Game Time: Birthday Games

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Game Time: Birthday Games

February 11, 2013

At so many birthday parties we expect a gaggle of kids to wait patiently while a birthday girl opens gifts or the birthday boy blows out candles. All that waiting can be tough for kids who NEED to move, and they will squirm, wiggle and bounce if you want them to or not! Adding some activity to your party will lure ants out of pants, at least long enough for your partygoers to lick the frosting off a cupcake or eat a cookie bowl.

If you are throwing a backyard party, there is no end to the games you can play! We took a few favorites and gave them a Radio Flyer Birthday twist.


Wagon Bean Bag Toss


You Need:

  1. Radio Flyer Wagon
  2. 4 Bean Bags
  3. Small Toys or Rocks to use as line markers


How to Play:

Set up a wagon so that the sun will not be in the thrower's eyes. Use a backyard toy to make the starting line. You can create a different line for different ages, but use the same scoring system to make the game fair for all ages!

The game is pretty basic: each child gets a turn to toss the 4 bean bags into the wagon. You can award a prize for every bean bag that gets in or give multiple turns and add up points over time. For younger children, this will be enough excitement, especially if you cheer them on. For older kids, you are going to need to spice things up:

  • Make it a timed event. Give them one minute to get as many as they can in the wagon. Once they toss all 4 bean bags, they must run to collect them head back to the starting line. 
  • Replace the bean bags with tennis balls. This makes the game harder, so provide more chances to avoid frustration. 
  • Add motion. For an especially squirmy crowd, add a rule that they must always be jumping, even when throwing and waiting in line. This makes getting bean bags into the wagon tougher and waiting in line more fun. 


Musical Scoot & Freeze!


You Need: 

  1. One easy moving caster wheeled toy for each player, such as Radio Flyer Scoot 'N Zoom
  2. Music with speakers (Like a boom-box or MP3 Player plugged into speakers)


How to Play:

We love our easy moving caster wheedled toys so much that we played an entire game with them! Our Scoot 'N Zoom makes this version of Freeze Dance especially tough since once those things get moving they are hard to freeze! This game can be played with any smooth moving ride-on, (Our Spin 'N Saucer or Bumper Car work just as well), but slow, non-spinning toys are just not much fun. 

Have all your players hop onto a toy and start the music. When you stop the music, everyone must freeze! The last one still moving is out. Press play and repeat the process until there is only one player remaining—that is your winner!


Pin the Wheel on the Wagon


You Need: 

  1. Printed and assembled Pin the Wheel on the Wagon print-out
  2. Bandana
  3. Tape


How to Play:

Set-up by hanging the wagon on a wall or fence and putting tape loops on the back of each wheel (you will need one wheel per party guest). 

Have one child go at a time. Blindfold the player, spin them around 1-5 times depending on age, and orient them towards the wagon. They get a chance to put their wheel as close to the correct location as possible. Most of the fun for this is in giggling about how far off the wheels end up!



How to play: 


If you ever run out of activities or have kids who just can't sit down, relay races are an easy add-on. Line up your two teams and have one racer from each team sprint to a pre-determined spot, tap it and return. The next player can start as soon as the get a high-five from their teammate. Finished players have a seat and cheer on their team. First team to have all sitting players wins, but be sure to have a player go twice if your teams are uneven in number. 

Running is of course an option, but there are so many ways to race! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Hopping, or skipping only
  2. Ride scooters or trikes
  3. Have two players go at once and leap-frog there and back
  4. Crab walking or bear crawling
  5. Only one foot can touch the ground at a time (jump or leap to get there and back)


I hope you enjoy these classic games! What is the best birthday game you remember from childhood?