Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Farm Birthday Party Games

Before I start on the meat of the post, there are two things I need to mention about this little informal poll:
    1.  Initially I was shocked that no one admitted that she was only here for the pictures. But then I realized that anyone who was only here for the pictures wouldn't have read/participated in this little exercise anyway. 
    2. No one wants to know about the food?? Is this because ya'll doubt my kitchen clout? I'm going to develop a complex here soon. I hope you're prepared for that, it won't be pretty. 

    And now for the winning topic as voted on by 6 happy little mouse clickers: Games!!  I can hear the "Woohoo" echoing throughout the Internets, or maybe that's just the dog asking to go out? Either way, here we go.

    Farm Animal Sort

      The first game of the day was the only one that ended up being outside. I had originally planned for all of the activities to take place in the yard, but Mother Nature decided to put the kibosh on that idea. I had found these cute rubber duckies that were disguised as other farm animals:

    So my mom and I made a duck pond to put them in.

     The high end water feature is just a Rubbermaid plastic bin with a blue sheet laid in it and some cattails and a fern for a little added ambiance. Then I told the kids that they had to put those crazy animals who thought they were ducks back in the barn where they belong.

    The barn is just an outdoor canopy tent thing that I used red plastic table clothes to make 3 walls and red crepe paper to make the front. White crepe paper made the Xs for that barn door aesthetic. Inside the barn, we made pens for the animals using yard flags, crepe paper, and mini-trellis things I got on clearance from AC Moore.

     The trellis had a picture of each animal so the kids knew where to place the duckies. I was originally going to use rope to make the pens, but I was afraid the littles might trip on it and fall. So I went with crepe paper so it would just break away if someone walked into it. For older kids you could probably use the rope. Or maybe even barbed wire depending on how rowdy they are. (kidding. unless i'm not)

    I probably could have done this game inside too, but I spent a lot of time thinking, planning, gathering and assembling the barn, so by golly someone was going to go out there and play in it!  And I do believe the kids thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated all of my hard work.  In fact, I think I heard two of them discussing my mad skills. They probably would have stayed out there longer if all of the adults hadn't been there to drag them back inside to the air conditioning.

    Explaining the game. I am a teacher, dontcha know. 

    Strategizing our plan of attack by the pond. 

    Round up those animals kids!
    A job well done. High fives all around. Now get inside, it's hot yo!

    One note, I had ~10 guests participating and 24 ducks. This was not enough. At all. I'd say you'd be good having about 5 per farmer. Maybe even 10 if the weather actually cooperates and people aren't rushing to get the game over fast so they can go back inside. 

    Animal Noises: 
       The gist of this game is that each kid gets an animal card

    and has to make the sound of the animal. It helps to review these sounds with the little ones. Again I'm a teacher, it's what I do. Then they're supposed to find other guests who are making the same sound. Originally this game was going to be outside and they were going to put themselves in their proper pen in the barn. Which would have gone really well I think. Unfortunately, we were inside in a circle on the floor. 

    And the guests seemed a bit hesitant to get up and run around looking for their animal friends. But they did enjoy making noises. At least my son did.

    So after one round, I abandoned that game in favor of 

    Pass the Parcel

    Jeanne says this is a very big game in her homeland of Ireland. It's kind of like musical chairs but with passing a package that has been wrapped several times around a circle instead of the whole find an open chair thing. Each time the music stops, the person holding the parcel unwraps one layer. Whoever unwraps the final time gets to keep the prize. MellonTip #1: Use different colored tissue paper for each layer. 

    The kids really liked this one, though a few of the younger ones had a hard time relinquishing the parcel from their chubby little hands. I found a crowbar to be helpful when that happened.  We played 3 rounds. Afterwards, I had little animal figures for anyone that didn't get to win a prize. This kept everyone happy. Which brings me to MellonTip #2. Have all of your needed game materials handy in a central location. I use a basket: 

     Self explanatory, but the pictures are fun so I had to share.

    They hit it
    and hit it

    and hit it some more.
    But that stubborn bovine had no intention of breaking open. So I had to take matters into my own hands. Finally that stingy cow gave up the goods--it may have involved me throwing the heifer down on the ground and going all Body Combat on it. I'm not sure as I kind of blacked out for minute or two there. The next thing I knew, there was candy all over the ground around me and the Holstein was in shreds at my feet.

    The kids got their sweets so they were happy. That's the important thing here. Not my rage issues. Remember that.

    Egg Gathering

    I hid plastic eggs in shredded paper-filled baskets for the kids to find and then put in mini-egg cartons to be shipped off to the market. I'd planned to hide the eggs in hay in the barn, but I think this worked well too. The cow print plastic table clothes helped to contain the mess a bit.

    This game was an independent activity in conjunction with the

    Art Table
     Here we had:

    • balloons that could be decorated with stickers to look like a pig, cow or chicken. MellonTip #3: include a balloon pump.Kids will cheer. Parents will thank you. You will be Queen.

    • Drawing paper with markers, pencils, and foam-farm shaped stickers.
    • A paper plate craft to make even more farm animals. Moo!
    • A trash pail.
    And that's it. Well, I did have that other thought of renting piglets for the kids to chase all over the yard, but Drew vetoed that idea right out of the gate. Which is probably a blessing since I don't think I'd like to have had those slippery little buggers running all over my house when the games got moved indoors. Point Drew. 



    2. Oh my goodness, you are so creative! Those are the best party games EVER!!! You rock and totally get the "Mom of the Year" award! :-)

    3. Anonymous8:21 AM

      The kids had a blast and we could have stayed outside longer - your backyard it shaded so it was fine for the barnyard game!! Alot of work was put into their party and I think all the kids had a great time so kudos to you, Laura!

    4. Hello Dear!

      You do a nice job and displays some attractive activities for children. I found it interesting and I follow you now.

      The duckies are beautiful and so colorful! I loved

      I wish you Peace and Success!
      Adelle "Isha"