A racing car theme is a popular one for 8-year-olds. Choose active games so the children can run off energy and keep up with the fast-moving party theme. Add black and white plates and napkins and a checkered table cloth on a buffet table. In addition to hot dogs, cake and traditional party foods, add some healthy snacks and a mixed fruit "gasoline" punch to fuel the party.
The obvious game to start off this party is a car race. Have each guest choose his favorite toy car, or bring one from home. Have the 8-year-olds race them, two at a time, down a ramp. Measure the one that goes the farthest or that goes through the finish line first. The winner of each race stays in until everyone has raced and there is a winner.
Red Light, Green Light
Stand outside facing a wall and have all of the party guests run around. Say "green light" for the children to start running, and turn around quickly and yell "red light" to get them to stop. Anyone who keeps running after you yell "red light" is out of the game. The last one in the game, wins. If you like, add "yellow light," telling the kids to slow down every once in a while to change things up.
Pit Stop Relay Race
Purchase butcher's paper. Divide it into two large pieces and draw a car on each one. Tape the papers to the wall at the level where the party guests can reach them. Divide the kids into two teams, each with identical tasks and materials for a "pit stop" for the car. Offer a dry sponge to "wash" the car, a glue stick and tires to change the tires, an empty watering can to fill the gas tank and a mini-pump to put air in the tires. The first team to complete the pit stop wins.
Pass the Dump Truck
Fill a large toy dump truck with small wrapped toys. Play music and pass the truck around. When the music stops, the child holding it gets to pick a toy. If possible, put enough toys for everyone in the truck and pass it around long enough so everyone gets a toy to take home.
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