One of my good friends was prepping for her daughter’s 8th birthday party so I went over to help so that we could spend some quality time together. I loved the game ideas she had come up with for the kids and I think that in addition to birthday parties they are great ideas for working on other skills.
- Balloon Pop Spelling – We wrote individual letters on pieces of paper and folded them up and put one each inside of a blown up balloon (yes, I got to blow up almost 100 balloons – the things we do for spending quality time with friends)! We did enough for four teams. The object is for the kids to pop the balloons and look at the letters until they came up with the letters to spell her daughter’s name. Now for kids who are sound sensitive you could use plastic easter eggs. For kids who aren’t yet spelling you could put sight words in there and have them match them up or you could use colors or numbers or any variety depending on what you are working on. You could also have each team try to spell a word using the most letters (kind of like a version of Boggle) and see who gets the longest word.
- Ball Toss – We got together buckets and some soft squishy balls and then the kids were going to be divided into groups of 3. One child would put the bucket on their head (using hands to stabilize – I tried without hands and it didn’t work very well), one child would stand at the line and throw the balls trying to get them in the bucket and the 3rd would chase after the balls. Each child gets 1 minute to get as many balls in as they can (you can change the time depending on the age group). This is a great way to work on throwing skills and team work, plus it keeps the kids active with having to chase after the balls.
- Tissue Box and Ping Pong Balls – I have no idea what this one is called but basically you empty out tissue boxes and then you thread a belt through it so you can secure it around the child’s waist (with the tissue box in the back). You then put several ping pong balls in the tissue box and they have to move around until they get all of the ping pong balls out of the the box. They aren’t allowed to use their hands to help with shaking the balls out. This is great because they have to get creative with moving in all different ways in order to facilitate getting the balls out of the box.
- M&M Transfer – Open up a bag of M&M’s and put some in one ball. Give the child a straw and have them try to transfer all of the M&M’s into another bowl by sucking through the straw and securing the M&M to the end of the straw. You could just have it as an activity or you could make it a race between several kids. This is a great way to work on oral motor skills.
I believe there were going to be more games (as you can see from the pictures) as well as free time using tumbling mats but those were the only games I was lucky enough to help organize!