One of the biggest challenges of hosting a kids’ birthday party can be keeping everybody entertained until it’s time to go home. Let’s face it… a house full of bored 7-year-olds is a terrifying prospect. Here are some great activities, old and new, that will keep those little ones busy and happy.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey is one that can be easily updated to match the party theme or feature one of your child’s favorite characters. Try Pin the Tiara on the Princess, or Pin the Tentacle on the Sea Monster.
For slightly older kids, a scavenger or treasure hunt is a fun, challenging game that take up much of an afternoon. This one does require some significant planning in advance to set up your hiding place and the clues that will lead them to victory, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
I always liked Guess the Object, where a mystery item is placed in a bag and the kids have a limited amount of time feel it before they make their guess. Stash as many unusual things as you can so that you can put something new in each time someone gets it right, and each kid will still get a turn.
The Mummy Wrap Race is a great, if somewhat messy option for either a small party or a larger group. Divide the kids into teams, and give each team a big pile of toilet paper. Whichever team is able to wrap their designated mummy from head to toe first wins!
For younger children, any variation of Musical Chairs will be fun and exciting. I’ve seen it done with towels or couch cushions instead of chairs, or you could try the Freeze Dance version. In this game, the kids will dance wildly until an adult stops the music, and anyone caught moving after that is out.
Because of the level of freedom and creativity possible, craft projects may be the best way to occupy small children. By providing materials and a work space you can either direct their activities or let them go crazy. Some great ideas for specific projects include masks, hats, or wants, depending on what fits best with your theme. You can also decorate T-shirts, either with crayons for younger kids or tie-dye for an older group. Homemade snow globes and kaleidoscopes are two of the most fun craft ideas I’ve ever come across, and they leave each guest will a great souvenir to take home.