I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves - Anna Quindlen.
Published August 14th 2012
Be a child for the day
Throw an 'Old School' style party at the weekend to celebrate your inner youth and give you something fun to do with your friends.
As my 20th birthday is coming up soon, and I am very sad that I am not going to be a teenager, I decided that this year I am going to throw an 'old school' style party to celebrate the end of my teenage years. Although I am looking forward to almost becoming a fully fledged adult, I will miss the teenage hormone excuse to explain my temper tantrums and childish behaviour (not that this happens often, I hope).
So in essence, I can give you my top five ideas of what games an 'old school' style party should contain that you can have any time; whether to celebrate someone's birthday or to just celebrate your inner youth. The games are the most crucial part of a child's party.
1). Pass the Parcel The most common child's party game. Various layers of wrapping paper that you pass round the circle while the music is playing. When the music stops, whoever is holding the parcel, gets to un-wrap one layer of paper. There may be nothing in it or there may be a packet of sweets. To bring things up to date, I have decided to do a game with two parcels. One parcel can contain truths you have to reveal to the rest of the circle such as 'What is your most embarrassing moment?' The second parcel can contain dares you have to do such as 'Kiss the person opposite you on the cheek'. Having two parcels can make it more interesting as there is one truth and one dare. Someone may be unlucky enough to get both at the same time if you pass them in opposite directions. You can obviously make the truth and dares more daring if you wish and alter them to suit your group. When I was younger, I can't remember any party that did not have this game. Therefore, I believe it is a must have for an 'old school' style party.
2). Musical Chairs Each player starts with a chair; line up the chairs and face every other one in the same direction so that there is some facing each way. When the music plays, all players need to dance in a circle around the chairs. As soon as the music stops all players must rush to find a chair. Each round, a chair is removed. Whoever doesn't get a chair at each round is out of the game. If all your party guests are adults, I could suggest that you have one less chair than the number of players and whoever doesn't get to the chair on each round has to take a penalty drink. This game could go on for as long as you wish in this case.
3). Pass the Balloon Split your group into two equal teams (if possible). You need a blown up balloon for this. The easiest way to do this is to line up each team. The first player places the balloon under their chin. They need to pass the balloon to the other player, keeping the balloon underneath their chin as they do so. The first team to finish wins. You can make up your own penalties and/or rewards to suit your group age or interests. I always found this really difficult as a child but it is great fun; brilliant if you want to have a laugh.
4). Pin the Tail on the Donkey You need a picture of the back of a donkey with an X marking where their tail will be. Each player needs to blindfolded and spun round a few times. The player then pins their tail where they think the tail might be. Whichever player pins their tail closest to where the X is wins.
5). Apple Bobbing For this you need a bucket of water and a few apples in there. Each person has to try and get an apple by only using their mouth. Be prepared to get wet and perhaps a little aggravated. I was awful at this game as a child and am probably not much better these days. You could come up with your own form of penalties and/or rewards to suit your group and type of party. I normally had time restrictions on how long you were allowed to attempt to get an apple. This was normally a game that I played at Halloween parties but I see no reason why it has to be a seasonal thing.
You can personalise any of these ideas to suit you. I am sure there are also plenty more you can remember from your own childhood parties.
Here is my top five of what else you should think of including in an 'Old School' style party.
1). Good Friends Good friends is the most important factor as you want to insure that you have invited people who are interested in this style of party. I have a few friends that I remember going to these styles of parties with when I was younger. This will make it such a laugh to replay all these games we were so enthusiastic about when we were younger. Good friends is also a huge part of what makes the day a successful one; and one you will remember.
You should try to find the classics from your childhood if you are interested in playing music. I was a 90s child and can remember listening to 'Steps', 'Backstreet Boys' and 'S Club 7'. There are many more that I can't remember as well as a few one hit wonders. These can be included in your party if you want to make this a classic 'Old School' party. You can always play more up to date music later on if you don't want to spend the entire day listening to golden oldies.
3). The Food
I absolutely love party food. This was an exciting part of my childhood parties and you definitely need to give this some thought if you are planning on serving food. If you don't want to spend too much, maybe you could ask each guest to bring something. If you aren't as bothered about food then it isn't a problem. For me, this is an essential part as I am planning on having a cake for my birthday. Yum.
An optional part but did you want to create a dress theme for your party? There are a lot of ideas to choose from but maybe you could pick a colour theme. What was/is your favourite colour? Mine is blue so I could have each guest come wearing at least one item that is blue. Or if you want to be really creative you could always have each guest come dressed up as what they wanted to be when they were older or as their favourite childhood cartoon/TV star.
5). Have Fun
Although these tips may sound like it takes some planning, don't make it too planned. I love being spontaneous and find that this normally makes it a more enjoyable and memorable day for everyone involved. The whole point of this party style is to have fun and act like children again for the day.
Throw an 'old school' style party on a sunny weekend and you can even get outside for it. This is my plan, weather permitting...