Pre-teens are no longer wanting to play kiddie games but are not yet teenagers. They will not want to play running games yet are not really ready to just hang out. Here are some ideas for your pre-teen party.
Untie the Knot
Place the guests in two separate circles. Ask them to raise a hand and take hold of someone's hand on the opposite side of their circle. Then, using their free hand, grab the hand of a different person close by. Without letting go they must try unravel themselves. The first team to do so is the winner.
Identify couples from real life or fiction like Lady Di and Charles, Peter Pan and Wendy or Willie Wonka and Charlie. Place a piece of paper on each persons' back identifying them. Each person then asks 1 question from every other person till they discover who they are. They may only ask questions such as am I male or female, a fictional character or real person, dead or alive, etc. Once they identify themself, they can start looking for their partners. The winners are the first matching couple.
Toilet Paper Game
This is a wonderful ice breaker - especially if the guests don't know each other well. As each guest arrives ask them to take a strip of toilet paper off a roll. When everyone is there get the guests to sit in a circle. Starting with the birthday person, each person must reveal something about themselves equal to the number of squares they tore off. You could also pass a bowl of sweets around. Tell each guest to take a hand full. They must tell a secret for each sweet they took.
Tie a balloon to each persons' ankle. The idea is to try stamp on each other's balloons to pop them without having yours burst. Here are tons more wonderful balloon games.
Note for Note
Have a selection of popular CD's (preferably of mixed artists) and a CD player which allows you to fast forward to the middle of a song. Press play anywhere in the middle of a song and play for 2 seconds. Whoever identifies the song first gets a toothpick. The one with the most toothpicks in the end wins. You could have them identify the song or artist.
Questions and Answers
Get each person to write a way-out question on a piece of paper. Fold and place in a bowl. Ask them to write a line from their favorite song on another piece of paper. These are the answers. Pass the questions around and let every one take one. Each person gets a turn to read their question, then take an "answer" from the second bowl and sing it if they know the song. Some really hilarious answers to questions come out! And strange versions to songs too.
Stork the lantern
This game is played best outside at night. One child is "it" and sits with a flashlight or lantern. They must look at the light. The other children move out into the dark. They try get as close to the lantern as possible. The person with the light tries to listen for noises or spot movement. Then they can look up and say something like "I see you with the red shirt". That person then sits down. The child that gets the closest to the lantern wins.
No not just any bubbles but big odd shaped bubbles. You will need a good bubble solution and shaped wire to create these huge bubbles.
Use these ideas, they are sure to be a hit.