At 7 years old, it's time for a party! A large cake, a dancefloor, presents, friends and lots of games! So, in order to not forget anything, here's a little bit of advice and some step by step game ideas to make sure that your party is a success!
To download le livret de mes 7 ans (French version) click HERE, or read it in English just below!
At seven, a child is a very big little person so you can organize a birthday party that lasts for three hours. Choose very complicated games with equally complicated rules. Songs, dance and 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, form a circle, sit down and get each guest to introduce himself or herself. You start first: "I am Matthew’s mum, 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 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 scarf
• a small present wrapped up in 4 layers of paper
• two balloons
• two round fruit (orange or grapefruit)
• one spoon per child (tea spoons)
• two sweets
• two books
• several sheets of paper and two pencils
• the treasure hunt clues and the Treasure
• and lots of enthusiasm!
— Let's form a small circle and sit down very close to each other. Do you know what happens if you pile your hands on top of each other?
— A great mess! For this game you will have to stack your hands one on top of the other, as quickly as possible. I will put my right hand on the floor. My neighbour on the right will put his right hand on mine, the next person will put their right hand on my neighbour's hand… When all the right hands are stacked, I will put my left hand and so on. When all hands are stacked up, I will pull out my right hand at the bottom of the stack and put it at the top. My neighbour will do the same thing and so on. And all that as fast as you can! Are you ready?
— Perfect, then here we go!
If some guests are late to arrive, they can easily join in, it’s a good game to start the party with. When the hand pile collapses, you just have to start the game again!
A Short Fitness Game
— 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!)
A Memorable Story
— Let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. We will tell a story. Each of you will say two or three words that the others will have to remember. Put together, these words will have to form a sentence. Here is an example. Matthew says "I am going", Lucy says "I'm going to the park", Henry says "I am going to the park to make", and Margot says "I'm going to the park to make a castle"… Understood?
— Are you ready? I start: "The old house…" Matthew it's your turn.
— "The old house has a gate"
Continue the story as long as the children don't make any mistake. When they do, start a new story. Then have the child sitting next to the person who has made the mistake start first. You can have several rounds.
Pass the Parcel
— Now, remain in a circle and stand up. 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 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 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, 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!
In the Right Order!
— Let's form a new circle. I will put in front of you some sheets of newspaper (or paper napkins or white sheets). I would like each of you to stand on your sheet. I will give you an order and you will have to put yourselves in the right order according to what I have said. But you can only move by walking on the sheets and you are only allowed to talk in a whisper. Are you ready?
— I would like you to settle from the tallest to the smallest. The first, therefore the tallest, is Matthew. But remember, you must only walk on the sheets and whisper to exchange the necessary pieces of information. Here we go...
A few order examples: age, name initial, number of brothers and sisters, number of letters in the name, hair length, number of missing teeth...
— We will form two teams. Everybody against the wall! Matthew, 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, Rose, you are a captain too. Matthew and Rose 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, Matthew's team, you could be named "the champions" or "the winners"? (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 champions!" The goal is to impress the opposing team. (Again you will have to help both teams.)
— So Matthew’s team, what have you come out with?
— "1,2,3, long live the champions!"
— The opposing team answers: "Boooooooo!!!"
— Let's start again: "1, 2, 3, long live the champions!"
— Well done! Now it is the other team's turn!!!
A Series of Skill Games
— We will now 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.
Poor Little Sick Cat
— Let's form a circle and sit down cross-legged. I will choose a child who will be our "poor little sick cat". The person who has been chosen will go to the centre of the circle on all fours.
— Then, the cat will choose a friend against whom he will have to rub meowing like a cat and making funny faces. The friend chosen by the cat will have to stroke the cat 3 times and say to him "poor little sick cat" without laughing or smiling. The point of the game is for the cat to make his friend laugh. The friend chosen by the cat must not laugh. If he does, he has lost and becomes the new cat. If the friend doesn't laugh and remains stony-faced, the cat will have to find a new friend. Understood?
— On the contrary, those who have not been chosen by the cat as a friend are allowed to laugh!!!
— Who would like to be the first cat?
If nobody wants to start you can either choose a child or appoint yourself as the first cat.
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 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 two 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 Matthew 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, if they have sweethearts...
When everybody has finished tea, suggest a small detour via the bathroom and collect your little gang very quickly.
— I would like you to form the two teams again. On my count of three, the champions' team regroups too my right and the winners' team regroups to my left: 1, 2, 3! Sit down facing me with your legs crossed. Next to me I have got a pile of paper, a pencil and some Sellotape. I am going to hang a sheet of paper on the wall. One of you will come next to me and I will whisper to him or her the name of an object, of a character or of an animal. He or she will have to draw it while the other children try to guess what it is. The player who gives the right answer gets one point for his or her team. It is very simple, are you ready?
— Lucy, come next to me. You will draw (whispering): a crab.
Here is a list of things you can ask them to draw: a princess, a king, a fairy, a dragon, a witch, a mouse, an elephant, a chair, a lamp, a baby, a knight, a fortified castle, a tepee, an Indian...
Call one person of each team in turn.
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. Don't forget to cheer one another!
— For the first relay race, I would like you to make a round trip hopping on one foot!
— For the second relay race, I would like you to make a round trip with a book on your head without touching it and without dropping it!
— For the third relay race, I would like you to make a round trip walking on all fours!
— For the fourth relay race, I would like you to make a round trip with a spoon in your mouth and a potato in the spoon without touching the potato and without dropping it!
— I would like you to sit down on the floor facing me, with your legs crossed. I will teach you the game "Pigeon flies". I will lift my arms (show the gesture) and say a word associated with the verb "fly". For instance I lift my arms and say: "toucan flies", "eagle flies", "canary flies"... If I give the name of an animal which flies, you must also lift your arms. But if the animal doesn't fly, you must not move. For instance, if you lift your arms when I say "pig flies", you will be eliminated! The winner is the last player left who will replace me. Understood?
You must of course say the animal (or object) names very quickly to trick the players and lift your arms up even if it doesn’t fly. However don't be too hard, you can give the children several chances before eliminating them.
— 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, 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 Tom. 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!
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?
— It's raining.
— You can start.
— It's raining, it's pouring…
— Great!!! Would anyone else like to sing? And so on.
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 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.
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.
— Are you ready for the treasure hunt? I will give you the first clue.
— There are only numbers. To decipher the code, you will have to use the "before code". Does any of you know this code? What does "before" mean? It's indeed the contrary of "after". And couldn't it be the B4 code, the letter B being equal to the number 4? So every letter would correspond to a number.
— Shall we try this? Write on this sheet of paper all the alphabet letters and the number 4 in front of the letter B. The following letters correspond to the following numbers… 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.
At seven, some children can read. A treasure hunt with a code is therefore possible! The code is "before" or B4, the letter B corresponding to the number 4 (A=3 - B=4 - C=5... J=12 - K=13 - L=14). The simplest way to do things is to prepare 3 or 4 clues which 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 B4 code)!
— Let's now open Matthew's presents!!! I would like Matthew 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!
— Matthew, 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...