My birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, and I decided to throw a birthday party for my middle school students!
I took inspiration from my dear friend Elisa, another youth worker, who at a former church shared a birthday week with her co-diretor of youth ministry. They threw a huge birthday bash for all of their students. For them, they called it “everyone’s birthday party”–so no matter when your birthday is, your celebration was that evening. For me, I marketed mine as “Heather’s Birthday Party…FOR YOU!”
I love the idea of sharing your birthday with students! I came up with some silly games. Enjoy!
PREP: Balloon Stomp is one of the most classic youth ministry games of all time–each person has a balloon and a piece of string. They blow up the balloon, tie it to the string, and tie it to the foot (make sure that they tie it so that there is slack on the string–some of my students like to cheat and make the balloon TINY and then tie it to the ankle).
OBJECT: Students stomp on each other’s balloons. Once you’re popped, you’re out. Last balloon standing wins.
TIPS & TRICKS:
- As the number of students dwindles down, make sure to also reduce the space.
- One way to do this is to have everyone make a circle, hold hands, and stomp on each other’s balloons.
- To make it chaotic, I like to call out to those who have been eliminated to get back in there and stomp on the balloons to eliminate quickly. You could even play a version where, from the beginning, when someone is eliminated they still play!
OBJECT & PREP: Students are holding candy (in their pockets, on their person, etc) and a pool noodle. Students will hit each other, and if so, they give up candy.
- Each person has a pool noodle and has candy (in their shirt, pockets, wherever). Essentially, students just go crazy and hit each other. When you get hit, you have to drop some candy. This game doesn’t really go smoothly, it’s just an excuse to hit each other and give out candy. After a certain amount of time, you yell out and everyone collects candy.
- Each person has a pool noodle and candy. When a person is hit, they’re “out” and must drop all of their candy. At the end, you tell the last person that they get all of the candy. Then, say “just kidding” and everyone else gets in there and collects too!
- One or a few people have a pool noodle, and a shirt that has candy taped to it (or, a bucket taped to their back with some candy in it). Students try to grab candy from the person’s clothing. If they get hit, they are out.
Extreme Pin the Tail on the Donkey Relay
PREP: Put a “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” game on the wall (we used “Pin the Like on the Emoji” from Five Below). Make enough Tails for each person–in sticker form or with tape on it. Since this is a relay, you can have on Pin-the-Tail game per team, or have them all race to one board.
OBJECT: Students spin around ten times (counting out loud), then run to the board and pin their Tail on. They then run back, tag the next person in line’s hand, and they do the same. The first team to get all their Tails pinned wins!
VARIATIONS: You can play this as an up-front game with a large group, or you can include all students with a medium or small-sized group.
- Bake or purchase enough cupcakes for each student.
- Get some supplies to decorate the cupcakes: Frosting, icing, sprinkles, candy (Skittles, Mike & Ikes, M&Ms, Red Hots, Runts, etc.), chocolate chips, etc.
- Place supplies in the center, put plates in each placeholder.
OBJECT: Best cupcake wins!