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merle-kids-GermanyJunJul09-019-150x150by Merle Dieterich, passionate mom and businesswoman whose 2 beautiful children, Lerato and Marvin never cease to amaze and teach her about what counts. You’ll find her at  jozikids or kznkids

My daughter  Lerato, turned 11 this month and we decided to make it a simpler and smaller party than we normally do. We have had some wonderful big birthday parties in the past where everyone was invited. We’ve had a pizza party and a pamper party, both great for entertaining close to 30 energetic young people for a good 2 hours.

This year we cut the number down to 12 kids and accepted help from one of Lerato’s very IMG_2642organised  young friends, Lula Pam Grant. She  found the games and then spent 3 afternoons with me planning what turned into an amazing treasure hunt style games party.

We started by dividing the 12 young guests into 2 teams. Then we identified a location for each game, wrote clues to help  each group  move from one game to the next. We also included some riddles at various points

These are the games we  played:

ORANGE ANKLES

You will need – chairs, oranges orange ankles

  • Create a row of about 24 chairs with a container at one end.
  • The children sit down next to each other at the beginning of the row of chairs.
  • Starting with the first child, they pass the orange from one child to the next with their feet/ ankles and find a way to reach the container at the end. (No hands allowed)

WATER OBSTACLE COURSE

You will need – 2 buckets, one filled with water, the other empty,
a cup, and an obstacle courseIMG_6017

  •  Create an obstacle course like the one we created where each child had to:
    – walk around a chair,
    – step in and out of a tyre,
    – walk over a trampoline,
    – kick a ball.
  • Each child fills a cup with water and without spilling, they do the obstacle course.
  • When they reach the end, they empty the cup of water into a bucket.
  • The goal is to continue playing until the empty bucket is full of water.

BALLOON TOSSING IMG_6052

You will need – packets of ordinary round balloons which you half fill with water and several towels

  • 2  children hold a towel & place a water filled balloon in the towel
  • They start off by practicing throwing the balloon with the towel as high as they can without dropping the balloon on the ground.
  •  Several pairs of children hold towels and throw the balloon from one towel to the next and see how long they can do this before the balloon breaks.

MAGIC PAPER BOOTS IMG_6043 - Version 2

You will need: biggish brown paper bags that kids can put on their feet ( available at Linda’s Bake and Pack) and an obstacle course

  • Each child puts a pair of brown paper bags on their feet.
  • They then do the obstacle course you have created without breaking the brown paper bag.
  • Our obstacle course involved climbing over a rope, along a wall, around a tree etc.

RIDDLE PUZZLE

You will need : a riddle  typed or written with huge font which you can laminate IMG_6097and cut up into a puzzle.

Our riddle was: It’s as light as a feather, yet no person can hold it for very long. What is it?

The final destination after completing all the games was a table with the birthday cake and some prizes for the groups.

It was a fabulous, affordable party with games the children can play anywhere. Some children even asked to take their brown paper bag boots home. My favourite was the balloon tossing.

Have you got some great games you can share with us that you have played with children?  Please add them to our list.

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