When the weather outdoors is bad, plan some excitement indoors for 11- and 12-year-olds. Games keep everyone involved in the party or social gathering and give newcomers a chance to make new friends. With a few inexpensive supplies and a little creativity, you have all you need to keep a group of preteens entertained.
Games with Cotton Balls
Divide the children into two teams and form two lines. Give each player a straw and give the first player in each line a cotton ball. When you say, "Go!" the first player in each line must suck the cotton ball to the bottom of his straw. The players must pass the cotton ball down their team line using only the straws. If the cotton ball drops or a player uses his hands, the team must start over. The first team to get the cotton ball to the end of the line wins the game. For another game, have the players use their straws to blow the cotton ball across the floor. Play the game individually or create a relay race by dividing the players into teams.
Bring in a box of random items, such as: a banana, keys, sweatband, hairbrush, silk flower, toy car and lipstick. Place the box in the middle of the room and give everyone one minute to glance at all the items. Put a lid on the box and give each player a sheet of paper. Tell them to write down as many items as they can remember from the box. The player who writes down the most correct items wins a prize. For variety, take the box out of the room and remove one item. Bring the box back in and the first player to tell you what is missing from the box wins a prize.
Games with Index Cards
Write animal names, such as cow, lion and dog, on several index cards. Have children sit around a table and place the cards face down in the center. One player must stick an index card to his or her forehead with the word facing out. However, make sure the player did not see the word. The player will ask ten yes or no questions to the players sitting around the table. If the player guesses the animal correctly, he or she earns a point. Repeat until a player earn five points to win the game. For another game, use the same cards for charades and divide the players into teams. Players have one minute to act out the animal. If their team guesses correctly, they earn a point. The first team to score five points wins the game.
Cut different kinds of candy bars into 1-inch pieces. Blindfold each player and give him or her a taste of each candy bar. Have the players try to guess the type of candy bar. Give each player one point for each correct answer. The player with the most points earns a prize. Another variation involves the use of condiments like ketchup, mustard or flavored potato chips.
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