You will remember from my last post, that when I agreed to allow Josie to have her 9th birthday party at our house, I made a promise to myself that every breathing moment of that party would be filled with planned activity. I made the executive decision that Games Would Be Planned and that Fun Would Be Had. The thought of having another party end up like Georgia's 11th Birthday disaster (Click HERE to read about that adventure) was motivation enough to get me onto the internet, researching my way out of any potential party doldrums.
I also made the executive decision to concentrate my internet search on old-fashioned party games. Josie is my youngest child and time is running out for a party full of innocent fun. Our family had never celebrated a children's birth by playing Pin The Tail on The Donkey and I thought it was high time that we did. I googled Old-Fashioned Party Games and came up some great suggestions. There's a reason why these games are time-tested classics. Josie and her friends had more fun playing these old-school party games than I've seen before at a home party. I can't believe I waited this long to go retro.
Pass The Parcel:
Our first party game was Pass The Parcel. I got this suggestion from the Party Pieces Website (so thank you, Carole & Michael Middleton!). You buy an inexpensive gift (in our case, we bought a pretty notepad / clipboard set from TJMaxx) and wrap it in multiple layers of paper. The rules are simple. The children sit in a circle and in turn, remove one layer of wrapping paper without ripping the layer beneath. If the layer beneath DOES get ripped, that person skips their following turn. The person who unwraps the last layer gets to keep the prize.
Josie began the process and then passed the parcel to her friend, E:
Who in turn, passed it to the other E and so on around the circle:
The girls were slow and meticulous. No a single extra layer of wrapping was torn.
We used all remnants from old rolls of wrapping paper and the kids enjoyed guessing which pattern would be next.
There was much laughter and a lot of guessing about what the present might be.
I had purposefully wrapped the present in 15 layers of paper. That meant that each of the six girls would unwrap two layers and then three of the girls would unwrap a third. If you wanted to make this a longer game, it would have been easy to add more layers.
I kept it light, in case unwrapping a parcel turned out to be not as fun as advertised by the Middletons. I mean, who is to say that child Kate, Pippa and James were as sophisticated as today's jaded youth?
But I guess they were... the game was fantastic. The winner was thrilled with her present and the other girls were excited and enthusiastic. One of the party-goers even asked if I could do it again, but sadly, I had no other mutliple-layered, wrapped present to use.
The girls spontaneously celebrated A's win by throwing the discarded paper around the room:
Fun Factor (out of 10): 10
Pin The Whisk To The Chef's Hand
Pin The Tail On The Donkey seemed off-theme for a cooking theme party, so we adapted a little bit. Georgia made a poster of a Chef holding out his hand and we renamed this party classic Pin The Whisk To The Chef's Hand.
Josie went first. I hadn't really explained the rules to the kids, since who doesn't know the rules to Pin The Tail to the Donkey - I mean Pin The Whisk To The Chef's Hand?
Well, I should have guessed that Little Miss Perfectionist would figure out how to win this game pretty easily. Josie knew that the chef's hand was located along the left side of the poster board, so once blind-folded, she inched her way to the wall, felt around until she found the poster board, used the edge to guide herself to the left side and BOOM! She hit the hand perfectly with her paper whisk.
And so I changed the rules.
From then on, we played Put The Whisk In The Chef's Mouth Which is Conveninetly Located Nowhere Near a Feel-able Edge.
This made the game a whole lot more fun. I think in the real Pin The Tail games, you are supposed to spin the person with the blindfold so they get disoriented, but we allowed the girls who don't like to spin (and there were a few) to just walk forward and try their best without being dizzy.
Most girls were in the right level as far as the mouth goes, but they were far, far away from the chef's actual mouth:
We had a lot of paper whisks hanging around in the air.
The girls liked this game so much that they each had two turns, which was good since Gordy needed me upstairs to get the pizzas the girls had made out of the oven and onto the table.
Fun Factor: 10
The Donut On A String Game
After the girls ate their pizza and before they decorated their cakes, we played one final old-fashioned party game. This time it was The Donut On A String Game (also referred to as the Swinging Donut Game). Game prep is simple. Before the party began, Gordy and I used masking tape to hang lengths of string from a doorway. When we were ready to play the game, Gordy hung a donut from each string at the approximate height of the girl's mouth.
This took a short amount of time during which the girls yapped.
Having a donut hanging in front of your face is very exciting, apparently.
Here's is the finished product:
I should take a moment now to remind you that my camera battery was dying at this point. I didn't notice because I was too busy taking photos, but the death of it's battery causes my camera to see the world in a darker hue and at the same time, things become thickly out of focus. My camera is very dramatic. Feel free to roll your eyes at it, I do all the time.
First up was E.
This is a game that E plays almost every year at her own party and she is therefore a skilled pro. We swung her donut and she got down to the business of giving it a bite. The whole process took E about three minutes - all of which were side-splittingly hilarious.
The other E went next and since she is not an old pro at this game, her attempts at biting the donut were even more humorous.
Especially when she got hit in the face and the powder went all over her chin:
Each girl got a turn. Everyone would stand back, we'd give the donut a push and the girls would wildly try to bite the donut without using their hands.
It's an almost impossible feat and one that is in no way dignified.
There is nothing that says Future Senator about a donut hitting you in the face!
Josie was the last invitee to have a turn. While everyone else was munching happily on their conquered donut, Josie set her own donut in motion:
At first she fought the donut's attempts to hit her in the face:
but eventually she gave up and allowed the donut to leave it's mark:
Victory, in this case, was literally sweet.
But the game didn't end there. Henry had returned from spending time with his friends to watch this game play out and he wanted to give it a go.
We hung another string, attached another donut and give it a push. And like an alligator eating his prey, Henry opened his mouth and FLASH! CHOMP! The donut was caught.
Henry is proud to say that one should never NEED one's hands to eat junk food.
Fun Factor (out of 10): 100.