30 best party games for kids

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Here are 30 of the best party games for kids. There are traditional kids’ party games in the list for toddlers right through to 10-year-old children.


1. Musical bumps

Dance to the music, when it stops sit down as quickly as possible. Last one to sit down is OUT! The last child dancing is the winner.

Soften the blow by giving each child a sweet / small token prize when they are out.

2. Musical statues

Dance to music, when it stops stand as still as possible – like a statue! Any child spotted moving is OUT!

The last child dancing is the winner.

3. Musical chairs

Line up chairs, with each one facing the opposite direction.

Dance around the chairs to music, when the music stops sit on a chair immediately.

The child without a chair is OUT!

Remove a chair each round, so there’s always one less chairs than the number of children.

The last child left is the winner.

You can adapt this game to play it using cushions rather than chairs.

4. Musical animals

This is such a simple kids party game.

But I love it!

Simply shout out an animal.

Play music.

When the music stops everyone has to pretend to be that animal.

You could give a small prize for the best animal each round.

5. Musical numbers

Set out number squares – make them from paper and stick them to the floor with Bluetak.

Plus also put smaller number squares into a hat or bag.

Play music, when it stops jump onto a number.

The host pulls a number from the hat/bag.

The child on the matching number square wins a prize or sticker.

6. Hot potato

Cover a raw potato in tinfoil and pretend it is hot!!

The children pass the ‘hot potato’ round as music plays.

Whoever has it when the music stops is out.

See the game in action.

7. Bottom shuffle race

Everyone sits on the floor at one end of the room.

Set a finish line at the other end.

The host shouts ‘go’ and the kids have to shuffle along on their bottoms until they cross the finish line.

First, cross the line wins!

8. Crawling race

This is the same as the bottom shuffle race but crawling!!

9. Mother may I?

The host or a child stands with their back to everyone at one end of the room/garden.

They are ‘Mother’.

The children line up at the other end of the room. / garden.

Each child, in turn, asks ‘Mother May I?”

‘Mother’ gives them a command… “You may take X number of giant/regular / baby/steps… either forwards or backwards.

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?

Read more: Can’t face stuffing another party bag? Here’s an alternative idea

10. Grandmother’s footsteps

This is an absolute classic kids party game.

The host or a child stands with their back to everyone at one end of the room/garden.

They are ‘Grandmother’.

The children line up at the other end of the room/garden.

All the children start to move forwards towards ‘Grandmother’.

‘Grandmother’ can turn around at any time.

Any child caught moving or wobbling when she turns around has to go back to the start line and start again.

The first child to get to ‘Grandmother’ without her spying them moving wins.

11. Pin the tail on the donkey

Draw a donkey on a large piece of paper and make a tail from a separate piece of card.

OR pop over to our 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 each child and get them to attach the tail with Bluetak or a pin.

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.

We’ve done variations on this game for parties… we did a joint party where my clever artist friend blew up pictures of the girls and then created big paper accessories for the kids to stick onto them.

It was less competitive but made for lots of laughing.

12. Egg and spoon race

Boil some eggs very hard.

Line the children up at one end of the room/garden.

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.

13. What’s the time Mr Wolf?

The host or a child is ‘My Wolf’.

They stand at one end of the room/garden.

The children line up at the other end of the room/garden.

Mr Wolf turns his back.

The children call out “What’s the time Mr Wolf?”.

Mr Wolf calls out a time… e.g. “It’s 3 o clock”.

The children move forwards the number of steps that relates 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.

The first child caught becomes ‘Mr Wolf’.

Watch the video for a run-through of how to play What’s The Time Mr Wolf?

14. Duck, Duck, Goose

Sit in a circle.

One child walks around the outside of the circle saying duck, duck, duck and then pats someone on the head and says goose.

The goose has to jump up and try and catch the child who has just goosed them.

Check out this video to see a game of Duck Duck Goose in action.

15. Pass the parcel

Have a main prize, then wrap multiple layers of wrapping paper/newspaper/recycled paper around it.

Everyone sits in a circle.

Pass the parcel to the music, when the music stops, the child holding the parcel unwraps a layer.

Now with a small group of children this game is fine as is.

But it can be interminable for larger groups.

So you can opt to have more than one parcel going around.

Another little extra is to add a sweet or small token prize in each layer.

16. Pass the balloon

This follows the same principle as Pass the Parcel, but saves you the faff of wrapping up loads of presents.

Every time a child lands up with the balloon they get a small prize token.


Thread a lot of Polos or  Hula Hoops or Cheerios onto two or more long pieces of string.

The host and a couple of other adults hold the strings up at child height.

Divide the children up into teams.

The children take turns at putting their hands behind their back and trying to eat until the string is empty.

The first team to finish is the winner.

18. Fishing for presents

Make a big box full of small wrapped gifts with a magnetic washer attached to each of them.

Everyone fishes for presents in the box with rods made from sticks, string and magnets.

19. Walk the plank

Create a balancing plank – a simple plank of wood on the floor is fine, safety first!!

Every child that can get to the end without falling off wins – though of course, you can enrol all the other children in pulling faces and causing general distractions to cause them to fall off.

20. Simon says

The host is ‘Simon’. Simon tells the children what they must do.

If the host says ‘Simon says….” ahead of telling them what to do next, the children 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.

For example.

“Simon says jump up and down”

The kids all jump up and down.

“Wave your arms”

The children should stay doing the previous activity.

Great posts to help you plan a kids’ party: Kids Birthdays and Parties

21. The chocolate-eating game


Which child isn’t going to love this game?!

It’s not one for super young children, but great for kids aged five and up.

The children 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 a hat, scarf and gloves and start to cut and eat the chocolate using a 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 kids bounce off the walls… !!!

22. Hide and seek

One person – this can be the host or a child – is the seeker and hides their eyes whilst counting to 100 (or whatever number is suitable).

Everyone else hides.

The seeker seeks out everyone until they are all found.

The last person to be found becomes the next seeker.

This can be great played in a house or outside, just make sure to have boundaries if outside isn’t a garden.

23. Balloon relay race

This is a simple but effective kids party game.

It’s also a noisy one.

You will need to have two baskets or receptacles.

Then put an equal number of blown up balloons into each basket.

The children need to be divided into two teams.

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 their team and the next child sets off.

The first team to pop all their balloons wins.

24. Jelly in the belly game

Make a batch of individual bowls of jelly with a small animal figurine in each. (Do wash the figurines first!).

Use scarves to tie each child’s hands behind their back.

Then get the kids to try and get the animal figurines out of the jelly using only their mouths.

The first one to grab the animal out of the jelly wins.

25. Tag

One person is ‘It’

Everyone runs around.

The person who is ‘It’ has to ‘tag’ someone.

The person is tagged then becomes ‘It’.

Rinse and repeat.

26. Stuck in the mud

This is a variation on tag.

When someone is ‘tagged’ they have to stand still with their arms and legs out ‘stuck in the mud’ until they are untagged.

They can be untagged by someone else in the game going under their arms or through their legs.

27. Sleeping lions

Everyone lies on the floor.

There are two ways to play this….  either a child is out if they move

…or each child who is really super still gets a sticker.

This game is brilliant when you want the children to calm down before they sit down for birthday party food.

28. The doughnut challenge

Buy a couple of big bags of ring doughnuts.

Hang each doughnut on a piece of string.

Use a long piece of string to create a kind of doughnut washing line.

Hang the doughnuts on string from the washing line.

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 kitchen roll to hand for wiping sticking hands and faces.

Top tip 2 – make sure to have spare doughnuts for disappointed kids who watched their doughnut tumble to the floor.

29. Kim’s game

This is an absolute classic kids party game.

It’s a memory game.

You put a selection of small items on a kitchen tray.

For example, a spoon, a hairbrush,  some dice, a small toy… around 15 items are ideal.

Give each child a pencil and paper.

Let them look at the tray for 30 seconds, then cover it with a tea towel.

Each child has to write down what they remember as being on the tray.

The child with the most correct items listed is the winner.

30. Blind man’s buff

This game is so old that it is reputed to date back to Tudor times in England.

It’s best for the kids to be aged six or older.

You need a blindfold and a nice amount of space for the kids to move around.

You choose one child to be blindfolded.

Then you turn them around a few times to disorientate them a little.

Meanwhile, the rest of the kids dot themselves around the rest of the space.

The blindfolded child then has to feel around the space until they find another child, at which point the blindfold is transferred.

Kids party games tips

From my experience of hosting kids’ parties and the bunch of parties we have been to in the last couple of years,  the best children’s party games are those in which no-one goes out.

I am quite happy to have a winner, but as hostess, the last thing I want is upset kids running off causing havoc somewhere else because they are ‘out’.

So I liberally spray the children with stickers during the game, show me a child doesn’t love a sticker?!

Then I give a bigger prize to the winner at the end.

And that’s a wrap on the BEST kids’ party games list!

I’ve got a whole series of posts to help you plan and organize kids’ parties:

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BEST PARTY GAMES FOR KIDS, 30 best party games for children, traditional kids party games, classic kids party games, Kids party games, party games for kids, children's party games

15 thoughts on “30 best party games for kids”

    1. Oh I know I feel such a scrooge for wanting to wiggle out of it. It just seems so complicated now with all this a present in each layer and everyone’s got to get a present malarky – Alice @ Mums Make Lists

  1. My daughters birthday is on 2nd January so I have to do exactly the same thing as you! Have to say though that I’ve started to scale her parties down a bit. Great list! Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

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