Jade’s 9 year old unicorn party at her house neatly came together in a two week timeframe. This is how 13 children (11 girls and 2 boys) were entertained for a 3 hour afternoon party. The unpredictable weather meant that the planned party games were adaptable for an indoor or outdoor party. They played 4 structured party games mixed in with general playing.
The Party Games
Pass the Unicorn
Jade told her party friends before the party how she and her friend Saffron made up the clues for this game. The level of excitement among the party kids grew as they wondered what kind of crazy dare they would choose.
In the same style as pass the parcel, Jade’s Dad became the music man as a unicorn was passed around the circle. The person holding the unicorn when the music stopped was the person to pick out a dare from the oil cloth pot. The kids made up the rule that if two people were holding the unicorn, the passer became the darer. The dare had to be performed before a lucky dip prize was chosen.
After the first couple of dares, the party game changed to fit in with the kids own rule of play. The dare was still chosen by the person who held the unicorn. Though whoever wanted to complete the dare could, not just the dare chooser. The dare-chooser still picked the lucky dip prize. This really helped the quieter kids feel more comfortable about not being in the spotlight when doing a dare.
The kids started to trade their lucky dip prizes towards the end of the game. This flow-on effect of the game reveals their growing level of independence, communication, responsibility and social skills.
Physical dares such as “balance two lollies on your head” and “wiggle like a caterpillar” lead to the most giggles and delight.
Jade’s Mum loved this game. She felt that it was flexible for any number of children and the kids could play the game any number of times.
The Unicorn Relay Race
This was one of the most anticipated and talked about games of the day.
Three teams lined up behind the unicorn horns. On Go, the kids strapped the wide elastic strap around their waist, tucked the feather boa in at the back (pretending it was a unicorn tail) then held the unicorn horn to their forehead as they ran a lap. They de-unicorned and passed the unicorn props to the next person in their team. Tails were flying and horns were balancing as they raced the race!
Some teams figured out that if they helped the runner person get dressed they could finish quicker. The slightly competitive nature of a relay race was perfect for 8 and 9 year olds who understand the concept of winning. It looked like mayhem but was fuelled with energy, teamwork and most of all fun.
Jade’s Mum re-fashioned the glitter party hats into a smaller cone shape to make them look more unicorn like. The kids said the hardest dress up was the velcro elastic strap, but that essentially created most of the challenge! As there were mostly girls wearing dresses or jumpsuits, the elastic straps made it possible for the girls to tuck their unicorn tail into something.
Pin the Horn on the Unicorn
Before the game, the kids wrote their names with a sharpie on the numbered, stickered sheet of horns. Jade’s Mum started the game by blindfolding the number 1 stickered horn person. Three spins. Stop in front of the paper. Stick the horn on to the area of the unicorn horn.
A couple of turns into the game and Jade’s Mum stepped back as the organiser. Birthday girl Jade naturally wanted to be the new party game leader. She handed out the named stickers, blindfolded each person and spun them around.
By party player number three, the kids knew where to put the horn on the piece of paper. The horns created a thicker layer of stickers which became the touchy feely part of the sticker positioning. Who will get the prize if we all put the sticker on the same spot? With a little talk, consensus was they should all receive a prize. By the end of the game they forgot about prizes.
How wonderfully the game continued, even though they knew that everyone was getting a prize and everyone was putting the horn in the same spot. They played the game until the end. The element of fun seemed to be the primary reason why they continued play.
Adaptable flow-on effect of this game There were more stickered horns than people. The kids thought about what they could do with them. Jade asked her Mum to have a go. With blindfold on, Jade’s Mum stepped up to the party fun. A large group of kids helped Jade’s Mum in the right direction. She pretended not to know where the paper was and stuck the horn on the window above the paper. There was so much laughter from the kids! What a super fun way to play a pin the style of game with friends and family.
Filled with lollies, the unicorn pinata swung freely from the verandah roof. Without blindfolding, each child gave three thwacks with the piñata stick to the unicorn. The kids took it in turns until the neck of the piñata started to crack. The challenge of busting the piñata open is a big one, even for these strong 8 and 9 year olds. All the pinata needed was a little bit of grown-up oomph to finally break it!
Lollies fell haphazardly into the basket underneath the piñata. Kids dived in. Pause. Jade’s Mum said to the kids they could only choose two lollies. Then two more. Then two more. At that point, they chose their own number of lollies. Jades’ Mum said she did it this way so that all of the children had a chance to fairly collect the lollies.
Let’s Play As Well
Structured party games mingled with unstructured, naturally created play opportunities. Kids who preferred to play in their own small groups or by themselves enjoyed:
For this party, the recognised party entertainment included 4 structured party games. Jade’s Mum had a few more up her sleeve if needed. For example, Musical Freeze and the minute to win it style of unicorn game played with oreo biscuits. Opening the presents kept the kids interested at the end of the party as parents started to pick up their children.
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