If you’re organising a birthday party for your kids you might find the almost endless list of kids party games to choose from overwhelming. Here are our top 10 favourites.
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Pass the Parcel
Pass the parcel is a great game for all ages – parents can help smaller children. Before the party, wrap a small present in several layers of paper or newspaper, add a smaller presents between each layer of paper – i.e. pens, sweets, chocolate coins or small notebooks.
- The children sit in a circle and one child is given the parcel to start the game off
- As the music plays, the children pass the parcel around the circle
- When the music stops, the child holding the parcel unwraps a single layer of the paper
- The music re-starts, and the parcel is passed around the circle again.
- The child who unwraps the final layer wins the prize.
For large parties you can use two or more parcels, so everyone still gets to open a layer and the game doesn’t last too long.
Musical Bumps / Musical Statues / Musical Cushions / Musical Chairs
This game is a traditional favourite and perfect for children from three years old. You will need cushions for Musical Cushions and chairs for Musical Chairs and a music player.
All the children move around the room to music. The music is stopped momentarily, and the children…
Musical Bumps… sit down on the floor as quickly as possible. The last person to sit down is out. The music re-starts and the next round is played. The final player remaining wins the game
Musical Statues… stand a still as possible – like a statue. The first person to move slightly before the music starts again is out. The music re-starts and the next round is played. The final player remaining wins the game
Variations include Musical Chairs or Cushions: sit down on one of the chairs/cushions already laid out on the floor. For the first round of the game, there should be a chair available for each child. The music re-starts and the next round is played. A chair is removed after each round, so that when the music stops one child remains without a chair or cushion, and is out. The final player remaining wins the game.
Funny Face Balloons
All ages, although parents will need to help smaller children.
Give each child a balloon, felt-tipped pen and some stickers and ask them to draw a funny face on their balloon. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could glue wool to the balloons to represent hair. Mount all the creations on balloon sticks. The winner and runner ups can win small prizes and the kids can take their balloon home at the end of the party!
The Chocolate Bar Game
This fun party game is best played with children 5 and over.
Equipment: Bar of chocolate, knife, fork and die.
All the children sit in a circle. Place the bar of chocolate, knife and fork on a plate in the middle. The kids take turns to throw the die. The first child to throw a six has to go into the circle, put on the clothes and start to cut and eat the chocolate.
Meanwhile, the other children in the circle continue to throw the die. The next child to throw a six goes into the middle of the circle, and tries to cut and eat the chocolate.
The first child to successfully finish the chocolate wins.
You can can create variations of the game and use a scarf to blindfold the contestant, or you could use a bowl of jelly instead of chocolate.
Give everyone a straw, a cup and a pile of sweets each (Smarties work well). They then have one minute to transfer as many sweets into the cup using only the straw and suction power – no hands allowed. It’s not as easy as it looks!
The child who picks up the most sweets wins!
Wrap someone in toilet paper as quickly and neatly as possible and create the best looking mummy. Smaller children might need adults to help.
You will need a few rolls of masking tape and toilet paper.
- Arrange the children into teams of tree or four. Give each team a roll of toilet paper and some masking tape
- Each team chooses a volunteer from their group to be the mummy. The rest of the team needs to wrap their mummy up in toilet paper. They have only 10 minutes to make their mummy using only toilet paper and masking tape!
- When time is up, tell everyone to stop
- The team with the best Mummy Wins!
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Suitable for ages four and up.
Equipment: A large picture of a donkey with no tail, a tail for each child with his name written on it, a scarf to use as a blindfold. You can buy ready made sets or make your own.
Put up the picture of the donkey at a height that the children can reach easily, and mark the place where the tail should be.
- Sit the children on the floor.
- Call up one child, cover his eyes with the blindfold and turn him around.
- Give him a tail with his name on it and lead him to the picture.
- Ask him to stick the tail where he thinks it should go on the picture.
- Remove the blindfold and call up the next child to have a go.
- The winner is the child who has stuck the tail nearest to the right spot.
This game is ideal to play with 2 to 6 year olds.
A special treasure prize in a small box
Some small pieces of ‘loot’ e.g., chocolate coins or wrapped sweets
A large box or plastic container filled with sand (if you’re playing outside, this game can be played in the sand pit).
Before the party, bury some ‘treasure’ in a sand pit or box of sand. Give the children spoons, and ask them to pretend that they’re archaeologists (or pirates if you’re having a pirate party) looking for buried treasure. The children dig in the sand to find the treasure, and can keep the small pieces of treasure they find on the way. The winner is the child that finds the treasure chest.
Young children especially will love singing games, and most will be familiar with these traditional rhymes and songs. This is ideal for very young children, and you’d be surprised how much the older ones enjoy it too.
Popular action songs include:
- If You’re Happy and You Know It
- The Wheels on the Bus
- Hokey Cokey
- Old MacDonald
Other popular nursery rhymes to suggest include Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Baa Baa Black sheep, Incy Wincy Spider.
This is a great game to calm down boisterous children at the end of a party.
All of the children lie down on the floor and pretend to be lions that are very tired and have fallen asleep.
Tell the children that the lions are not able to move at all, and if anyone so much as twitches they’ll have to wake up and be out of the game.
Any children who are out can sit down next to you and try to goad the other children into moving.
The last child to move is the winner.
Ignore any movement for a few minutes to give all the children a chance to wind down, and you a chance to relax!