15 Phrases for The Telephone Game

Telephone is truly a oldie but a goodie.  It is one of those games that has stood the test of time.  It is so wildly popular still today because of the sheer silliness of the game results.  Kids are funny.  Sometimes they are fall down, spit your drink out funny.  Now take a bunch of wound up, sugared up kids and tell them to quietly repeat a single phrase to their partner only once.  What you get is normally hysterical pandemonium.  This is a go to game I always keep in my back pocket.  It never fails to fill that extra 5-10 minutes you didn’t count on at the end of the party.  I started doing this years ago when a craft took 5 minutes instead of 25 to complete.  Oh dear!  At that time I made up the phrases on the spot, but now I have learned there are a few phrases that work better than others so I come prepared.  Here is a list that can be used for any grade to get you started.  Use the shorter phrases for the younger ones.  You will be shocked at the results.  LOL

zane school

  1. Noisy Ned needs nuggets
  2. Ghostly gum tastes gooey
  3. Scarecrows steal soft sandwiches
  4. Junie B Jones likes Jamba Juice
  5. Dracula drinks dark drool
  6. Ms. ________ makes math mash-ups (fill in your child’s teachers name )
  7. Moody Mummies munch on moldy mothballs
  8. Walking in a Winter Wonderland
  9. Snowflakes will slide softly soon
  10. Leaves like loose piles
  11. Teachers take tons of toadstools
  12. Recess rocks restless roosters
  13. Counting cars quietly
  14. Lightening McQueen likes loaded lunches
  15. Classmates climb cars for cash

3 Themes for a Successful 7th Birthday Party

This one is personal.  My little guy is turning 7 next week and I have been thinking/agonizing over this for weeks.  Admittedly my son is a bit of an odd ball but these ideas will work for just about any group and are very customizable.  A good theme needs to be able to encompass games, party favors, snacks and foods and even costumes.  A few of these ideas I incorporate a specific location or event as well.  There’s nothing better than not having to clean your house or worrying about multiple little kids running wild in your home.

Renaissance Festival/Medieval Times-  This works for both boys and girls.  Boys can be knights or kings and girls princesses or queens.  Most festivals will work with you to provide a meal location and discounted food.  The food is always fun and messy so bring a pack of baby wipes for clean up.  All of the entertainment is included right at the facility so your set to go.  If you choose to go to a festival or show a much smaller group is necessary for cost and corralling purposes.  Think cat herding!  I would invite 2-3 kids maximum.  This theme can be done at home however by serving roasted turkey legs, orange icys in hollowed out oranges, candied almonds and spiced apple juice.  If you serve drinks in large plastic goblets your guests will feel very royal.  Games could include bean bag tosses, Nerf crossbow target and face painting.  There are great glitter tattoos out there that can be done by anyone.

Apple Orchard or Pumpkin Patch Party-  Most apple orchard and pumpkin patches offer a variety of packages for parties.  Many choices include hay rides, apple or pumpkin picking, petting zoos and bee keeping.  They are traditionally inexpensive and the added benefit of supporting a local farmer is always nice.  You can encourage your guests to wear their Halloween Costumes and decorate with fall leaves and scare crows.  Games should include bobbing for apples and pumpkin seed spitting.  I know its gross but if its outside and controlled the kids will love it.  Crafts can be pumpkin decorating with markers and stickers and scarecrow making.  Here a few of my favorite crafts:

scarecrow1                   scarecrow2

Foods should include of course all things apples.  Apple pies, apple cakes, apple bread, apple cookies, apple crumble to name a few.  Pumpkin bread, candied or salted pumpkin seeds and apple cider round out a fun menu.  A lot of places will even allow a campfire for hot dog or smores.  You will of course need a lot a parent supervision for this!

Masterchef Party-  This one is a little strange I know.  Both my children like to cook and I don’t know a kid around that doesn’t like to decorate cookies or cakes.  Many Hy-Vee’s and Social Suppers have facilities dedicated for these purposes.  It won’t mess up your kitchen and you won’t have to prepare any food.  Its a win-win!  I would suggest making something all kids like spaghetti, tacos, grilled cheese, or pizza.  Pizza is very fun because the kids can pull the dough and choose their own toppings.  Its also very hard to mess up.  Guests should receive Chef hats, coats and aprons and party favors could include a small pack of cooking utensils.  Cookie or cake decorating can complete the evening.

utensils                                      utensils2

I hope you and your kids will have as much fun with these party ideas as I have had.  Wish me luck with my son’s party.

When Good Parties Go Bad

The day of the party is here, you are as prepared as you can be.  The games are great, the craft took plenty of time and actually looks like what it’s supposed to and the treats were gobbled up.  You look at the clock, there are only minutes left.  You are in the home stretch when Fate steps in and throws you a curve ball…

How many times after making yourself crazy, obsessively painstaking planning and hundreds of dollars, the party goes literally in the pooper.  Everything is going along great when the unthinkable happens, someone starts crying or my favorite someone throws up.  EEEEWWWWW!  Do not panic I have been there more times than I want to count.  I can help you be prepared.

The biggest tools in your arsenal are control, calmness and a game on hold.  Teachers have been through this many times so look to them to contact the custodian and approach the child.  Your job is to mitigate the damage.  Stay calm and control the situation by moving the children to another part of the classroom or even the hall if necessary.  Always have a game in your metaphoric back pocket.  I keep telephone phrases, words for jumbling and a quick game of bean bag toss if you need to move to the hall.  All of these games are cheap, easy to prepare and can be used again and again.  There are themed bean bag toss games available at Oriental Trading Company but you can just as easily buy bags from your craft store and use a bucket.  Keep in mind if you are going to use a word jumble for the real young ones it must be very easy.  Words like BOO, or TREE would be fine.

The next thing to consider is smell. I know this is really gross, but it is there so lets deal with it.  If there is an offending odor, you need to distract from it immediately.  The easiest way to do this of course is with Lysol spray but that can sometimes make the situation worse.  I suggest pulling out those markers and madly coloring.  Always keep coloring pages handy and some markers that smell.  I know, I know the markers that smell are almost always the staining kind.  You don’t need an entire packet.  Just a few markers strategically placed with each parent helper can help mask that troublesome odor.  The marker smell is powerful and not associated with sickness or cleaning so it will do the trick without the kids even being aware.

Lastly noise is essential.  I would normally never advocate a loud game but now you want to draw attention away from the poor child by creating a little pandemonium.  Start a rousing version of Row Row Row your Boat or any other song that can be sung in rounds.  This is VERY loud and the kids will easily forget what’s going on around them as they concentrate on their particular part.  This game can go on for as long or short a period as it needs to making it the ultimate flexible party activity.

Finally remember if something happens it’s no big deal and it doesn’t have to ruin the party.  As my Momma always says “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.


Top Five Kindergarten Party Game Hits

Games seem to be the hardest.  What to do that the kids will enjoy, won’t create to big a mess, will be age appropriate and proven winners.  The question I get asked the most is what games to play for the little ones.  Kindergartners are arguably the easiest and toughest to plan for.  They are enthusiastic and excited about everything but they can be easily distracted and wild.  Any game needs to be quick moving, involve large groups of people and not to messy.  At this point I know everyone has visions of trying to herd cats, but trust me it can be done.  You can engage these very sweet and energetic kids without creating pandemonium.

1.)The popcorn relay

This one can be done with any number of different items to run, popcorn, jelly beans, cotton balls to name a few.  You need several small trash cans or buckets, several large spoons and the item to be transferred.  Popcorn is fun and cheap but can be quite messy.  I found jelly beans or other small candies work just as well and are not nearly as difficult to pick up afterwards.  The staff will definitely appreciate the use of candy versus popcorn come clean up time.  Simply divide the class into several equal teams.  I found about 4-6 people per team works best.  Each team will get a full bucket of candy and an empty bucket.  They will also be given one large spoon.  The race starts as one member of each team puts as many candies as they can on each spoon and runs it to the empty bucket at the other end of the classroom.  The child runs back and tags the next child in line.  The relay continues until the once full bucket is now empty.  If the buckets are large this game will typically take 10 minutes to complete.

2.)Mummy Wrap/Gift Wrap

This one requires very little in the way of supplies.  You can use toilet paper for the fall or leftover gift wrap for winter.  Include bows, yarn, spiders, candy corn, whatever would be fun to add to the wrapped child.  If you are making a “mummy” use plastic spiders, candy corn or glow sticks.  If you are wrapping a “gift” use bows, yarn, confetti, christmas ornaments or tinsel.  This is a great use of leftover Christmas paper and wrapping materials.  Divide the class into teams, 4-6 per team works best.  If you have any more than that there are to many kids wrapping and wildness ensues.  One child is selected as the “mummy or gift” and the others are the wrappers.  The goal of the game is to use all the wrapping supplies before the other teams.  A fun variation of this game is to find a kids Winter or Fall rap CD and play it during the wrapping process.  When the music stops whichever team is the furthest along is the winner.  This game takes typically 5-10 minutes to explain and complete depending on the amount of supplies used.

3.)Guess How Many

A time tested game for sure.  You simply need a large clear glass bowl, vase and enough candies, buttons or beads to fill it.  Fill the vase with whatever items are appropriate to the season.  Candy corns or small pumpkin candies for the fall, candy hearts or red hots for February and silver, red, gold balls or Hersey kisses for the winter.  The kids simply need to guess how many items are in the bowl.  Make sure you count the candies as you place them in the bowl the night before.  Have a parent record each child’s guess.  The child closest to the actual number wins.  This is a good game to use as a station game, meaning it can be used at the same time as other crafts or activities.  This game usually takes the whole party to cycle kids through but does not take much of each individual child’s time.  Teachers like this game as well as it introduces the children to estimation.


Who hasn’t played this game.  This is great because you can play as many rounds as needed, it doesn’t require any set up or materials and the kids love it.  Make sure you have many phrases pre-made however as this age group has a tendency to be quite silly if left to pick their own phrases.  You will get a large number of bodily function jokes.  I use phrases such as “The Silly snowman slid down the hideous hill on his way home.”  Rhyming phrases and phrases with similar sounding words and lots of consonance make for the best telephone phrases.  The children should sit in a circle and the first child should be whispered the phrase by the adult leader.  The child then leans to his neighbor and whispers the phrase as they heard it.  The game continues until the last child is whispered the phrase.  They then say out loud what they heard.  This game is great because it is a real time waster.  Use this game at the end of parties to use the last couple of party minutes up.  It can be used for as short or as long a period of time as needed depending on number of phrases used.


Everyone loves a good Bingo game.  You can make your own Bingo cards for the season or holiday or buy them pre-made.  I have done both.  The pre-made ones  are usually not expensive and definitely will save you time.  Here is a site I have used before to purchase pre-made cards and tokens.  You can make your own however as long as you have a computer, printer and a whole lot of patience.  Remember if you make you own you need to also make tokens or balls to pull out to announce the next letter and object.  Kindergartners are a tricky bunch as some can read and others can not.  Use cards that have more letters or more pictures depending on how advanced the class is and where in the school year this game will be used.  If you use this game in the Fall I would use pictures only except for the top word which could be CANDY or GHOST.  This game takes a lot of time and is relatively quiet in the classroom but you will need lots of parent help.  You will need a parent to draw the Bingo tokens, and about 1 parent per 4 children.  Teachers like this game as it reinforces what they are already learning, does not create any mess and is very quiet.  This game typically takes 10-15 minutes to play.

Game winners can win small trinkets like themed pencils, markers or erasers, candy, or glow bracelets, necklaces or pins.  These can be purchased in bulk cheaply from and stored for the next party.

There are hundreds of sites out there with great information.  I have included a few below.  The five games listed above I have used myself with my oldest and plan to use again with my little one.  These games are for sure winners which do not require a great deal of money to set up and are flexible on time.  The key to this grade is stay flexible and have a Plan B, C and D as necessary.  Keep the party moving and the kids active and it will be a huge success.

Awesome Kids Parties

EHow Mom

Family Fun