April Fools is the perfect time to host a backwards party for guests of any age—trying to do normal things backwards can have everyone laughing at their own ineptitude. An April Fools backwards party can bring humor and challenge to all who attend. You will have to determine how “backwards” you want to go—everything or just the easiest things.
Your invitation should set the tone for the backwards party craziness to come. Write the invitations backwards–for example, ytrap ym ot emoc esaelp. Write the invitations so that the lettering needs to be viewed in a mirror. Send out thank-you notes instead of invitations to get it all the back way round. You could make an invitation that opens backwards with the details about the party on the outside and the picture on the inside.
Ask your guests to dress “backwards.” Girls could dress like boys and vice versa. They can wear their clothes turned inside out or their outdoor clothes inside. They could wear their underwear on the outside and/or backwards with buttons and zippers on the front. They can wear their shoes on the opposite feet, glasses or sunglasses on the back of their heads, bracelets on their ankles, ponytails on the front of the head, hats turned backwards, and more.
You could wear clothes for the wrong season—summer clothes in winter or vice versa. You could wear pajamas in the daytime. You could wear clothes that you might have worn when you were younger-by going backward in time, you might dress like a baby or a little kid.
You can ask your guests to do as many things backwards as possible: walk backwards, come in the back door instead of the front, and write their names on the nametags backwards. Welcome them with backwards comments like “Hang your shoes on the ceiling and throw your coats on the floor,” or “Thanks for coming—we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!”
For your backwards party, change as many items in your house as you can to be backward, upside down and reversed. Turn pictures and whatever else you can think of upside down. Turn your sofa and chairs around and any small tables or items that can be turned upside down with the legs up. Turn the dining room chairs away from the table.
Decorate with balloons on the floor, banners or garlands put in upside down or with backwards wording (you can find stencils for backwards letters online), and exit signs instead of welcome signs. Put the gifts if this is a birthday party under the gift table. Set up a tablecloth under the dining room table where your guests can sit on the floor.
Take backwards photos of your guests with their backs to the camera. Get photos of the guests in their backwards costumes. Take photos of guests by an exit sign as they arrive. You can get the guests to stand on their heads, using a wall to support them and pillow under their heads. Send these photos to your guests in an invitation, to continue the theme, after the party.
Backwards games and activities can be easy or hard; these are just some examples:
- Make up some silly rules like – say the opposite of what you mean.
- Draw simple items with your opposite hand or upside down while looking at them right side up.
- Hang a piñata upside down and try to break it, or make a hole in the bottom of a piñata and take turns throwing candy into it, inside of trying to get candy out of it.
- Create a word game with familiar words written backwards. Set a time limit, and the guest who figures out the most words in that time wins
- Fill a jar with candy, and ask guests to guess how many are in the jar. The prize goes to the person whose estimate is furthest out – but don’t tell your guests this at the time of guessing.
- See who can drink a glass of water standing on their head.
- For a backwards running contest, set up a short course and have the guests run backwards at the starting signal. You could also have them carry a pail of water.
- Have a backwards sack race–you simply need a short course and sacks. The guests just need to hop backwards to the finish line.
- Play limbo backwards—going head first isn’t easy.
- Have a backwards memory game–read out words or numbers and have guests say them backwards.
- Play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” backward. Blindfold guests, and give them one chance to reach out and pull the tail off the donkey.
- Try a backwards ball toss game, with the guests standing with their backs to the bucket. They throw the balls up over their head to the bucket. The winner gets the balls in.
- Set up a backwards spelling and singing contest. Give your guests some long words to spell or a verse of a popular song to see if they can spell or sing them backwards.
- Make a small obstacle course with chairs, cushions on the floor and hula hoops. Everyone has to navigate the course looking through upside-down binoculars.
- Set up a short obstacle course that each blindfolded guest has to walk through backwards guided by a partner.
- Say a phrase backward, and see which guest knows it the quickest.
- Tell the punch-line to a joke, and see which guest can create the best joke.
- For a clue-based game, you could provide the final clue and work backwards
- Play a sports video backwards, and stop the action at some key point. Guests must guess what happened next.
- Name tags with guests’ names spelled backwards come in handy for this fun party activity: Explain that every time a person’s name is said the correct way – instead of backwards – the person who said the name needs to give a paper clip or necklace to the person whose name was said correctly. Whoever has the most paper clips or necklaces at the end of the party wins a prize!
- Pin the tail on the donkey’s nose, or play it the old fashioned way by awarding the person who is farthest away from the tail with a prize.
- Do the limbo, but instead of “How low can you go?” change it to “How high can you jump?”
- See who can jump rope backwards longer than the other guests.
- Have guests carry a golf or a ping-pong ball on a spoon, but have them walk backwards.
- Arrange a scavenger hunt, but instead of leaving clues, scramble up the answers and let those be the clues.
Party refreshments can also be handled in a backwards way. If you are serving a meal, you have the dessert served before the meal itself. If there is writing on your cake, have it written backwards. Serve pineapple upside down cake. Have cupcakes with the icing on the bottom and the cake on top, served in a bowl. Have cut-up fresh vegetables served in the dip, rather than with the dip.
Have sandwiches made with one slice of bread in between the meat and cheese. Serve pizza in a cup instead of on a plate. Have upside down ice cream cones, with the sprinkles on the bottom and then the ice cream in a bowl with the ice cream cone on top. Carefully make holes in the bottom of soda cans, so that your guests can drink from the bottom of the can.
With all these crazy backward activities, your guests will laugh themselves silly at your April Fools backwards party. Enjoy!