We recently celebrated a birthday in our home. You know what that means, don’t you? It means we had a birthday party. Some parents love to show off their party prowess with birthdays. It gives me anxiety. People expect a good time. This time was especially stressful because my daughter didn’t want what she calls “lame games.” Because she is my little artist, I decided to come up with some sort of art activity. Thus, Picture Partners was born! It was a huge hit.
Here’s what you need:
—Candy and treats.
That’s it! The best part about this is that you can do it several times.
It is the easiest thing in the world to prepare for this. You just need to have a blank piece of paper and draw something on it. You don’t want it to be too complicated, because people are drawing blindfolded. I chose to draw a square snowman and a clown face because I knew the kids would love that. Do whatever you want. You could even print something from the Internet if you want. After you have your main picture, gather up some pens or markers and paper. You also need blindfolds for half the people, so use what you think is best and easiest. We just used bandanas. I also suggest having some candy or delicious treat on hand, especially if it’s a birthday party. People will do just about anything if something yummy is the prize.
When everyone is gathered together, have them partner up, and get ready to tell them the rules. In case you haven’t figured them out already, I’ll tell you the basic rules:
—One partner is blindfolded, and the other gives instructions.
—There can be no physical contact between the partners, i.e. no guiding their hands with your hands, elbows, or anything else.
—Try to get your partner to draw the picture that will be shown after blindfolds are on.
—The moderator gets to decide the winner and enforces the rules.
—Don’t tell your partner what they are drawing.
They’re easy rules, common sense really. For such simple rules, the game is actually very challenging.
Ready, set, draw!
After half of the players are blindfolded, display the picture where everyone else can see it. Then pass out the pens, markers, and paper. Begin! This art game is a blast. The children could not stop laughing and squealing. The pictures they produced were truly awful. Well, most of them were. There was one team really in sync with each other as far as giving and receiving instructions went.
I actually came up with this game when I remembered an activity from junior high school in my social studies class. After recovering from the shock of being able to remember that far back, I modified what we did. In junior high, the activity we did was supposed to show us how to be better leaders and followers. We all had a piece of paper that we had to fold a certain way to come up with a specific product at the end. It was challenging and not at all rewarding. This activity, however, is complete and total fun! I had to draw extra pictures for them to play the game a few more times.
Now for the hard part. You have to choose a winning team for each round of play. There was one team that surpassed everyone else every time, but I couldn’t bring myself to choose them all the time. The neat part was that these two kids were not acquainted with one another very much before the party. Yet they came together like two old pros. I’m not telling you what to do, but I ended up giving treats to everyone. I chose the picture that was closest to the final product and gave them double the treats. However, it’s more fun when everyone gets sugar, so they all happily took some candy.
This game of Picture Partners was a great time for everyone. My own children have played it a few times since the party already. There is just something fun about trying to guide someone who is blindfolded. Laughter will always ensue. So maybe for your next get-together, you can try this game. It will work for everyone, including adults. Picture Partners will soon be all the rage. I just know it. You can thank me later. I, however, am thankful to have a whole year before I have to come up with fabulous games again.