As parties become more and more sophisticated children actually seem to love traditional kids party games more than ever.
Where we as children played ‘3-legged races’ at every party from four to ten years old our own little people have done all the flash stuff and missed the good, clean fun. Make your next kids party a huge success with these great classic games, there’s something for every age and most can be adapted to your kid’s party theme. Some are old favourites and some are a new twist on the classics you’ll remember from when you were a kid!
Remember: The most important thing for running a great party full of games is being super organised (i.e. have the music or props ready to go!) and remembering those much-sought after little prizes for winners!
1. Pass the parcel
Always a fun favourite! Simply wrap a small gift in lots of layers of paper. Have the kids sit in a circle, and when the music stops, the child holding the parcel unwraps one layer. Continue until the gift is opened. A great version for younger kids who might struggle with the rules is to pass a ball, and the child who gets it each time the music stops gets a small lolly or prize. Some people swear by a gift in every layer, we think there’s a good life lesson that you can’t always be a winner! Whatever works for you!
2. Pin the tail on the donkey
A classic party game where each child takes a turn at pinning the tail on a picture of a donkey while blindfolded, with the winner the one who pins closest to the correct spot. Easily adapted to your kid’s favourite theme: pin the sword on the pirate, wand on the fairy, tail on the dinosaur or crown on the princess.
3. Apple bob
A great game for a hot day! Fill a large bucket with water and a few apples. Each child takes a turn trying to get an apple using only their teeth.
4. Dangling donuts
Hang donuts on strings from the clothesline. Each child tries to eat their donut using only their mouth (no hands!), with the first one finished the winner. Also works with pretzels and jelly snakes!
5. 3-legged race
A fun game best played outside. Using old stockings, tie pairs of children’s legs together and get ready to race!
6. Musical statues
Great for kids with high energy! The kids dance to music and each time the music stops they stand still. The last child moving each time is out.
7. Musical bob
Similar to musical statues, except when the music stops the kids bob down. Last one down is out.
8. Musical chairs
Another fun music game! The kids circle a row of chairs while the music plays. Each time it stops, they sit on a chair. Whoever doesn’t have a chair is out. For younger kids, a softer version is to use a row of cushions instead of chairs.
Fill a piñata with lollies and the kids take turns hitting it until it bursts! Be careful of safety when blindfolded kids swing the stick around!
10. Water balloon piñata
A great hot day twist on the old favourite! Push lollies into balloons and then fill the balloons with water. Hang them outside and let the kids take turns throwing a ball at the balloons.
Use a broom, hose or pool noodle as a limbo stick and let the kids bend their way under, lowering the stick until the last one limbo-ing is the winner! Kids love this more than you can imagine! Make sure to get some cool tunes on to keep them bopping along!
12. What's the time Mr. Wolf
A classic kids game! One child is Mr Wolf and stands with their back turned. The others call out “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” and Mr Wolf calls out a number. The children take that number of steps towards Mr Wolf. This is repeated until Mr Wolf calls out “Dinner time!” and tries to catch one of the other children who then becomes Mr Wolf.
13. Duck duck goose
Kids sit in a circle. One child walks around the outside touching each child on the head saying “duck” until they call “goose”. The goose must chase them around the circle and back into the empty seat. The goose then becomes the child walking around the outside.
14. Follow the leader
Kids walk along in a line and copy the child in front, taking turns to be the leader. Perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers who can’t always follow the rules of trickier games.
15. Dinosaur dig
Hide toy dinosaurs (or whatever suits your party theme) in the sandpit and send the kids on an archaeological adventure! Try gold coins for pirates, small toys or wrapped lollies too!
16. Balloon volleyball
Lay something on the ground as a net and have the kids play volleyball with a balloon.
17. Blowing bubbles
Have some simple fun blowing bubbles! A great choice for younger kids. Even littler children (i.e. a first birthday) love chasing bubbles an adult has blown for them!
18. Straw soccer
Using straws the kids blow a ping-pong ball across the table.
19. Dress up dancing
The kids dance around a big pile of dress ups, when the music stops everyone puts on another item.
20. Simon says
One child (or a parent) is “Simon” who tells the others an action to do, such as hands on your head. The others must do the action but only if Simon says “Simon says” first. If kids do the action when it’s not Simon says then they’re out.
21. Balloon bop
Dance to music each keeping a balloon in the air. If a child’s balloon touches the ground, they’re out.
22. Hot potato
Sit in a circle passing a potato around. The child holding the potato when the music stops is out. Of course a ball, balloon or any other object will do!
23. Who am I?
Place caps on each child’s head with a post it note with the name of a character or person the kids will know. The kids take turns asking questions until they guess who they are. It’s the kid-appropriate version of Celebrity Head.
24. Egg and spoon race
The kids race each balancing an egg on a spoon (or a potato if you want less mess!).
25. Treasure hunt
Set up a map or a series of clues that lead to a treasure chest of lollies! This is the perfect choice for children five and over, they will love this! Make it harder based on age.
26. What animal am I?
Write animals onto cards. Each child takes a card and has to act out that animal without making any noises for the others to guess.
27. Wink murder
The children sit in a circle with their eyes shut. You touch one child on the head, they are now the wink murderer. One child sits in the center and is the detective who has to guess who the murderer is. The wink murderer must try to “kill” the others by winking at them, who then lie down. Game ends when the detective names the murderer or everyone else is laying down.
28. Ring toss
Kids love this game of skill, throwing rings over sticks or cones.There are cheap sets to buy in chain stores or make your own version with hula-hoops and balls.
29. Obstacle course
Set up an obstacle course in the yard for the kids to test their skills!
30. Birthday bingo
Ask 10 questions about the birthday child, like their middle name, and whoever knows each answer yells bingo!
Kids love party games! Have some fun at your next kid’s party with these great game ideas! We hope it’s a great day for your little one – and stress free for you!