Free games to bring to life a 6 year old's birthday party
The organisation of a bithday party for a 6 year old requires a wild imagination. In order to help you, we've compiled a little book containing all our best advice, as well as some ideas of games which will entertain your child and all their little friends during a party!
To download le livret de mes 6 ans (French version) click HERE, or read it in English just below!
At six, a child is a big little person, so you can organize a birthday party that lasts for three hours. Choose very complicated games with equally complicated rules. Sing, dance and have lots of fun.
Whether it is a girl's or a boy's party, the games remain the same: all you need to do is adjust the references (princess or pirate). Switch to a new game as soon as you perceive the slightest loss of interest. Alternate between quiet and active games. And remember, never leave the children to their own devices!
For the sake of peace, put away all the toys which may be borrowed by the little guests much to the despair of the birthday boy or girl. It's nearly time, your little angel has transformed into a knight or a fairy and for the occasion you are wearing a tiara or a top hat (this will impress the children a lot).
The doorbell is ringing, here they are! Welcome the little guests with a touch of "kohl": draw a moustache on the boys and eyelashes on the girls. While you are waiting for the arrival of all the friends, sit down in a circle and get each guest to introduce himself. You start first: "I am Edward’s mum, we’ll be playing together all afternoon..." Each child gives his name, his age, his teacher’s name, his favourite game, his favourite colour, his favourite cartoon. In a mysterious tone of voice, the super parent you are will then reveal the afternoon's games and golden rule: we all play together.
To make sure that your gamble pays off, act as the master of ceremonies, decide when the changes occur and explain the games. Obviously, it is better if there are two of you. Everything has been said, everybody is here, let's party!
You will need:
- a soundtrack (with about fifteen songs) that appeals to your child and especially to you because you are the one who will have to make all the little ones dance!
- a broomstick
• a scarf
• a small present wrapped up in 4 layers of paper
• two balloons
• two round fruit (orange or grapefruit)
• one spoon per child (the tea spoons)
• two sweets
• a little bag containing 10 small objects
• the treasure hunt clues and the Treasure
• and lots of enthusiasm!
— Let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. On my count of three, everybody on the floor: 1, 2, 3! Can one of you show me a scary face? That was not bad. We will play "funny faces". I am going to make a funny face to my neighbour who will do his best to make exactly the same funny face to his neighbour. Then it will be his neighbour’s turn to do the same and so on, up to me. Understood?
— I will just make the game a little bit more difficult. You must not smile or laugh when your neighbour makes you a funny face. At the end, we will compare the first and the last funny faces!
— Are you ready?
You can have several rounds. At each new round, a different child can make the first funny face. You can suggest to express an emotion like joy, fear, anger or to imitate animals such as a lion, a fish, an elephant.
The Wheels on the Bus
— Let’s play another game. Turn the palms of your hands skyward and put your right hand on the left palm of your neighbour. With my right hand, I tap the right hand of my neighbour. When the hand of my neighbour has been tapped, he can tap the next person’s hand and so on. You tap gently of course. Let’s practise together. Are you ready? On my count of three, I start: 1, 2, 3! (Rehearse the exercise until it runs well.)
— Now, I will teach you a song. «The wheels on the bus go round and round; round and round, round and round; the wheels on the bus go round and round; all through the town, 1, 2, 3!» We will sing the song and at the same time tap our hands as we have just done. At the end of the song — when we say 1, 2, 3 — the last child to have his hand touched is eliminated. But if the last person removes his hand before getting tapped, it is the one who has tapped into the void who is out of the game. Here we go! On my count of three, I start: 1, 2, 3: «The wheels on the bus…» Edward you are eliminated! You should have removed your hand! Lily, you start on my count of three.
And so on right down to the last person. Children love learning this game and playing it. Those who have been eliminated can be brought together at the centre of the circle and sing along with the other children.
Pass the Parcel
— Now, let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. Do you know what it means to be "absent-minded"? I think I had my head in the clouds this morning. I have wrapped up a little present but I have completely forgotten how many layers of paper I used. Can you guess how many layers there are?
— There must be at least a hundred!
— We'll check that together. Let's stand up and call for the music. When the music starts, I will make movements that you will have to mimic while passing around the present as if it were a "hot potato". When the music stops, the person holding the present should open up one layer of wrapping paper. Are you ready?
— Let's call for the music: "Music, music, music!"
Make simple movements like clapping your hands, waving goodbye, making your arms go round and round, slapping your legs… and stop the music. Put a new song at each new round. From the second round, you can make new movements like jumping, driving a car, flying like a plane, raising one leg then the other… and stop the music. For the third round, ask the children to pick the dance of their own choice. For the last round, ideally the music stops on the birthday boy or girl!
— Now, let's sit down again in a circle with your legs crossed. On my count of three, everybody on the floor: 1, 2, 3! We will play "Forbidden Word".
— Let me explain the game. I will appoint a detective who will hide in the next room. Meanwhile, we will choose a forbidden word. Once the word has been chosen, we will call back the detective who will have to find out what the word is. The object is to have the detective say the word, without saying it ourselves, by asking him all sorts of questions. If the detective says the word without having guessed that it was the forbidden word, he has lost and a new detective is chosen. If the detective finds the forbidden word by asking us "Is the forbidden word…?" he wins and can choose the new detective. Understood?
— So for this first round, I would like Edward to be our first detective. "Out you go detective! Out you go detective!"
— What about the word "ice cream"? Let's call the detective: "Detective, detective!"
— Edward, we will ask you questions one after the other. Listen carefully...
— Everybody stand up and go against the wall! We will form two teams. Edward, you are my first team captain. Come next to me. I would like you to choose the captain of the other team. That person will therefore not be in your team!
— So, Lily, you are a captain too. Edward and Lily will call you one after the other and you will stand in a line behind your captain.
— Now that the teams are formed, I would like each team to sit on one side of the room in line, facing the other team. You will now have to think of a team name. For instance, Edward's team, you could be named "the lions" or "the tigers"? (You will certainly have to help both teams.)
— Now that you have a name, you need a war cry! You can put your hands one on top of the other and shout: "1, 2, 3, long live the lions!" The goal is to impress the opposing team. (Again you will have to help both teams.)
— So Edward's team, what have you come out with?
— "1,2,3, long live the lions!"
— The opposing team answers: "Boooooooo!!!"
— Let's start again: "1, 2, 3, long live the lions!"
— Well done! Now it is the other team's turn!!!
The Musical Beret
— Now that the teams are formed, let's play team games! Remain seated where you are. I will give a number to each of you that you will have to remember. (You can ask them to repeat their number several times.)
— I will put a scarf in the middle of the room (between the two teams). I will for instance call the number 1. I would like the number 1 of each team to stand up and turn around the scarf, with his hands behind his back. I will start the music. When it stops, you will have to catch the scarf before your opponent and quickly sit back at your place. If the person who has the scarf gets caught by his opponent before having reached his team, it is the opponent who gets the point. The first team which has a total of 3 points wins the round!
— Are you ready?
— I start the music. You must only take the scarf when I stop the music. Meanwhile, you walk around the scarf. Here we go! And the others, you must cheer your team-mates: "Come on Edward, come on Lily!"
Call the numbers one by one. At the end, you can call two numbers at the same time.
A Series of Skill Games
— Well done! To find out which team is the best, we will play a series of skill games. Stand in line behind your team captain, facing me. I will give one balloon to each captain. You will have to give this balloon to one another by passing it between your legs as fast as you can. The first balloon which has made a round trip wins the game. Well done! Now, you will do the same thing but passing the balloon above your heads.
— Well done! Now, give me the balloons. Legs apart. The last player in each line will pass under the legs of the other children. When he or she reaches the beginning of the line, it is the turn of the new last player to pass under the legs and so on until the team captain is once again the first in the line. Here we go!
— Well done! Sit down in a line both teams facing each other. I will give an orange to each team captain. The captain will wedge the orange in his neck and pass it to the next person who will have to catch it using his neck and chin, without dropping it! You make a round trip and the first team captain who gets his orange back wins. (The orange falls constantly!)
— Now I will give a spoon to each one of you. I will put a sweet in the spoon of your captains. You will have to pass this sweet from one spoon to the next without dropping it! Let’s make a round trip and the first captain who gets his sweet back wins.
Rock Paper Scissors
— Stay where you are. For the last team game, let's play Rock-Paper-Scissors! I will show you three hand signs. An open hand is paper; a clenched fist is rock; the index and middle fingers in a V-shape are the scissors. Paper beats rock, it covers it. Rock beats scissors, it breaks them. Scissors beat paper, they cut it. Understood?
— Now both team lines get really close to one another. Put your hands behind your back. I will count up to 3 and you count with me. At 3, you show your hand to the person facing you with either a paper, a rock or scissors. The strongest gets 1 point. When the two gestures are similar, no point is given. The first team that gets 10 points (to be determined according to the number of children) wins. Are you ready?
— Here we go. Count with me: 1, 2, 3! Let's find out which team is the best! Let's start again: 1, 2, 3!
A Little Train Before Tea Time
— Do you know how to make a little train?
— So go one behind the other and tighten your seat belts (put the hands of the second child on the shoulders of the first and so on). Are you well fastened? You absolutely must make sure to not let go!
— I will be the train driver (put the hands of the first child on your waist). Let's start the music, here we go...
Move around going slower or faster. You can follow imaginary lines in any direction, curl up like a snail shell, zigzag and head towards the place where you will have tea. It does not last more than five minutes but children love it. Sit them down and lower the music. Background music is enough or none at all!
If you don’t have enough chairs or a table that is not big enough, do not hesitate to lay out the table on the floor as for a picnic.
It's Tea Time
— Sit down. Who would like some apple juice, some milk, some grenadine syrup? Who wants some sweets, cupcakes, tarts? Do you know what we usually sing for a birthday?
— Of course you do! Do you know this song in other languages?
When you are ready, initiate the countdown and start singing "Happy birthday to you" to let Edward blow out his candles.
Do not hesitate to make conversation around the children's favourite themes: if they have brothers and sisters, what are their favourite games in the park...
When everybody has finished tea, suggest a small detour via the bathroom and collect your little gang very quickly.
Do This, Do That
— I would like everybody to sit cross-legged on the floor facing me. I will give you a series of orders by saying "do this, do that" and I will show you what to do. If I say "do this", you will have to mimic what I show you, but if I say "do that" you must not move at all! Understood?
— Perfect. I am the first leader. Of course, if you make too many mistakes, I will get you out of the game! The last person left becomes the new leader.
Make very simple movements like looking on one side then on the other, slapping your bottom, stretching your finger to the right, then to the left, clapping your hands, sniffing, placing yourself on all fours.
You must of course switch to new movements very quickly to mislead the players. However don't be too hard, you can give the children several chances before eliminating them.
Well Seated Pet
— Let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. On my count of three, everybody on the floor: 1,2,3! I have got in my hand a scarf which I will use to blindfold a detective. The blindfolded detective will stand at the centre of the circle. We will have ten seconds to all change places and sit down again in a circle. I will give the detective the starting signal to let him sit on the lap of one of his friends. Once seated, the detective will ask: "Are you comfortably seated darling?" The friend should answer: "Yes, Darling is comfortably seated." The detective has to find out on whom he is sitting thanks to the sound of the voice. This is why the friend who is the chair has the right, not to say the duty to change his or her voice! The detective can have 3 tries to discover on whom he is sitting. Understood?
— So for this first round, I would like Edward to be our detective. Edward, come in the middle of the circle. I will blindfold you...
At each new round, count up to ten so that everybody can swap places and sit down! You will also have to help the detective sit down.
— Do you like dancing?
— Can you freeze like statues?
— I will put some music on so that we can dance together. When I stop the music, I would like you to freeze like statues! Be careful, I will perhaps check if you are real statues by tickling you.
— First of all, dance like me. Let's call for the music: "Music, music!!"
Make simple movements like jumping, waving goodbye, spinning around, flying like a plane, making the wheels go round and round and round, slapping your legs, your shoulders, your head, moving forwards, backwards… Stop the music and have a close look at the statues.
— For the next statues, I would like you to pose as sportsmen, monsters, crocodiles, bridges… Are you ready?
— Now, let's all dance like Edward. Then like Lily… And as you like!!!
You can stop the music every 10 seconds for one minute, especially when you have asked them to mime a crocodile or a snake. They love it!
The Missing Object
— Let's sit down in a circle. I have got ten objects in this little bag. I show them to you. I would like you to remember them. I will have a detective to go out of the circle and hide in the next room. Meanwhile, we will remove and hide three of the ten objects. When he gets back, the detective will have to say what is missing. Edward, you are our first detective.
— Out you go detective! Out you go detective!
— Let's remove the policeman, the horse and the Peter Rabbit figurines, do you agree?
— Don't say a word, understood? Let's call the detective.
— Detective, detective, detective!!!
— Edward, come in the middle of the circle and remain standing. You will have to remember the objects that were in the bag before you left the room. We have removed three objects, try to name at least one of them...
You can trick the detective by removing an object and replacing it by an object that was not in the bag in the first place.
The Brazilian Dance
— As you can see I am holding a broomstick. Do you know what I'm going to use it for?
— It is very easy, stand facing me in a line, one behind the other. I will hold the broomstick very high and you will have to go under it dancing and looking towards the sky (or the ceiling). After each new round, I will lower the broomstick so that it will get more and more difficult for you to go under. Understood?
— Here we go, let's call for the music: "Music, music, music"!!!! Stay in line and cross one at a time.
If it becomes a scramble do not hesitate to stop them and settle them back one behind the other. Lower the broom down to ground level (8 to 10 cm from the ground). They love lying down on the floor and crawling.
My Favourite Songs
— I would like everybody to sit cross-legged on the floor facing me. We will sing a few songs or tell a story. Who would like to start?
— Me, me!
— I will choose the best at puffing out their cheeks. Lucy come next to me, you can bow and we will all clap for you. What are you going to sing?
— Three blind mice.
— I will help you.
— Three blind mice, see how they run…
— Great!!! Would anyone else like to sing? And so on.
It is a quiet and moving moment. Some don't know how to bow, you will have to show them how. The children love to be applauded by their friends. Sometimes, they all want to sing the same song. Sometimes, some of them take offence because the other children sing along while others do not dare to sing.
When all the children want to take part in a game, you can tell them that you will choose the child who is best seated cross-legged, who raises his hand the highest, who sticks out his tongue the farthest, who makes the least possible noise... and let them all have a go in the end if they are not too many.
My First Treasure Hunt
— You have all been brilliant and I think you are ready for the treasure hunt! I have hidden clues in different places that you will have to find. Each clue leads to another clue, which leads to the Treasure. To help you, I will say "you are getting hot" when you get close to the clue, "you are getting cold" when you move away from it and "you are getting warm" when you are in the right direction... Are you ready?
— I will read you the first clue: "the precious clue is hidden in the room where you do not sleep, where you do not eat but where you sometimes play". Any clue?
Ideally, the Treasure consists of small presents or sweet bags intended for the little guests. Write the names of the children on the party bags that are meant for them. The simplest way to do things is to prepare 3 or 4 clues that you will hide before the arrival of the friends: a clue under the sofa, the next in the washing machine, another under a duvet... Feel free to use your home at large! Give rather vague clues (for instance: "the clue is in the sitting room") or make each clue a riddle. If one of the children can read, have him or her read the clues to the others.
— Let's now open Edward's presents!!! I would like Edward to come and sit next to me and that you all sit down facing us. Here we go!
— Wow, a jigsaw puzzle! Thank you Lily!
— Edward, would you please give Lily a kiss?
The party is over but it is not yet time to put everything back in order, you should make this unique moment last. Hang the garlands in the bedroom and leave the balloons lying about...