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Birthday party games for preschool children

Preschool party time

Do you have any suggestions for games that preschoolers would have fun playing? I don't want them to compete, because that always means one "winner" and more "losers," which means it's not really fun for everyone.

The question:

Do you have any suggestions for games that preschoolers would have fun playing? I don't want them to compete, because that always means one "winner" and more "losers," which means it's not really fun for everyone.

The Party Planner answers:

Noncompetitive games are a great way to entertain younger kids at a party. Remember a party is to have fun and to celebrate, not to have your guests competing against one another. When planning for kindergarteners, remember five-year-olds have short attention spans, so the entertainment should consist of a lot of activities with a short amount of time for each. Here are some good ideas for noncompetitive games:

Hot, Warm, Cold: A child is selected to leave the room. A small object is hidden. When the child returns, the group helps the child locate the object by clapping their hands loudly when the child is near or softly when the child is in the wrong direction.

Telephone: Children sit in a circle. One child secretly whispers a message into the ear of the child sitting next to them. That child repeats the message and it goes all around the circle. If the message in not understood, a child can say "operator" and the message will be repeated. The last child to receive the message says it out loud. Compare with the original message.

Shoe Mix-Up: Have all children remove shoes and place them in a pile, then mix them up. At a signal, have everyone race for their shoes and put them on as fast as possible.

No-Lose Musical Chairs: Play the music and take the chair away when it stops. But instead of the child without a chair sitting out, the child who doesn't have a chair will sit on the lap of a child who does. Continue until all the children are all on one chair.

Fishing for Favors: Prior to the party, cut out basic fish shapes from heavy construction paper and attach a paper clip to each. Write a number on each fish, one for each child expected at the party (you may want to make a few extra). Make fishing poles out of sticks and string and attach a magnet to the end of each string. The children "fish" until each one catches their own fish. The number of their fish will determine which prize they will receive.

Kindergarteners also love songs, treasure hunts, and stories (great for winding the party down).

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