Backward Party Icebreaker Ideas
Icebreakers at the beginning of your party are the perfect way to:
- keep kids busy while the host mom greets the parents
- give your guests something fun to do while waiting for everyone to arrive
- ease a group of people into the party spirit when they don’t know each other
- pump up the fun factor for the excitement to come – like an opening act
Here are our suggestions for icebreakers:
TP the party area!
What could be more backwards than TPing (toilet papering) the party room instead of pretty crepe paper garland?
When each guest arrives give them a roll of bathroom tissue and let them go at it. It makes for an unforgettable experience – and usually ends up being the favorite part of the party. (And don’t think this is just for kids. No Way! Adults really get into it too.)
We removed all the chairs and ran a string across the room along each side of the table to give the paper something more to catch on and create a little cave under the table for the kids with all the falling strips. (Since it’s backwards day the kids eat under the table.)
Under the table we put large pillows for them to sit on and hung some red fairy lights and white icicle lights to give a glowing, festive atmosphere under there.
A bubble machine can entertain for as long as you need them to!
Place the machine up high so the bubbles fall down to make it look backwards to the usual fun of blowing bubbles up into the sky.
Want to pump up the fun?
Set up a video camera and TV so the kids can watch themselves dressed backwards trying to catch bubbles.
Challenge them to use their TV image to try and catch bubbles behind their backs, which will look forwards if they are wearing their clothes backwards. Savvy?
Make Backwards Cookies
Kids love decorating cookies – even the less artistic.
Set up several bowls of different colored icing, a plate of cookies and some sprinkles. Give each kid a paper plate, a plastic knife and a napkin when they arrive.
Tell them to make Backward Cookies – cookies with icing on the outside instead of in the middle. They can frost both sides of the cookie and add sprinkles to their liking.
Hang a sheet with colorful stripes or a cheerful solid as a backdrop and have them pose for a photo.
Add a box of interesting props to encourage their creativity.
- pipe – real or bubble pipe
- feather boa
- necklaces of all colors, lengths & styles
- toy weapons
- speech bubbles to commemorate your party or theme
Get a volunteer who knows how to use a camera to take their picture for you while you greet guests. You can send the photo to them later in a thank you card, or turn it into a craft for kids – they decorate picture frames now as an icebreaker and volunteer prints the photo off, inserts it into the dried work of art to send home as a party favor.
Have the Party Backwards By Starting with the Favor Bags
Nibbles are a great way to keep kids busy, and giving them party favor bags when they arrive is in keeping with the party theme.
Walk & Talk Backwards
Set a time period at the beginning of the party and put a gold on the party goer every time they remember to:
- call other guests their new name on the name tag
- walk backwards everywhere they go
- write with their opposite hand
- anything else backwards that they come up with
Have a prize for the person with the most stickers at the end of allotted time.
Backwards Party Games
Let the games begin! Here is a selection of crazy-wild activity games to get everyone pumped up and a selection of cool-down games to get them ready to settle in to a movie or dining backwards.
Chaotic Fun: Opposite Charades
Tape a word or phrase on a person’s back for them to guess within a specified time limit. (Have an egg timer that buzzes or set the alarm on your watch or cell phone.
Everyone else – yes everyone – acts out the clues to help him guess the answer. It’s utter chaos – and so much fun!
Want to make it even more challenging? Use the Minute to Win It countdown on YouTube for a more dramatic countdown – and only 60 seconds to guess the answer! (Make sure you narrow it down for them with Food, Person, Movie Title, Movie Character, Place, Object, etc.)
Crazy Fun: Limbo
For a backwards party you have to limbo!
Or you can make it even crazier with the String Limbo Party Game.
This machine shoots a blacklight responsive string more than 7 feet across the room. Blacklight and limbo music are included in the machine! Easily adjustable to any height, this kit also works as a handheld limbo game. Works with 4 “AA” batteries and 4 “C” batteries. Also includes an AC adapter jack and an extra string.
Just $26.95 from Stupid.com
And if you’re limbo-ing (is that a word?), you just have to have Chubby Checker’s Limbo Rock playing in the background – which you’ll find on YouTube.
- write all the clues backwards (keep it simple by using the backwards writer at Bored.com)
- give the kids access to a mirror so they can read easily read the clue
- surprise them by leading back to the starting point to find the hidden treasure
- make sure they walk backwards when going from clue to clue!
Play Simon Says but do the opposite of what the leader is saying, such as lift your left leg when they want you to lift your right leg. It’s difficult!
Play Opposite Hide and Seek (also known as sardines) where one person hides and as each person finds the leader they hide with them. The last person to find the group is the next leader who hides.
Play Replace the Flag which is the opposite to Capture the Flag. Divide group into two teams and divide your playing area into halves, one for each team. The best play area has places to hide with a large area to run – such as outdoors. Tie a colored ribbon on their arm to represent their team with a different color for each team. Their goal is to put the team’s flag (same color as their armband) on the flag pole hidden by the opposing team in their own territory within a time limit. Tagged people must go to jail in the opposing team’s area but can be rescued when teammates tag them.
Hold Backwards Races. Do all the usual party races, only perform them running backwards: egg and spoon race, crab race, sack race – a relay race is absolutely hilarious backwards.
Pen & Paper Games
Its a good idea to have a “cooling off” game before eating, and pen & paper games are perfect for that.
Get kids to write a story about a day in a backwards town:
- which is the name of their town or city spelled backwards
- the main character is their name spelled backwards
- details everything they did yesterday but in backwards order or is about someone as silly as Backwards Bill
Backwards Bill is a fun poem by Shel Silverstein made even “funner” when read by him. (See the whole poem at Amazon.)
Older kids & adults can come up with Palindromes.
Explain that a palindrome is a word, phrase or verse that is the same when read forwards or backwards. Here are a few examples, but you can see a whole list here.
– now I won
– nurses run
– my gym
– a santa at NASA
Then if you really want to blow their minds, here is a song by none other than Weird Al Yankovic using all Palindromes!
Photo of bubbles in sunshine by Steve Jurvetson
See all of our Backwards Party ideas for kids or adults.
I hope you found at least one game that you can use for Backwards Day or your Backwards Birthday Party!