What is a better way to make your guests feel at home, and to break the ice upon arrival, than starting the party with a great craft activity?Or what about a classic ‘summer camp’ intro game? I find one of the best methods of easing young ones into party mode is to start off with a quiet activity that won’t lead to ‘where’s my mommy’ meltdowns.
Have a station set-up near your entrance where you guests can make their own party hat, and you will be sure to have a happy start to your main event. You can provide the little ones with construction paper cut into strips, glue sticks, glitter, markers, and stickers, and any other fun objects you find in your local craft store. If you are having a character themed party, cut out eyes, ears, mouths, noses, and hair from coloured construction paper and your guests can create their favourite cartoon creation for their noggin’.
If you are hosting a larger event and not many of the children know each other, there are some great ‘get to know you’ circle games that can help them break out of their shells.
Here are five games that I have always had luck with!
1. Candy Bowl
Put about enough candy in a bowl for each person in the room to take at least 5 pieces, (for larger groups take 3).
After that is done tell everybody they can grab 1-5 pieces of candy.
Each child then has to tell something about themselves for each piece of candy they took. (example: If Claire took 5 pieces of candy she’d have to tell 5 things about herself.)
After that you can eat your candy.
Human Treasure Hunt
Create a list of 15-30 statements to distribute to your group.
Give the the group a period of time to find people who meet different the criteria of different statements on the list.
When participants find someone who meets the criteria, they ask that person to sign their list.
At the end of the activity, read off the various statements and ask anyone who meets the criteria to stand up.
Has a blue toothbrush
Is an only child
Hasn’t got all their second teeth
Can stand on her head and count to ten,
Knows his ABC backwards
3.The Toilet Paper Game
Take a roll of toilet paper and ask a person how many squares they want, but don’t tell them why. Set a Limit From 5 to 50.
Count out the squares, Rip after the last square and give all of the squares to the child.
Repeat until all the children have desired amount.
Then go around and have each person say stuff about themselves for each square until they are finished. The first square has to be their name.
4. Joke and Punchline
*Set-up: Write a joke on one card and a punchline on another. Be sure to mix the cards up. The number of different jokes you use is up to you.*
Give each person a card. Explain that they may have a joke or a punchline on the card. On a given signal, they are to walk amongst the crowd trying to find the other part of their joke/punchline.
When they find their other half, you may ask them to get to know their new partner by asking things like favorite ice cream or dream vacation, etc.
When this is done, everyone can return to a circle and, with their partner, tell their joke to the rest of the group.
Ha Ha Ha!
Have everyone lie in a circle with each other’s head’s on each other’s stomachs.
On ‘go’, the first person will shout ‘HA’ and then it will be repeated one by one clock-wise around the circle. (When you do this everyone’s heads bounce up on the person’s stomachs). Then you shout two ‘HA HA’s’ and go around. Continue doing this and increase the number of ‘HA’s!’
Try to get as far as you can without the group erupting in HA’S!