Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.
Published March 7th 2011
I recently had a party at which I resurrected a few of the party games we use to play as kids. At first I was a bit nervous. I mean, fancy asking grown adults to place an orange between
their knees and race each other, with the first one to drop it in a bucket, no hands allowed, receiving a fluero-pink coloured yo-yo?
Well, guess what? It went off a treat. It busted right through everyone's comfort zones and bonded everyone instantly. The laughter bordered on hysterics and many were in tears. The neighbours must've thought we were mad - but I really don't care. I can't wait to do it again - even if by the time everyone had a go, one of the oranges had split and was dripping bright orange juice down some very stylish pants!
Please note that the orange must be between the knees, not higher up like the man in the second photo. That makes it easy and it's cheating. Still, I admire them for doing it in fancy dress, which is no mean feat.
Here are some kids' party ideas for bringing your adult friends to tears - of laughter.
- Pass the Parcel - an old favourite. My pass the parcels had my friends inventing a bunch of new 'rules', like hand-balling the parcel to anyone, rather than passing it uniformly in a circle. Before you know it, a strange version of football had erupted in my back yard, though they did have the decency not to bounce my parcel! Introduce a surprise by tucking an extra pressie into the odd layer here and there.
- Pass the Lifesaver. If this doesn't break the ice, your guests are Eskimos! Divide your group into two lines. The first person starts with a lifesaver threaded onto a toothpick, which they hold between their lips.
They have to pass the lifesaver onto the next person's toothpick, which they're also holding between their lips. The first team to pass the lifesaver, toothpick to toothpick, through to everyone in their group wins.
Be careful with the pointy ends of the toothpicks! And watch everyone's insecurities come to the fore, and hopefully dissipate, when lips and faces are mere inches, or centimetres, from each other!
These are only a couple of suggestions. There are so many possibilities. Just search 'party games kids' for endless opportunities. I'd avoid 'party games adults' unless you're prepared for what you might find. The kids' ones are not only good clean fun, they (hopefully) take us back to happy days.
Here are a couple I've got planned for my next party, and my friends are already pestering me about when that will be.
- Musical Chairs. Keep the music upbeat, adding to the party atmosphere. Here are some great party songs to get you thinking. Great thing is, when you're hosting the party, you also get to make your own rules. I'm going to make everyone dance around the chairs.
- Hot Potato, but instead of passing a ball around, I'd liven things up even more by making them pass around a big handful of flubber or slime. Can't find it in the shops? Make your own. It's cheaper too.
So, what about prizes? No party game is complete without a prize (just watch too how the games bring out the competitive nature, sometimes childish nature, of these 'grown-ups'). I debated about adult or kids' prizes, and opted for the latter. Not only were they cheaper, they were a lot more fun. Any discount store will have a good range of small toys and party favours. Here are some prizes to give you some ideas - and get you into party mood. So will this.