Archive for the 'Party games' Category

Bingo with a Twist (or a stick)

Where to begin on this one…Well, how about a Valentine’s Day party at school and yours truly is the party helper in charge of games.  Need a little, somum, somun  for 22 1st graders. 

I checked out and found this Valentine Bingo idea:  I liked the idea of using the names of the classmates as the items to be called.  They suggested using a blank card with boxes and have the kids fill in their names.  But,  I thought that may be a little challenging for 22 1st graders — so we made name stickers.

Name stickers? Intrigued well, a year and half ago I bought mailing address labels at my local warehouse club — 6000 to be exact.  I have been justifing this purchase ever since.  Using these mailing address label sheets on my computer, I’m able to fit 2 names per label.  Nine label sheets later, I cut them into strips with my paper cutter and wah-lah — 22 name stickers for each of the 22 kids.

I made a blank card of 5 by 5 boxes a total of 25 squares. Now there are only 22 students so I filled in three random spaces on the cards with a free space, a tiger because it happened to be Chinese New Year as well and the Chinese symbol for “Love”. (Yes, it was a Valentine’s/Chinese New Year Party).  I gave each student a blank card with their name on it, 22 name stickers and conversation heart candies to use as markers.  I then had them pass their cards around and fill in other’s Bingo Cards with their name stickers.

This proved a bit chaotic.  I would definitely not do this part again.  I think it would have been easier (saner) to give each students name stickers for all their classmates and just fill in their own card.  That aside, the kids loved hearing there names called out.  We gave a heart-shaped lollipop when someone got bingo and then continued till all the cards were filled — so everyone got their name called. As always everybody wins a PartyMOMster game.

OK, that’s it and regarding my promise of shorter and more frequent posts — I have done neither. So, with “progress not perfection”, I press on still a little wordy and tardy.


LPM is Back and it’s Beachy!

I know you are all waiting for this week’s Let’s Party Monday’s (a.k.a LPM) party theme — uh, waiting two weeks in fact. Last week, the staff and I were at an off-site meeting at the seashore doing some intensive team building and sandcastle making. We are back — well-rested, inspired and ready to present to you…



Get ready to get your MacGyver on (and join me as I unpack the mini-van after vacation). Take everything you take with you to the beach and throw it all over the place: beach towels, shovels, beach chairs, plastic buckets, sandcastle forms, and inflatable whatever. What about stringing a clothes line and hanging swimsuits? (Maybe not my big granny-suit, but the staffer’s suits are fun and colorful)

You may be thinking — ugh, that sounds like a big mess. Well, check out this classy pic from the May issue of House Beautiful where they put those Beach towels to work as a great (and absorbent) tablecloth.

You can also purchase shells at a craft store to sprinkle around. And depending on how brave you are, get a little sand from the craft store or playsand at the hardware store.

In college, I went to a party at a Frat House with beach volleyball on the third floor – that’s right a couple of inches of sand covering the entire third floor. Those boys knew how to throw a party. I don’t know how they cleaned it up, but those aren’t the concerns of a college party-goer.

A more practical solution would be spreading the sand in a couple cookie sheets with some shells to create a zen garden/mini-seascape for the table. (That seems so lame compared to full scale beach volleyball indoors. Is a Frat House really the standard I’m striving for? I’m really struggling with this one.)


This activity came to me as I was preparing for our trip to the seashore and saw two days with rain clouds assigned to them. I ended up not having to break out the crafts (YEAH!), but it was great to do post va-ca and perfect for this week’s theme.

Take a frame cut out of cardboard and paint one side with Mod Podge.(You could probably use white glue, I’m just digging Mod Podge lately.) Then take the sticky side and drag it though some sand – maybe take advantage of your mini-seascape decoration. Then have party guests arrange shells on the now sandy frame. While they take part in another activity, hot glue the shells to the frame.

The weight of the shells and the amount of white glue necessary to hold them will take forever to dry. Hot glue will ensure your guest can take their handiwork home, instead of standing by your door weeping with gooey shells lying on the floor before them. (Trust me on this.)


Leaving the beach is always a feat of endurance and now it’s a party game! Create a “Packing It Up” obstacle course by spreading out all types of beach gear: blankets, sand toys, beach ball, hat, sunglasses, boogie board. The contestant has to collect and carry all the gear across the finish line. Think John Candy in Summer Rental.

At the finish line, you can take a picture and if you have the A-team of party helpers, that picture can then be printed and put into the beachy frame created earlier. I love it when a plan comes together!

There you have it a Beach party to squeeze in before the end of the summer, but could also be a real stunner in the winter – so unexpected!

I’d love to sea your beachy ideas in the comments – they’re great I’m shore!

(That last line was desperate, but did you get my A-team reference and quote? Anyone? Come on that was gold, baby! Someone is fresh from vacation.)

Let’s Party Mondays: Start Your Engines, A Car Party!

Well, I was strolling the web and checking out Blogs last week and I hit the jackpot. How? I found inspiration for Let’s Party Mondays (I gotta tell ya, I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it another week. It seems to have the staying power of my last diet.) And I also found a kindred spirit – someone that loves kid parties too!

So, thank you Momma’s Gone Over the Wall your “Things That Go” Party has inspired today’s theme: Cars


I think what I love most about Momma’s “Things That Go” Party is the food. Yeah sure,they had great cakes. But, extending the vehicle theme to the crudités (I could say cut-up vegetables, but I’m feeling fancy) and fruit – GENIUS! I would also like to point out the cookies offered. They are brilliant in their simplicity — Traffic Light Cookies with a red, yellow and green M&M. I am so pumped (and on my second cup of coffee) I’m going to hit you with a quick Haiku:

Things That Go Party
Garden bounty put on wheels
Cookies stop traffic

Brava Momma’s Gone Over the Wall!


Momma’s party reminded of a Cars party we attended at our sister offices in eastern Pennsylvania. They created the “Tow Mater” game. They had paper cut outs of the different characters from the movie Cars with paper clips around the edges. Using a stick with a magnet hanging from it, guests “towed” cars out of the pile up. If only tow trucks were so popular in real life!

And because I can’t get my mind off those Traffic Light Cookies, there is the classic game, Red Light/Green Light. It is expertly detailed at Games Kids Play. They also have several rhymes that can be used in selecting who is “It” on the site. I have heard the staff chanting “Eenie Meenie” lately (another gift from camp) and they always seem accepting of the results – some sort of kid code.

Another activity that might be fun is a car race. My XY chromosome staffer is lousy with matchbox cars. As a group, it may be fun to determine the fastest with a ramp. So each guest takes turns grabbing a car and racing it against others. You keep going till you get it to the top few. Then to up the drama you might pull out a special car to compete – kind of like a “shill” or bad guy in Professional Wrestling (that is Sports Entertainment) – “El Diablo, the hot shot”. Get the kids all worked up to see if the cars they have raced can beat “El Diablo”. We are working on our track — we will keep you updated.

Books (Why books? Click here to find out and you can witness yet another Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Metaphor)

Of course any Disney Cars book would be a strong choice, but some other fun options would be:

  • Cars, Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scary
  • If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
  • Wheels On The Race Car by Alex Zane & James Warhola

Have some more Car ideas? Park them in the comments. And if you have a great idea for Let’s Party Mondays, cruise over to my email. (Enough car puns, I’m driving myself crazy – ugh, now I’m car sick – jeeze, it’s like I have no brakes — honk, if you’re done – Beep! Beep!)

Let’s Party Mondays: Hello Campers!

Hey, it’s Monday again — let’s party! Today’s theme is Camp!

As you know by now, I am loving Camp at the moment. The morning day camp the staffers attended was a big hit and it sent me into a nostalgic frenzy. (ahhh, Camp Arrowhead, Good times…) But, my love of camp has been taken to a new level this week — the staffers are attending Nature Camp this week. That is 4 1/2 hours a day Monday through Friday. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for — EVERYONE!

Besides giving all of us a break from each other, (I’m banking on “absence makes the heart grow fonder” all around) the staffers came home with great games, crafts and were so tired they had very little fight left in them — JACKPOT!

I’m not the only one loving camp at the moment. My favorite magazines have weighed in with some great ideas as well. So, here’s a little somunsomun I put together — welcome to Camp!


Now is the time to drag out that dusty tent you may have or borrow one or at the very least hang a simple tarp. I found a very competent video that explains how to make a tent out of a tarp. If you make a tent happen — sit back, you are golden.

If you still want to take it up a notch, I say go for the campfire. Fire and kids seem a bit dicey for me — I’m looking for theater here. I would pile a few logs together and create a faux fire — maybe some orange and yellow tissue paper. I didn’t get to try this out yet, but I was thinking of a small fan with crepe paper ribbons attached to give the illusion of flickering flames. I’m not sure if that would work — if I can make that happen you will be the first to know. (Maybe the second, I may have to explain myself to the neighbors)


I don’t want to talk about cake — let’s talk S’mores. S’mores and Camping are like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Macaroni and Cheese, Captain and Tennille (Did anyone get that last one? Sometimes, I really am just writing for myself.) So, I offer several S’more options:


My Mom saved the August issue of Family Fun magazine because it had some great camp crafts. The Totem Pole was her favorite. You have each person create a self-portrait on a paper plate using markers, natural materials and white glue. When the glue dries, tape the plates to a large stick and set the stick into the ground – wahlah a Totem Pole. Nice work, Mom.


Now, there are various iterations of tag and the staff has played quite a few of them at camp — to rave reviews I might add. Now, the Party MOMster usually shies away from tag because someone is “it”. Everyone runs away from the person that is “it” – it just feels wrong to me. But, those super smart camp counselors have teams of people being it – no one is left to be a pariah. Brilliant! I promise a sampling of the most-loved tag options from the staff by the end of the week.

I have got so much more to say including a great game that the staff and I started today. It’s drying overnight. (Oh, are you intrigued?) So, I’m calling it a night and just making my Monday deadline. We will have more Camp ideas for you tomorrow. But, feel free to pitch in a few of your own. (That whole Golden Graham thing has got me a bit down too — that Cinderella song has me all choked up)

Let’s Party Mondays: It’s a Circus!

Ahhh…Another weekend…Ugh…Another Monday…Yeah! LET’S PARTY MONDAYS!

Today’s Party Theme: Circus

This is one of my favorite party themes. I got quite goofy on this one and it was also one of the most epic battles between Me vs. the Evil Overdoer. (Also, me — but, picture me with little red horns dragging a very long to-do list).


The grandest decoration was a circus tent ceiling. We took eight plastic tablecloths (4 red/4 white) and hung them from the playroom ceiling. They clustered in the center and fanned out to the walls. Finding a tape that would stick to the slippery plastic tablecloths, defy gravity and not mark the walls was a bit problematic. There were constant re-adjustments, even during the party (“Oh, excuse me sweetie, let me get that tablecloth off your head“). This was a circus party not a planetarium, such a heavy investment in ceiling decor was likely unwise. Advantage: Evil Overdoer

Pulling a little MacGyver, we collected some stuffed animals and turned them into clowns. The staff and I made clown hats out of construction paper and ruffled collars out of tissue paper. We had fun doing this a few days before the party to get us into the mood. Very festive results. Advantage: Me


Because I knew I would be busy decorating (raising a tent, creating a game — more to come), I decided to delegate the cake to someone else. (I was still smarting a bit from my Dino-disaster) I heard of this woman that made cakes out of her home and she was very fun and creative. The woman lived 20 minutes away. So, on the day of the a party, I ran a 50 minute errand (20 minutes there + 10 minutes getting lost + 20 minutes home). The cake did look awesome. Advantage: A tie


I had played the classic childhood game, Cootie, with the staffers a few weeks before. Quick rundown, you roll dice and depending on your roll you earn different parts of the Cootie bug to build your own.

Brainstorm: I will make a Cootie Clown. We’ll roll the dice to earn different parts of the clown’s face. There were about eight pieces to the face which we needed for 6 players = 48 pieces were created. I sorted and put them into numbered envelopes. Okay, let’s play. We started with one player rolling the dice at a time. It was going s-l-o-w. I was losing them. Gave everyone dice and let them all go at the same time. That was chaos. Just gave everyone the pieces to make the face — we finished. The guests seemed happy with the results. (They may have just been glad it was over. Moving on) Advantage: Evil Overdoer


This was the best part of the party and, best of all, it lives on in video. We had the guest put on their own circus which Mr. Party MOMster dutifully recorded. We dragged out the dress-up bin, toys and other props to create the following acts:

  • Snake charmer (rubber snake wrapped around someone playing a whistle)
  • Tightrope walker (put a piece of tape on the floor while walking in a tutu with a parasol)
  • Lion tamer (wearing a pith helmut, throwing a stuffed lion through a hoop)
  • Lady on Horesback (Princess costume while riding a Rocking Horse)
  • Strong man (counted how many stuffed animals one child could hold — we got to 11)

We ended with a clown parade made possible by the purchase of rainbow wigs and red noses for the party. Following the parade, all the performers watched the tape on TV. It was a rousing success and we are often asked to bring out the tape to watch again and again. Advantage: ME

In the throwdown between me and the Evil Overdoer, it was a draw. But, as always the only casuality is, once again, ME. When the Evil Overdoer rears her ugly head, I am left feeling very tired and very stressed. Absolutely no fun — so not Party MOMster.

So, join the Circus with some great party ideas — the more the merrier. And don’t overdue or you’ll feel like a Party Pooper. (Speaking of, I’ve got a diaper to change. I think that also may become Party MOMster principle #3.)

PS (Let’s keep the Party going on Mondays — do the Pick A Party Giveaway!)

We have a winner!

From my very scientific method of picking from a hat, we have a winner: Laura M. Congratulations!! Laura gets this hand sewn banner from Oh Sew Sweet Creations

And I get the benefit of her great party idea. She told me about a party she went to where they hung donuts from a string and the kids had to race to eat them without using their hands. Donuts, messy eating: we’re in! And because we are always taking it to the next level here at Party MOMster Labs, We will try other food/string options as well. (We’re having soup for lunch today. Tomorrow, PBJ on a string!) Stay tuned!!

So thank you to Laura for her entry and all of you that were so generous with your ideas. As promised, we will report on them throughout the summer with the help of the staff.

The Are You Game? Giveaway was well played! Party on!!


Well, we are closing out our first full week of summer vacation where the staffers are on hand full-time. And I’m outta ideas.

So, to help get us through the summer, I am announcing the Are you Game? Giveaway. All you have to do is email a party game idea and you will be entered. Any idea — really I’ll take anything. (Sense the desperation) The staff and I will dutifully test these ideas throughout the summer and let you know how it goes. The deadline for entries is midnight June 17th.

And in return for the inspiration, I will take the entries and randomly pull one out of a hat on June 18th. The chosen entry will receive this hand sewn banner from Oh Sew Sweet Creations

As you may recall from Ode to Simply Sparkles, I am a big fan of the handmade extravaganza offered by Etsy and could not resist this banner. With the word “whimsy” in the description you can’t go wrong. And by sharing a little “game love” it can be yours.

Email me and Let the games begin!

Ok, that should help with the 79 days I have left of the summer.

Off to meet the wizard…

When the usual suspects arrive at Party MOMster shin digs, they promptly ask, “Is the Wizard coming?”

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Party Game “Who Am I?”, there are no losers at a Party MOMster party. I like everyone to feel good and have fun. Life lessons of winning, losing and being a good sport are fine, but not on my watch. Come on — it’s a Birthday Party!

Yes, but who is the Wizard? Well, it started back a few years ago at a Princess Party. We had done “hunts” in the past (think, Easter Egg hunts) We’ve hidden stuff: animals, pictures, puzzle pieces, plastic figurines. But, our crowd was getting a bit more sophisticated, so we rose to the occasion. Our hunt now involves clues.

The initial premise was a bit complicated. The Wizard had captured the Magical Unicorn (The Pinata) and the guests needed to help rescue it. The first clue was just laying on the floor in the open. It read “You want your unicorn? You’ll have to use your head. Find your next clue under the pink bed.” The guests would then charge to the pink bedroom with the pink bed and discover the next clue. And so on and so on till the “treasure” is found.

I usually have at least on clue for each participant. For this Princess quest, the “treasure” was a bunch of keys cut out of foam at the end. Each key had a guests name on it. On a closet door we had a over sized keyhole cut out of black paper. Blindfolded they tried to put their key in the keyhole (think, Pin the Tale on the Donkey). The one that got the closest to getting their key in the keyhole got to open the door and rescue the pinata. And they all lived happily ever after.

Now, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Our Wizard has now become known as a trickster and a troublemaker. He has hidden goodie bags, games and presents. The guests don’t seem to need a lot of back story on the Wizard and at this point are not too fixated on the treasure at the end. They seem to really enjoy the quest.

Which reminds me of a quote I used in Deep Thoughts By Party MOMster: Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. – Arthur Ashe. Enjoying the journey — how’s that for a Life Lesson!

There is only one caveat: A lot of preparation goes into planning, creating and hiding the clues. I usually start where I hide the “treasure” and work backwards. And for all your work, the hunt goes by very fast (think, opening presents on Christmas morning). But, it is always well-received and guests are so proud that they figured out the clues: Take that Wizard — foiled again!

If you try this or have tried this, please share (think, I’m done).

Party Game "Who Am I?"

So, I’m always looking for games that are not super competitive — there are no losers at my Birthday Parties. Also, we are often dealing with a range of ages. I saw this game “Who Am I?” at Toys R Us on Clearance for $9.

It is such a cute game. There are page size pieces of cardboard with the face cut out. Without looking at the front, the player holds the board up to their face so it shows through. The front is a person or an animal. By asking everyone who can see the front, the player must guess what they are. If you want to know the gist of it, you can check out this video (I’m just trying different gizmos on my blog)

When we played, the kids completely forgot about winning. They just loved taking turns trying on the faces and guessing. We didn’t really use the dice or tokens that came with the game. And if an adult chooses to join in — that is always fun. The Baby character will have them rolling on the floor.

It’s a great game to have after the party or put it with your party supplies, lend it out to friends. I bought an inflatable pin-the-tail on the donkey game awhile ago (I really have a sickness). I wish someone would borrow that from me. I wouldn’t feel like such an a$$ for buying it. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun and I didn’t want you to think I was a potty mounth)

Bottom line “Who am I?” is a crowd pleaser.

Do You Know….?

I’m on a roll. I’m already on my second post, but I want to give everyone an idea of what they will find on my blog. So, here we go, it’s a party game “Do you know ….?” (I’m up for coming up with a better name)

Let’s say you are throwing a surprise party. And, of course, the trick to a surprise party is to have all the partygoers there before the guest of honor. To fill the time and get everyone in the mood we played “Do you know (Insert Guest of Honor Here)?”

When I did this, I printed out cards that asked “Which does she prefer?” Followed by, “Beatles/Elvis”, “Mashed Potatoes/Stuffing”, “Al Pacino/Robert DeNiro”, “Candy/Flowers”. (I think I was inspired by a beer commercial at time, which had men debating if they prefered Ginger or Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island)

So, everyone made their picks and of course shared their own preferences. We then went over the items with the Guest of Honor after she arrived and she told us what she preferred. Everyone was having fun keeping score. For those with the most correct, I bought lottery tickets and printed out cards that read: You are Lucky to know (Insert Name)(get it Lucky – Lottery Ticket, ok, moving on)

So, there you go. Maybe it will inspire you. If you have a great party game that warms up a crowd, I’d love to hear it.

Party Tableau from My Talented Staffers

Super Foolishness (According to Me!)