1st birthday party games
A 1st Birthday Party is a milestone for any family. When planning a party for your one year old and their friends the key to party games is to keep them short and simple. Young children are able to concentrate for a limited amount of time, so don’t presume that you will start at the top of your list of games and work your way methodically down to the bottom! UK-Entertainers has compiled a selection of games that you might like to use at a 1st birthday party, but be prepared for anything to catch or divert the children’s attention!
Use a bubble machine (or a couple of adults with bubble mixture pots) to blow bubbles over the children. Young children have a fascination with bubbles and can either watch them or try and pop them.
Scrunch the wrapping paper
After opening presents, young children are usually more interested in the paper than the present itself. See how many sounds you can make with the paper and use words like ‘scrunch, crunch, rustle and crinkle’ with the children and encourage them to make those sounds too.
Make a tent
Use an old large flat sheet and four chairs. Stretch the sheet across the chairs and get an adult to sit on the corner of the sheet on each chair seat to stop the chairs being pulled down. The children can take a toy into the tent and the adults are ideally placed to monitor the play inside.
Organise a good old sing song and if the songs have actions or noises even better. Try ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’, ‘Row your boat’, ‘Ring a Ring a Roses’ or ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ and get everyone marching around the room.
Roll the ball
An adult stands with legs apart and a child is encouraged to roll a ball through the adults legs. If the ball is returned by someone the other side this game can escalate into crawling through and around legs. The game is particularly funny to a child if an adult is willing to get down and try too!
Bean bag balancing
Demonstrate how to balance a bean bag on your head, shoulder, arm and encourage the children to join in. This is not only a simple game but great for developing the children’s coordination too!
Use a cardboard box with a sealed down lid and cut a hole in the top. Collect together bean bags, balls, toys or even socks and let the children post them into the box. Children who are one love to empty and refill containers. This can be developed by an adult feigning horror “Oh no!” when the contents are once again tipped up and emptied out.
Ask your guests to write their thoughts and memories of your baby’s first year in a book. This can include your child’s friends too. With adult help they will be able to use a pencil or pen to make marks on a page. The book can be added to by later including photographs taken at the party. A very special way for your child to see what happened at their first birthday party when they are older.
If you have much older children at the party they may be able to help organise and care for your guests. If they are not old enough to take on this role a trip to the £1 / Dollar store provides a cheap way to keep them occupied with stickers, crayons and paper – but keep small objects out of reach of your younger guests. You may find our article Organising a First Birthday Party helpful when planning your day.
UK-Entertainers hopes that whatever you decide to do for your 1st birthday party, and whichever games you decide to play, you all have a wonderful time together and enjoy the special.
We recommend our article on Organising a First Birthday Party to help your day run smoothly.