3 Wishes Ice Breaker

About:

This ice breaker is perfect for any “Aladdin”, retro “I Dream of Genie”, or “Shimmer and Shine” themed party. All that you need to do is to gather the kids around in a circle. Then ask each child (starting with the birthday kid) what he/she would wish for if he/she had 3 wishes.

This game is a great way to the guests to get to know each other. However, you might want to ban the wish to ask for more wishes.

Popcorn Bar

About:

Today is national popcorn day! In honor of celebrating this delicious snack, let’s talk about creating a popcorn bar for a party. As always, the cost of setting this up will vary based on how many snacks and toppings you choose to have. Remember to ask your guests if they have any allergies in advance of buying the toppings for the party. Prep for this will be about 15 minutes.

What you’ll need:

  1. Either a microwave or a popcorn popper
  2. Either bags of popcorn to put in the microwave or corn kernels to pop. You’ll want about twelve cups of popcorn to feed 4-6 people, but use your own judgement.
  3. One large bowl to put popcorn in and a large serving spoon
  4. Enough bowls for everyone to eat out of (use either your own bowls or disposable paper bowls that you can find either at the grocery store or at a party store)
  5. Toppings (here are some ideas for food you can mix in:
    • Fruity
      • gummy candies (including gummy worms, gummy bears, and almost everything Haribo makes)
      • skittles
      • mike and ikes
      • Fruit snacks (such as Welch’s fruit snacks or Horizon Organic)
      • Hi-chews (unraveled and cut to make them bite-sized)
      • twizzlers (preferably the smaller, pre-cut nibs)
      • swedish fish
      • candy citrus slices
    • Chocolate
      • snow caps
      • Hershey squares
      • milkduds
      • junior mints
      • mini kitkats
      • mini Reese’s peanutbutter cups
      • Reese’s Pieces
      • M&M’s
    • Taffy (all taffy should be cut up in advance in order to make it easier to snack on)
      • airheads
      • salt water taffy
      • laffy taffy
      • starburst
  6. Popcorn seasoning:
    1. melted butter
    2. Kernel Season’s popcorn seasoning

Instructions:

Pop the popcorn before the party starts. You’ll want to have the popcorn cool before your party guests arrive. This should be the first food that your guests put into their bowls and should be the first bowl on the table that the guests can reach.

Put each topping in a bowl with a serving spoon. Lay them out along the table. Let people line up to get the popcorn and then choose their toppings. Make sure that a kid doesn’t just dump the whole bowl of their favorite candy into their own bowl.

Lastly, have the kids pick their spots, relax, and enjoy the movie that you’re going to show.

Mario Pool Party Game

About:

It’s a me… the Blast Off Party Activities blogger with a great pool party game for anyone who likes Mario and wants to incorporate him into his or her pool party. This game is similar to hot potato. In Mario’s world, little bomb-shaped creatures called bomb ombs often chase after him. He can pick them up, but they will explode a certain amount of time after coming into contact with Mario. This game may cost about $14 to create.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 black beach ball
  • 1 white acrylic paint pen or a silver sharpie
  • something that you can play music through that can easily be stopped and started
  • 1 pool
  • a responsible adult

Setting Up:

  1. Making the bomb omb -Inflate your beach ball. Look at the model below and draw on 2 oval eyes using a white or silver permanent marker.

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2. Selecting the music- use the music from the games to set the mood. You can either buy them in iTunes or simply use your smartphone to play the song from online. Here are some great songs to use off of YouTube:

Instructions:

Have the kids gather around in the shallow end of the pool in a circle. Make sure that everyone can comfortably stand. Explain that this game is like the game hot potato, except we have a bomb omb from Mario instead. When the music starts, pass or toss the bomb omb to another person. When the music stops, the person holding the bomb omb is out of the game and has to exit the circle. When they’re outside of the circle, the children who are out can make a splash when the music stops (like a bomb omb exploding). Play until there is one child left.

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

About:

SO… do you want to build a snowman? No? The kids might if there’s snow on the ground. You can use old clothes to decorate the snowmen. This activity should take about 45 minutes to do. If you want to, you can also turn it into a contest.

Materials Needed:

  1. over a foot of fresh snow on the the ground
  2. About 4-6 hats
  3. About 4-6 scarves
  4. About 4-6 carrots
  5. About 4-6 long branched for the arms or cleaning materials with a long handle such as a broom
  6. Optional: snow dye or rocks for decoration

Instructions:

Break the kids up into teams 0f 3-4 and have them work together to create snowman. Once everyone is done, have them talk about their snowman: his/her name, hobbies, and profession. Don’t forget to take their pictures!

Wrapping Paper Fashion Show

About:

We’ve all tried to save the wrapping paper from Christmas at some point. It’s too pretty to simply throw away, but we don’t always wrap up next year’s presents in the same paper, do we?

A better use of the paper is to simply entertain the kids once they become bored of their presents. You just need to save the wrapping paper from opened presents on Christmas day for this activity. The wrapping paper fashion show should entertain the kids for 45 minutes to a full hour. However, this game is so fun that even the grown up’s will want to play.

Materials Needed:

  1. left over wrapping paper and bows
  2. scotch tape and/or masking tape
  3. enough scissors for everyone

Instructions:

Store all of the leftover Christmas wrapping paper and bows together so that you can easily pull them out when it’s time to play the game.

First of all, the family should decide who is judging. One person can judge or you can have a judge panel. If you have enough people, break the participants up into equal sized groups. Perhaps you can even have a family vs. family contest. The Christmas fashionistas must then decide who the model should be. If the boys in the household seem reluctant to play because the game has the word “fashion” in it, then you should remind them that fashion is just clothes you wear. Having a santa clause and reindeer dotted ninja turtle costume is just as much of a fashion statement as wearing a fancy, sledding penguin dress.

Each team should be given tape, a piece of paper of sketch on, and a pair of scissors. Try to evenly divide up the wrapping paper and bows between the teams. If you can’t, them just make it a free for all. Don’t allow any other materials than what’s been given. Each team has a limited amount of time to come up with an idea and make it. Give them 30-45 minutes.

Once the players have broken up into teams, they should choose one person to be the model. This game is not puppy friendly and the family cat would not like to be the kids’ model. Once time is up, have every one meet in the judging room where they can show off and explain their creations. The judges can have numerous categories of which to judge from. For example the can award the titles of cutest, coolest, Project Runway worthy, what I want for Christmas next year, most creative, etc.

Just don’t forget to take pictures!

Jasmine’s Hairband

About:

I loved Disney’s movie Aladdin and I always wanted Jasmine’s crown. This party craft will let the kids design their own crowns. It may take about 10 minutes for everyone to make their own crown and will need a lot of set up time for the adult. It may take the kids about ten minutes to design their crowns. The craft will vary in price depending on how many materials you need to buy and what you need. $32 is a conservative estimate of how much materials for a project with 4 packs of ribbon that cost $4 (for 12 girls), a pack of pom poms, a pack of velcro, and 2 different glitter glues would cost. Comment below to let me know if you’ve done it for less or more, how it came out, and what the kids thought about it.

Needed Materials:

  1. Tape measure, pencil, and pad
  2. Ribbon
    • Measure the size of your child’s head (and add an extra inch) for reference of how many ribbons you will need to buy. Keep in mind that 1 yard is 36 inches and that different ribbons come in different sizes.
    • Multiply your child’s reference number size by how many kids are expected to show up. Use the conversion above in a proporation to figure out how many yards of ribbon you will need. You should always buy enough to do three more than expected.
  3. stick-on velcro
  4. glue
  5. Decorations
    1. stick-on rhinestones
    2. glitter glue
    3. fabric markers
    4. pom poms
    5. some sort of large pendant

Instructions:

As the kids wait for the party to start and do other party activities, call one child over at a time to measure her head. Mark the measurement down on a piece of paper.

Start cutting the ribbon an inch larger than each child’s measurement. Write each child’s name on the inside (least pretty side) of the ribbon. Attach the velcro at each end and make sure that no sticky velcro is showing that would stick to a little girl’s head.

Set up a table with the craft in advance and give each kid her own crown. Have each kid talk about why she designed her crown a certain way in order to add 15 minutes to the activity.

Who Died at the Crime Scene Activity

About:

You’ll just need chalk and enough driveway space for this fun activity. When a person is murdered, police officers will often draw a chalk outline around where the body fell for the crime scene investigators. Your party guests can do the same. This activity will cost about $5-$15 depending on what time of year it is. This activity will keep the guests entertained for 15-30 minutes and works well for children in elementary school.

Materials Needed:

  1. enough colorful chalk for all of your guests

Instructions:

Break the children up into groups of either two or three children.

Have one child lay down on the pavement while the other child or children in the group outline their body in chalk.

Variations: If you break the kids into groups of two children and you have enough space, then you can let each child make his or her own colorful crime scene outline. If you break the kids into groups of three, you can have one child be the outline and then let each child color in a section of the body such as one person colors in the head, one person colors in the torso, and one person colors in the pants.

If you try this, please let us know how it goes down in the comment section below! 

Strange Story

About:

This is a fun, free game for any party. Tweens would enjoy this game the most (teenagers and adults may also be interested in the game). All you need is to be able to think on your feet and to have some creativity.

Instructions:

First, choose a narrator who will direct the flow of the story. The birthday child or child hosting the party may want to be the narrator the first time. Have all of the children gather around him or her in a circle. The narrator should be at the center.

The narrator will point to one person in the group who will begin telling the story. That person will speak until the narrator points to someone else. If no one can think of how to begin the story (which I doubt), then you should start with this opening, “Kate grabbed the knob to the door of the open house…”

The person that was pointed to picks up where the last story-teller left off (which could be mid-sentence or in the middle of producing a sound to create a word). If this new player stumbles into the story or repeats what another person had said (ex: you can’t have the spooky ghost repeat the same warning twice), then that person is out. They should scoot out of the circle and the circle should be made tighter.

Repeat this over and over again until there are just 2 people left in the circle (although it won’t be much of a circle at this point). Those 2 should wrap up your fascinating, yet strange story.

Finding Nemo Search Game

About:

That was a good movie, wasn’t it? Clownfish look a lot a like though. Would the children be able to find Nemo in a shoal of clownfish let alone guess how many clown fish are hanging around the yard? Setting up for these 2 games should cost around $35 and the kids will enjoy both games a total of 30 minutes or so.

Materials Needed:

  1. old newsprint
  2. an egg carton
  3. orange spray paint for plastic
  4. white acrylic paint
  5. black acrylic paint or sharpie
  6. 2 dozen or so ping pong balls
  7. optional: glass vase
  8. optional: paper to write down guesses on
  9. optional: a bowl to put the guesses in

Instructions:

Place old newspaper down as a cover on the ground. Depending on the wind, you may want to secure it down with either tape or heavy rocks. Next, put the 2 dozen ping pong balls in the egg containers. Spray paint a couple of coats of orange paint and then wait about 15 minutes (or longer depending on the paint) to turn them over and coat the other side. The ping pong balls should have a nice, smooth, and orange finish.

When those are done drying, paint two imperfect, but bold white stripes on each of the clownfish. Make sure that you’ll have room to draw a fin in between the lines later. It may be a good idea to paint the top side of each of the ping pong balls in all of the cartons before painting the bottom so that the paint will have hopefully dried by then.Here is some inspiration from the plush tsum tsum version of Nemo:

winking-nemo-tsum-tsum-preview

Once those stripes are dry, it’s time to give your clownfish personality. Give all but one of your ping pong ball fish equally sized fins. Save the last ping pong ball to be Nemo (so that your life is easier. It is essential that this fish has one fin smaller than the other. Let them dry and then draw a face on them. Simplistic is better. Then draw one, big curved line on the opposite side from where you drew the face to be the tail. Once that’s done, you can outline the 2 white stripes with the black pen/paint and draw the dorsal fin. This should look like a sideways B that isn’t filled in (kind of like the lazy, line way to draw birds in the distance). Once that’s dry, finish outlining the white on the bottom of the fish.

You can either leave it at that or you can write the name of each fish on the bottom so that there is no confusion about who found Nemo. If you want to play a joke on the kids or the kids know the movie well, you should name one fish Marlin, one fish Nemo, one fish Coral (Nemo’s mom), 11 fish named Coral Jr. and 10 fish named Marlin Jr.

There are 2 games that you can play with these fish. One is to have the guests try to figure out how many fish are in a jar and the other is to spread them around the house or yard to have the kids find the fish. The games should be played in the order above.

Story:

Game 1: There are a lot of clown fish in here. Can you guys guess how many there are total?

Game 2: Nemo, Marlin, and their extended clownfish family have moved in nearby. Everyone should grab any clownfish that they find and bring it over here. There will be a prize for whomever can find Nemo.

Spooky Leaf Maze

About:

You’re neighbors may wonder why you’re leaving a yard a mess, but they’ll marvel at the result. If you live in a temperate climate where the leaves change, then you probably know the pain of keeping your yard leaf-free. From what I’ve seen, toddlers up to first grade seem to love the game out of any age group. Creating this activity is free and how long it entertains the kids will depend on how long and complicated the maze is.Don’t make it too complicated so that the kids will want to give up. What’s so spooky about it? You can either make it spooky or think about what those leaves actually are… JK. It’s just a fun activity that’ll work well for a Fall party.

Materials Needed:

  1. A yard leaf coverage of about a half an inch
  2. a rake
  3. some artistic ability

Instructions:

You can either grab a relatively easy looking maze from one of your child’s activities books or you can make one up in your head. The coolest patterns that I’ve seen are circular in design and kind of mimic the UFO field patterns. Rake the leaves into your chosen pattern. The pathway is the cleared leaf path and the leaf piles are the walls. This may take an hour to an hour and a half to complete depending on the size of your yard, the size of the maze, and how many leaves are in your yard.

There are two options of how you want the kids to try to go through the maze. You can either have the children run through the maze from end to end or you can have them try to figure out the how to get to objects you’ve hidden in the maze. This would be a good way to transition the kids into the next activity. For instance, you could leave a clock, a magnet of the number 4, and a plastic, toy cake in different “wrong turns” of the maze. The kids that want to finish as quickly as possible will and the ones that want to search for how to get to the clues. Then they have to put together the items and figure out that it’s time for cake!

If you end up doing this activity, please let us know how it went!