Left-Right Games for a Birthday

Written by roz zurko
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Left-Right Games for a Birthday
Simon says, "Lift your left and right arms." (say it loud... world is mine! image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

Left-right birthday party games are a fun way to keep the kids' attention, along with teaching them their left from right. Adult parties can benefit from these games, too. You might think that learning your left from right would be easy, but it isn't always that simple. Even many adults have to think about which hand they write with before raising their right hand. Others rely on a birthmark or freckle on one hand to remember which is which. Games are a great way to practice this skill and liven up a party.

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Simon Says

Simon Says is an old game that even your grandparents may have played at childhood birthday parties. Although you watch the designated Simon raise his hand in front of the group, part of the game also involves verbal cues. "Simon says, 'Raise your right hand.' " or "Simon says, 'Raise your left hand' " are among directions that might be used. The person leading the game as Simon stands in front of the group and calls out the directions, acting them out, too. Players have to listen closely for the words "Simon says." If they don't hear them but follow Simon's directions anyway, they're out. The last player in wins.


The floor game Twister is a left-right game in which you are directed to put your left or right foot or hand on a certain colour. This game is great practice for knowing your left and right. Adults can enjoy this party game, too.

Hokey Pokey

Hokey Pokey has made it through the decades as a game people still enjoy. It is actually a song that tells you what to do. It directs you to put body parts, such as left hand, right leg, right foot or head, in and out of a circle, then to "shake it all about" and do the Hokey Pokey dance.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Pin the tail on the Donkey can be a right and left game. One variation is to divide the players into teams and encourage teams to scream out directions to their teammates. The person who is blindfolded is given directions to "go to the left" or "a little more to the right." This party game also works as a team-building exercise.

Right-Left Gift Game

For the Right-Left Gift Game, you will need a few prizes to hand out randomly to players in a circle. You give directions as follows: "Whenever you hear the word 'left,' the person holding the gift will pass it to the left. Whenever you hear the word 'right,' the person holding the gift will pass it to the right. The guest holding the gift at the end of the story wins that prize." Then make up a story that has an abundance of the words "left" and "right" in it and read it to the group. When the story ends, the prize is in the hands of its rightful owner. This game can liven up any kids or adult party.

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