March 31, 2007

Organized Chaos!

Also known as Ciaran's 6th birthday party. We had 14 kids between the ages of 3 and 8 playing board games for nearly 3 hours. The kids did really well, I was impressed with them and overall it was a fun and stress free time. It was busy and tiring and we could not have done it without the help of one of the other moms, Serona and I would have been seriously outnumbered. Still all in all it went well and Ciaran had a great time and my prayer was answered - no tears!

We had many different games out being played over the course of the time, the kids cycled through most of them. Here are some Zooreeka, Operation, Zitternix, Foosball, Zingo, Candyland, Parchessi, Chess, Guess Who, Toot and Otto, and Balloon Lagoon. We had games set up in two rooms at the tables and on the floor. We grouped the kids into teams and those teams were kind of fluid and changing throughout the time but were useful if we needed to quickly organize something or move kids to the next location. We set up in two main areas (upstairs and downstairs) and had several games all near one another so an adult could supervise several at a time. We had one adult upstairs, one downstairs and then a floater that moved between as needed. We set a timer for 15-20 minutes (though we did not strictly stick to it) and let the kids play the game for that length. Some of the longer games did not finish and we simply cycled more kids into the current games and had them pick up where the other players left off.

We had a really great group of kids that made this work nicely. We had a wide age range and both girls and boys (though the girls were really outnumbered) and they played well together in different combinations and age was never really an issue or even really apparent. They were even very including and patient with Sirah who is 3 and much younger than all of them. Sometimes the patience level of some of the kids was shorter than others with some of the games but they sort of naturally worked themselves into another game or kept occupied until we switched.

We had cake and ice cream of course and much to my surprise Serona's idea of heads up 7 up went over really well. In the future I would trim this party to 2 hours - 3 hours was just too much time for this age group and this type of party. But we survived and Ciaran had a blast and all the kids seemed to enjoy themselves.

Instead of goody bags we gave away books instead. Serona's great idea and it went over really well. Given the ages and wide ranging reading levels it was interesting to choose books. I picked some magic tree house books, and some leveled readers (like the I Can Read) series and set them out on the table. We had 20 books to choose from and 14 kids had to pick. I had them randomly draw numbers to go up to the table and pick their books. We also had some light up bracelets and sticky frogs. The books as a party favor went over really well with the kids, the parents and was easy to do. Highly recommend it.

Well I am exhausted! Off to recover. Peace, Tenniel


  1. Sounds like a great party. Glad everyone had a good time and I can't wait to play games with the grandkids

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog today. I love your ideas for Easter - so many ways to keep Christ the center of Easter.

    And this birthday party sounds like a blast to me. I LOVE to play games, and books as party favors is a fantastic idea!

    ann at :)