My daughter is starting junior kindergarten in less than a month, and I have really mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, I’m terrified of how my sweet bear is going to handle being in a classroom with 30+ other children for 6 hours a day without me there to help her eat lunch, change her shoes, zip up her winter coat, wash her hands, wipe her nose, and go to the bathroom.
And don’t even get me started on the anxiety that overcomes me when I realize I won’t be there to kiss her boo boos and hug her if someone’s mean to her.
But starting kindergarten fills me with a lot of excitement, too. Not only am I certain my daughter is 100% ready for full-day school, but I also know she is going to see and do so many awesome things over the next several months, and I cannot wait to experience them all with her.
New friends, school field trips, after school playdates, school performances, bake sales, snow days, school projects, parent-teacher conferences, sports days…
The list goes on.
But the one thing I’m most excited about is that I will finally be able to get her little friends together to celebrate her birthday each year. I’ve wanted to throw her a big party every year since she was born, but with the exception of getting 50+ of our closest friends together to toast her first birthday (which was more a party for us than for her), the rest of our celebrations have been pretty low key because I never knew who to invite. We don’t have a lot of friends with kids her age, and since none of her preschool friends threw class parties, I just felt silly throwing a big bash.
Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and while I regret not celebrating her last 3 birthdays in a larger capacity, the idea of organizing a birthday party with her school friends fills me with so much joy and love and excitement, I can barely see straight.
And since I know I’m not the only parent out there who wants to plan the PERFECT birthday bash for her little one this year, I’m teaming up with PTPA and Enbridge to share 20 simple birthday party activities for kids.
I was particularly good at #4 when I was a child – how about you?
1. PASS THE PARCEL
We played this game for all of my birthdays when I was younger, and just thinking about it brings back so many fond memories.
Preparation for this activity is pretty simple. All you have to do is buy a small gift at the dollar store and wrap it in several different layers of wrapping paper. Ideally, you should use a couple of different kinds of wrapping paper so that each layer is different and can be easily distinguished.
To play the game, have your guests sit on the floor in a circle, throw on some music, and ask them to pass the parcel around the circle until the music stops, at which time the person who is holding the parcel unwraps one layer of wrapping paper. The person who unwraps the last layer of wrapping paper gets to keep the prize.
Make sure to mix things up a bit by varying how long you let the music play!
2. EGG RACES
This is another simple game to organize. All you need are a bunch of spoons and eggs, and while you can use REAL eggs to make it more interesting, I’m a fan of mess-free activities and would opt for fake eggs instead.
The object of the game is to balance an egg on a spoon and ‘race’ it from a starting line to a finish line without dropping the egg. If the egg is dropped mid-race, the person has to go back to the starting line and try again.
The first person to make it to the finish line without dropping their egg wins.
3. BALLOON TENNIS
I’ve never played this game with my daughter, but it’s a fun and inexpensive activity to keep kids of all ages occupied. All you need are enough rackets for each of your guests (which you can purchase from the dollar store), and a bunch of balloons.
I’ve seen and heard so many variations of this game, but the easiest (in my opinion) is to split your guests into pairs of 2 and let them have fun passing their balloon back and forth to each other, and if you want to shake things up a bit, see which team can keep their balloon off the ground for 5 straight minutes.
It’s not as easy as you’d think!
4. MUSICAL CHAIRS
This was one of my favorite birthday party activities when I was a kid, and it takes next to no time to prepare. All you have to do is ask each of your guests to grab a chair and arrange them into a circle in the center of the room, turn on some music, and instruct them to walk around the chairs until the music finishes.
Once the room is silent, they must find a chair to sit on, and before the music starts again, someone must remove a chair from the circle. Each time the music stops, the person who cannot find a chair to sit on will be disqualified from the game, and the last person sitting is the winner!
5. SCAVENGER HUNT
There are so many different ways to organize scavenger hunts. Some people go all out with videos and riddles and all kinds of fun and exciting things, but for younger kids, I think simple is always better.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a blast.
To start, pick a theme. Ideally, you’d tie this into the theme of the party, but any theme will work. Next, collect as many objects related to the theme as possible, write them all down on a few sheets of paper, and hide them before dividing your guests into 2 (or more) groups. Once groups have been assigned, give each of them a list of the hidden items and see how long it takes them to find everything.
The group to find the most items on the list within a specified period of time wins!
There are so many other fun and simple birthday party activities and games you can organize for your little one’s special day. All it takes is a little planning and preparation on your part, and while it may seem overwhelming having an army of little kids climbing all over your kitchen chairs, searching through your cupboards and closets for hidden items, and tossing balloons around your living room, think of how important the day is to your child, and how much they will cherish the special memories you helped create for them.
According to the recent Enbridge survey data, 91% of Canadians think it is important to celebrate birthdays of family, fiends, and those close to them, and the Enbridge 100 Birthdays Video below reminded me just how important it is to make all of our birthdays special.
Especially our daughter’s.
Of course, Enbridge doesn’t stir the batter, decorate the cake, organize the party games, or clean up the mess, but for over 165 years, they’ve been providing the natural gas that makes important things, like birthday celebrations, possible.
Here’s to making our children’s birthdays special.
No matter how old they become.
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Enbridge and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.