20 June 2014
Eco-Friendly Party Games
June is all about Ecotaining with Sustainababy - providing hospitality to guests whilst minimising long-term impact on the environment. This month Tina Hart, owner of Eco Party Box, our friend and sponsor of the June Eco Challenge, shares her tips for eco-friendly party games.
When it comes to organising a party, it most often requires a bit of extra effort to make it eco friendly.
However, when it comes to the games - its easy!
You know the ones I mean? Musical Chairs, Musical Statues, Simon Says, Red Rover, What's the time Mr Wolf, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Pass the Parcel.
The main detail for making games eco-friendly is ensuring that the prizes are healthy for the planet and ensuring the activities have a natural and eco-friendly feel to them.
For children's parties, activities can work just as well as games and are maybe a better choice, especially for the children under the age of five.
Activities like craft or painting keep children occupied for longer, they can go at their own pace and they feel less overwhelmed being in a group setting if that is something that is new to them.
It does take a bit of planning for more eco-friendly activities but parties involving craft, which give the partygoers a self-made gift to take home, always make the party extra special and unique.
Here are some suggested games/activities for different ages to add to the eco-friendly theme at parties.
0-2 year olds
Children of this age group are generally too young for organised games, but there are some awesome activities that they just love. For instance rolling balls around, using building blocks or soft toys, telling a story and singing simple songs. For the outdoors there's water and sand play.
3-5 year olds
Simple games and activites that are hands on and keep them busy are best for this age group. Ideas include dress ups, natural play dough, colouring in, painting with water paints (see Eco Party Box's range here
) and simple craft such as ribbon stick making.
A planting party is great for this age group. Have an area set up outsides with jiffy pots, dirt and seeds for the children (see Eco Party Box's range here
). Not only is this an entertaining activity but the party goers will get to take their gift home.
You can also paint their faces with eco friendly face paint
If you can't resist a game, then Simon says, Musical Statues, Pass the Parcel and Pin the Tail On the Donkey, Ring Toss
or something similar (Pin the Spider On the Web, Pin the Eye-Patch on the Pirate, Pin the Tiara on the Princess, etc).
Prizes could include organic cotton finger puppets or rainbow crayons.
6-8 year olds
This is the perfect age group for games that require running, dancing and more physical activity. Suggested games include Treasure/Scavenger Hunts, Apple Bobbing, Doggy Doggy Where Is Your Bone? Musical Chairs or Egg and Spoon Race
Having a themed party with a chosen activity is great for this age group too. Some suggestions include a baking/cooking party where everyone is given an apron and can decorate pre-made cookies, cupcakes or make bread, pizza or maybe jam-making.
For a creative child, an art party is ideal. Supply secondhand bits and pieces such as fabric, buttons, corks, wooden beads and wood for the guests to create something fabulous. You could be more specific and make candles or salted dough ornaments. Pressing flowers or have pre-pressed flowers for children to use for special bookmarks and/or cards is another fun and simple activity.
Prizes could include wooden pencils
, wooden rulers
, gem chip bracelets
, hemp bracelets
, wooden spinning tops
, wooden whistles
, finger puppets
, eco-friendly notebooks
, hacky sacks
and organic chocolate and lollies.
8 -12 year old
This age group calls for more entertainment and creativity especially if you are having a home party.
You can build on the art party idea by having children make recycled rainbow crayons or decorate a T-shirt, cushion, or a plain calico bag. For girls, have a pamper party and make all natural products. Some ideas include a Banana and Avocado Face Mask, Rosemary and Mint Sea Salt Bath Mix to soak feet in.
For boys, a mini adventure party where you can set up walking beams, make simple bow and arrows for children to shoot at a target, rock climbing, climbing trees, a flying fox. Some of these ideas take planning but you can do them simply at home with old tyres and some rope. Other activites for this age group include kite-making, wood making (buy bag of wood from local hardware store) and supply nails and hammer. Of course supervision is required for some of these activities.
Games that appeal to this age-group include Musical Chairs, Red Rover, Donuts on a String, Apple Bobbing, What's in the Bag (Put interesting items in bags, blindfold person and have them guess. Do not reveal what's in the bag until all people have had a turn). A detailed Treasure/Scavenger hunt with written clues, Potato Sack Races and Three-Legged Races can also be well received.
Prizes for this age group could include hacky sacks, gem chip bracelets, hemp bracelets, wooden pencils with a notebook, second-hand books, jiffy pots, organic chocolates or lollies.
References: "Enchanted Birthday" by Collette Leenman, "Naturally Fun Parties for kids" by Anni Daulter with Heather fontenot, "Kids in the Garden" by Women's Weekly, "Eco Party Box" blog on party games.
About the Author: Tina Hart is an ecoceptionalTM mum, qualified naturopath and founder of Eco Party Box. She lives in Port Willunga with her husband Jonathan and four children.