Keep It Fun for All

Birthday parties are stressful enough to host without worrying about entertaining everyone all the time. Plan ahead to ensure everyone will feel happy and included throughout the party. Use these tips to help you get prepared.

Plan Inclusive Games

Since the birthday boy or girl will be getting gifts, it’s easy for some guests to be a bit disappointed at their own lack of treasures to tote home. Sure, there will be party favors, but those just aren’t always that thrilling compared to the quantity and scale of gifts the birthday boy or girl receives. Plan some games in which everyone can win a prize so each child feels like he or she got a special gift that day.

If you are planning a race or something similar, make sure there is always more than one winner. Whatever game you choose, be sure to give everyone a prize. Sure to lead to lots of laughter is the freeze game. There are many variations. Here is just one version:

  • Play music and let everyone dance
  • Stop the music and say, “Freeze!”
  • Whoever doesn't freeze fast enough sits down
  • Repeat until there is only one person left

Give prizes to everyone with a little explanation of why they won what they did. For example, a prize can go to one child for being the last one standing, another for quickest freeze, yet another for best frozen expression. Hand out the prizes in such a way that everyone is a winner. Your guests may have so much fun that they will want to play repeatedly and won’t care who dropped out in what order or who was last standing. Playing again and again will most likely leave a different person as the last one on the floor, so they will see that there is no one winner in this game; it is really just about having fun. And that is the whole point — to keep everyone happy, having fun and feeling included. Be sure to stock up on enough prizes for everyone.

Keep Everyone Occupied

Another good way to keep the crankies at bay is to have open-ended, ongoing activities to keep kids occupied. In addition to whatever activity or game is happening during a particular point in the party, it’s always a good idea to keep a craft table set up so kids can wander over and draw or paint when their attention span wanes from whatever you are directing guests to do at that time. If you have different age groups represented (which is often the case when younger / older siblings tag along to parties), then it is a must to have age-appropriate activities for the different age groups. Some brightly colored toys and games are great for toddlers; a well-stocked craft table is perfect for younger school-aged kids; and game boards and cards are just the thing for older school-aged kids.

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