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Party Games for Deaf Children
Just because a child has a hearing loss doesn’t mean they can’t join in and enjoy party games in the same way as children with hearing. Hosting an all inclusive children’s party is easy with a little consideration, some small adjustments and the help of our infographic.
The infographic offers some great tips on how some well known party games can be adapted to become all inclusive, such as using flashing lights as well as music for musical bumps and the all time favourite Pass the Parcel with lights that stop at the same time as the music. Children with hearing will also enjoy the flashing lights and if you don’t have any music at all it puts them all on a level playing field.
We’ve also provides tips on how to ensure that all the party goers have a great time simply by making small, yet unobtrusive changes, which promote interactions between the children whether they have a hearing loss or not. Name badges, visual and tactile clues are just a few of the ideas we’ve included.
There’s really no need to worry or become anxious about inviting a deaf child to your son or daughter’s party if you take a look at the ideas below on how to host an all inclusive party for children.
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Deaf Friendly Games For A Children’s Party
While it’s natural to worry about everyone feeling included in a kids party, there really is no need to worry if you’re throwing a party with a deaf child in attendance.
There are loads of great games that all children will enjoy.
Here are some of our favourite party games and tips for throwing an inclusive children’s party.
GREAT GROUP GAMES
SIGN NAME GAME
- Everyone sits in a circle.
- Go round the group giving each a sign-name based on their appearance, personality, or interests.
- The leader starts clapping in rhythm, perhaps clapping hands then patting legs. Make sure there is a pause after each routine.
- The group should join in.
- In the pause sign a sign-name.
- In the next pause in the clapping routine the first person ‘signed’ signs another child’s sign-name.
- Continue for as long as they are having fun!
EXAMPLE SIGN NAME
Gerry likes cats, so his will be:
- Use both hands to pinch your thumb and index finger together keeping your remaining fingers straight out.
- As you pinch your fingers together, take them from each side of your face outward.
- The sign looks just like you are teasing your whiskers straight. (Imagine a cat’s luxurious whiskers).
FRUIT SALAD GAME
Helps the learning of basic signs. Good for concentration.
- Sit in a circle on the floor or chairs.
- Give each group member a piece of fruit.
- The designated ‘signer’ signs on of the fruits.
- The kids with that fruit stand and try swapping chairs and get to one of the vacant spaces. So must the signer.
- The last person standing becomes the signer.
- When everyone understands the game, mix it up by signing ‘Fruit salad’ or ‘mix up’. Then everybody has to change and find a new seat.
SOME BASIC FRUIT SIGNS
- APPLE: Open Primary Hand with bent finger (full C Hand) facing mouth twists upwards and forwards.
- ORANGE: Clawed primary hand held by side of mouth. Partly open and close hand a few times (squeezing orange).
- BANANA: Mime peeling a banana.
MORE GREAT GAMES THAT EVEYRONE CAN PLAY
CHARADES: Remember to make sure deaf children know when the correct answer has been called out.
MUSICAL BUMPS: Use fun flashing lights to alert deaf children to the pause in the music.
PASS THE PARCEL: This promotes fun interaction as the kids will tell each other when the music stops, although using lights is also fun.
TIPS FOR AN INCLUSIVE PARTY
- GIVE EVERYONE A NAME BADGE: Helps deaf children learn who the other children are, should they miss out on introductions
- DON’T ASSUME YOU KNOW HOW DEAF CHILDREN COMMUNICATE: Every deaf child will have a way of communicating that they prefer, so you should find out if they use speech, British sign language or a combination of the two. If they use BSL, ask their parents if they need an interpreter.
- TALK TO THEIR PARENTS FIRST: The National Deaf Children’s Society estimate that around 40% of deaf children have additional needs other than their deafness. It could well be best to find out from their parents, before the party. If they have any other requiements that you should be aware of.
- USE TACTILE SIGNS DURING GAMES: For example, tapping a child on the arm could mean taking off the blindfold.
- USE VISUAL CUES: If doing a musical game, perhaps have a disco light flash when the music is playing.
- HAVE FUN