If you’ve got an UNO game and cards in the house, you’ve got fun math practice games! There’s no rule that says you can only use these cards to play UNO- as much fun as that is.
Use the cards to practice almost any basic math operations in a game. Remove all but the number cards from the deck for play. Deal out 10 cards to each player.
Perhaps the simplest game is to practice greater than and less than, as described in this post at thisreadingmama.com
Or, go for an addition, subtraction and/or multiplication practice game. Choose the math operator for the game, or use a dice with 1&3 for addition, 2&4 for subtraction, 3&6 for multiplication. Start with the first player (throwing the die if that’s how the game is being played, then) laying down any one of their cards and starting to count to 10, or 5 or 3, depending on the age of the players. Before reaching that magic number, the next player to the right has to lay down one of their cards AND announce the correct answer. If they get it correct, that player gets a replacement card from the pile and (throws the die, and then) lays down another card to re-start the process. The winner is the one left with cards when the other players are out, or the one with the most cards when the time is up.
You’ll obviously need to be around to verify answers, but that’s a small price to pay for good math skill building disguised as fun.
I’ve suggested this simple bowling game for kids parties on many occasions, but always using empty bottles- this is a great alternative using wooden blocks decked out to look like bowling pins. And the suggestions of using lacrosse balls is also a good one as they come in a variety of fun colors.
Better still, put it all in a canvas bag and it’s a birthday gift! Good thinking there, wordplayhouse.com.
Keep this game in your back pocket any time the kids need to run off some energy (sugar) and the weather lets you send them outside for a bit. Jackets are fine- it doesn’t have to be summer, just not raining or snowing. And if you can wear them down a bit, they’ll be better able to focus on your party activities when they come back to your planned party program.
Divide all the kids into 2 teams– engines and cabooses, red and black, boys and girls, Team A v. Team B from some other party game you’ve had, whatever…. it doesn’t matter how you get to the 2 teams. Provide some distinguishing items for the 2 teams- bandanas, big sticker on their backs, red or blue dots on their noses (they’ll LOVE this one!). You’ll need a whistle. Explain to the kids ahead of time that whenever they hear your whistle they’re to play the game with a DIFFERENT player from the opposite team.
Start with the Team A (engines, red, blue noses) players pairing up with a Team B player (cabooses, blue, red noses). On your mark (whistle) the Team A kids try to attach themselves to the Team B players, and the Team B players try to stay unattached or to shake the Team A players loose. Give it 30 seconds to a minute, blow the whistle and yell “SWITCH”.
Chaos should ensue as the kids team up with different players from the other team– all done on the run as they try to attach or avoid attachment. Plenty of energy should get expended playing this tag-based game, and the kids should then get their focus back for the remainder of your party activities.
An iPad app game that works great as a party game for preteens or teens, and those aren’t so easy to find! They can use their brains, have a lot of giggles, and be engaged- what more could you want.
A combination of Pictionary and the Rumor Game, this game is an iPad app to play at your next teen or tween birthday party. Using the iPad actually improves this game by keeping the whole process close to the vest so that at the end everyone can be surprised when they see how it all morphed from the original. You can, of course, play it the old fashioned way with pencil and paper.
Given that the iPad play is individual, it’s perfect to play while you wait for everyone to arrive before the rest of the festivities start.
The first player either comes up with or is given (by you, the host) a pre-prepared story line, which is typed in and passed on to the next player. That next player draws what they see- using their finger as the pencil on the screen. The next player describes what they see in the picture, the fourth draws that, etc, etc. The limit is 9 players, but you can always start another round.
After all has been entered, the app displays how it all unfolded and everyone can huddle around the screen and have a giggle. It even shows the drawings pencil stroke by pencil stroke.
So if you’ve got an iPad keep this in mind as a great ‘wait for everyone to get there’ party game for your tweens or young teens at their next birthday party.
Set the proper tone for your next teen party with a game that gets them thinking and laughing together rather than doing all kinds of things you don’t want them doing. Keeping ‘control’ by pretty much requiring them to play a game sets you up as in control, and can only help.
And Loaded Questions looks like a perfect combination of game and adult that’s still appropriate to work with a teen crowd. Better yet- right now Amazon is having a sale on games by this vendor (All Things Equal games).
The game includes 1300+ questions and is recommended by the manufacturer for ages 12 and up, so even though all the reviews talk about using it with adults or families, it has to be appropriate for teens. And as the reviews show, it’s a terrific icebreaker game, which is also important with a teen party where if things do stay in control you always have to worry that they never get going.
You might want to cull the questions you give the teenage group to eliminate “what’s your favorite beer”, but the examples given in the reviews speak for themselves as to the fun they will engender: “who in this room snores the loudest”, “If you could rid the earth of 3 creatures, which 3 would you dispose of?”
Party games that can actually work with teens are hard to find, so keep this one in mind next time you’ve got a bunch of teens to entertain, even if it’s not a birthday. And once you own it, think of the fun your own family can have with it – the reviews make it pretty clear it works even with younger kids than 12 as a fun family activity. Loaded Questions would also make an excellent family or birthday gift, not necessarily for a kid.