Use a bubble machine (or a couple of adults with bubble mixture pots)
to blow bubbles over the children. Young children have a fascination
with bubbles and can either watch them or try and pop them.
Scrunch the wrapping paper
After opening presents, young children are usually more interested in
the paper than the present itself. See how many sounds you can make
with the paper and use words like ‘scrunch, crunch, rustle and
crinkle' with the children and encourage them to make those sounds too.
Make a tent
Use an old large flat sheet and four chairs. Stretch the sheet across
the chairs and get an adult to sit on the corner of the sheet on each
chair seat to stop the chairs being pulled down. The children can take
a toy into the tent and the adults are ideally placed to monitor the
Organise a good old sing song and if the songs have actions or noises
even better. Try ‘The Wheels on the Bus', ‘Old MacDonald
had a Farm', ‘Row your boat', ‘Ring a Ring a Roses' or
‘The Grand Old Duke of York' and get everyone marching around the
Roll the ball
An adult stands with legs apart and a child is encouraged to roll a
ball through the adults legs. If the ball is returned by someone the
other side this game can escalate into crawling through and around
legs. The game is particularly funny to a child if an adult is willing
to get down and try too!
Bean bag balancing
Demonstrate how to balance a bean bag on your head, shoulder, arm and
encourage the children to join in. This is not only a simple game but
great for developing the children's coordination too!
Use a cardboard box with a sealed down lid and cut a hole in the top.
Collect together bean bags, balls, toys or even socks and let the
children post them into the box. Children who are one love to empty and
refill containers. This can be developed by an adult feigning horror
“Oh no!” when the contents are once again tipped up and
Ask your guests to write their thoughts and memories of your baby's
first year in a book. This can include your child's friends too. With
adult help they will be able to use a pencil or pen to make marks on a
page. The book can be added to by later including photographs taken at
the party. A very special way for your child to see what happened at
their first birthday party when they are older.