Here are some more fun games to play at parties no matter what the theme:
Object: To not be stuck with the potato at the end.
Again, try to make it go with the theme of your party. (We had an apple for Snow White, Bolt plush dog for our Bolt theme) Have the children get into a circle. They pass the object around the circle to music. When the music stops the person holding the object it out. Continue on until there is one person left. That person is the winner and receives a prize.
*Nowadays it seems that you're not make children win or lose, etc.. it's "just about playing the game" If you want you can play the game the alternative: The child who has the object when the music stops makes a funny/silly face, does a silly dance or wishes the child a happy birthday in a funny voice.
Object: to be the last one standing.
This works no matter what the theme. use upbeat music that is "kid friendly" or won't get you kicked off the PTA by playing it. I like the Alvin and the Chipmunks music from the 2007 movie. Other people prefer to torture their guests' with Kidz Bop. Your choice.
Again it's the same general idea as hot potato. The kids dance to the music, when the music is randomly stopped by an adult, the children must freeze. It they move, they are out. The game goes on until there is one winner.
Object: to be the last one standing
Another classic childhood game. Gather all the children into a group. One person is "Simon" (you can change the name- if it's a costume party it could be "Snow White says"). Simon gives the group simple commands and the group follows- only if Simon says. Example : "Simon says hop on one foot" so everyone must hop on one foot. "Do a funny dance" no one should be dancing, because Simon did not say to. Anyone who does dance is "out." If the children are older or the game seems to be dragging on, it is really funny to shout out the commands as fast as you can to see who is paying attention. OR you could start off slow and quickly start saying what to do faster and faster.
Object: to be the last person in.
This is also another classic. You can change it up by using your theme. For our Snow White party we played "Musical Gem stones." I drew different types of gems onto cardboard, cut them out and placed them on the floor. The alternative is to use chairs. Place one less chair in a row then there are guests who are playing (example: ten kids playing, use nine chairs). The kids walk around the chairs until the music stops. The kids scramble to get a seat. The child with no chair is out. Take away one chair and start the music again.
This is more aimed toward older kids ( although my best friend and I did this to my husband for his 21st birthday when he knew what he was getting for his gift). First decide how many places you want the hunter to go. This will help you come up with the clever rhymes to send them on their search. Make sure you number the envelopes and write in small letters where it is supposed to go (not where they are supposed to go. Where you want to put the envelope).
Before the party place the envelopes in the correct spots & when it's time hand the first envelope to the kids.
An alternative to the scavenger hunt is just making a map of the backyard (or where the party is being held) have them walk 10 steps (you can mix it up by making them do Kangaroo hops to the swing set, or walk backwards 5 steps to the sofa) When you have the party indoors it is really fun to put the treasure in the dryer or dishwasher- just don't forget and turn it on!