What are the best party games?
Party games to suit age 7 – 74!
Well, that was the specification given to us all by my Dad when we all had 4 wonderful days together as a family – all 20 of us! We had a fabulous selection of fun games to play, The Mummy Game, Marshmallow and Spaghetti Game and many more!!!
This was a super treat, offered by my very generous Dad and Step mum. They spend much time looking after my Grandfather aged 100 this past July and Uncle who is suffering from Dementia. So they are unable to spend as much time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they would like.
Instead this year they booked us all on a weekend to remember as many of the family are reaching the big ‘0’ birthdays! It was quite a task finding a hotel to suit everyone’s needs.
Renowned for being a HUGE party game family, this gathering of many members was bound to be a fun and hugely competitive one!
We managed many fun beach games with plenty of space and no injuries to other residents on the beach!
- Sandcastle building
- Various ball games
What a competitive family we have!
So our instructions were as the title suggests, bring a game that would suit age 7 – 74! Thankfully after talks with one of my besties, they suggested the Marshmallow and Spaghetti challenge! What a hoot that was, however, my judging was called into question when the winning entry didn’t stay up for very long!
Marshmallow and Spaghetti Challenge
Running a Marshmallow Challenge is Easy!
What you will need:-
- One bag of dried spaghetti
- One bag of marshmallows
- Tape Measure
- Watch / Countdown App on your Phone
- Paper Bag to hold each teams kit
Step 1: Get your teams together – ensure there are equal abilities and ages across all teams.
Step 2: Hand out the Challenge kit
- Spaghetti: Ensure that you use uncooked spaghetti. Avoid spaghettini as it is too thin and breaks easily. Fettucini is too thick.
- You’ll want squishy marshmallows that give the impression of lightness.
- This is JUST FOR FUN! But if you’re seriously competitive, you may want to have a measuring tape on standby and to save any arguments!
Step 3: Deliver Clear Instructions
Be clear about the goals and rules of the Marshmallow Challenge. I handed out the rules to each team on a laminated sheet and gave them 5 minutes to read and discuss amongst the team before we said ready set build!
Step 4 Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure:
The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling or chandelier.
The Entire Marshmallow must be on top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team.
Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: The team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks.
TIP! Use several strands of spaghetti together to add strength to your build
The Challenge Lasts 20 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified.
Ensure Everyone Understands the Rules: Don’t worry about repeating the rules too many times. Repeat them at least three times. Ask if anyone has any questions before starting.
Walk around the Room: It’s amazing to see the development of the structures as well as notice the patterns of innovation most teams follow.
Remind the Teams of the Time: Countdown the time. Usually, I call 12 minutes, 9 minutes (half-way through), 7 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds and a ten-second countdown.
Call Out How the Teams are Doing: Let the entire group know how teams are progressing. Call out each time a team builds a standing structure. Build a friendly rivalry. Encourage people to look around. Don’t be afraid to raise the energy and the stakes.
Remind the Teams that Holders will be Disqualified: Several teams will have the powerful desire to hold on to their structure at the end. Usually because of the marshmallow being top heavy, which they just placed onto their structure moments before, causing the structure to buckle. The winning structure needs to be stable.
Step 5: Finish the Challenge
After the clock runs out, ask everyone in the room to sit down so everyone can see the structures. Likely, just over half the teams will have standing structures.
Measure the Structures: From the shortest standing structure to the tallest, measure and call out the heights. If you’re documenting the challenge, have someone record the heights.
Identify the Winning Team: Ensure they get a standing ovation and a prize (if you’ve offered one).
This really is a fabulous, fun, team building challenge that can involve mixed abilities and ages.
Just remember, this could get messy, so if no soap and sink to hand, ensure you have wet wipes for cleaning those sticky fingers!
THE MUMMY GAME
We also enjoyed the Mummy Game!
Suggestion ~ do not buy economy toilet roll! It tears very easily!)
All the toilet roll did not go to waste and went on to various homes, as did the unused spaghetti and marshmallows. No Maltesers survived the night!
A family favourite remember everything on the tray game, which my dad did at every party I know when I was a child! I still love it now and of course, came joint first! If you don’t use it you lose it!
(Source Activity Villiage)
The Tray Game is a memory game which children really enjoy, especially if you make the objects on the tray interesting. It was definitely one of my favourites as a child, and my kids loved it too. We have two variations below.
Find a selection of interesting small objects and arrange them on a tray, which you should keep covered with a tea-towel until you are ready to play the game. Vary the number of objects according to the ages of your children. Give each child a pencil and paper and ask them to write their name at the top.
Uncover the tray and place it where all children can see it. Give the children a certain amount of time to memorize the contents of the tray, then cover it up again.
Ask the children to write down all of the objects that they can remember.
Take the tray away and remove one or two objects. Replace it and ask the children to write down the objects which are missing.
Variation 3 (Christmas):
Use Christmas objects on your tray – for example, a bauble, a mince pie, a bow, a tiny parcel, a candy cane, etc)
One of the objects on the tray could double up as a prize for the winner.
Vary the objects according to the abilities of the children. Older children might be given some tiny objects such as a pin or a paper clip; younger children will remember better if they are given larger, brighter objects.
You can give the children hints on how to remember the objects, such as memorizing their position relative to other objects (“the pin is next to a needle and both are found in a sewing basket”), looking at their initial letters (“there are 4 objects on the tray beginning with the letter p and 2 with the letter m”) and so on.
Be aware that some children have much more developed memory skills than others, so don’t be surprised if you have a clear winner and also be prepared to award some extra prizes, such as a prize for the neatest list.
I can’t leave out the classic move the Malteser with the straw game!
Whether 7 or 74 years of age – they all needed a little bit of assistance!
Do you have any fabulous fun activities to do for families of all ages? Let me know, I’d love to hear….