Birthday Party Dances & Games: Old Fashioned Party Fun

Dancing Games are a wonderful, old fashion staple of kid’s parties. They are simple to lead and are a great way for kids to burn off energy and have fun inside. They are also great for mixed age parties, because they are not overly competitive and are easily adapted by age.

Try making a CD compilation of your own favorite party songs –it’s a great way to involve the birthday child in preparing for the party. (PLUS: The CD makes a great personalized and inexpensive party favor. You can print the CD labels with our child’s picture and party date.)

Freeze Dance: For Ages Two – Five
(Plus easily includes younger kids)

This is a great dance-game for mixed age parties. Even babies can be held by a dancing parent to participate. I really encourage all parents to join in – there is something very fun about freeze dancing with kids – it brings out the ham in all of us – and kids love it when you join in.

For Age 2 or 3:
• Tip: Make it easy. You need to let them win or someone will cry.
• Leader Explains The Game: “We’ll dance really fast – then when I pause the music you Freeze! Then when I turn it back on you’ll dance again”
• Put on the music and dance wildly to amuse and encourage the children.
• Warn them (kids will not remember) that you are going to “Turn off the music and we will freeze!” Dance and repeat the warning.
• Pause the Music and call out “Freeze!” (Hold a pose.)
• Direct: “Okay stay frozen….1-2-3… Go!” and hit the music.
• Dance wildly to amuse and encourage the children.
• Repeat several times.
• Have fun “trying to catch them not being frozen”
• Try not to wait too long between Freeze Pauses. More often is more fun.

For Ages 4-5
• You do not have to explain the game or warn them to “Freeze” as much.
• You do not need to count off the freeze with 1-2-3.
• The challenge of the unexpected music pause becomes a plus for older kids: It’s fun to “catch” them not freezing on time.

Add a challenge:
• Call out that when you stop the music every one has to:
o Stand on One Foot/Then the other foot
o Sit on the floor
o Jump around and face the other wall

Limbo – Limbo Dance!

Ages 3 – 5
(Plus can include older and younger kids – see modifications)

This is such a fun musical game – everyone always remembers it and lights up when you do a Limbo. If you can get the limbo song on i-tunes or something use it – otherwise any perky island song will do.

You will need:
• Broom handle (or a long thick rope will also work)
• Two adults to hold the stick or rope (or if using a rope you can usually manage it with one adult if you tie one end of the rope to a door handle)

Now Limbo!
• Demonstrate: Show kids how to lean backwards and get under the limbo stick/rope. Line kids up and start the music.
• Call out and cheer “How Low” and “Limbo” to encourage kids
• Direct kids to return to line up for another turn

• Do not make it too hard, it’s pretty challenging for kids. It’s about the fun not a test.
• Kids usually cannot arch back that well and you may need to lift the rope or stick a bit at the last moment.

Modifications for Two’s and Younger Kids:
• Younger kids will often slither under or duck under rather than actual arch and limbo – that’s okay they are having fun. Yu can even make that a game for older kids and hold the stick really low for them to slither under.

Older kids and adults can join in this game: They will actually be able to do more of the limbo back arch move –so adjust the challenge and stick height accordingly

More Party Dance Classics:

Don’t forget the Hokey Pokey or The Chicken Dance! These can easily be found and downloaded online. Most kids can’t do these dances very well before they are about 3-4 years old. But most two year olds will enjoy and follow a simpler (sung by you) simplified version of this game.

Written by Susan Izatt of MoonSoup