Your child’s special day is fast approaching. You’ve already selected a theme: Curious George—your youngster just adores him! The little, mischievous, monkey also brings back fond memories for you—all those Curious George books and cartoons; he’s a classic that will continue for many more years. You’ve picked out all the decorations for your youngster’s party; food and party favors have been chosen too—but what about the activities? What’s a party without games to keep the kiddies entertained? There are many great games to choose from and this is only a small selection of children’s party game ideas.
Curious Who? Before the party, grab some masking tape and print characters names from Curious George or jungle animal names on the cut pieces of tape. When it’s time to play the game, have all the kids stand in a line with their backs facing you and tape one animal name to each child’s back—be sure they don’t see the name. Next, have the children sit on the floor and, taking turns, one child walks in front of the group to let them see their animal name; after a few seconds, the child then begins to ask questions to try to guess what animal they’re supposed to be. The trick is that the questions must only be answered as “yes” or “no”. For example, one question a child might ask could be, “Is this animal big?” When the child guesses their animal all the children can act out that animal for a minute or two. Then it moves on to another child. If you’d like, you can award prizes to the top three kids who guessed their animal the quickest. Note: If you’re playing host to toddlers, then draw the animals on small sheet of paper instead.
Bubble Relay The children are going to get wet in this exciting outdoor race. This game requires two big tubs filled with soapy water and two smaller tubs of the same size placed roughly 25 feet on the opposite side of the yard. Divide the children into two equal teams and provide each team with a ladle, sponge or saucer. The object of the game is for each team to transfer water from their large tub to their small container. Request that the kids from both teams line up behind each other; on your word of “Go!” one child from each team will run with the item you provided them to the large tub, gather water then run to dump the water into their small container. They must then run back to the starting line and give the ladle, sponge or saucer to their teammate. When one team has their container completely full, the game is over and that team wins a prize.
Who’s the Best Monkey? Create a contest in which the children show off their best monkey call. Your older children, adult neighbors and parents of children at the party can be the judges for the call that’s the funniest, loudest, most realistic, squeakiest, etc. Once all the kids have taken their turn, the judges should confer and then issue the prizes.
Monkey Wrap Before the festivities, gather a supply of cheap small-roll toilet paper—not the double roll kind! When you’re ready to play the game, ask the kids to find a partner. Distribute one toilet paper roll to each pairing and inform them that their job is to mend their partner’s “broken leg” by rolling the toilet paper around it to create a cast. The team that first uses all of the toilet paper on their roll will win the game and get a prize. Then hand another roll to each of the team’s partners so that they get a chance to play.
Monkey Knot Ask the kids to stand in a circle. Next, tell the children to reach out and put their right hands in the circle and clasp another child’s right hand. Then they should do the same thing with their left hands. The idea of the game is for the kids to become untangled; it doesn’t matter how they do it, whether by rotating, stepping over or ducking under others—but they can’t release each other’s hands!
Newspaper Throw Provide a large pile of tightly-rolled newspapers bound with elastics at one area of the backyard; this is the starting position. In the yard several feet away should be a few targets such as tubs, hula hoops, new garbage cans or laundry baskets of varying sizes. Every target should be labeled with a point system—for instance, if you have 6 containers then 1 point should be on the easiest target, then 2 points on the second easiest and so on ending with 6 points on the toughest target. Line the children up and let them come up to the starting line, one at a time, and give each child three chances to get the newspapers in the targets. Once every youngster has had a turn, the child with the highest number of points gets a prize; or those that have the top three best scores will each receive a prize.
George in the Middle A tennis ball or beach ball is needed for this fun game. Ask the children to get into a circle and pick one child to stand in the center of the circle. The children in the circle must pass the ball around to each other as George—the child in the middle—tries to grab the ball. If “George” succeeds at retrieving the ball, the child who tossed the ball must go into the center of the circle and is now the new “George”.
Curious George Treasure Hunt Prior to the special event, hide a variety of Curious George objects throughout the yard or party room. These items could be things like monkey bean bags, bananas, Curious George pictures, coconuts, Curious George stuffed animals or anything else relating to Curious George. To assist the children during the treasure hunt, provide drawn or written clues of items that the kids need to find. For example, a good clue for a banana might be, “A yellow fruit.” For younger kids, you can draw a picture of a banana. The child that finds the most items will win a prize.
Penny Toss Set up a few various sized empty containers on a platform—perhaps a dining room table for school age children. The containers can be anything like a pickle jar, tuna can, pasta sauce jar, soup can etc. Each can or jar should be given a point value depending on the level of difficulty; then place each item on the table in no particular order. Line the children up and, one at a time, provide them with ten pennies to throw into the cans. Prizes go to the top three kids who have the most points.
Grab the Loot Split the children into two equal teams and tell the teams to stand at opposite ends of the room or yard. In the center of the room or yard—in between the two teams—set down a little prize such as a pack of gum or candy bar. Assign each child a number on one team—one, two, three, etc.; then assign the same numbers to the kids on the other team. To start the game, call out one number such as three; each child with that number from both teams should then run to the middle, attempt to snatch up the “loot” and race back to their team before getting caught by the other child. The game keeps going as you place new prizes in the middle of the yard or room and announce numbers. Whichever team acquires the most goodies wins the game.
Balloon Stomp You’ll need to blow up a bunch of balloons before the party and tie a long string to each one. When it’s time for the game, tell each child to bind one balloon to their left ankle being sure that they leave roughly one foot of string between their balloon and ankle. When you say “Go!” the kids must try to pop each other’s balloons…but do it so that they prevent their own balloon from being popped! A prize should be awarded to the child that still has their undamaged balloon.
Monkey See, Monkey Do Here’s another game that will require the kids to form a circle with one child in the middle. This time, though, the child in the middle is a leader who will think of and perform wacky actions or dance moves. As the child performs each move or action, the rest of the kids must imitate their leader. Allow every youngster to lead for a minute or two.
With these terrific games, the little monkeys will have a blast at the party. You might even invent a few games of your own that the children will enjoy. In either case, when that special day comes, you’ll be ready!