It seemed to go pretty well. Attempts to get feedback from Matthew failed – he insisted that he liked “everything” and would want to do “everything” again. In case anyone out there is running a HH party:
– Treasure hunt: Clues are letters with dates on them (and the historical event corresponding to that date, and a picture). Kids search the house to collect the letters, put them in date order (with help), and it spells where the treasure is. We picked some extremely famous dates (1066, 1215 etc) and some silly ones (date the first public toilet was opened, date the song “Happy Birthday To You” was published). And 1966 for the many football fans who were invited. Ending of course with the date Matthew was born, complete with cute baby picture. In retrospect I’d have picked more silly dates. But it worked pretty well. Two teams, two lots of treasure, all have prizes.
– “Gong farming”, outdoor game. Copied from HH Gory Games. Story is about transferring poo from a cesspit to a bucket. The offending substance is represented by jelly (mixture of colours adding up to brown). And it’s a jelly-carrying obstacle course in teams.
– “Who ate all the pies?”. Outdoor game, also nicked from Gory Games. Big picture of Henry VIII with lots of artistic licence, with big hole cut out for mouth. Game is to throw sponges dipped in poster paint into his mouth. If they go in, you win. If they miss, his face gets paint on it, which is if anything more fun. Hint: take away the jelly from the last game before starting this game. Or someone will decide it’s a good idea to throw jelly at Henry. Which is fine, until they also decide it’s a good idea to throw jelly at each other.
– Then we played tig with some sort of “being taken prisoner in the castle” story. And then the chocolate game, for which I didn’t even try to make up a HH story (though with better planning I could have got a vaguely historical hat to wear while eating the chocolate).
– Stupid Deaths game. Variant of wink murder. With children who can’t wink, the murder technique is to stick out your tongue at somebody; and you do it so that everyone except the detective knows from the beginning who the murderer is (they eventually get the idea that it’s not a good idea to stare fixedly at the murderer). And the detective is the Death character from HH, and enters the room for each round with a dance and a chorus of the Stupid Deaths song. Very pleased with this one.
– Mummy game, competition to create mummies by wrapping each other up in very cheap loo roll. Kind of wild and crazy and quite difficult, but if you’re liberal in giving out sweets as random prizes to everyone, it works ok. And degenerates rapidly into a loo-roll war.
– We also had a hide and seek game with an outlaws-and-sheriff theme.
– And we did “horrible cocktails”. Always a winner. This is when food colouring really comes into its own.