Children from ages 10 to 12, also known as tweens, can still enjoy games at a birthday party as much as younger kids. When planning a birthday party for your tween, plan games that require social interaction and silliness. The right games will make the party memorable and enjoyable for everyone. Entice guests to try their best by awarding small prizes to winners.
Have party guests sit in a circle and play a game of "Balloon Dares." Write several dares on slips of paper, such as "Sing the chorus to your favorite song" or "Stand on your head for one minute." On each dare, write a point value. Each player must pop three balloons and try to perform the challenges. For each correct attempt, the player earns the point value on the dare. The player with the most points wins the game. For another circle game, allow the birthday child to start the game by saying "At my birthday party I want ______." If she says "ice cream," the next player will say "At my birthday party I want ice cream and ______." Each player must repeat the other items and add her own. If a player messes up or says the order incorrectly, she is out of the game. The last player remaining in the game wins.
Divide the players into teams of five or six players. Give each team a paper sack with 10 to 12 random items such as kitchen utensils, wigs, toys, dolls and makeup. The teams have 20 minutes to come up with a skit using the items in the bag. You can also give each team a roll of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, tape, feathers and glitter to create the funniest outfit. Award prizes to the most creative skit and funniest outfit.
Have kids compete as teams in relay challenges. For example, hold a water relay race by dividing the players into two teams. Mark a starting line and run-to line 20 feet apart. Place a bucket of water with a sponge for each team at the starting line and an empty bucket for each team on the run-to line. Ask the teams to line up at the starting line. When you say "Go," the first player in each team line grabs the sponge and races it to the run-to line to squeeze the water into the bucket. He must then race the sponge back to the next player in line, who must do the same thing. The first team to fill up its empty bucket wins the game. For a variation, have the teams line up with the full bucket of water at the front of the line and the empty bucket at the end of the line. The players must pass the sponges over their heads down the team lines to fill up their buckets.
Plan games that get kids messy in a funny way while they play: for example, "Cut the Flour." Tightly pack flour in a bowl and flip the bowl upside down on a sheet of newspaper or old tablecloth to form a "flour cake." Place a cherry on top of the flour. Have the players sit around the table taking turns cutting a slice of flour from the mound using a plastic knife. The player who makes the cherry fall must pick up the cherry using only her mouth and eat it. Make the game more difficult by having the players use their toes to hold the knife or wear blindfolds.
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