Deaf-friendly birthday parties and party games
Birthday parties can be wonderful fun for kids. However, deaf children may feel left out if they can’t hear the instructions for party games, listen to music, or hear other noises.
So if your deaf child has been invited to a party, or your hearing child has invited a deaf friend to theirs - read and share these tips with parents to make sure everyone gets to join in the fun.
That way deaf children know who everybody is even if they miss out on hearing names during introductions.
Some deaf children have additional needs other than their deafness. Check with the child’s parent if there is anything else you should be aware of that could impact on the child’s enjoyment of the game, such as a visual impairment.
If deaf children miss some instructions, they’ll get to go through the game before it starts. Give children as much information about the game as possible beforehand so they understand what they have to do.
Tactile signs can help deaf children who can't hear instructions during games. For example, a tap on the arm during Pin the Tail on the Donkey means you want the child to take the blindfold off.
Visual cues can be helpful for deaf children who can't hear music or other noises during games. For example, during musical bumps, musical statues, and pass the parcel use flashing lights or raise your arm to tell the children to stop.
Michelle’s visual cue tip
“My son loves party games. Last year we had a party for him and he was the only deaf child there. We worried at first about how he was going to be able to join in any games with music such as musical statues and pass the parcel. So, I bought a controllable disco light and whilst the games were going on I had the lights flashing. When the music stopped I stopped the flashing lights. This helped my son and he fully enjoyed all the party games.”
Deaf children will find it difficult to hear if the noise levels are high and there’s a lot of background noise.