Set plastic party cups half-filled with water in three to five rows. Label the cups for scoring, with cups placed closest to the kids worth one point, and those farther away worth more. Set out a bucket of Ping- Pong balls.
To mix it up a bit, buy a few blue or green balls or color some with markers. Award double points for a green ball landed in a cup and triple points for a blue. Each player gets 30 seconds to throw as many balls as possible into the cups. The player finishing with the highest score wins.
Divide players into teams of two. Start a one-minute timer. Pairs must get a shower cap onto one teammate's head and cover the cap with shaving cream. Then the capless teammate, standing behind a tape or rope line a few feet away, tries to throw cheese puffs into the shaving cream. The team gets a point for every puff still on the cap when the minute is up.
Slide an empty rectangular tissue box onto a belt by cutting slits into the box's short sides. For the best game, remove one panel of the plastic film that covers the opening and insert seven Ping-Pong balls. Wearing the belt with the box at the back, each player has 30 seconds to try to make the balls bounce out of the box by shaking her body. The player gets a point for each ball that exits the box.
Every athlete deserves a moment of glory. To make it happen, set up a simple awards podium (we used sturdy milk crates) and hand out homemade gold, silver, and bronze medals. We made ours by painting the underside of a paper dessert plate with metallic paint, then gluing glitter around the rim and in a laurel pattern on the center. We added a smiley face with black glitter glue and stapled on a loop of ribbon.
When awarding the medals, pass around kazoos and have everyone join in a rousing rendition of the national anthem.
Sweeten the victory with these easy treats. Simply prepare a batch of your favorite cupcakes, ice them, then top them with a design of candy-coated chocolates, as shown. For a world-class finish, print our toppers, tape them to toothpicks, then insert one in each cupcake.
Originally published in the June/July 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.