Party with over 20 Kids- Any Entertainment Ideas to Prevent Home Destruction?

Updated on March 19, 2010
E.L. asks from San Francisco, CA
15 answers

Hello mamapedia network-

My daughter is turning one and we invited pretty much everyone... it turns out there will be over 20 kids at the party of varying ages from infant to 7 years old. So, now I have a sub-mission, somehow keep the house from being destroyed.

The party will be in my parent's house with a backyard so there is space to do something but I didn't know what to do to keep the various ages of kids entertained... I've already thought of the standard stuff... like magician and face painting, and those are fine but really not that interesting.

So here's my question: With all of your experiences out there, I was wondering if you had any interesting and unique ideas that might be of help.

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answers from San Francisco on

People tend to forget in this age of technology, that kids still like the simple things. A good game of red light/green light, mother may I?, musical chairs is a real hit, pin the tail on the donkey, three legged races - the list goes on and on from the beginning of time. None of these things cost anything and you'll be amazed and how much fun the kids will have with these simple, no-cost games!

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answers from San Francisco on

Some of the other ideas mentioned seem very time & parent involved & I can't really see that being easy w/ a 1yr old who you need to focus on - it is HER bday after all! I would say a bouncy house is the easiest thing to have so would definitely do that. Maybe a water/sand table. We had one for our 2yr olds bday & little ones like this & can keep them very occupied w/ little parent involvement. Maybe a coloring table too. But organized games I would hold off on til the bday child is older.



answers from San Francisco on

You have lots of great ideas there. I would definitely do the bounce house. Then I would also have some crafts to keep the kids busy. For my daughter's bday one year we decorated kites. It kept the kids busy for an hour. But you can get "party packs" of crafts at WalMart or any craft store. They have those foam pieces in themes, like stick puppets or princess frames. Grab a couple boxes of those and set them out around a table. A little messier would be fingerpainting, but you can even just put out paper and crayons. Many kids just like to chill and draw. But the bounce houses are always very popular!!!



answers from San Francisco on

Get a jump house, and make the kids stay in the back yard. I do that for my kids parties and my house doesn't get destroyed!



answers from Los Angeles on

Margaritas for the parents? Only sorta kidding.

Just went through a few MONTHS of birthday parties for my 2 year old's friends ranging from 1-4 years old with 6 to 34 partying kids and their parents. What seemed to work the best were bouncy houses, pinatas (even the little ones can participate with some help--set ground rules for the 6-7 year olds to wait until a grownup says it's okay or else the little ones get run over in the mad dash for candy and treats), a guy making balloon animals, lots of food (pizza works wonders)...and yes, alcohol for the grownups.

Good luck and have fun!


answers from San Francisco on

A bouncy house is the BEST money you'll ever spend. They only cost around $120 and the kids are entertained literally for hours!
I wouldn't go to the trouble of setting up games, stations, etc. You really want to focus on your daughter anyway. But you could have a card table set up with paper, markers, etc. I've had many backyard parties and these two activities have always kept the kids (of all ages) busy and happy :)


answers from St. Louis on

Face painting (like this idea)

Bobbing for apples (or some other fruit)

Pin the tail on ______

Sack races

Hanging marshmallows on strings and having races to see who can eat theirs without using their hands

Scavenger hunt

Decorate your own tshirts (paint, puffy paint, markers, etc)

Decorate your own cookies

Balloons - see who can keep their balloon up the longest without using their hands



answers from Oklahoma City on

I was going to also suggest the bounce house idea. They are fun for all age ranges.



answers from San Francisco on

A BOUNCER!!! i swear they are the greatest things on earth. The kids can take turns (if you have babies and older ones) it wears them out, gives them lots of exercise... and quite honestly, they love it so much, they dont want to be inside. I also just had a pretty big party with about 15 kids and i made one room into a play room. put coloring tables, books, my daughter's kitchenette, etc and they had a blast in there too! Hope this helps.



answers from San Francisco on

Depending on the weather, you could consider a water party. Kiddie pools for the wee ones, squirt guns for the older kids.

Bounce house is good for a variety of ages.

Pinatas are fun - my nephew's birthday had one (littlest kids go first and don't have to be blindfolded necessarily).

Another balloon idea is to have prizes in each of the balloons for the kids so when they pop, they get the prize.

Musical chairs or even just dancing would burn some energy. :-)

Treasure hunt

That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

look into renting a bounce house for the weekend.



answers from Wichita on

Well I don't really have any games or anything but a good idea may be to have stations set up....divide the kiddos up and they can move from station to station. We do this in the classroom all the time and it is a lifesaver! Hope that helps!



answers from Washington DC on

if there is only one infant, bring a playpen down to the party area. that will keep him/her safe from the older kids and let them have moving space.

For the younger kids, print off a bunch of free coloring pages. Get a few boxes of crayons.

Other group games
- skittles race
- limbo
-red light/green light
- three legged race
- easter egg hunt



answers from Sacramento on

you could get a bounce house... those things keep kids busy for HOURS!!! If you have the room, you could get two (one for children 2-4yrs old and the other for children 5 and older). If you can't afford, or don't have room for two... just limit the time (big kids for 20 minutes, little ones for 20 minutes and so on). Good Luck.



answers from Sacramento on

Since you have a backyard to use, try setting up games at various spots and enlist other adults to help you supervise. Put one or two adults at each game station, and simply let the kids go from one to the other. Have little prizes that the child can get for finishing each game rather than the traditional "goodie bag". You might even want to make up a game card that they can get checked off as they complete each game and tell them they cannot play any game a second time until they have played each game once. Keep the games simple and fun.. not competitive. Don't make the prizes dependent on any sort of 'winning' the game, but just participation prizes. This will give you enough organization to keep things from getting out of hand, but still give the children enough freedom to have a lot of fun.

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