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FUN BIRTHDAY PARTY GAMES FOR TODDLERS, PRESCHOOLERS AND 6-10 YEAR OLDS.
Here are 58 fun and easy-to-play party games for kids’ birthday parties. The list is based on years of hosting parties and attending kids’ parties.
I’ve rounded up the best kids’ party games, including classic games, like Musical Chairs and Pin the Tail on the Donkey, that have stood the test of time.
I’ve also given ideas on how to make other classic games, like Pass-The-Parcel, a little more fun than the original.
There are also a whole bunch of new favourites that kids from around the globe love.
I’ve included detailed rules for each game and a list of any props you’ll need.
The games are divided by age group: toddler, preschooler, and 6-10-year-olds. (Pop over here for party games for teens.)
15 BEST TODDLER PARTY GAMES
Toddlers have short attention spans and don’t understand winning and losing. Stick to simple games with few rules that involve everyone and where everyone is a winner.
1. MUSICAL STATUES
Musical Statues is a truly classic party game. This version is adapted to make sure that it is easy and fun for toddlers to play and enjoy.
The toddlers (and their parents!) dance to some fun music. When the music stops, everyone has to stand as still as possible… like a statue!
The first toddler to stop and stand still each time wins a small prize and then moves to the side.
The game continues until everyone has won a little prize.
I’ve found this video of musical statues music, complete with breaks in the music and stop-and-start commands. It will be useful if you don’t want to shout instructions to many over-excited toddlers!
MUSICAL STATUES MUSIC
2. PARACHUTE GAMES
There are so many different parachute games. I’ve listed three that work particularly well for toddler parties.
All three games are non-competitive, which will foster a sense of inclusivity for even the most shy toddlers.
1. Treasure Under The Sea Parachute Game
Treasure Under The Sea is a game of retrieval.
Put a few items of treasure (soft toys, wooden blocks or small prizes like gold chocolate coins) into a box and put it in the centre under the parachute.
Then get parents and toddlers to hold the edge of the parachute and make waves like the sea.
Each toddler is given a turn to run underneath the ‘sea’ to retrieve a piece of treasure.
2. Parachute Tag
Parachute Tag is a game to be played purely for fun; it doesn’t need prizes.
Get parents and toddlers to sit in a circle and ask the parents to hold the parachute up high.
Then, challenge each toddler to run, crawl or shuffle on their bottom under the parachute, from one side to the other, before the parachute comes down and tags them.
3. Parachute Merry-Go-Round
Parachute Merry-Go-Round is another fun game that is purely for fun. It is great for getting toddlers to burn a little energy, and it is also great for getting them to focus on something together at the same time.
Ask all the toddlers to take hold of the edge of the parachute with one hand, facing the same way as each other. Play some fun nursery rhymes and have everyone move the parachute around like it’s a merry-go-round.
3. BOTTOM SHUFFLE RACE
Toddler Bottom Shuffle Races are the funniest party game. They are as fun for parents to watch as for toddlers to take part in.
Ask all the toddlers to sit on the floor at one end of the room and set a finish line at the other end of the room.
When you shout ‘GO’, the toddlers have to shuffle along on their bottoms until they cross the finish line.
Make sure to cheer for every child crossing the line and then give out celebratory treats to everyone.
4. MUSICAL ANIMALS
Musical Animals is a simple party game, but it is huge fun for toddlers. It makes for great photo and video opportunities.
Play some music, then shout out an animal when you stop the music. All the toddlers have to pretend to be that animal.
You can give a small prize to the best animal, as long as everyone gets a prize by the end of the game!!
5. PASS THE BALLOON/BALL
Although Pass The Parcel is an absolute classic party game, it can be SUCH A BORE when played with toddlers. So, a great alternative for toddlers is to use a balloon or ball to pass around.
Get all the toddlers to sit in a circle. Give the birthday boy or girl a balloon or ball to hold.
Start playing music and ask the child to pass the balloon/ball to the person sitting next to them.
Stop the music intermittently. Every time the music stops, the toddler holding the balloon/ball gets a small prize/treat.
6. WALK THE PLANK
Walk The Plank is a challenge game that is great for developing toddler concentration and balance.
Create a ‘pirate ship plank’ on the floor. You can use a plank of wood or even just mark out a plank using masking tape. Just make sure it isn’t too high off the ground (health and safety first!).
Ask each child to try walking the plank without falling off.
Everyone else can stand around the plank clapping in encouragement or pulling faces and making distractions, depending on the vibe of the party guests.
Every successful participant gets a small prize.
7. WHAT’S THE TIME, MR WOLF?
What’s The Time, Mr Wolf? is a complete giggle-inducer and an absolute classic kids’ party game! This version is a slight riff on the classic version because toddlers won’t necessarily take kindly to being ‘caught’ and having to take a turn as the wolf.
Ask a willing adult to be ‘The Wolf’. Get them to stand at one end of the party room or garden with their back turned to everyone.
Get the toddlers to line up at the other end of the room.
Ask the toddlers to call out, “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?”.
Mr Wolf calls out a time… e.g. “It’s 3 o’clock”.
The toddlers move forward by the number of steps that relate to the time.
At any point when asked, Mr Wolf can answer, “It’s dinner time”, at which point Mr Wolf turns and chases all the children back to the start line. Then the game starts over.
Here’s a video that explains how to play What’s The Time, Mr Wolf?
8. HOT POTATO
Hot Potato is a classic children’s game where players pass a small object around a circle while music plays, and whoever is holding the object when the music stops is out.
Sit all the toddlers in a circle on the floor. Give the birthday girl or boy an object to hold.
Play some music and start the object being passed around the circle. When the music stops, the toddler left holding the object gets a small prize and leaves the game.
You can use an actual potato or buy a Hot Potato game. The game includes a potato with a cute face that plays music when squeezed. The music will stop at random points and can then be started up again by squeezing.
9. SLEEPING LIONS
Sleeping Lions is a great game to use to calm over-excited or tired children down before they have their party food or sing Happy Birthday and watch the birthday cake being cut.
Ask all the toddlers to lie on the floor as still as they can possibly be.
You can either give a small prize to every child who stays super still or a child is out if they move, at which point they can have a small prize for trying hard!
10. ACTION SONG SING-A-LONG
Action Song Sing-A-Longs make a great party activity for toddlers and their parents.
Toddlers might not be able to sing an entire song, but they love joining in and having fun singing along to the music, especially if the song has actions to accompany the lyrics.
Keep the songs simple and make sure everyone knows the actions before you start a song by doing a quick demonstration first – which is sure to get everyone giggling!
Here is a list of brilliant action songs to sing-along to:
- The wheels on the bus
- Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
- If you’re Happy and You Know It!
- Here we go round the mulberry bush
- A ring a ring of roses
- Five little monkeys
- I’m a little teapot
- Miss Polly had a dolly
- Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
- Row row row your boat
11. BUBBLE CHASE AND POP
It can be mesmerising watching toddlers chasing and popping bubbles. It’s a great game for outdoor summer birthday parties.
Blow some bubbles and challenge the toddlers to chase, catch, or pop them.
Create an element of competition for who can burst the most bubbles if you want to spice things up a little!
You can either arm all the parents with bubble mixture to blow bubbles with. Or you can use a bubble machine.
12. TODDLER DANCE CONTEST
How cute are Toddler Dance Contests?! This is a game set to amuse parents as much as it will entertain energetic toddlers.
Toddlers love moving around and have endless energy, so give them a chance to show off their finest dance moves.
Play some fun party music and get the toddlers dancing. You can then shout out dance move instructions.
For example, ask them to see who can be the:
- fastest dancer
- slowest dancer
- bounciest dancer
- funkiest dancer
Then, award prizes. It is important to make sure every child wins a little prize at some point in the dance contest.
21 FUN PARTY GAMES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
Preschoolers (3-5 year olds) have longer attention spans than toddlers but still prefer short and simple games. Non-competitive games where everyone can participate are best.
Cooperative play is more enjoyable for three to five-year-olds, allowing for a wider range of game options.
1. DUCK DUCK GOOSE
Duck Duck Goose is a traditional children’s game that is often played at preschool or nursery. It also makes a great party game.
Get all the kids to sit in a circle. One child stands up and walks around the outside of the circle saying “duck, duck, goose” over and over until they pat someone on the head as they say “goose”.
The child who has been ‘goosed’ has to jump up and try and catch the child who has just ‘goosed’ them.
If the child being chased manages to run around the circle and take the seat of the ‘goosed’ child, then the child who was ‘goosed’ starts the game over.
If not, then the original child goes again.
Check out this video to see a game of Duck Duck Goose in action.
2. MUSICAL BUMPS
Musical Bumps is essentially a twist on Musical Statues, which involves everyone sitting down quickly when the music stops. This makes it a little more complex than Musical Statues, so it is perfect for preschoolers.
Get the kids to dance to some party music. They have to sit down as quickly as possible when the music stops.
The last child to sit down each time is given a small prize and then leaves the game.
The game continues until there is either one winner left, or a handful of winners, depending on how many kids are playing (remember, attention spans are short!).
The winner or winners each receive a small gift and a round of applause.
3. SIMON SAYS
Simon Says is one of those games that can confound overeager adults and kids alike. The key is to listen carefully to what is actually being said.
Get a willing adult to take on the role of ‘Simon’ and tell the children what they must do.
If Simon says, “Simon says….” ahead of telling the kids what to do next, the kids MUST do what they’ve been told.
If Simon doesn’t say “Simon says…” ahead of telling them what to do next, the children MUST NOT do it.
“Simon says jump up and down”
The kids all jump up and down.
“Wave your arms”
The children should stay doing the previous activity.
Any kids that get it wrong get given a sticker or small prize and are asked to watch from the sidelines.
Continue until you have either a single winner or a handful of winners.
Here’s a great video you can use that plays Simon Says music, and a voice-over does all the commands.
4. PASS THE PARCEL
Kids aged three to five are just about at an age where the classic party game of Pass The Parcel works.
The key to a successful game with preschoolers is to adapt the game to the number of children playing and have a small treat within each layer and a larger prize in the middle of the parcel.
I’d suggest having a parcel for every five children playing the game. So, one parcel for five kids, two parcels for ten kids, etc.
Sit the kids in a circle, play some music, and when the music stops, the child/children holding the parcel/s unwrap a layer and find the small prize.
Continue the game until all the layers have been unwrapped and the winner/winners have unwrapped a slightly larger prize at the centre of the parcel.
You will need layers or tissue paper or newspaper, plus a packet of wrapped soft sweets and a couple of larger prizes.
5. PARENT WRAPPING
Parent Wrapping is a great game for getting a couple of parents involved in the activities. It’s also great for photo opportunities and causes much mirth amongst the kids.
The game is as simple as providing each group of kids/ each child with a toilet roll to mummify their parent with. Play some fun music and shout encouragement.
There’s no need for a prize for this game, but you could give a prize to the child or kids who create the best-wrapped parent.
Enough toilet roll to wrap the number of parents willing to be mummified.
6. BALLOON STOMP
There is no getting away from the fact that Balloon Stomp is a LOUD game. But it is also a huge amount of fun! Warning: Kids can get VERY excited and giddy!
Pop some wrapped sweets into the balloons before blowing them up and tying them.
Store all the balloons in big bin bags until you’re ready to unleash them.
When the time is right, gather all the kids together and free the balloons. Challenge the kids to pop them all to find the hidden treasure inside.
I did a version of this game for a pirate-themed party using black balloons and filling them with gold chocolate coins as treasure.
Balloons and individually wrapped sweets/candy.
7. MOTHER MAY I?
Mother May I is one of those schoolyard games that has lasted through the generations.
Get a willing adult to be ‘Mother’ and stand with their back to everyone at one end of the room/garden.
Ask the children to line up at the other end of the room/garden.
Each child, in turn, asks, “Mother, may I?”
In response, ‘Mother’ gives the kids a command…
For example, “You may take X number of giant footsteps”.
The first child to reach ‘Mother’ and tap her on the back wins.
Mother May I commands include X number of the following steps either forwards or backwards:
- Giant footsteps
- Tip-toe steps
- Pigeon steps (small, quick steps that resemble a pigeon walking)
“You may take X number of giant/regular/baby/steps… either forwards or backwards. The first child to get to ‘Mother’ and tap her on the back wins.
Watch this video for a run-through of how to play Mother May I?
8. MUSICAL CHAIRS
Musical Chairs is a really good game for larger groups of kids. It is really inclusive and so simple to play.
Set up a line of chairs back to back with enough chairs for every child.
Play some music as the children dance and move around the chairs.
When the music stops, each child must sit down on a chair.
When the music starts for the second round, remove one or two chairs so that one or two kids end up without a chair to sit on when the music stops.
The aim of the game is for the kids to rush to a seat so that they aren’t the ones left without one.
Give the kids who are out a small prize.
The last child left is the overall winner. You can also play this game using cushions if you don’t want to use chairs.
Enough chairs for the number of kids at the party. NB: Make sure the chairs are sturdy so there aren’t any accidents.
9. FOLLOW THE LEADER
Follow The Leader is a game with plenty of opportunity for mischief. This isn’t a competitive game; it’s just played for laughs.
Line all the children up with the birthday child as the leader. The kids have to follow the leader around the room.
You could create an obstacle course for the kids to go around.
Or you could have different things that the leader has to do at certain points – like blow a raspberry or wiggle their bottom – and then everyone else has to do the same.
Change the leader at various points during the game.
There are no prizes needed for this game, it’s just for fun and can be a great way to warm up a bunch of preschooler party guests.
10. OBSTACLE COURSE
An obstacle course really comes into its own at outdoor parties – unless the party is at a soft play centre.
Gather a bunch of things to use as obstacles – do think about safety!
The obstacles can either be things that the kids have to climb over or go round.
Or you can create a series of challenges for the kids to do as part of the race. For example:
- Twirl a hula hoop around their waist
- Skip with a jump rope
- Throw bean bags into a bucket
- Do star jumps
- Limbo under a pole
- Eat a donut without using their hands
Whatever you want to use as obstacles.
11. CORNHOLE (BEAN BAG TOSS)
Cornhole is a great challenge game for kids. It has been popular in the US for years and is gaining in popularity in the UK. It lends itself best to outdoor parties.
There are a few versions of the game, either with a single Cornhole board, Cornhole boards with a single hole or Cornhole boards with three holes, each with different points for getting a direct throw.
Divide the kids up into teams or pit them against each other individually.
The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by throwing beanbags into the cornhole/s.
You can divide the kids into teams or pit them against each other individually.
You can add an extra layer of challenge by blindfolding the players.
You could blindfold older kids as a fun way to introduce an extra challenge.
12. BALLOON WADDLE RELAY
A Balloon Waddle Relay is a twist on a classic relay race, perfect for creating lots of fun and giggles at a birthday party. This is another game that lends itself to outdoor parties.
Divide the kids up into teams to race against each other.
Then divide each team into two and have one-half stand at one end of the race course and the second at the other.
Give the first team member in each team a balloon to place between their knees.
They must run with the balloon between their knees to the other end of the racecourse; then, the next player must run back with the balloon between their knees.
If players drop the balloon, they must return to their starting line and start again.
Add an extra element by challenging the kids to pop the balloon at the end of the race.
Enough balloons for the teams to race with.
13. WOULD YOU RATHER
Would You Rather is a great ice-breaker game that can lead to lots of giggles.
The best way to play Would You Rather is by providing the kids with a bowl or box of questions to get started.
You will often find that they will start to come up with their own questions once they get going.
Good Would You Rather questions to get them started include:
- Would you rather eat a wriggly worm or a beetle?
- Would you rather be tickled under the arms or on the feet?
- Would you rather live in an igloo or a cave?
- Would you rather have green hair or a red nose?
- Would you rather have a bath in baked beans or slime?
Notelets or notecards to write questions on. A bow or bowl.
Slip-And-Slide, needless to say, is a great outdoor game for sunny summer parties.
You can easily make a Slip-And-Slide using a long length of plastic. You will need to use something to anchor a homemade slip-and-slide in place. Tent pegs work well.
A great tip is to use tear-free baby shampoo to mix with water to create the slip on the slide; that way, there won’t be any stinging eyes.
Alternatively, you can buy a Slip-And-Slide.
Piñatas have been hugely popular in the US and South America for years, and they have gained in popularity in the UK over the last few years.
In my experience, the best age to have a piñata at a birthday party is for kids between three and five years old.
Any younger they just don’t understand what it is all about and aren’t that great at hitting the piñata. Any older and they start to either get a little too fierce or deem themselves too old.
It’s really simple!
Buy or make a piñata. Stuff it with sweets. Hang it up and let the kids whack it with a stick until the sweets come tumbling out.
There are lots of great piñatas available to buy. But if you fancy making one yourself, I’ve put together a roundup of some lovely, easy-to-follow piñata tutorials.
21 FUN PARTY GAMES FOR 6-10 YEAR OLDS
Children aged 6-10 can enjoy competitive and team games with longer attention spans. They are able to wait for their turn and enjoy watching their friends play.
If you’re looking for party games for older kids, take a look at my party games for teens roundup.
1. MINUTE TO WIN IT GAMES
Minute To Win It games are HUGELY POPULAR at kids’ parties. They are based on the internationally popular Minute To Win It TV game show. You can either play just for fun or keep track of who is winning and then give out prizes.
Here is a selection of Minute To Win It games that six, seven and ten-year-olds will love.
I’ve chosen games that need minimal props. You will, of course, need to use your phone or a stopwatch to time the minutes!!
1. Keep ’em Up
Challenge the kids to keep a balloon in the air for a minute. Add interesting rules to the challenge, like keeping one hand behind the back or using no hands or only feet.
2. Marshmallow Challenge
The Marshmallow Challenge is a mouthwateringly fun game.
Divide the kids into teams.
Each team needs a bowl of mini marshmallows, a straw and an empty cup for each player.
Set a timer for one minute.
Each player must use the straw to pick up the marshmallows from the bowl and transfer them to their empty cup.
The player or team with the most marshmallows at the end of the minute wins the round.
Play multiple rounds to declare an overall winner.
You can make the game more challenging by adding variations such as using chopsticks instead of straws or having players transfer marshmallows to a teammate’s cup.
- Mini marshmallows
- Bowls, cups and straws
3. Junk in the Trunk
Junk in the Trunk is a hilarious game of skill!
Pit two kids against each other at a time.
Fill two empty tissue boxes with ping-pong balls, the same amount in each box. Tie the boxes around the waist of each player.
The kids must shake out the ping pong balls without using their hands against the clock.
The first player to empty their box wins (or the player with the fewest balls left in their box after a minute).
- Empty tissue boxes
- Ping pong balls
- String or ribbon for tying the box around the waist
4. Oreo Face
Oreo Face is deliciously simple but effective.
Each player must place an Oreo cookie (Oreos are the perfect size for kids’ faces) on their forehead.
They must then race against the clock to move the cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands.
The first player to get the cookie into their mouth wins.
I’ve found this great video that demonstrates 50-minute to-win it games for kids to play. Have a watch and start planning which you’ll use…
2. PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY
Pin The Tail on the Donkey is such a classic! You can play it with younger kids, but it is much more fun playing with older kids, who are more determined to meet the challenge of pinning the tail head-on.
Draw a donkey on a large piece of paper and make a tail from a separate piece of card.
OR pop over to my Pin the Tail Printables roundup post for five lovely printables you can use if you’re short on time or drawing skills.
Have a blindfold / scarf ready.
Blindfold the children one at a time. Then get the blindfolded player to try and attach the tail with Bluetak or a pin to the picture.
Write the child’s name in the spot where they pin the tail.
The child who gets closest to where the tail should be is the winner.
3. EGG AND SPOON RACE
Egg and spoon racing is a stalwart of school sports days. But it also makes a brilliantly fun party game, especially for outdoor parties.
Boil some eggs until they are very hard. Or, you could buy an egg and spoon race kit.
Provide paints or coloured pens for the kids to decorate the hardboiled eggs if you want to add an extra party activity to this game.
Line the kids up at one end of the room/garden and give each child a spoon and an egg to balance on it.
The children race to the finish line.
Each time they drop the egg, they have to go back to the start and start again.
Eggs and spoons! Either the real deal or buy an egg and spoon race kit.
4. GRANDMOTHER’S FOOTSTEPS
Grandmother’s Footsteps is yet another absolute classic kids’ party game. It is a great game for kids capable of employing an element of strategy to win.
Get a willing adult to play ‘Grandmother’ and stand at one end of the room/garden with their back to everyone.
Get the kids to line up at the other end of the room/garden.
At the start of the game, all the children begin to move forward towards ‘Grandmother’.
‘Grandmother’ can turn around at any time.
Any child caught moving or wobbling when ‘Grandmother’ turns around has to go back to the start line and start again.
The first child to get to ‘Grandmother’ without her spotting them moving wins.
Here’s a video that talks you through how to play grandmother’s footsteps.
5. THE CHOCOLATE EATING GAME
The Chocolate Eating Game is great for kids from six years old and upwards. (It’s also great for adults who love chocolate!!
You will need a large bar of chocolate, a knife and fork, a scarf, a hat and gloves. Oversized hats and gloves work super well for extra laughs. You will also need some dice.
Get the children to sit around a plate with a large bar of chocolate on it.
Each child takes their turn to roll a die until someone rolls a six.
The child who rolls a six then has to put on the hat, scarf and gloves and start to cut and eat the chocolate using the knife and fork.
The other children continue rolling the die until another six is rolled. At that point, the child eating the chocolate must stop eating.
Now it’s the turn of the new six roller to don the hat, scarf and gloves and start eating.
The game ends when the whole bar of chocolate has been eaten. And that’s when the real fun starts for the party host as the sugar rush hits!
- Bars of chocolate
- Knives and forks
6. BALLOON POPPING RELAY RACE
A Balloon Relay Race is a simple but effective kids’ party game for teams of children.
You will need two (or enough for however many teams you plan to have) baskets or containers to put an equal number of blown-up balloons in.
A child from each team has to run from a starting point to their team’s basket and grab a balloon.
They then have to sit on the balloon until it pops, at which point they run back to their team, and the next child sets off.
The first team to pop all their balloons wins.
- Baskets or boxes for the balloons
7. THE DOUGHNUT CHALLENGE
The Doughnut Challenge has to be the most delicious party game ever.
You will need ring doughnuts, string, and a washing line or string for this game.
Buy enough doughnuts for every party guest and tie strings around them.
Attach all the doughnut strings to a washing line and then hang the washing line across the room. Alternatively, you could ask a couple of willing adults to hold the line if need be.
Each child must try to eat as much doughnut as they can without it falling off the string.
The extra tricky bit is that they must do the challenge without using their hands!
- Top tip 1: Make sure to have a kitchen roll to hand for wiping sticking hands and faces.
- Top tip 2: Have spare doughnuts for disappointed kids who watch their doughnuts tumble to the floor.
- Ring doughnuts
- String or washing line
8. KIM’S GAME
Kim’s Game has been made popular by Boy Scouts and Girl Guides using it over the years. It’s a memory game that is an absolute kids’ party game classic.
You will need a small selection of random items, a kitchen tray and a tea towel. Plus, a pen and paper for each party guest.
Put the items on the tray and let the kids look at the tray for 30 seconds, then cover the items with the tea towel.
The object of the game is for each child to write down what they remember as being on the tray.
The child with the most correct items listed is the winner.
- A tray
- A selection of random items
- Notepaper and pens
9. SCAVENGER HUNT
Scavenger Hunts can work equally well when played indoors or outdoors. However, I would suggest sticking with the outdoors if there are many kids at the party.
Kids can play this game as individuals, in pairs or in teams.
Create a list of things for the kids to find. Choose a theme or go with a bunch of random things. You can illustrate the list with images to help younger kids.
It’s up to you whether you set a time limit to add extra fun for older kids.
The winner is decided by who completes the scavenger hunt list first or who ticks off the most items within the time limit.
- Create lists of items that the kids have to find – create one list and print out copies.
10. TREASURE HUNT
A Treasure Hunt differs from a scavenger hunt in that you must hide treasure. This is a great game to use as part of a party theme.
Plan where you are going to hide the treasure, then write a set of clues to share with the kids.
Hide the treasure, share the clues with them and set them off on their mission.
Make the clues more cryptic or complicated for older kids. Try creating rhymes or riddles for extra fun.
A selection of treasures that can be found and kept by the party guests. Gold chocolate coins work well.
11. WATER BALLOON TOSS
Water Balloon Toss is a brilliant outdoor game to play in warmer weather.
Divide all the party guests up into teams of two. Give each team a water-filled balloon.
Each team must take turns tossing the water balloon back and forth to each other.
A team member must take a step back on successfully catching the balloon.
Once a balloon pops, that team must sit out.
The team that can keep going the longest – and furthest – without popping their balloon wins.
I’ve discovered that you can buy self-sealing water balloons, which beats having to fiddle around tying knots.
Here’s a video of a water balloon toss game being played.
12. ELEPHANT MARCH
The Elephant March game is a great way to get all the kids to fall about laughing.
You will need to buy a bumper pack of cheap tights (pantyhose) and a bunch of tennis balls.
Plus, have a bunch of bottles filled with water to use as skittles (or use skittles!).
Give each child a pair of tights to put on their head with a tennis ball stuffed in the toe. This is the ‘elephant trunk’.
The aim of the game is to knock down as many water bottles/skittles as possible in the space of a minute.
13. THE OPPOSITES CHALLENGE
The aim of the Opposite Challenge game is for the party guests to do the opposite of what they are told to do.
How to play:
Gather all the kids together and challenge them to do the opposite of what you tell them to do (this is great preparation for their teenage years!)
For example, “jump forwards’ means everyone has to actually jump backwards.
Each round eliminate whoever doesn’t manage to do the opposite until you are left with a winner.
14. PING PONG BLOW TOURNAMENT
A Ping Pong Blow tournament is a twist on the classic game of ping pong. It challenges players to use their breath to move the ball across a table.
You will need a table and a bunch of ping-pong balls. You could also provide paper straws for more precision.
Divide the party guests up into two or more teams of around four kids per team. Two teams play against each other at a time, and the winner of each round goes through to the next round.
The aim of the game is for the kids to blow the opposing team’s ping pong balls off the table without using their hands or any other methods.
The game can be played with different variations, such as using different types of balls or adding obstacles to the playing area to make it more challenging.
15. THREE-LEGGED RACE
Three-legged races are an absolute school sports day classic that also works really well as a kids’ party game. Getting the kids to work in pairs is a great way to get them interacting and working as teams.
Divide the kids into pairs – either let them decide or make the decision for them, depending on how well they all know one another.
Then provide each pair with a scarf or rope to tie the left leg of one child to the right leg of the other child.
Once the kids are all set, get them on a starting line and watch them try not to fall about laughing as they work out how to run together to the finish line.
Scarves or rope to tie legs.
16. ESCAPE ROOM
Escape Rooms have become incredibly popular over the last few years. They are particularly great if you want to create one main party game for your child’s party.
The aim of an Escape Room game is for the kids to solve the puzzle of the escape room. The kids can work together as one big team or compete against each other.
You can create an Escape Room game from scratch, but I suggest using one of the free escape room kits you can find online.
Or you can buy Escape Room kits ready-made for plenty of fun.
17. TUG OF WAR
Tug of War is a great outdoor game for a large party of kids.
You will need a large bandana to tie across the central point of a long rope and something to create a line on the ground.
Divide the kids into two teams. Each team grabs their end of the rope and, on the starter’s whistle, pulls the rope in unison.
The first team to get the bandana over the central line wins.
You can play round after round or divide the kids into smaller teams and have heats leading to a final.
- Bandana or scarf
18. SACK RACE
Sack Races are another idea borrowed from school sports days! I’d suggest using old pillowcases if you have them, or you could buy some cheap sacks.
Each child must step inside their sack and get to the starting line of a race course.
The aim is for them to race to the finish line without falling over numerous times.
Old pillowcases or sacks
19. GIANT JENGA
Jenga is a cult favourite game of manual dexterity and physical skill. Scale it to be a great party game with a Giant Jenga set. The aim is to avoid being the player who causes the Jenga tower to collapse.
You can pit individuals against each other or divide party guests into teams.
Each player must take a turn to remove one block at a time from the Jenga tower and place it on the top. The game gets harder as the tower becomes progressively unstable.
Twister is a cult classic party game invented in 1964 and brilliant fun to play. You can really only have two or three players at a time on the Twister mat, so this is a game that you can play in rounds.
Players must move their hands and feet to coloured dots on the mat based on where the game spinner arrow lands.
The loser of each round is the player who falls over first.
21. WHEELBARROW RACES
Wheelbarrow races are hugely entertaining, especially when the kids collapse into a heap of giggles.
Divide the party guests into pairs.
One child needs to be the wheelbarrow. This means that they have their hands on the ground and their legs held by their partner.
Line all the pairs up on the starting line and challenge them to race to the other end of the racecourse.
The first pair across the line wins!
Watch this delightful video of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom wheelbarrow race for inspiration.
PARTY GAME PRIZES
I find that it’s best to have a mix of prizes to hand if you are hosting a kids’ party, especially if you want to keep to a tight budget.
It is worth taking a look at my big list of alternative party bag fillers and favours. Many of the items also make great game prizes.
Stickers make great cheap prizes (especially if you don’t want to induce a sugar rush/the wrath of health-conscious parents by giving out sweets!).
BEFORE YOU GO…
I’ve got a whole section on fun party games for kids of all ages, loaded with post after post full of the best party games for kids’ birthday parties, Christmas and other celebrations.
Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.