14 of the best party games for kids.
14 of the best party games for kids.
It’s party time! Your child has an upcoming birthday and they’ve decided they want a party, invite their friends, and get ready for a day of fun! Here is our list of some of the best classic (tried and tested when I was a kid), and modern party games that won’t cost the earth.
Pick out the “treasure” of choice (toy, prize, party favour) that you’re going to use and hide it well. Write clues (the number will vary based on age, but anywhere from 5-8 is good) out on paper. It’s fun to make these rhyme (if the kids are a little older), but if you’re not great at riddles don’t worry. Hide the clues in their designated areas, each leading to the next. Send the kids off on a hunt for the treasure, offering assistance to the little ones as needed.
Pass the parcel.
Wrap a gift in a box, or leave it unboxed if it's easy to wrap. Wrap the box in multiple layers of wrapping paper. Repeat step 2 until the box is wrapped in more layers than there are children participating in the game. Having everyone sit in a circle, start some music and the kids pass the parcel around in the circle. When the music stops, whoever is holding the present opens the first layer of paper. This continued until there is no more paper and you reach the box/gift!
Place chairs in a circle, or two lines with the chairs back-to-back. You need one less chair than the number of kids playing. When the music starts, have the kids walk around the chairs in a circle. Once the music stops, they’ve got to scramble to get a seat! If you’re left standing, you’re out. Continue until there’s just one chair left.
Bobbing for Fruit.
Maybe a bit of a Halloween game normally, but why not have it for a kid's party! Fill a bucket of water, add a variety of whole fruit (with edible skin), apples are a good choice. The kids try and ‘bite’ the fruit out of the water.
Line the kids up along a starting line. Place an inflated balloon between the knees of each player. The goal is to race to the finish line, keeping the balloon between their knees and not touching it with their hands. If you have a large group, this race can also be played relay style. Hot tip: Jumping works best!
Hide and seek.
The classic game of hide and seek is sure to be a hit with children in the earlier school years (3-7). To play, one person is chosen as the seeker. He must close his eyes and count to 20. As the seeker counts, the other players run away to hide. Once they are done counting, the seeker opens his eyes and searches for the hidden players. The last person found is the winner of the round and becomes the next seeker.
Sardines is a little like hide and seek in reverse. To play, one person is chosen to go and hide while the other players close their eyes and count to 20. When a person finds the ‘hider’, they join them in the hiding spot. Last person to find the ‘sardines’ is the loser of the round. Try closing the curtains and playing in the dark makes this one extra fun for older kids.
Divide competitors into pairs. Line the pairs up at the start. One member of the pair – the ‘wheelbarrow’ – gets into a push-up position I.e., the hands out stretched, the other member of the pair lifts the ‘wheelbarrow’s’ legs by holding their ankles or lower legs, one leg in each hand. On ‘Go’ the wheelbarrow walks his arms along the ground to move forward, with the second team member walking behind and continuing to hold the wheelbarrow’s legs. You can either just have a straight race to a finish line, or have a mid-point and the pair swop over.
Egg and Spoon Race.
This one takes a little prep. Grab some eggs and hard-boil them to keep down on mess. Grab a reasonable size (soup spoon for example) for a traditional egg and spoon dash across the yard. For larger groups of kids, relays are a good idea!
You will need a hessian sack or a large pillowcase failing that for each racer (you can also play in relay teams to minimize the number of sacks you need). To race, guests must stand with their feet inside the sack and on ‘Go’ race to the finish line (or to their teammate if you’re playing relay style). The first player to cross the finish line or first team to have all members jump home is the winner.
Stuck in the Mud.
In this version of the classic game tag, children who have been tagged must stand still with their legs apart – like they’re stuck in the mud! They can become unstuck and re-join the game when another free player crawls under their legs. The free player cannot be tagged while they are under a stuck player. Play until all players are stuck in the mud or until time is called and a new It can be chosen.
Everybody sits in a circle. One person is nominated to be the ‘detective’ and moves away from the circle while everyone else decides who the ‘murderer’ will be. The detective is called back to stand in the circle. The ‘murderer’ winks at one person in the circle at a time (trying to do it without the detective seeing them committing the crime). When someone has been winked at, they pretend to die dramatically! The detective has to try to solve who the murderer is. Once they guess, the murderer becomes the next detective and the game starts over again.
Duck, duck, goose.
This was one of my favourite games as a kid! Get all the children to sit in a circle, then pick one out. The chosen child walks around the outside of the circle, tapping the head of each child as they pass them and calling out 'duck'. After a while, the child chooses a 'goose!' and starts running round the circle to get back to the place where they were sitting. The ‘goose’ child has to chase and try to catch the first child. If the first child gets back round the circle before being caught, they sit down, and the chaser has their turn. If not, the same child goes again. A new kid can be picked if they have had a few too many turns.
The children dance around to music. “Alexa, play baby shark.” Is a phase I hear far too often in our house! When the music stops, the kids have to stand absolutely still, like a statue. If anyone moves, they are out. You can vary this game by getting the children to dance like a particular animal that you call out. When they freeze, they have to pose like that animal.
So, pick your favourite, or a few of the above, adapt them if you want. Make sure there is plenty of party snacks and party bags for later, and you’re bound to have a good party.