Children’s Party Games
At a children’s party in Britain you will often find that the adults organize games for the children to play. One of the most popular (and easiest to organize) is Musical Chairs. In this game several chairs are placed in the middle of the room but there are not quite enough chairs for all the children. A grown-up then starts the music and the children run around the chairs. After thirty seconds or so the grown-up stops the music and the children all race to sit down. However, as there are not enough chairs, one or two children can’t find seats and so they are ‘out’ of the game. The music is started again and while the children are running around one of the grown-ups takes away one of the chairs. When the music stops again another child will be ‘out’ of the game. And so it continues until you have a winner.
Another ever-popular game is Pass the Parcel. This needs some preparation: one of the adults must wrap a present in several layers of wrapping paper. The children all sit in a circle and music is played while they pass the parcel around the circle. When the music stops the child holding the parcel may unwrap one layer of the wrapping paper. The music starts and the parcel is passed on. This continues until the last layer of wrapping paper is reached. The child who is holding the parcel when the music stops then unwraps the last layer and wins the present.
Treasure Hunts are also good fun. Articles (such as Easter Eggs or other sweets) are hidden around the house or party venue and the children are sent to look for them. Older children can be given clues to guide them to the ‘treasure’.
Perhaps one of the oldest party games is not really a party game at all, just a classic children’s game. It is, of course, Hide and Seek. In this game the children hide while one of them (or a grown-up) counts to ten slowly. The seeker then tries to find the hidden children as quickly as possible.
Adult Party Games
Pass the Parcel is also sometimes played by adults with the variation that hidden in some layers of the wrapping paper there lurk pieces of paper with forfeits written on them. A forfeit might be to do an impression of a well-known animal, or to sing the National Anthem backwards, or something equally silly.
Fizz Buzz is another popular game with some adults. In this game the idea is to count as a group: the first person says ‘one’ and the next says ‘two’ etc. It sounds easy until you reach a number with a five or a seven in it, in which case you must yell ‘fizz’ (for numbers with five in them) or ‘buzz’ (for numbers with seven in them). The game should be played at a fast pace and can be very funny after the participants have had too much to drink!
Although not exactly a game in itself ‘Fancy Dress’ can turn a whole party into a game because the guests must wear outlandish costumes. Many fancy dress parties are themed – for example, Hallowe’en parties.
Why are party games so popular in Britain? Many people are at a loss to explain why though it has been suggested that the Brits find it easier to overcome their natural reserve in social situations if games are organized for them.
Quick Quiz: Read the clues below and write the solutions on a piece of paper. Then take the first letter of each answer and rearrange them to find the hidden word connected with this Talking Point.
1. While the children are running around one of the __________ takes away one of the chairs.
2. After thirty seconds or so the music is stopped and the children all __________ to sit down.
3. Another ever-popular game is Pass the __________.
4. __________ (such as Easter Eggs or other sweets) are hidden around the house or party venue and the children are sent to look for them.
5. Perhaps one of the oldest party games is not really a party game at all, just a classic children’s game. It is, of course, Hide and __________.
6. A forfeit might be to do an impression of a well-known animal, or to sing the National __________ backwards, or something equally silly.
7. In this game the idea is to count as a group: the first person says ‘one’ and the next says ‘__________’ etc.
8. It sounds easy until you reach a number with a five in it, in which case you must __________ ‘fizz’.
9. Although not exactly a game in itself ‘Fancy Dress’ can __________ a whole party into a game.