There is a lot to be said about all the traditional kids party games that have been around since our Grandparents generation… and probably longer. These games have withstood the test of time for a reason… because they are good… and they really do work!
Here are 10 kids party games that you can use at your next child’s birthday party. You could pick one or two, or use the entire 10, but one thing is for certain… and that is the children will love them!
Pass the Parcel: All children love opening presents, so what is not to love about this game! Simply find a small present (suitable for both a boy and a girl) and wrap it up. Then have several layers of wrapping around the main present. Inside each wrapping it is ideal to place either another small item (a piece of candy, balloon, pen, spinning top… anything small). This is the small gift for the child to keep that opens that layer.
Sit the children in a circle and play some music. Ask them to pass the parcel around the circle until the music stops. When the music stops, that child can open the layer! For younger children it is recommended that you ensure each child has a chance to open at least one layer.
Pin the tail on the donkey: The traditional way to play this game is to have a donkey and lots of tails that the kids will pin onto the donkey (hence the name). You can however use this game to suit any theme you are having. For instance, Pin Dora’s hair band into her hair or pin the banana into the monkey’s hand. You can buy ready-made kits, or if feeling creative you could draw something yourself. Simply have some blind folds available and each child in turn has the opportunity to pin the tail on the donkey. Blindfold the child and ask them to pin the tail as close to where it should be as possible.
Musical Statues: Are there some budding dancers in the room? Choose some favourite music and simply ask the kids to dance! When they least expect it, turn the music off, and the children have to stand as still as possible. The last to stand still is out! Continue the game until only one child remains a statue.
Musical bumps: This game is played very similar to musical statues, except when the music stops, the children have to immediately sit down on their bottom. The last child to sit down is out! Keep playing until only one child remains.
Musical chairs: Gather a chair for each child at the party and place in a circle (seat facing out of the circle). Ask all the children to sit on a chair and then start to play the music. As the music is playing, the children have to walk/dance around the circle of chairs. Have an adult remove one of the chairs. Turn off the music and the children have to sit on a chair. The child left standing is out! Continue until only one child remains sitting, and this is the winner.
Simon Says: This is a great party game that is perfect for younger children too. Designate an adult who is Simon (or change the name to suit the theme of the party ie: Mickey Mouse or Dora the Explorer). Then say “Simon says… put your hand on your head”. The children must do what Simon says. BUT, Simon will trick the children by sometimes saying “put your hands on your head”. If ‘Simon says’ wasn’t mentioned, then the children that made the action are out. Continue with lots of different commands until only one child remains.
Apple bobbing: If it’s a sunny day, this would be a great game for the children to play outside. Organise a large bowl, fill with water and place numerous apples in the water. The children will take it in turns to try to retrieve an apple with their teeth, and their arms behind their back.
Follow my leader: Have an adult as the designated ‘leader’. They will hop, skip, jump, dance etc. The children all have to follow and copy the actions of the leader.
Memory tray: This is a great game if you are hoping for a bit of peace and quiet during the party. Have a tray filled with all sorts of items from around your home and give the children a few minutes to try to remember as many items on the tray. Give them each a pen and paper and then cover the tray and ask them to remember as many items as possible, in say 1 minute. The winner is the one that has remember the most items.