We played two games at their party:
The first one was entitled "Push Each Other off of the Tires". When they were little, I probably would have found some clever name for the game like "King of the Tires" or "Lily-Pad Leap" or "Stay out of Hot Lava", but the boys are older and now we tend to just "call it like we see it". The object of the game is to be the last one still on a tire. Pretty basic rules: if you touch the sand, you're out. If the tire you step on tips over and you fall, you're out. If your brother pushes you really hard and you fall, you're out. If you push your brother really hard and you both fall, you're both out. Of course, the kids still found things to argue about, but with rules that simple, they worked it out pretty quickly!
The second game was a treasure hunt. Sarah mapped out places to hide the clues and then Dad and I made up a secret phrase, cut it into 7 pieces and hid the pieces for the 4 teams to find. Once the teams located all the pieces of the phrase, they had to unscramble it AND figure out what it meant. Then the tricky part: finding where the treasure was hidden.
Sarah and Eunice hunt for clues west of the house. Meanwhile, Michael and Andrew hunt east of the house.It took the teams the better part of an hour to find all the clues and figure out what they meant. Two of the teams went directly to the hiding place, but didn't find the treasure. I figured that they just hadn't looked in the right "exact" spot. Well, after another half-hour of searching -- and now all the teams were looking, we encouraged the first team to "look a little closer where you were looking before". Sure enough, because silly Mom didn't achor the plastic bag with the treasure in it to the side of the pool, the breeze (which was pretty strong) had drifted it to the middle of the pool. One wise young man grabbed a rake and pulled in the bounty!
Then we all went in to open gifts and have carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting!