Saturday, 9 April 2016

Jellybeans, Wotsits and upside-down faces: Quirky ideas for birthday party games

David’s den, Uncle Ben, cock and hen! My daughter is 10. Double digits already! 

She had her own, very precise ideas about how she wanted to celebrate her birthday. She’d even planned this rather nifty paper-engineering design for her invitation.
Yep, she wanted the tent up in the living room. Three friends. Sleeping bags. The film Matilda. Popcorn. And a Midnight Feast straight off the pages of Malory Towers. 
But there was still room for a little pre-pyjama entertainment. Here are the games we played, loosely based around the number 10, although they would work with any number, any age, any time...

Game 1: The jellybean test
I bought a box of jellybeans with interesting flavours like Candy Floss and Toasted Marshmallow. I selected 10 of the 20 flavours from the guide on the back of the packet and photographed and printed out an enlarged version of the appropriate section. 

The children took it in turns to sit in the designated ‘jellybean tasting chair' with their eyes closed. Then I popped a jellybean in their mouth (making sure I knew which flavour it was by its colouring) and showed them the guide.
Could they guess which flavour it was?!

One point for each correct answer!

Game 2: Mr. Twit
This game (not my own idea but I can't find the origin) is named after the Roald Dahl character Mr. Twit because he gets food stuck in his beard when he eats. My very obliging husband squirted himself a magnificent shaving foam beard (and eyebrows) and sat himself down on a chair in the kitchen. The girls had 10 Wotsits each and took it in turns to throw one at him from a specified distance (about 2 metres away, but I let them move a bit closer with each round). Despite the ridiculousness of the game, you should have seen the seriousness on their faces as they aimed!

One point for each Wotsit that sticks to the beard (two for an eyebrow)!

Game 3: Chinny McWizard
I made faces on their chins with googly eyes (stuck on with a smear of Pritt Stick) and noses drawn on with lip pencil. Then they took it in turns to lie on the floor in pairs (bodies and eyes covered with blankets) and strike up a conversation. Freakily funny! I fed them 10 topics to talk about, one at a time, to keep the conversation flowing (e.g. things they're scared of, a teacher at school...). I filmed the conversations so we could watch them together on the TV at the end. Here's a tiny snippet...
One point every time something they said got a laugh when we watched it on TV! 

(Though I didn’t tell them this till afterwards because I wanted them to enjoy watching themselves without worrying about how many laughs they were getting!)

The prizes
Rather than dishing out sweets to each winner of each game, I totted up their total scores at the very end.
I’d prepared a box of more substantial, non-edible prizes – a mood ring, secret message pen, whoopee cushion... The person with the most points got to choose a prize first, then the person in second place, and so on. They seemed to really like this system. 

Now time to set up camp and get cosy... Wouldn’t it be great if they were asleep by 10, I thought to myself, as I saw a pig fly over the tent.

If you like this you might like the 13 challenges I set my son on his 13th birthday.


  1. Oh I love these ideas, I really must remember them for future.
    It sounds like an amazingly fun party, perfect for a 10 yr old! The invitation design is fantastic too.
    Thanks for sharing with #LetKidsBeKids

  2. Thanks Karen. Remembering ideas when you need them...yes, that's the thing!

  3. Love the Mr Twit game! Lol very funny, my daddy actually has a real beard! My mummy used to play the chin game with her sister! Still amuses her to this day! #letkidsbekids

  4. I used to play that chin games as a kid too - must have been a 70s thing!?!!

  5. Gratitude for sharing these brilliant ideas for birthday party games! These games are nice and would like to have these in my daughter’s 8th birthday party. She is demanding party at an outdoor event venue. Hopefully, will find right venue soon.

  6. Thanks benihalk and good luck with your daughter's party!