How do you honor someone special who is celebrating a milestone birthday and also entertain your guests at the same time? It’s easy! Just create a personalized trivia party game with questions that focus attention on the guest of honor’s history, personality and interests. Here’s nine simple steps to get you there.
1. Start a basic list of questions. You will want to discover the things your guest of honor likes the most. Write down his or her favorite color, movies, TV shows, songs, food, restaurant, store, vacation destination and hobbies. You can break it down further by getting even more specific. For example, in the food category, you could ask for his or her favorite fruit, ice cream flavor, candy bar, Chinese food, hamburger chain and Italian dish.
Include some important firsts on the list. You could ask what was his or her first job, address, girl or boyfriend, pet and first time voting. Look into the guest of honor’s childhood (what did he want to be when he grew up, best friend as a child). Do some name-dropping (list two co-workers, best man or maid of honor, middle name).
2. Go to the source for answers. If you want to make sure your answers are accurate, ask the person who has lived it. Unless it’s a surprise party, you can interview the guest of honor to get all the facts. Ask him or her specific questions, then encourage those answers to develop into stories. Take notes and pick out interesting tidbits to include in your quiz.
3. Get a different perspective. Ask a close friend or relative to reminisce about the birthday boy or girl. They may come up with little known details about the person. Keep in mind, if you’re getting the story second-hand, it might be a good idea to check the information with the celebrant.
4. Edit out any question that could embarrass the guest of honor. The idea is to recognize the celebrant for their personality, accomplishments and way of life, without making them feel uncomfortable, revealing secrets or stirring up unpleasant memories.
5. Make it even more interesting with photos. Show a picture of the celebrant’s cherished childhood pet and ask for the name of that dog. Present a snapshot of the old family house and quiz your guests on the street name. Look through old photographs for ideas for questions.
6. Format your questions. Use multiple choice, true or false and fill in the blank. An example of multiple choice could be: “What hospital was Fred born in: a – Margaret Hague, b – Jersey City Medical Center or c – St. Francis Hospital?”.
You can be more imaginative with true or false, because you can make up things that will have a false answer. For instance, “True or false, when Mary was a little girl, she had a pet guinea pig?” If a guest correctly answers false, you can give them extra points if they know she actually cared for a hamster.
7. Rearrange your questions. Begin with the easiest ones that would be common knowledge for most of the guests. If most everyone at the party knows the answers, it will build confidence. Then once the group feels comfortable answering, increase the difficulty to make it more challenging.
8. Decide how to play this birthday party game. You can put each question on a separate piece of paper and let individuals draw a question and answer. Another option is to just read each one and let anyone shout out a response. Or you can play by making teams and doing it like a game show, such as “Family Feud”.
9. Pick a prize. Even if you award just a small token, it will liven up the competition at the birthday party. You might want to make it also tie into one of the guest of honor’s interests. How about sharing a DVD of his or her favorite movie, a gift card to their preferred restaurant or a book about one of their hobbies?
It’s easy to create a personalized trivia contest based on the guest of honor’s life. Your crowd will have fun with this lively party game and maybe even learn something new about the celebrant. The birthday boy or girl will feel honored by the attention that is focused on his or her history and uniqueness. And it will help make this milestone birthday an event to remember.