Thank you, Goliath Games for sponsoring this post. Pick up your favorite game today to enjoy the holiday season and beyond!
Having four children (plus a niece and nephew) with birthdays all in one month can make party planning a bit difficult. Couple that with their birthdays being within 1-2 weeks before Christmas, can make things even more complicated.
Throw in a four year age difference between each child, and you have one momma who is a complete mess around birthdays/holidays.
One way I have found to make this time easier for me is to combine the children’s birthday parties. Of course, when you have one that is a teenager and the youngest being a toddler, it can seem a little daunting. However, we have found that even the older kids that come around absolutely love playing with the younger kids.
How do you work out doing a combined party for multiple age groups?
Start planning early.
With so many birthdays so close to the holidays, it’s imperative that we sit down as a family and decide exactly when it will be a good time to have the kids party. We try to pick a time before the holiday season, this way I am not stressed out, and the kids friends will be in town for their party.
Also, this allows us time to ensure we are all in one accord when it comes to what type of party the kids want to have.
Another idea is to plan your party when you will have family in town. For many, this may be during the summer months due to reunions and family vacations. This also means taking into account where you will have the party.
We don’t have a very large home, however, we still will have parties at our home, we just make sure that a bulk of the activities can be done outside. If you live in an apartment there are often rooms available to rent that will provide ample space as well.
In addition to games, try to include a tradition of some type into the party. If we do the party where only family members are present, we love doing slide shows or talking about of our favorite memories with the kids.
With so many guests, we always try and keep the menu as simple as possible.
With four kiddos we normally opt out of the traditional birthday cakes. Instead, we will implement a candy bar, cupcake bar or ice cream bar. When choosing a dessert we try to find something easy that we can make, and that will offer a lot of variety.
As far as regular food we like to get creative with this as well. The possibilities are endless. You can do a sandwich bar or pasta bar. We opted this year to do a taco a bar, and it was a major hit! Who doesn’t love tacos!
This makes it easy for people to fix their food the way that they like, and not worry about offending the host by not eating something provided.
Games to Play
Games are a great way to keep your guest entertained during parties. This is especially true if you are dealing with multiple age groups. The exciting part about this is that the possibilities are endless on activities you can do. You can rent a bounce house or throw a carnival themed party.
Another approach is to go retro with games such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey. If the weather is good, try classic outdoor games, relay races or egg tosses. Some families have a tradition of playing flag football or catch at outdoor family gatherings.
For our party, we choose to do a massive board game party. Board games allowed all of the children to stay busy and on the plus side, you can find games to fit every age group from toddler through adult.
During our party, we had the opportunity to try out games from Goliath Games & Pressman Toys.
Starting in Germany in 1980, Goliath Games is now the fourth largest game manufacturer in North America and has made classic games for adults and kids alike including two of our personal favorites Rummikub® (which my husband and I play on Friday nights with my in-laws) and Rubik’s Cube®.
Pressman Toys is the third largest toy manufacturer and opened its doors in 1922. Pressman Toy has created games and puzzles based on, Elf on the Shelf, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter as well as popular games shows Deal or No Deal, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. The company’s iconic red boxes have introduced millions of Americans to the joys of Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Cribbage, Bingo, Dominoes, Mancala, and a host of other classic games.
About the games
Shark Bite (Pressman Toy)
- Get ready to have a REEL-y good time when you play Shark Bite! Place the fun and colorful sea creatures into the game unit with a snap, and grab your friends to start playing. Players take turns rolling the die and fishing for the sea creatures using the fishing rods. But watch out – you never know when the shark is going to bite! This battery-free game will have kids hooked at first bite! Made by the o-FISH-cial creators of Let’s Go Fishin’. Includes 1 hungry shark, 12 colorful sea creatures, 1 fishing rods, 1 die, 1 sticker sheet, and complete easy-to-follow instructions.
- Players take turns rolling the die and fishing for the colorful sea creatures using the fishing rod
- Watch out – you never know when the shark bite!
- Unique gameplay that does not need batteries!
- Easy setup – just snap the sea creatures into the game unit and start fishing
Giggle Wiggle (Goliath Games)
- Giggle Wiggle is a cute caterpillar with several hands to spare. You and your friends will quickly race to the top by placing your colored marbles starting from the bottom row of his hands all the way up to the top as he wiggles to the fun music. The first player to get all their marbles on in a row WINS!
- Players will race to place their colored marbles from the caterpillar’s bottom row of hands all the way to the top as he wiggles and giggles to the music.
(This game was a HIT at the party!)
Pop the Pig (Goliath Games)
- Pop the Pig® is an international preschool classic that is adored by millions of children. Kids love the suspense as they watch his belly grow; the player who makes his belly burst loses the game. Children can quickly reset this pig game with one pump of the pig’s head and experience consistent belly busting game-play each and every time
- Pop the Pig provides hours of fun and is completely kid-powered (no batteries needed). For added convenience, all pieces can be stored in the pig
- Players take turns rolling the die, feeding the pig, and pushing down on his head
- Each pump makes his belly grow bigger, bigger and bigger until…POP!
Catch the Fox (Goliath Games)
- Uh oh – the Fox is in the hen house! This greedy fox is snapping up the chickens and stuffing them into his pockets. But when there are too many chickens, his pants will fall down and the chickens will escape! Roll the die to see how many chickens to add to the fox’s pockets, and push his head one time. Before you know it, the fox will lose his pants and the chickens will roll everywhere!
- Rescue the chickens and return them to your chicken coop. Be the first player to fill up your coop to win! Can you catch the fox?
- Players put the chickens in Fox’s pockets and press down on his head – you never know when his pants will disappear, sending the chickens scurrying!
Doggie Doo (Goliath Games)
- Everyone’s favorite pup is back, with a new and improved look! Feed your doggie, and squeeze the leash. After he makes his gassy sounds – plop! If you are the player who cleaned up the doo, you get a fart token. The player who has the most tokens at the end of the game wins!
- New and improved design uses food pellets that make for mess-free clean-up
- Feed your cute doggie, and squeeze the leash until…plop!
- Models responsibility in a fun (and gross!) way
- 120 million views on YouTube and counting
To gift or not to gift?
Since we do a large combined party with over 50-60 guests in attendance, we normally opt out of gifts and instead ask for a book donation. We then donate the books to local daycares or to the younger kids classrooms. This allows us to keep control on how much we actually bring into the home. Plus, it’s less stressful trying to find someplace to put everything afterward.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.