Just because a child has a hearing loss doesn’t mean they can’t join in and enjoy party games in the same way as children with hearing. Princess Lavender feels every child should have the opportunity to play along and be happy – so we have gathered together a few party games and helpful tips for party games with deaf children.
Hosting an all inclusive children’s party is easy with a little consideration. There maybe a simple solution from our tips below on how to ensure that all the party goers have a great time simply by making small, yet unobtrusive changes, which promote interactions between the children whether they have a hearing loss or not.
There’s really no need to worry or become anxious about inviting a deaf child to your daughter’s princess party if you take a look at the ideas below or more information can be found at National Deaf Children’s Society.
Tips for an inclusive birthday party for children aged 3 – 9 years old
Don’t make assumptions about a deaf child’s communication methods
Not all deaf children use British Sign Language (BSL). Every deaf child will have a preferred way of communicating, so find out if they use speech (lip reading), BSL or a mixture of both. If they do use BSL ask their parents if they will need an interpreter or can stay at the party and sign when needed.
Check with parents beforehand about the child’s needs
We estimate that around 40% of deaf children have additional needs other than their deafness. Check with the child’s parent if there is anything else you should be aware of that could impact on the child’s enjoyment of the game, such as a visual impairment.
Give everyone the chance to practise before the party game starts
This means that if deaf children have missed some instructions, they have the opportunity to go through the game before it starts. Also, give children as much information about the game as possible beforehand so they understand what they have to do.
Use tactile signs during games
Tactile signs can help deaf children who can’t hear instructions during games. For example, a tap on the arm during Pin the Horn on the Unicorn means you want the child to take the blindfold off.
Use visual cues
Visual cues can be helpful for deaf children who can’t hear music or other noises during games. For example, during musical bumps, musical statues, and pass the parcel use flashing lights or raise your arm to tell the children to stop.
Think about noise levels
We use the term ‘deaf’ to refer to all levels of hearing loss in children, including a partial or total loss of hearing. This includes those who may describe themselves as having a ‘hearing loss’, ‘hearing impairment’ or as ‘deaf’, and includes children who have glue ear. Very few deaf children have no useful hearing. Most deaf children can hear some sounds at certain frequencies and loudness, and with the use of hearing aids they are often able to hear more sounds. Some deaf children will find it difficult to hear if the noise levels are high and there is a lot of background noise. Read about understanding childhood deafness at National Deaf Children’s Society.
Princess Lavender Special Skills Test
This princess party game includes the unique Princess Lavender DVD with British Sign Language. The Princess Lavender DVD is an easy step by step skills test suitable for young children including deaf children. Play the DVD and follow Princess Lavender and the BSL Interpreters instructions on-screen. Learn how to become a real princess and receive a Princess Certificate and Sticker at the end of the game. Read more>
Fruit salad game
- Sit in a circle either on chairs or on the floor.
- Assign each child a fruit i.e. orange, banana and apple. If your organised you can use stickers!
- Show everyone the sign for each fruit or make up your own if they are very young and don’t understand.
- Choose either yourself or the birthday girl to be the Signer and stand somewhere visible (as part of the circle usually works well) .
- The Signer then signs one of the fruits and each young person with that fruit name must stand and try swapping chairs and get to one of the vacant chairs or spaces.
- The signer must also try to steal a space or chair too.
- The last person standing must now take the place of the Signer.
- Once everyone understands you can get the signer to sign mix up or fruit salad and everybody has to change and find a new seat.
- Remember to sign or gesture rather than using your voice!
You can use this game with colours and to direct everyone to move you can sign rainbow.
Cinderella’s Ball Musical Statues
Just the same as musical statues but the party guests can waltz around pretending to dance with their Prince Charming. When the lights flash / music stops / or you raise your hand high, everyone freezes like a statues. If you are the last to move you are OUT and move to the side of the dance floor, the last one IN receives a prize of your choice.
The same as ‘Simon Says’ but the Birthday girl gets to be the Princess in charge of the game and she has to start the sentence with “PRINCESS Says”. If you get it wrong or move without the birthday girl saying “Princess Says” each time then you are OUT. The winner is the last one who has successful done as the Princess has said each time and receives a prize of your choice. Use simple signs for those children who don’t use BSL but everyone will understand, like jump like a ‘Frog’ or say ‘Hello’. Here are the Sign to use for Princess and Frog.
Medieval Princess Hats
Another extra craft task to the tiara and crown making we already provide in our packs, you could extend the craft session (especially if it’s raining) by having your little guests decorate paper cone crowns with sequins, glitter and voile. You will need to provide the extra materials, pastel-coloured card (A3 if you can) elastic and cheap net or voile, to transform into cone-shaped, medieval princess hats but it’s another fun activity the children really enjoy doing.
Great for as young as 3 years of age. Hide gold chocolate coins around the house or garden. Tell the children that someone has stolen all the king’s gold, and send them off on a treasure hunt. You can give them each their party bag included in our pack so they can keep what they find.
Royal Treasure Hunt
Wonderfully fun to play. Before the party begins the host/hostess will need to hide a prize of your choice. Dotted around the house/garden or both if you wish leave little scrolls where to find the next clue. It’s fun to do riddles if you know your princesses for example – “go to where Grandmother Willow would be” the answer – in a tree or a bit easier ones for example – “ find something green like Ariels mermaid tale”. Use visual clues or pictures that everyone can understand no matter their age or hearing loss.
Race to dress up!
All children love a race and if your Birthday girl has a dressing up box it’s time to bring it down because you’ll need a selection of costumes for this game.
You will need to spilt the guests into teams (always good to have adults on hand to help with the little ones or join in!) Each team has to dress as quickly as they can in the outfits laid out in-front of them. If one is dressed they have to help the rest of their team to get dressed too. The winning team in the team all dressed in their costumes first and they receive prizes of your choice.
The Tangle Fairies Footsteps
For the little princesses – 3 years and up find an old Doll with very tiny feet like a Barbie for example, dip her feet in craft paint and let the little ones make fairy footsteps on a piece of light coloured card. Just like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan when she walks across the pirate map. You will need to source the card, craft paint, glitter and an old doll with little feet but it’s a sweet little painting to make. You can also incorporate a little print of their own feet if you’re feeling brave and a hand print it’s up to you but it’s quite a nice keepsake.
Pin The Horn On The Unicorn
This unique and exclusive Pin The Horn On The Unicorn fun game can not be purchased elsewhere. The children will love this beautiful photo of Snowflake (Princess Lavender’s unicorn) relaxing in the lavender field in front of the castle. There are no pins! Stickers are provided for each child and a comfortable soft cotton padded blindfold to wear, so no peeking! Each child gets one turn at wearing the blindfold and sticking the horn on the unicorn. The rules are simple, the child who gets the closest to the horn on the poster wins a prize of your choice. This game could also be played at a unicorn themed birthday party. Read More>
PRINCESS, PRINCESS, FROG
This can be quite a fast or slow game depending on the ages of the children. You will need a silver wand for this game and the children sat down on the floor in a circle. Have some small prizes for each child who participated and for the winner. The Birthday Girl is the wand holder known as the Fairy Godmother.
She walks around the circle with the wand tapping gently each child on the head saying ‘PRINCESS’ until finally calling one a ‘FROG’. For those children who may not be able to hear this then the parent can sign Princess and Frog as the Fariry Godmother goes round the circle. If you have more then one child who needs to see the signing then the children playing the game can be sat in a line on the floor or in chairs. When Frog is signed, they move round the chairs.
Once someone has been called ‘FROG’ they get up and chase the Fairy Godmother around the circle to tag her gently. When the Fairy Godmother is tagged she is out of the game and sits in the middle of the circle and the Frog becomes the new Fairy Godmother – the game continues. Have some treats available for those who participated (tagged out) and are now sat in the circle. The child left over is the winner and receives a prize of your choice. Full instructions and wand can also be found in our Princess Lavender Party Pack..
DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?
For more giggles children love to have grown ups involved in this game too. You will need to divide the children up into groups, with one child (or an adult!) as a ‘Snowman’ per group. Two or more children have to wrap the child completely in toilet tissue making them look like a snowman. You will need to time the children giving them 2-5 minutes to wrap their snowman. The winner is the group with the best looking snowman, or kindly call a draw between teams. Don’t forget to hold a carrot in place as a nose. The winning team receives a prize of your choice. Full instructions can also be found in our Princess Lavender Party Pack.