We played three games at Jenna's baking party. The first was a pass-the-parcel variation, involving a series of small gifts rolled into a ball with paper streamers. You can read about the original idea here. I saw it and loved it, and went shopping for toys to make ours. We wanted the kids to have some nice toys they could actually play with, even if they weren't baking-related, so we picked things like Playmobil, Hexbugs, Squinkies, Mighty Beanz, flashlights and craft items. Interestingly, pass-the-parcel is a very well-known game in Singapore, but there, it often involved "forfeits" rather than gifts. Each layer of the parcel had written on it, a task that might require the player to sing a silly song, perform an acrobatic feat, or something worse. The last layer of the parcel had no task and it unwrapped to reveal the actual gift, which the lucky player could then keep. I never understood why these awful tasks were called "forfeits" - perhaps because they resulted in players forfeiting their composure or otherwise losing in a way that was opposite to gaining a prize. I dunno.
The second game was a team one involving cookie cutters - because we have so many of them in our house! One of the big challenges of doing parties has always been to make them enjoyable for kids of a range of ages. Kate, for instance, may secretly think she's a first-grader, but she really isn't and we wanted games that would be fun for 3-year-olds as well as their 8-year-old friends.
For this game, we counted out our cookie cutters, divided them into two equal batches, and traced the outlines of each batch on a big sheet of paper. Obviously the two sheets might not be identical, depending on which cutters you had
The kids were divided into two teams so that their ages were as fairly distributed as possible. All the cookie cutters were dumped in the middle of the room and each team was given one of the big game sheets. The object of the game was to be the first team to match their shapes with the correct cookie cutters from the pile.
Easy! Even 3-year-old Kate loved it. And we got to see some nice sharing and helping going on between the teams e.g. "That's my bat. Here, I've got your teacup. Let's trade." Very cool.
Everyone won something, but the winning team got to be first in line to pick the prizes. Just to up the fun-and-color factor a bit, I put their prizes behind a cupcake board:
I first saw the idea here, initially from here, and loved the circles. Our version is just sprinkles on a giant cardboard cupcake, which Emily got to color.
The back is just mushroom cartons (the trays mushrooms come in at the supermarket) taped behind circular holes that are framed with tissue paper.
The kids punch their fists through a hole of their choice and claim a baking-related prize (cookie cutter, sprinkles jar or something similar).
So the prize ceremony was, in some ways, a game unto itself. The more, the merrier!