FISH POND - Great for birthday parties. Make your own fish pond by covering a very large cardboard carton with a sheet and decorate by pinning cut-out paper fish to the sheet. You can usually obtain a large appliance or furniture box, which would be ideal for this purpose, at a furniture store. If you can't get a box just hang a decorated sheet over a doorway. Use a fishing rod or a stick or yardstick with a string tied to it would do. Tie a clothes pin on the end of the string. Have a helper sitting in the fish pond (cut out top and back of box to allow him to sit in it to attach favors to the clothes pin when each child goes fishing. I use leftover scraps of giftwrap to wrap the little surprises. Children love to unwrap prizes!

PAPER BAG GUESS - Label paper bags with each letter of the birthday child's name and put objects that start with the corresponding letter in the bag. For instance, for AMY you could have a bag labeled "A" with an apple in it, a bag labeled "M" with a mug in it, and a bag labeled "Y" with a Yo Yo in it. Players guess what's in each bag by feeling the outside of the bag.

OLD CLOTHES RELAY - This game is really fun to make a movie of and watch later. Especially if your projector or VCR allows you to run the movie backwards. Divide players into two equal teams. For each team have a suitcase or box containing a large shirt, shorts, boots and hat. In turn each player must put on old clothes and run to a certain point where they take the old clothes off and put them back in box, then run back to start where the next player repeats the process etc. until one team finishes and wins.

GOODY GUESSING - This is a good party game that guests can play as they are arriving. Fill 4 or 5 jars with candy, nuts, raisins - anything edible counting the pieces as you put them in. Then let the children guess how many are in each jar. Whoever guesses closest wins the jar.

JELLY BEAN HUNT - Assign a point value to each color of jelly bean. The higher value of course will go to the color with the fewest number of beans. Hide the beans in the party room. Actually they should all be in sight but placed on or near an object of like color so that they are camouflaged. Set a time limit at the end of which the player with the most points wins the game.

MEMORY GAME - This is fun for all ages - just so they are old enough to write. Prepare a tray with about 20 objects on it. Give each child a pencil and paper. Hold the tray up so they can see it for about 30 seconds then remove the tray from sight. See who can name the most objects they saw in a 3-5 minute period depending on the age.

NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT - Make a list of things to find in nature such as a pine cone, bug, leaf etc. Duplicate the list for as many players you have or one for every two people if you want to send out teams. Set a time limit and the winner is the first team back with all the objects or the team with the most objects at the end of time limit.

PICTURE LOTTO - You can buy this game or make your own. To make your own, purchase 2 inexpensive, identical children's picture books. Try to find a book with lots of small pictures like a picture dictionary or book on birds or animals. For each child you need a sheet of construction paper on which you will glue 6 pictures. Glue the identical set of 6 pictures on little individual squares of paper. So, for 6 children you would need 2 sets of 36 different pictures. To play the game draw one of the individual pictures and give to the child who has the matching picture on his paper. The first child to cover all 6 pictures wins. Continue playing for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. until all children match all their pictures.

PIG RACE - This game takes a little preparation but the kids love it. You will need a different color sheet of construction paper for each child. For a large group divide into groups and have elimination races. Out of each sheet cut 9 small squares and 1 large pig. Mark off an 8 step race track using pencils, napkins or whatever. Line the children up shoulder to shoulder behind the first step. Give each child a colored pig. Shuffle your little colored squares and draw them out one at a time. Whoever has the matching color pig takes a step when his color is drawn. The first one to complete all 8 steps wins.

PING PONG BALL IN BOX LID - This game is adaptable to any holiday or occasion. You'll need a ping pong ball and a cardboard box lid - a shirt box is fine. Cut a hole in the center and tape a paper cup under the hole - this will be the target for the ball. Other holes that the ball could drop through should be cut as hazards. Decorate according to holiday with crayons, markers, construction paper, etc. For instance, on Halloween make it a jack-o-lantern. Cut out holes for eyes and mouth large enough for the ball to fall through. To play, drop the ping pong ball into corner of box and have child maneuver box lid trying to get ball in paper cup without letting it fall through any of the other holes.

STRING HUNT - Great for birthday parties where you want to give each guest a favor. For each child you will need a small block of wood wrapped with a very long (several yards) piece of yarn. Make sure each child has a different color yarn. Just before the party unwrap the yarn by winding it back and forth, over and under and through the furniture in party room. At the end of each piece of yarn tie a favor. As the guests arrive give them their block and let them wind up the yarn as they follow the string to the favor.

VALENTINE TOAST - Melt butter and add red food coloring. After toasting bread cut out a heart with a cookie cutter and brush on red butter.

EDIBLE EASTER BASKET - Color coconut green with food coloring in a few drops of water. Place green coconut in an ice cream cone and add colored jelly bean eggs.

EASTER EGG NESTS - Using the Rice Krispies Marshmallow Treats recipe shape the cookies into nests and fill with green coconut and jelly bean eggs.

JACK-O-LANTERN JELLO - Slice the top off an orange and scoop out pulp. Cut eyes, nose and mouth in orange so that it looks like a jack-o-lantern. Fill with orange jello.

POTATO PRINT PAPER - Make your own giftwrap for Christmas or any occasion. You will need a roll of plain white shelf paper, potatoes, and different color ink pads. Cut a potato in half, then carve out design you want. Remember the design will be the raised portion of cut-out. Stamp potato on ink pad then paper.

PAINT A FLOWER POT - This is a wonderful project for Mother's Day. You will need clay flower pots and poster paints. Let the children paint the pots using their imagination.

SMILEY FACE PANCAKES - Using a spoon, drop dots of batter in a hot skillet forming eyes and a strip of batter for a smile. Give them just a few seconds to brown a little then pour on batter for pancake. When removed from skillet pancake will have a smiley face on it.

SECRET WRITING - Write secret messages using a toothpick or Q-tip dipped in lemon juice. Hold the paper over heat such as a light bulb or toaster to make the writing appear.