Category Archives: Girls and Boys party games ages 5 to 8

Mock trial Judge and Jury party game ideas for kids

mock-trial-party-game

The idea of mock trials has been a popular educational activity for many years, with teachers and students playing the roles of prosecution, defendants and the rest of the class acting as the jury.

Here are some party ideas that would make an entertaining activity for a kid’s party, based on the mock trial concept.

First of all you (the hostess) need to create a basic scenario with one or more defendants and an accusation of a crime. The party invitation should include headlines for this mock trial, the more bizarre the better.  Examples of mock trails with headlines, suitable for a kid’s party, include: -

Goldilocks accused of daylight robbery (stealing porridge)

Jill accused of pushing Jack down a hill

Sleeping beauty accused of laziness

As you can tell from the headlines the idea is to accuse any fictional character of something that is loosely related to a well-known story.

As the hostess you can prepare a number of these mock trails but they all follow the same pattern. By having 3 or 4 mock trails prepared you can move from one to the other should there be a lack of interest or participation in a given mock trial.

You need to have an accused, note you could have a number of party guests acting as a team, for example 4 kids could ‘represent ‘Goldilocks and speak on her behalf.

Next you need ‘witnesses’ that read prepared questions or accusations that the accused has to answer. Examples of such questions/accusations are: -

To Goldilocks

Is it true that you entered the 3 bear’s house uninvited with the idea of stealing food?

To Sleeping Beauty

Have you ever fallen a sleep when doing chores around the house?

As you can see the questions, to the defendants, are loosely connected to a story and the amusement of the game will be determined by how innovative the questions are and how the accused responds. If the party guests have their own questions, then these should be encouraged but prepared questions will keep things moving.

Party guests can read out the witness’s questions or the hostess can read them out.

If all the party guests do not know the stories selected the stories can be briefly told at the start of the party.

This game activity also lends itself to a themed party, i.e. princess or fairy tale themed parties, in that the characters and crimes chosen can all relate to a given theme.

In the end the ‘on lookers’ can declare the accused guilty or innocent of the ‘crime’ but the real object of the game is for all participants to have a fun time.

The hostess should play the role of the judge (to keep order) and there is no prosecution as such just the party quests reading questions and accusations that the defendants respond to.  The party guests who are not defendants then make up the jury and can vote on guilt or innocence.

The Goofy Voice game for kids parties

voice-party-game

Recently I was watching ‘The Voice’ on TV with my teenage daughter and it gave me an idea for a kid’s party game. The game does not involve any singing but does involve the kids trying to ‘disguise’ their voices whilst reading or acting out a popular story or fairy tale.

The set up is simple, in that the party guests are split into small teams. The size of the small teams will depend on the size of the overall party, so if there are 12 guests in total then 2 teams of 6 would be a good number. For a party of 18, 3 teams of 6 could be used. Also teams of 4 could be selected if you think 6 is too large a number for the stories that you want to have acted out.

Each team then takes turns in reading or acting out a fairy tale, each of the ‘players’ takes on one character for example ‘Little red riding Hood’, Grandma, Wolfe etc. The hostess should select stories that have multiple characters and the story can be changed slightly to allow for a fairer distribution of the speaking parts: selecting scenes from the story can do this rather than having the kids read the whole story.

The children reading the story will try to disguise their voices and the other team(s) (that are blindfolded or have their backs to the performers) try to match a story character to a person by listening carefully to the voice.

The game can be played in quick rounds, with the story and characters changing each round or a whole story could be acted out. The ‘guessing’ team(s) does not speak, but waits until the end of a round and then gets together to make a team guess. Alternatively you could ask the kids to shout out names as they think they know the correct answer but this variation will be a little chaotic (but fun). At the end of each round the teams reverse their roles so the guessing team becomes the acting team and vice versa.

For parties where the kids are not all known to each other, have each child read something in their ‘natural’ voice first. Also for these types of parties (where the guests do not know each other that well) I would advise using nametags as the team guessing needs to match a name with a voice.

As the hostess you will find that some of the guests are shy and some will push themselves forward so a little flexibility is needed in preparing and organizing this game, but when the guests get the basic idea this game will be fun even if a little disorganized and fragmented.

This game is also ideal for incorporating into a themed party, for example a ‘princess party’, where popular princess stories can be acted\read out. Preparation is key to these type of games and having multiple stories or scenes drafted out ahead of time should allow you the flexibility to mix and match stories\scenes depending on how the game is going over. In it’s simplest form each guest can read out a small nursery rhyme in turn and the guessing team just tries to match the reader with a party guest (at the end of the round).

Oranges and lemons kid’s party song and game

oranges-and-lemons-party-game

 

There are many vintage party games that involve singing whilst performing some action. “Ring a Ring O Roses ” is probably the most well known one.

The song and game of “Oranges and Lemons ” is more involved than some of the simple singing games and it contains what all kids seem to enjoy and that is being ‘chased down’ or ‘captured’.

The game is easily played and can be played by very young children.  The song itself, needs to only be sung by two older children (or adults) who form an ‘archway’ with their arms extended and hands clasped, for the rest of the guests to walk under. The idea of the game is that the party guests  ‘file’ under the human archway in pairs. At a certain point in the song, described later, the archway ‘drops’ and a pair of children are captured. The children who have been caught join the two players by making an ‘extended’ arch by standing beside them, so as the game progresses more children are caught in the ever expanding arche. The game ends when all the children have been caught.

The following is sung during this game, the referenced churches are all old London churches :-

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Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

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The part in the song were the arches come down and capture a pair of party guests are on the final words “chop off your head!”.

When I played this game some 50 years ago, all the children knew the song and ‘anticipated’ the arches coming down. Today, if the song is not that well known in your party then, have someone (an adult or older child) sing the song from a sheet and have the guests forming the arches follow along and capture a pair of children at the appropriate time. If the game is played a few times the children will pick up on the song.

Using Jigsaw puzzles at kids parties

Jigsaw-Puzzles-for-kids-parties

Apart from having a small group of children complete a jigsaw puzzle, there are many other puzzles that provide enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment when completed as a team. These team activities are suitable for parties or when a small group of children get together.

The first activity or puzzle that I would suggest is to place a well known story in the correct order (sequence). This is best done, with younger children, by giving each of them a picture from a story they all know well (such as little red riding hood), and having them arrange themselves in the correct order for the story to be told. The rules of this game are that the party guests can only speak and show their picture to one other party guest at a time and then decide if they need to stand next to the person they have just spoken to or continue to look for their correct neighbors. For younger children this rule can be relaxed and a free for all can break out as the kids try to line up in the right sequence. Also, if appropriate, the story can be told ahead of time using the actual pictures that are subsequently given out. In this way all of the guests know the story and have seen the order and content of the pictures ahead of time.

Variations of this game, for older children, include having the guests describe (not show) the pictures and lining up based on the verbal descriptions given. Also, again for older children, a lesser known story can be given out including a story that is not known to the group so both the order and story itself needs to be deduced from the pictures.

Pictures of well known stories can be printed from the internet or cut out from an inexpensive story coloring book. If a coloring picture story book is to be used then the kids can color their picture just prior to the game, as an additional party activity.

This party game also lends itself to a themed party, as an appropriate story (to match the theme) can be selected.

The second activity (puzzle) that I would suggest is to give each party guest a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and have them arrange themselves in the correct position around a large room. This is relatively easy for a standard small square jigsaw as the corners and edges are a huge clue. The game can be varied by creating your own jigsaw puzzles, which could be circular, i.e. pizza shaped pieces. The guests can also be restricted to not showing, only describing their pieces, to make the game more challenging. The rules can also be relaxed, as per the first game, in that a free for all can break out.

The second activity is similar to having a group complete a jigsaw but they become the piece and need to place them self in the correct position, relative to the other pieces (guests).

Given the quality of printers, today, it is relatively easy to create a suitable jigsaw puzzle for any number of guests on card stock.

Misfits card game for a party

victorian-misfits-game

 

The classic card game of misfits or ‘mix and match’ is an ideal party game, especially for a themed party such as the princess or nursery rhyme party. Here are some ways you can use this game to entertain a very large number of guests.

There are two basic versions of the misfits card game, one is to find the correct match and the other is to find many humorous alternatives by mixing and matching the picture parts. The game illustrated is a classical misfit game, from around 1900, that allows the player to match popular stories and songs. When played individually the game is similar to assembling many small jigsaw puzzles.

There are two basic variations of this game that make good party games. The first is to give each party guest a mixed set of cards. For example if the ‘misfit’ game has three cards in each set (as with the illustration) then each guest gets exactly 3 different cards to begin with. The idea of this version of the game is that the guests have to collect whatever “head” they have been given by going around the party and exchanging their other ‘body parts’. In this way every guest starts with one head one body and one legs (all different) and tries to exchange and match with the other party guests. In this version the guests look at each other’s cards and try to help each other find the correct matches. This is a great first game ‘ice breaker’ as most of the guests will go around the whole room before they get a complete set. Another, extended, version of this game is to start with two sets and try to match.

The other variation is to ask each guest to make a set by swapping a head, body or legs with the other players. In this way cards are swapped without being seen (although only the same body part can be swapped) by going around the room asking to swap a head or body or leg. At the end of a few rounds (or after a certain time period) the game stops and the misfits are assembled and displayed. This variation will reveal some strange combinations and may just reveal that someone has completed the correct misfit.

The hostess can make their own themed misfits ahead of time, and these can be sets of 2, 3 or more. Strange combinations of different animal heads and bodies can be tried to amuse your party as well as having your would be princesses trying to construct  ’the ideal husband/prince’ or other mythical creatures!