Birthday parties with a mixture of ages, especially with young children are challenging for parents. One of the ways I have found to deal with this situation to make sure everyone has fun is to team younger children and older children together.
Outside party games
Treasure hunts are really fun because they are friendly but competitive at the same time. You can hide your “treasures” just minutes before the hunt or you can hide then the day before. One of the ways we have found that kids really get a kick out of is having them find naturally occurring items. For instance, give them a list of a round rock, torn leaf, roley poley bug, and a feather and see who can find all of the items first.
Another way to play is to have them find treasures of knowledge instead of solid items. Give each player a list of questions and a time limit to see who can get more of the answers or make it unlimited and the first to complete the list wins. These questions can be simple observation (ie: how many doors are in our home) to getting to know each other (ie: what is the name of the person to your left).
Ok, this might sound like an oldie but the kids love to play red rover. I use this as a game between games. The kids can play this to keep each other occupied while I am getting the next game set up. It gets some of the wiggles out of the littler kids and keeps the bigger kids from getting bored. Make two human chains and stand opposite of each other. Then one team says in unison, “Red Rover, Red Rover send (insert player’s name here) right over.” They pick one of the people on the other sides name who they think will not be able to break through. Then they will run and try to break through your arm but you don’t want them too because you get to keep them if they don’t break through. When you have all the people from the other team in your team you win.
Inside party games
A coloring contest is a good game to take up time between other forms of entertainment. Children of all ages can color and then an appointed official (a mom or an older child) can judge the art work.
Noise Maker Craft
Once you have colored your pages the children can use them to build a craft. We like to make noisy crafts if we are working with mostly young children. Take two Styrofoam plates and a few beans; glue the plates together so that they are facing each other with the beans between them. Decorate with the colored pages, or other colored bits of paper, beans, beads, pasta, or even glue and glitter. These can be used to make noise during the party.
You will need party hats to go with your noise makers. Construction paper, glue, tape, glitter and a pair of scissors is all you need to make party hats or crowns for everyone. You can have the children color the hats and even glue beads and flitter to them then you can take the tape, roll the paper up to make a circular band (to go around the child’s head) and tape together in the back. If you want to make hats instead of crowns you should roll so that they hats are pointy like a snow cone cup. Elastic or yarn can be stapled to the sides so that the hat can be held on.