Nursery rhymes provide many options for party games, ranging from traditional complete-the-rhyme games to charades and identifications from bags containing essential rhyme elements. More creative and unusual games require additional preparation; there are also numerous websites offering printable pre-made game sheets. Examine your guest list before you select your games. Toddler guests might love to reenact Jack and Jill, but you probably don't want Great Grandma to try it.
When you do not have much advance warning for the party, check out worksheets where guests complete nursery rhymes or guess the country of origin. These are available on the Internet and adapt easily to the number of guests present. Consider putting people into teams if the worksheets have more obscure nursery rhymes, and offer theme prizes such as a stuffed sheep from Mary Had a Little Lamb or a pie for Little Jack Horner.
Twisted Nursery Rhymes
Examine rhymes from a modern and jaded perspective. Ask guests to name classic nursery rhymes from short descriptions as if they were aired on the evening news. For Old Mother Hubbard offer a clue such as, "Animal rights activists investigate elderly woman unable to provide food for her pet," and for Three Blind Mice offer a segment on the rodent crisis on local farms.
Charades and Skits
Divide guests into teams and have them reenact classic fairy tales. For charades, have a large bowl with names of rhymes and follow standard charades rules. Set either a time limit for the game or a predetermined number of points necessary to win. Skits build anticipation if you assign the skits before the party and have teams prepare. Ask the guest of honor to judge the best skit and the most imaginative costume.
Prepare a number of bags with key pieces of individual nursery rhymes and have guests name the rhymes. You will need to provide paper for guests to write their answers. The bag for Little Miss Muffett could include a doll, a plastic spider, a small pillow and a packet of instant oatmeal, while Rub a Dub Dub could include a toy boat, a plastic cow, a piece of bread and a candlestick. Be sure to have a tie breaker bag with a more challenging rhyme, if necessary.
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