Birthday Parties For Children



Age Level: 7 and up

Number of Players: 6 or more

What Is Needed: props for some of the races

Type of Game: competitive

Location: outside


Divide the children into teams by numbering off: with two teams, count off by twos; with three teams, count off by threes, and so on. If a team is short a player, have one of the players run twice. This could be the birthday child. Establish clear start and finish lines. Have the teams line up behind the start lines. Say, "Go!" The first member of each team runs from start line to finish line and back, doing whatever is required. He or she taps the next player, who then does the same thing. The first team to have all its players back wins.

The success of relay games depends on the age of the children. They must be old enough to obey rules and accept defeat. Success also depends on the firmness of the adult running the games. Keep strict rules: no pushing ahead of the start line, no skipping requirements. If the teams seem unfairly balanced, switch players until the teams are comparable. Announce which team wins each competition, and keep a tally to establish which team wins the most points. The members of the best team overall can get blue ribbons tied around their upper arms or pieces of blue tape on their shirts.

Relay Races Illustration


1. Bell Race. Use a cowbell (or other noisemaker) for each team, placed on the finish line. Requirement: run to the finish line, ring the bell, put it down, run back.

2. Crawling Race. No props needed. Requirement: crawl on all fours to the finish line and back.

3. Draw-a-Face Race. Put a crayon and a pad of paper on the finish line for each team. Requirement: each child runs to the finish line, draws his or her face on the pad, signs his or her name, turns the page, puts the pad and crayon back down on the finish line, runs back.

4. Running Backwards Race. No props needed. Requirement: run backwards to the finish line and back.

5. Somersault Race. No props needed. Requirement: somersault in as straight a line as possible to the finish line and run back.

6. Suitcase Race. Fill a suitcase (or shopping bag) with funny clothes for each team. Requirement: run with the suitcase to the finish line, open it, put on the clothes, bow (teammates must bow back), take off the clothes, put them back, close the suitcase, and run back with it.

7. Three-Legged Race. The members of each team pair off. Tie the inside legs of each pair with heavy string or cloth ties. Requirement: each three-legged pair runs/walks to the finish line and back. If you fall, get up and continue.

8. Wheelbarrow Race. No props needed. Requirement: one child holds the feet of another, who walks on his or her hands to the finish line and back.


Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

  Jean's 100+ Books | Bio | Gallery | Legal | Home  

Copyright © Jean Marzollo. All rights reserved.