A butterfly theme for a birthday party may be just right for your little one and her friends. Of course, you'll need to find activities for the children to do during the party, such as fun games. Use the theme of the party to guide your game selection -- and only play games that incorporate some aspect of butterflies.
Pin the Body on the Butterfly
Create a large butterfly out of paper -- except leave out the body -- and hang it on a wall low enough for the little ones to reach. Create a butterfly body, with a piece of two-sided tape on the back, for each guest. Also, write the name of a guest along the body so you can tell whose is whose. Blindfold each child, spin her around and challenge her to place the butterfly body in the correct spot.
Let the birthday girl be the caterpillar and chase all the other kids, who must "fly" from her as though they are butterflies. When she tags a child, that child must hold her hand and run along with her, trying to tag someone else. The next child they tag must also join hands, creating a longer and longer "caterpillar" with each child tagged.
Cut out small butterflies from paper -- or purchase plastic ones -- and hide them around the yard. Send the kids out with butterfly nets and ask them to find all of the butterflies. Whoever finds the most is the winner. Another game to play with the butterfly nets is to blow up small balloons and toss them in the air. Challenge the little ones to try to catch the balloons in their nets.
You can also try a variation on musical chairs. Create large leaves or flowers and place them on the ground. As you play music, the children can "fly" like butterflies around the room. Once the music stops, though, the children must hurry to find a flower or leaf to sit on. You can have one less flower than children each time, gradually eliminating children until you have a winner. Alternatively, you don't have to eliminate anyone, but instead, let the child who is "out" control the music for the next round.
Older children may prefer to play quiet games that allow them to think. Print out a butterfly word scramble and have the kids compete to see who can unscramble the words first. You could also play a seek-and-find game or see who can come up with the most words from the letters in the words "butterfly party."
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.