Few things are more special than celebrating a little one’s birthday and having spent the last five years organising my own children’s celebrations in Botswana I’ve come to realise that nothing beats a good old-fashioned birthday party. They’re easy (I promise) and your children will love them. So, why not try some of my Botswana-inspired party games? No passport or vaccinations required!
Catch the snake’s tail - Line the children up and ask them to hold the waist of the child in front so they form a snake. The object of the game is for the snake to catch its own tail. The first child leads the rest of the snake around the garden as he tries to catch up to and touch the last player in line. Giggles guaranteed.
Diamond dig - Botswana is known for mining some of the world’s best diamonds so why not add some sparkle to the party with a twist on the classic treasure hunt. Draw and cut out a dozen gem shapes from some card and hide them around your house or garden. Split the children into two teams before sending them off to find the diamonds. The team with the most diamonds at the end of the hunt wins.
Pin the tail on the monkey - A twist on a party classic. Draw an outline of a monkey on a large piece of card – the Vervet monkey is common throughout Southern Africa and is guaranteed to raise a few giggles from the little ones. Separately, cut out a tail from another piece of card and attach some double-sided sticky tape to the back. Now you’ll also need a scarf for a blindfold and a pen to write each child’s initials on the monkey once they’ve had their turn. The closest to the monkey’s actual tail is the winner.
Elephant race - Botswana has the largest elephant population on the African continent and there is nothing more endearing than watching a herd silently move across the grassland in single file with calves holding on to their mothers’ tails to keep up. So, for this game line the children up in two teams. The leaders then bend at the waist, put one arm in front of their faces like an elephant’s trunk and the other arm through their legs, like a tail for the second child in line to hold on to. The next child does the same, and so on, until the two teams ready to race. The first team of elephants across the line wins!
Sleeping Lions - Lions spend as much as 20 hours a day sleeping so what better way to calm your cubs down at the end of the party than with a game of sleeping lions. Ask the children to lie down and be as still as possible while an adult tries to make the children move without touching them. If someone moves, they’re out and helps the adult raise the rest of the lions from their slumber. The winner is the person who stays still the longest!