With young children you just need to keep it simple. Avoid any games for children 2 and under they – do better with our other activities. Children 3 and above will appreciate and manage the following simple games as part of your party plan:
- Musical Statues/Animals/Monsters/Bumps – Avoid any elimination factor in this game. Dance to the music, when it stops do one of the following:
- Pretend to be the animal the party leader tells/shows you
- Make the ugliest face you can
- Sit down
- Hot Potato – Pass a bean bag around in a circle as if it is a hot potato. If you are caught with the hot potato you have to run around the outside of the circle and back to your place.
- Cat and Mouse – Use two bean bags (or a toy cat and mouse), one is the cat and the other the mouse, start them on opposite sides of the circle pass from child to child as quickly as you can trying to make the cat catch the mouse.
- Quiet as a mouse – Put on some music and the kids have to squeak and scuttle about like mice. The moment the music stops, the kids must be as still and as ‘quiet as a mouse’. Anyone seen moving or making a noise is caught by the cat (you) and is out of the game.
- Animal Mix and Match – This is like a simple treasure hunt. Play as discovery time Animal Mix and Match, but mark one of the cards on the wall with a yellow MAD Sticker on the back. Get the children to play the game repeatedly as usual leaving the cards on the wall but coming back to you for a fresh one once they have matched a card, but when you call a stop the child with the yellow stickered card wins a small prize.
Remember we also have a Ralph party colouring picture you could give out at the end.
Ideas and advice from our experienced franchisees
Debbie Mason recommends the following:
I have given up on getting parents to join in with the whole of the party! I start the party by getting all the kids to sit on the floor and the parents are usually still being noisy at this point. I start by singing happy birthday to the birthday child because I have found this stops the adults talking (they usually sing along with us) and then it is a good time to say how MAD parties work immediately after we finish the happy birthday song.
I then say that MAD parties are possibly a little different to a party you have been to before. They are great fun and work really well when parents join in to. If however they do not wish to join in there are parts where I will need some help. This being egg and spoons – will need adults to help put the eggs back together and the parachute. I say if they do not wish to join in for the whole of the party I would appreciate it if they could try to keep the noise down as it is not nice for YOUR children to be shouted at for the best part of an hour.
If the noise gets to loud and the children cannot hear me I turn the music off, I ask all children to get an adult and we do the birdie song! After the birdie song I say please could you keep the noise down as the children having difficulty hearing me.
From age 3 up I play musical mats. (My baby mats). Its like musical statues (no winners or losers) but when music stops I shout the colour of the mat they have to stand on. I have a jungle theme party soon so I am playing “down in the jungle where nobody goes” and shouting green crocodile, red parrot, white zebra stripes and yellow lions (these are the colour of my mats).
Hula hoops, parachute, egg and spoons, footballs and bubbles are my usual props for 1 hour parties. Grand Old Duke with pom poms, Max the greyhound (or dinosaur or cheetah etc), walking through the jungle, row row, teddy bears picnic (lots of high energy children’s songs. I have entertained at a few 5 year old girl parties lately. I have used the ribbon routine to Justin Bieber – if I were your boyfriend. The bean bag bop worked well too. Princess theme – I use the ribbons to Pocahontas Colour of the wind and have lots of curtseying. Pirate theme – fab warm up music – He’s a Pirate (Pete N’ Red’s Jolly Roger Radio Edit) Klaus Badelt . We look through telescope, climb the rigging, dig for treasure, run in circle and at the end we walk the plank. The parachute I do to one direction – one thing (very popular with young girls) Olly Murs dance with me tonight for the warm up. If I do instruments I use something with a good beat such as tragedy – usually get the mums singing along and also I try to get a bit of Abba in too.
Elaine Burney recommends the following:
I always take the small parachute, a bag of 100 play balls, pop up hampers and a pack of spoons…we bounce the balls fast and slow, roll them, etc, and after a good few mins, flick them all off, I collect the chute and they pick all the balls up with spoons and put them in the coloured hampers. That seems to go down well. Especially the going slowly rolling them, then suddenly bouncing them fast.
I use the Let’s play elements, as I find as parties, being too free with the props is harder because they don’t always have parents to help / show them ideas, so they all vie for your attention. Prizes depend on whether they’re doing food. Usually medals, but if there’s no food, I’ll give a lolly or small pack of Haribo. Presents I buy expensive things when they’re reduced…so I bought about 10 of the £5 Ponyville sets when they were £1…looks like a nicer present and feels better than giving them a £1 present.
Karen Morgan recommends the following:
For presents I give MAD class attendees a mini Ralph if they have a party. Otherwise I always use presents that encourage physical play such as hoops, balls, ropes etc. I don’t give any prizes. I never play games that exclude children. I ask the children to go and ask their parents not to talk so loudly. My formula is to use several props rather than the normal 1 in a class. Finally do a good job – word of mouth is a powerful marketing device. I leave about 6 MAD postcards around the room on present table etc.
Good music choices:
- Its Your Birthday
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
- Party at Mickeys House
- Colonel Hathis March
- Mickey Mouse March
- Candy Man (Pickwick)
- Be Our Guest
- It’s a Small world
- Bibbety Boppity Boo
- Under the Sea
- Hawaiian Roller Coaster
- Chim Chim Cheree
- Im in the Mood for Dancing
- 5 Speckled Frogs (glove puppet)
- A Night Like This
- D I S C O
- Old macdonald
- 633 Squadron
- 5 Men Flying Saucer
- Wheels on Bus
- Grand Old Duke York
- 5 Little Ducks (glove puppet)
- Music Man (pictures)
- Icy Wincy Spider (spider)
- Soul Limbo (ribbon shakers)
- Midnight in Moscow (Scarves)
- Coming Round Mountain
- Pom Pom ABC
At classes if anyone asks have you had a good week or what did you do at weekend I always talk about a party I did (even if I didn’t do one). Lots of ears tune in and you’d be surprised how many pick upon it. All my letters, emails etc mention parties.
Cathy Agozzino recommends:
My feedback on parties would be ITS ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC!!!!!! I find if you use music that both children and adults identify with then you’re onto a winner – go for party classics that are instantly recognisable e.g LMFAO Party Rockin, Cool and the Gangs Celebrate etc etc.
- Get adults working with you to use parachute VERY early on then they’ll usually want to join in with the rest of the party!
- Avoid pass the parcel unless forced into it but then make it as quick as possible, stop the music every other kid etc!
- Always arrive as early as possible to familiarise yourself to birthday boy/girl and guests – introduce them to Ralph make friends with them!!
- Try to hang about at least 10 minutes after party session finished – it looks rude dashing straight off i fee,l unless you have explained beforehand that you need to!
Sophie Hill recommends:
A limbo competitions – they start with the bar at the top, then gradually drop the bar down and when it’s at the bottom, every child who goes under the lowest level gets a prize (they all do of course!). The children need to take turns (more or less!) hence why they need to be 4+ e.g. http://www.toysrus.co.uk/…/MB-Giraffalaff-Limbo-Game…