Games for children’s parties; Party games for any child, age or party theme.
Whatever theme you select for your child's birthday party, with a little creativity you can adapt any of the games listed below. Most of these party games are good for almost any party with kids – birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Halloween or any celebration where children want to have some fun! Pick up your party bag fillers here!
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* = To make your party really go with a swing, check out our pocket money toys, many of which are great for party bag fillers or as little gifts and prizes during the party.
** = Music Required
Pin the "Something" on the "Something"
This traditional birthday party game can be adapted to fit any party theme. In this game, blindfolded children traditionally try to stick a paper \tail\ onto a poster of a donkey. You can take a piece of poster board and draw anything with something missing - a nose on a clown or animal, a spaceship in an outer space scene, a shoe on a princess’s foot, an eye patch on a pirate, and one year we gave Yoda (Star Wars) his staff! Just be sure to include an outline of where the object needs to land.
Bean Bag Toss
The aim of this game is to toss the bean bags through the holes of a piece if cardboard. You can make an easy Bean Bag Toss using a double layer of poster board glued together and a large box. Use the large box as a base, and attach the poster board to one side of it. Before attaching the poster board, paint a design on it, allowing for one or more holes. Kids always have a lot of fun throwing bean bags. They\re easy to make from fabric scraps if you sew. This should be included in your file of inexpensive and creative birthday party games.
This is a game that requires room and good supervision. The children are blindfolded (or not, if they are young and don\t want to be) and they take a stick and try to break a hanging container that has sweets and other small goodies in it. (Colourful Band-Aids are popular among preschoolers). To make one, you can do something as simple as decorating a paper grocery bag with paints or crepe paper and then gluing and taping the top shut once the treats are inside. Run a string along the top edge before shutting the bag. You can also make a fancier one using a balloon and paper mache. The fun thing is that these can be decorated to match any theme. This is just one of the many birthday party games that can be adapted to the ages of the attendees.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
These are some treasure hunt ideas: You can scatter coins in the lawn and let the kids hunt for them, much like an Easter egg hunt. You can hide each child\s goodie bag and then give that child a piece of paper with a hint for finding it - it could be a simple map drawing for a young child, a word or two, or a riddle or series of riddles for older children. You can also let the children do a paper clue based hunt as a group - with the goodie bag for the youngest being the first found, along with the clue to the next goodie bag, and so on. Treasure hunts are perfect for pirate parties where the treasure could even be buried.
Who Am I? (a good game for breaking the ice and getting to know each other)
When the children come through the door tape a farm animal or item/object to their backs. Through the course of the party they may ask each other yes and no questions about what they are. Explain that the first question they may want to ask is "Am I an animal or an object?" At the end of the party each child takes a turn saying what they think they are. Suggestions: cow, pig, sheep, pitchfork, saddle, horseshoe, hay, milk, barn, tractor, etc. This is another very popular birthday party game.
Button, Button, Who's got the Button
A child is chosen to be "it" and hides her eyes as a button is given to a child to hide in his lap or behind his back. "It" then has three chances to guess which child has the item. (All children hide their hands in their laps/behind their backs like they have it.) For animal themes, select an item that goes with the animal. If you\re doing a character theme like Cinderella it would be "Slipper, Slipper, Who's got the Slipper".
Balloon Bust Relay
Purchase large balloons, stuff with a prize such as a whistle, then inflate and tie. You will need one balloon for each guest. Divide children into two teams and place each team behind the start line. At the other end of the room are the balloons. On your mark a child from each team runs to the other end of the room, grabs a balloon and sits on it, bounces on it, lays on it, anything they can do to make it pop. When the balloon pops they collect their prize and run back to their team mates. The game continues until every child has retrieved their prize. If one team falls behind parents are allowed to help.
**Pass the Parcel
Wrap a present in multiple layers of paper. Children sit in a circle and pass the parcel around the circle. Play music and stop at intervals. When music stops the child with the parcel unwraps one layer. A sweet / treat could be within each layer. The last layer being the prize. This is a good game to ‘rig’ at the end of a party for a child who has not yet won anything.
**Pass the Parcel with forfeits
As above but every layer contains a forfeit (E.g. Sing a song, Eat a teaspoon of Mustard, hop on one foot for 60 seconds, etc).
The Chocolate (or Jelly) Game
Sit everyone in a circle and place a tray in the middle with a hat, scarf, gloves, knife and fork, die and a wrapper bar of chocolate. In turn, players throw the die. If they throw a SIX, they must put on the Hat, Scarf and Gloves before they start to unwrap the chocolate with the knife and fork, and then start to eat it. When another child throws a six it is their turn to don the hat and scarf and tackle the chocolate. The jelly variation is to turn out a set jelly onto a plate and eat it with the knife and fork.
Split the party children into teams of three and give each team a toilet roll. Two persons then wrap the third in the toilet roll so that they look like an Egyptian Mummy. The winning team is the one who in a set time (say 2 minutes) have the neatest and most covered Mummy.
Pass the Orange
Arrange for teams of about 8 to stand in a line, one behind the other (arranged boy, girl, boy,...). Give each team an orange which the first person should tuck under his chin. This should be passed to the person behind. When the orange gets to the last person, they come to the front of the line and start again. The winning team is the first one which gets their starting person to the front again. This game can be very funny!
Divide the children into 2 or more equal teams and stand them in a line. Give each team ten balloons in a basket. The first in each line takes a balloon and runs to the other side of the room/yard/area and sits or stomps on the balloon to pop it. After popping the balloon they run back to the line and tag the next person who does the same thing. The game goes on until one team has popped all of their balloons.
Stuck in the Mud
One person is \IT\ and has to run round touching as many people as they can. When they have touched someone, that person has to stop and stand with their legs apart and their hands out-stretched, until someone crawls through their legs. If you\ve been caught three times, then you are out. The game ends when everyone left is standing still.
All the children sit in a circle except one who is given a pillow and blind-fold. They then go and place the pillow on another child’s lap, sit on it and say ducky ducky. The person should say “quack quack" this can be done only 3 times. If the blind-folded child guesses the name correctly of the other child, they should now be given the blind fold and the game runs over again - after everyone has changed their places. This game can be a lot of fun and produce many giggles!
Children sit in a circle. Put a bag filled with clothes; big shirts; hats, scarves, gloves etc in the middle of the circle. Play music. Children pass around the bag. When the music stops the child with the bag puts on a piece of clothing. The person with most articles of clothing when the bag is empty wins. This game becomes more interesting and fun the wackier the clothes are; old fashioned hats; feminine scarves that boys have to wear; a bra (?!); Halloween masks; pirate jacket, silly glasses, gloves and so on.
All children sit in a circle. With a deck of cards, have each child take a card until everyone has one. If there are seven children, take seven cards from the deck then pass those around. Make sure one of the cards is an ace of spades. The child who receives that ace secretly winks at the other children. If you are winked at, you say, "I\m dead" and throw your card in the middle and pretend to die. The object is to guess who has the ace of spades. If you think you know, state that you want to guess. If you\re wrong, you forfeit and die - if you are right, you win.
Detective Game / Winking (variation of above)
All children except the detective sit in a circle while the detective waits outside. One child from the circle is elected to be the murderer, and then the Detective is called back to stand in the circle. When he is ready, the Murderer winks at people in the circle. Anyone who sees that they have been winked at lets out a blood-curdling scream and dies. The Detective has three attempts to guess the murderer.
This is a game of memory and laughter! Here's how it works. Players sit in a circle and everyone decides what animal they will be and what hand signal they will use to reflect that animal. For example; someone may be a worm and wiggle their finger or be a duck and bend their arms and "flap them" like wings. One person is King Elephant and their signal is holding their arm out in front of their face like an elephant trunk. King Elephant is the "head" of the circle and there should be an empty chair or empty space between him/her and the next player, who is the back of the circle. When play begins King Elephant starts. King Elephant makes his/her signal and then another player\s animal signal. That player then has to make their signal and another player\s animal signal.
Play continues uninterrupted until someone makes a mistake! The player who makes a mistake goes to the back of the play circle and all other players move up. The goal of each player is to become King Elephant. This can happen when King Elephant makes a mistake and has to go to the end of the line. King Elephant then has to become whatever animal the new King Elephant was and use this new signal. The new King Elephant has to remember that they are now the King Elephant signal. It gets confusing and that is part of the fun!
Note: It may be a good idea to set a time limit on play or just let the group keep playing until you see that the interest and enthusiasm is lagging.
Variation: This can be really funny! Instead of a signal for the animal the children choose a sound – squeak for a mouse; bark for a dog; trumpet for an elephant and so on. The children must make their animal sound followed by another child’s sound. Just wait for the children to roll around laughing!
What’s the Time Mr Wolf? ( A great game for expending some energy!)
One child stands at end of the room, the other children at other end who call ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf?’ Child calls out a time e.g.: ‘2 o’clock’ etc children move 2 steps forward until wolf cries ‘time to eat you!’ and runs to catch a child who then becomes the wolf.
**Musical Paper (good game to get to know each other)
Place 5 or 6 pieces of newspaper on the floor (1 piece per 3 or 4 children, depending on size of paper). Play music. When music stops children run and stand on a piece of paper. If anyone can’t get on a piece they are out. As game continues make paper smaller and fewer pieces until there is just one very small piece left.
Children sit down when music stops – last to sit is out.
Children dance to music. When music stops children stand in position without moving – first to move is out.
Place chairs in a circle facing outwards. One less chair to the number of children. Play music. The children circle the chairs and sit when music stops. The child without a chair is out. Remove a chair and continue until just one chair is left.
**Cross The Valley
Provide 2 sheets of paper for each child / team. They have to cross to the other side of the room and back only stepping on the paper. In 2 teams, a relay race; the first team to finish wins.
Duck Duck Goose
In circle 1 person is it. Walks round outside of circle tapping children on the head saying duck duck duck duck then when the child says goose that child who has been tapped must get up and run anti clockwise around the outside of the circle while the child who is it runs round in the opposite direction – the first back to the empty place wins and the one left is then ‘it’.
Variation – children must put on an article of clothing from a selection basket before running around the circle of children.
Pass the Ring
Children sit in a circle with a long ring of string – a ring is passed along the string secretly. Person in the middle must guess who has the ring, then that child becomes it.