Competition can be healthy for kids. A child's ambition to win a game or contest will motivate her to improve a variety of skills. The level of competitive activity will depend on age. Kids under the age of ten can have fun competing in games, but the emphasis should be put on fun, not victory. Always keep a positive attitude when hosting contests and offer games of varying age-appropriateness, skill focus and theme.
Blow up two balloons for each kid. Tie pieces of ribbon to the balloons. Attach one balloon to each ankle of each child, leaving a little slack between the ankle and balloon. Instruct the kids to spread out in a large, open area. This game is preferably played on sand or grass in case kids trip and fall. On the host’s signal, everyone can begin running and attempting to pop other kids' balloons. The goal is to be the last one left with a balloon.
Decide if the game will be played with teams or as individuals. Give each person or team a large bag of marshmallows and a pack of toothpicks. Have a timed contest to see who can build the tallest marshmallow tower. For young kids, give a 20-minute time limit. For older kids or teenagers, allow a little extra time and more marshmallows for a really impressive tower.
Item Guessing Game
The item guessing game tests kids' senses and imaginations. This game can be as simple or as difficult as you choose. Place 8 to 10 items in a concealable container and cover the top with cloth. Give each contestant a piece of paper and a pen. Walk around, letting the children reach into the container without peeking so that they can examine the object with their hands. After touching the item, they must write down everything they think they felt. Whoever guesses the most items correctly, wins.
For a fun twist at Halloween, use items that feel gross: frozen peeled grapes can be used as eyes, pasta as worms and a dried apricot for an ear.
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