Picking games for a 10-year-old’s birthday party can be easy; however, selecting games to keep them interested and involved is a little harder. Party games allow the children to mingle and meet new friends. Award prizes to all game winners to give children an incentive to want to play.
Stretch the Circle – Divide the kids into two even teams and have them stand in a circle. Tell them to get close together and put all their hands in the middle of the circle. Each child grabs the hands of two other players. Once all the children are holding hands, they try to spread out in a circle without letting go of each other’s hands. They must go under and over, each other’s arms and legs to form a circle. Let the teams compete by seeing who can do this first.
Blind Makeovers – Have the children stand in a line and put the birthday guest of honor first in line. Put a blindfold on the birthday child and have her give a makeover to the second girl in line. Give her a tube of lipstick, eye shadow and blush. When she is done, the girl that just got a makeover puts the blindfold on and does the next girl in line. Continue the game until the last person in line gives the birthday girl a makeover. Take pictures for a memorable photo album.
Who Is It? – Blindfold the birthday guest of honor and let him go first. Once he is blindfolded, all players must be very quiet. He goes around feeling his friends, such as their hair and clothes. He has to guess who is who; he has three attempts to get it right. The first player he guesses right is the new “it” for the next game. That player must then be blindfolded and guess another player.
Balloon Musical Chairs – Blow up several balloons before the party. Put out chairs in a circle and have one less chair than there are players. Tape a balloon in each one of the chairs. Play music and have the children walk around the chairs. When the music stops, each player must find a chair, sit in the chair and pop the balloon. The player without a chair is out of the game. Remove one chair from the circle and tape more balloons to each chair. Keep playing until there is only one player left in the game; that player wins the game.
Bobbing for Apples – Bobbing for apples is fun at any age. This is an especially good choice for birthday parties in the warmer months, since it is best that you do it outside. You can use a wide bucket that is low enough to the ground for children to kneel, but still tall enough that they can’t pin the apples to the bottom without dunking their heads under the water. Give each child a time limit–one to two minutes works well–and have the rest of the group cheer them on.
The Memory Game – When you’re looking to calm down a boisterous bunch, this is a great transition game. Place approximately 20 small items from around the house on a large tray. Acceptable items include a toothbrush, a flower and a piece of candy. Set the children on the floor with a piece of paper and pencil. Place the tray in front of them for three minutes. At the end of the time, pick up the tray and give the kids two minutes to write down everything they remember. The one with the most correct answers wins.
Cotton Bowl – For this game you’ll need two large bowls, two chairs, a big spoon, a bag of cotton balls and a blindfold. One person plays at a time while the rest of the crowd cheers them on. Place one bowl of cotton balls on a chair and the other empty bowl on another chair 5 or 6 feet away. The child is blindfolded, spun once or twice and placed in front of the bowl full of cotton balls. The aim is to use the spoon to transfer as many cotton balls from one bowl to the other before the minute runs out. The child who has transferred the most cotton balls is the winner.
Balloon Relay – All you need for this game is several balloons and a backyard. Split the group into teams–ideally, three or four teams of four, but this can be tweaked for however many party goers are present. Give the first player of each team a balloon and direct her to place the balloon between her knees. The objective of the game is for that person to run to a specified spot and back again, then pass the balloon to the next team member using her knees only. If the balloon is dropped or bursts on the run, the player must start over. The first team to have each player complete the run wins.