Traditional German Games for Birthday Parties

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Organize some traditional German games for your child's birthday party.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! This means "happy birthday" in German. According to Birthday Celebrations, the first children's birthday parties originated in Germany and were called "kinderfestes." Traditionally, a wreath with candles for the birthday boy or girl was laid out on the kitchen table. A candle for every year of the birthday child's life was lit. Plan a party for your son or daughter by playing some of the world's first birthday games.



Würstchenschnappen translates to "sausage snapping." It is a birthday party game where sausages are strung and hung from a clothesline. Children stand on their tip-toes or crouch down, depending on how high or low the sausages are hanging, and try to eat the dangling piece of meat. This game shares similarities with a "bobbing for apples" activity.


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Topfschlagen is a game enjoyed by younger children at German birthday parties. The English name for this activity is "Hit the Pot." A child is blindfolded and given a wooden spoon. A cooking pot is positioned somewhere around the room and flipped over, so it covers a prize. The child must crawl around the room, using her spoon as a guide to find the pot. Once she finds it, she uncovers her prize. Each child at the birthday party should have the chance to participate.


Faules Ei

Faules Ei means "rotten egg" in English, and is similar to the North American game Duck, Duck, Goose. Children sit in a circle. The person who is "it" walks around the circle. When he drops a colored handkerchief behind a child in the circle, that child must stand up and run around the circle. The "it" player must also run around the circle in the opposite direction. The child who makes it back to the empty spot in the circle first sits down. The losing player is "it."


Blindes Dickmannessen

Blindes Dickmannessen, also called "Chocolate Kiss," is a traditional Easter game, but it may also be played at birthday parties. Children are blindfolded and sit around a platter of chocolate-covered marshmallows. They may either feed themselves, or another version involves feeding marshmallows to each other. The child with the least chocolate on his face wins.


Ein, Zwei, Drei...Halt!

Ein, Zwei, Drei...Halt! is just like the game Red Light, Green Light. Children line up horizontally and face a child who is about 30 feet away. That child is the caller and turns his back to the rest of the children. He counts to three in German (ein, zwei, drei) and then yells "Halt!", while the other children run towards him. When the caller yells "Halt!", he turns to face the children, and they must freeze. If the caller catches one of them moving, she must return back to the start. The caller turns around and counts again. The first child to run all the way to the caller wins that round.


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