This is one of our most requested blogs.  It was published five years ago but it has been “stolen” by websites that deal with HOWTO questions.

We have had our third Fun and Games Night at The Special Gathering of Indian River.  They have all been a roaring success.  In addition, Special Gathering of Brevard had a similar party about two weekends before our event.

These are a few of my observations regarding the planning of such an event.

  1. Serving refreshments is essential.  Serving a meal is optional.
  2. Be sure that you have the evening well-planned.
  3. Over planning is always better than under planning.
  4. Games may be fun but you must be sure that they aren’t too complicated for your members.
  5. With large groups, you will have many people who can’t do the planned activity.
  6. Give them different options.  Plan more than one game going on simultaneously.
  7. Play your games at the beginning of the evening.  Then if the games are a bust, your members won’t leave confused or perplexed.
  8. Gifts are optional.  We gave gifts at our first two events.  At the third one, I had them but forgot to give them out in time.  However, everyone has told me that the third event was by far the best.
  9. Plan to involve all your volunteers and your program leader in all the activities.
  10. I’m convinced that the reason things have gone so well at our Fun and Games is because all of our program leadership were in the mix playing with the everyone.
  11. Find a CD of silly songs.
  12. Learn the movements that correspond to the music.
  13. “YMCA” is the national anthem for persons with disabilities.  Be sure to include it.  If your group hasn’t been introduced, do it today.  They will love it.
  14. “Hokie Pokie,”  “Achy-Breaky Heart,” “Do the Limbo,” songs from the movie Grease and Rocky, “The Twist,” “Electric Slide” are all essentials for any successful party where you intend to use movement songs.
  15. Use movement songs.  They are fun and you can participate.
  16. Ask your members can teach you the ones you don’t know,  They will love being the expert who is teaching you.
  17. Try to find someone who can teach line dancing.  It is relatively easy.  There is almost no human contact and it is great fun.
  18. Have a Christian chose your music selections.  Some of the music out there can wilt your eye lashes, if you aren’t careful.
  19. If you have the equipment, show a short (three minutes or less) DVD of your camp or an important event you desire to promote.
  20. Have some calmer games (Dominos or Spoons) set out for those who may want to sit and play games.
  21. Hoola Hoops are great fun.  If you can’t do them, that makes it even better.  We did them in two of our events. We weren’t able to find anyone who could do the hoola hoop but everyone tried.  More important, everyone laughed at ourselves and each other.
  22. Try to have more than one hoola hoop.  We had five at our last event.  Then our volunteers/leaders were asked to help people learn to do it.  The game went quickly and the members were all involved.
  23. Blowing soap bubbles is an activity that almost everyone can do. If you initiate the action, they will love it and not find it to be childish.

Mostly, have fun, get out there yourself and play, and keep it simple, simple, simple.