sunflower seeds, m&m’s, raisins, nuts, and mini marshmallows. For each child put a serving of the snack mix in the center of a party napkin. Bring the sides of the napkin together and tie with ribbon.
‘Fun Snack and Party Food Ideas’ are in ALL Theme and Seasonal Categories! Check out the left hand ‘Category List’ on each page...
GAMES GOOD FOR HOME, PROGRAM, OR CLASSROOM PARTIES!
RELAY RACES are great for parties!!!
See Races, Relays, Balloons and Bean Bag Game category
This is in the Low Energy Game Category but would also be fun to start or end a party! Place a piece of chocolate candy in your mouth and see how long it takes to melt! No sucking and chewing it! The one to keep the chocolate in their mouth the longest is the winner.
A FUN PARTY VERSION OF “MEMORY GAME” which you can play with all ages …
You need 28 Styrofoam or paper cups (not transparent) and 2 each of 14 different pairs of treats to hide such as sweets (candy), treat-sized chocolate bars, or tiny gifts. When nobody is looking put the treats in a rectangular grid pattern (7 x 4) on a table and cover with the cups to make a “concentration” game.
The children take turns in turning over a pair of cups. If the treats underneath match, they may take the cups away, claim the treats as their own and have another try. If they do not match, they must carefully replace the cups and play passes to the next player.
Increase or reduce the number of cups and pairs of objects to suit the age and ability of the children.
For a party game for older children, reduce the number of “treats” and throw in the odd booby prize! You could also hide an “instant forfeit” under one or more of the cups–choose something that all the kids at the party would be happy to do.
ESTIMATIONS– Not just fun but MATH and Science too!
‘GUESS THE NUMBER of WHATEVER’ in the jar…
Have kids write their name on a piece of paper along with their guess…Put the guesses in a closed envelope. Depending on what is being guessed–you can award prizes or the jar itself! In case of a tie–have two prizes–or enough in the jar for two. The winning child can also open the jar and share with the group! (I like that one the best!)
There can be variations of this. Examples:
- At Easter count the jelly beans/Easter candy…
- Black and orange jelly beans or candy corn at Halloween…
- Striped peppermint candy at Christmas
- Conversation heart” candies for Valentine
- Green Candy for St. Patrick’s Day
- Small plastic insects for a Bug/Creepy Crawlie Theme
- Small plastic dinosaurs for a Dinosaur party/theme
- For Mexican Theme–Count the nachos! Take a large glass spaghetti jar or similar; carefully fill it with nachos. Keep count as you add them, and try not to break any! The winning child get to open the nachos for all to share…as well as get a prize.
- Sunflower… or Fall Theme Party–guess the closest number of seeds in a live sunflower. The number can exceed 1000!
- Etc., Etc.
Comment: I once had a lot of rubber snakes for Summer Day Camp. I stuffed them in a very large clear container and the child that guessed the closest number won the snakes for their day-camp homeroom.
I did this with something each summer and SAC year–the kids loved it!
TREASURE HUNTS ARE FUN FOR PARTIES!
TREASURE HUNT #1
1. Divide kids into teams 1-4 teams depending on how many are at the event.
2. Make up clues and scatter them over the party area (or outside if weather permits).
3. Each clue leads to the next and at the end of the trail is a treasure for the team, for example, food, party favors, or prizes.
4. Tip: Color code clues so teams only find their own clues. Time the hunt and see which team gets done first.
- Also–whenever-prizes are involved–make sure ALL children receive something for playing!!!
TREASURE HUNT #2
Have children follow clues, a map, or footprints, or arrows (made from sticks or small rocks) to find a special treat (favor bags or food). To make footprints, cut a stencil out of paper and then sprinkle flour inside the cutout area. Younger children can dig for treasure (coins, small plastic animals, etc.) in a sand box.
Have children toss coins into pie pans or targets chalk-drawn on the ground. Other objects that can be tossed include: buttons, poker chips, peanuts, clothes pins, balls, playing cards, dried beans or washers (hardware). Objects can be tossed into milk bottles, plastic drinking glasses, bowls, plates, muffin pans, egg cartons, coffee cans, jars, shoes, hats, flower pots, boxes, and even an open umbrella. For an extra challenge toss objects into pie pans floating in a children’s wading pool.
Have children toss balls into buckets, laundry baskets, or through hula- hoops hung from a tree.
THE WORM SQUIRM Obstacle course Game
The Worm Squirm… Great for a “PAJAMA OR BUG THEME party”! This is an obstacle course made of pillows, boxes etc, … when it’s your turn, you squirm like a worm on your belly to complete the obstacle course.
BUZZ-BOMB BALLOON GAME
1 balloon per player, not inflated, tape or string to make a target…
Played from a line or circle…
- All players inflate their balloon. Some players may need help.
- When the leader says “1, 2, 3, GO!” The players release their balloons in the direction of the target.
- If you are having a THEME PARTY, use a picture with the theme as the target center.
- Score 5 points for the closest balloon and 15 points for a direct hit.This game works well with teams – each team gets their own colored balloons; red, blue, green etc. Or, you do not need to keep score at all and just have fun playing the game several times.
BEAN BAG TOSS
Buy or make a painted wood or cardboard bean bag toss. Make the shape according to the theme.
Use bean bags to toss—or be creative and toss something based on the theme. Example: Scrunched up white paper or large marshmallows for a winter theme.
There are many “Bean-Bag” game ideas. Races, Relays, Balloons and Bean Bag Game category
MUSICAL PARTY FAVOR GAME
Have children sit in a circle and pass one favor bag until the music stops. The child holding the favor bag when the music stops– keeps it and steps inside or outside the circle. The game is repeated until every child has a favor bag.
***Be sure to check out the various “Themes and Seasonal Categories” for many additional game ideas!
FUN ICE-BREAKER AND CONNECTOR : JOKES AND RIDDLES
Write the riddles on individual pieces of paper and write the answers on separate pieces of paper. Give half the children riddles and the other half answers; have them try to find their “match”. Then have each group read their riddle and answer to the rest of the kids.
MAKE BEAN-BAGS OUT OF PAPER NAPKINS…Don’t have enough bean bags for games–or want to keep the kids busy for a few minutes. Visit the Relay, Races, Ballon and Beanbag Games Category for directions and a larger image. It’s at the very bottom of the page!
Use items you already have to create an obstacle course. For example: children might need to crawl through a box, walk across a board, do a hula hoop, jump rope, ring a bell, etc. before they reach the finish line.
Time each child with a stop watch and encourage him/her to try to beat their own time on the 2nd try (instead of worrying about the other children’s times). Give ribbons or stickers to each child.
PIN THE TAIL ON THE “THEME”!
Customize the traditional pin the tail on the donkey game to fit your party theme. Play ‘Pin the Tail’ on the Zebra for a Jungle Safari Party and ‘Pin the Horn’ on the Unicorn for a Wizard Party. Draw your own or use pictures from magazines, coloring books, or clip art programs and have these enlarged at a local copy center.
PLAY ‘HOT POTATO’ BASED ON the THEME…
Have children sit in a circle and pass around an object (a stuffed animal works well) until a timer goes off.
#1 The child holding the object when the timer goes off is “the silly monkey” or whatever fun name ties in with your party theme or the object the children are passing.
#2 Pass the Ice
Play just like hot potato only with an ice cube. When the music stops clap for the person with the ice. You can also keep passing the ice to see how lobng it will take to melt-great for a hot outside party!
#3 Play cold snowball like hot potato —using a large white Styrofoam ball.
- GUESSING GAMES based on your theme…
- Play this like 20 Questions! Put an object in box and have children take turns guessing what it is. For younger children put the object inside a pillowcase and let them feel it.
- For Halloween party play “Who is the Ghost?” One child leaves the room and one child in the room puts a sheet over his head. The child who comes back in the room tries to guess who the ghost is.
- Play Twenty Questions and give clues related to people or objects that tie in with the party theme, such as famous baseball players for a Baseball Party — or types of dinosaurs for a Dinosaur Party. Have kids try to guess the correct answers.
GAMES: PLAY VARIATIONS ON OLD FAVORITES…
1. Play sDuck, Duck, Goose to fit the party theme.
Examples: “Ghost, Ghost, Witch” for a Halloween Party or “Dry, Dry, Wet” for a water-themed party…
2. Draw a “HOPSCOTCH COURSE” that ties in with your party theme.
Enample: for a St. Patrick’s Day Party draw a leprechaun in the start box, a pot of gold in the end box, a rainbow from one end to the other, and have children toss a gold coin on the course to play.
3. Play:“SIMON SAYS”, but change Simon to a name that fits in with your theme.
Example: Replace the phrase “Simon Says” with Santa Says, … then follow with the direction. “Put your hands on your head.”‘ All players should be their hands on their head.
- When the Santa gives an instruction without saying “Santa Says” and the followers do the action anyway, the leader says “HO! HO! HO!” and the player must sit down.
The last player left is the winner…
4. Play a friendly variation on an old favorite… MUSICAL CHAIRS…
Instead of pulling chairs from the circle and making kids sit out when they “lose”, have enough chairs for each child, but decorate one special chair and whoever sits in that chair receives a special treat. If you don’t have chairs, just make paper “spots” on the floor and make a special spot.
5. Another variation is MUSICAL BALLOONS where children throw balloons into the air until the music stops.
IDEA: Build anticipation as guests arrive with PARTY FOOTSTEPS. These can be used for a variety of events. The first few footsteps at the beginning of the feet (one word on each step) could say something such as…
- This way to _________’s Party!
- Follow the steps to ________!
- This way to a good time!
- Follow the Footsteps to Fun!!
- This way to Summer Camp!
Be sure to check out the Party Tips for classroom and school-age program parties!