Free games to bring to life an 8 year old's birthday party
In order to celebrate your child turning 8, it's time to organise a big party with all of their friends! As well as the decoration, the cake and the presents; you can't forget the entertainment! Here, we offer you some of our best advice as well as some useful game ideas to ensure that your party is a success!
A 8 ans, on prépare une grande fête avec tous ses copains ! En plus de la déco, du gâteau et des cadeaux, il ne faut pas oublier l'animation ! Voici nos petits conseils et quelques idées de jeux détaillées pour une fête fun !
To download le livret de mes 8 ans (French version) click HERE, or read it in English just below!
At eight, a child is very, very big little person so you can organize a proper 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 (adventurer or princess). 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 that 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 or herself. You start first: "I am Margot’s mother, we’ll be playing together all afternoon..." Each child gives his name, his age, the name of his teacher, his favourite game, his favourite colour, his favourite cartoon. In a mysterious tone of voice, the super parent which you are will then reveal the afternoon's games and the 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 ten 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
• two rectangular strips of paper folded in L
• a sheet of paper and a pencil
• the treasure hunt clues and the Treasure
• and lots of enthusiasm!
The Talking Portrait
— Let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. I will choose two of you who will leave the room. They will be the "actors". These two actors will choose a character that everybody knows. Once they have made their choice, the actors will come back at the centre of the circle and describe this character without ever saying his or her name. The other players will of course have to guess whom they are talking about! The player who finds the right answer becomes an actor and can choose his or her partner. Are you ready?
— So Margot and Henry, would you like to be the first actors? Go quickly to the next room and choose the person whom you want to portray. It could be a friend, a teacher, a cartoon character... as long as the character is well-known enough to a great majority of people. You've got one minute...
— When they come back, you will have to listen carefully to their description and only interrupt them to suggest a name!!! Henry and Margot, are you ready? Come in the middle of the circle. We are listening to you. You can tell us a story if you want...
A Short Fitness Game
— Stand up everybody! I would like to check if you are really fit. I will put some music on and ask you to move like me. Are you ready?
— I didn't hear very well. Are you ready?
— So let's call for the music: "Music, music, music!"
While jumping on the spot, make fairly simple and fast movements as during a fitness session: waving goodbye, driving a car, making your arms go round and round; slapping your legs, your shoulders, your head, your bottom, your stomach; hitting the floor with your hands, stamping your feet; clapping your hands, snapping your fingers, spinning around, flying like a plane; raising your arms, one leg then the other; moving forwards, backwards… And stop the music.
— Now you can lie down on the floor and have a rest! (Let them have a short break and seize the opportunity to catch your breath!)
Who Am I?
— Let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. You will have to try to guess who I am. I will think of a character without saying it to anybody. And you will have to guess who it is by asking me questions which only call for YES or NO answers. The child who finds the right answer will replace me. Are you ready?
— I am ready. You can start.
— Is it a girl? A cartoon character? A singer? Is she kind? Is she beautiful...
Pass the Parcel
— Stand up everybody! Let's form a circle again. 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. Without opening the present, can you guess how many layers there are?
— There must be at least a hundred!
— We'll check that together. Let's 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 child holding the present should open up one only layer of wrapping paper. Are you ready?
— Let's call for the music: "Music, music, music!"
Make simple movements like clapping your hands, jumping, waving goodbye, spinning around, driving a car, flying like a plane, making your arms go round and round and round, raising one leg then the other, moving forwards, backwards… and stop the music. Put a new song at each new round. 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!
— We will form two teams. Everybody against the wall (or against a piece of furniture)! Margot, 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, Henry, you are a captain too. Margot and Henry will call you one after the other and you will stand in a single 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, Margot's team, you could be named "the leopards" 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 leopards!" The goal is to impress the opposing team. (Again you will have to help both teams.)
— So Margot’s team, what have you come out with?
— "1,2,3, long live the leopards!"
— The opposing team answers: "Boooooooo!!!"
— Let's start again: "1, 2, 3, long live the leopards!"
— Well done! Now it is the other team's turn!!!
Time for Challenges
— I will have you take up a few challenges. The most impressive team wins. Are you ready?
— How many planets are there in the solar system? (eight) Can you give me the names of four planets? (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, the Earth) What is a star? (a huge ball of gas)
— Do you want to carry on?
— What is a baby camel called? (calf) A baby kangaroo? (joey) A baby frog? (tadpole) A baby cat? (kitten). Shall we continue?
— Who are the baddies in Harry Potter? Which soccer team won the last World Cup? Of which country is Paris the capital city? Would you like some more challenges?
— I would like one person of each team to stand up. Margot and Henry? Count up to 10 standing on one foot. Well done! Oscar and Lucy, I would like you to imitate the cry of a whale! Very well. Matthew and Harriet, I would like you to make your most horrible funny face. Lewis and Charlotte, can you do the splits? Well done everybody!!
You can have them do the crab, a cartwheel, a headstand for 10 seconds with their feet against a wall, hold their breath for as long as possible, sing Head shoulders as quickly as possible...
An Amazing Choreography
— Let's take up a new challenge. I will be in charge of Margot's team, and Abigail (the person who assists you) will be in charge of Henry's team. Each team will have to choose a song and invent a choreography in just about ten minutes. Do you know what a choreography is?
— No!! Yes!!
— It means that you will have to dance and make the same movements all together and at the same time. You will see, it is very easy. Are you ready?
Have them make very simple movements. If the choreography does not last the entire song, it is of course no big deal. When the children dance in front of their friends, stand facing them and dance with them so that they can imitate you.
— Margot's team is ready! I would like Henry's team to sit down and applaud Margot's team. Let's call for the music: "Music, music, music!!"
— Well done!!
— Now it is Henry's team turn! Let's applaud them!
— Well done!!
A Series of Skill Games
— To find out which team is the best, we will play a series of skill games. Stand in a single line behind your team captain, facing me. I have two balloons. I will give one 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 with your team, facing one another. 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!)
— Stay where you are. I will give a spoon to each 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.
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. Are you well fastened? You 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 Margot blow out her candles.
Do not hesitate to make conversation around the children's favourite themes: if they have brothers and sisters, what are their favourite games, if they have sweethearts...
When everybody has finished tea, suggest a small detour via the bathroom and collect your little gang very quickly.
— Both teams will come next to me. I will put some music on. The first team which finds the title of the song or the name of the singer wins one point. I will put about ten songs. Are you ready?
— Here we go!
Use the same playlist as the one you have been using from the start of the party.
A Series of Relay Races
— Let's now have a series of relay races. Stand in a single line behind your team captain facing me. I stand on the opposite side of the room and give you orders. The team captains start, touch my hand, run back, touch the hand of their team-mates and go to the end of the line. The team-mates can therefore start. The first team whose captain is once again first in the line wins.
— For the first relay race, you will form pairs. It's a wheelbarrow race. On the way here, Henry holds Lucy and Margot holds Matthew. On the way back, you swap roles. Ready, steady, go!!!!
— For the second relay race, I would like you to make a round trip running backwards!
— For the third relay race, I would like you to make a new round trip in pairs. But this time, you should be tied to each other: arm in arm and legs stuck together (you can ask them to tie their feet with a scarf which they will have to pass to their team mates during the relay race as an extra difficulty).
— For the fourth relay race, you will have to blow on this L-shaped piece of paper to make it move forward, without touching it of course.
My Favourite Songs
— I would like everybody to sit cross-legged on the floor facing me. We will sing a few songs, recite a poem or tell a story. Who would like to start? Mary? So come next to me, you can bow and we will all clap for you. What are you going to sing?
— This is the way
— Great, we are listening.
— This is the way we brush our teeth…
— Well done!! Would anyone else like to perform on-stage?
It is a quiet and moving moment. 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 they would like to sing alone but the other children sing along… while others do not dare to sing!
— 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! But not like any statue, I would like you to pose as sportsmen.
— 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 monsters, monkeys, bridges… Are you ready?
— Now, let's all dance like Margot. Then like Phoebe… And as you like!!!
You can also stop the music every 10 seconds for one minute, especially when you have asked them to mime a monkey or a snake. They love it!
— I would like you to form the two teams again. Each team should seat in a group on the two sides of the room facing me. The team captains will join me at the centre of the room. They will be our first ambassadors. I will whisper to them the name of an action, a story, a job or a character. They will have to stand in front of their own team and mime the whispered word. The team-mate who thinks he has found the answer should say it very quietly so that the opposing team does not hear it. When the word has been found, the child who has found it must quickly come and see me to get a new word or situation to mime. The team which finishes the list of mimes first, wins. You are 16, so there are 8 mimes for 8 ambassadors. Are you ready?
— Henry and Lucy, (whispering) you will mime the story of Peter Pan. Here we go!
Start with jobs: a juggler, a doctor, a teacher, a policeman, a fireman, a ballet dancer...
Continue with characters: an Indian, a cow-boy, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Spiderman…
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 single 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.
At eight, the children manage very well to duck with their stomach up towards the ceiling. The lower it is, the more difficult it gets, the more fun they have! Lower the broom down to ground level (8 to 10 cm from the ground). They love lying down on the floor and crawling.
— Are you ready for the treasure hunt? I will give you the first clue.
— There are only letters. To decipher the code, you will have to use the "mist code". Does any of you know this code? What does "mist" mean? It's indeed a thin fog. And couldn't it be the MisT code, the letter M being equal to the letter T? So every letter would correspond to another letter.
— Shall we try this? Write on this sheet of paper all the alphabet letters and the letter T in front of the letter M. The following letters correspond to the letters which follow… When you have deciphered the first clue, I will help you by saying "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?
— The first clue says: "…
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 which are meant for them. If there are too many children and if you have got someone to help you, you can form several teams.
The code is "mist" or MisT, the letter M corresponding to the letter T (M=T - N=U - O=V - P=W...). 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... Give very short and very vague clues like "the clue is in the sitting room" (written of course in MisT code)!
— Let's now open Margot's presents!!! I would like Margot to come and sit next to me, and that you all sit down facing us. Here we go!
— Wow, a jigsaw puzzle! Thank you Henry!
— Margot, would you please give Henry 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...