Party Games

Some ideas for kids’ parties.

  • Farm Animals – This game is played in couples.  Each couple chooses the name of an animal (any animal – you can make it jungle animals if you want).
    One of each couple is blindfolded and the other is let out in the crowd. Both of them can communicate only by the cry of that particular animal, and no other words. The first blindfolded person to find their mate in the crowd is the winner!
  • Tangle – You need a ball of coloured yarn or string for each person playing this game, and one chair per team. Split your party into several equal teams of 3 or 4 and give everyone a ball of yarn. Each team stands by a chair.  On the word go, each team gets their balls of yarn and starts tangling them around the chair. They get a minute to do this. Then you shout stop – the teams must now move onto a different chair. Shout “Go!” again, and the real race begins – to see which team can completely un-tangle the yarn into the original balls. The chairs cannot be moved or lifted, and the yarn cannot be broken. The first team with its yarn untangled into balls is the winner.
  • Balloon Actions - W rite a set of actions on slips of paper, such as:
    - act like a bunny
    - cluck like a chicken
    - stand on your head
    etc.
    Now put each action in a balloon and blow it up. Do one balloon for each guest.  Give each person a random balloon and ask them to all sit on the balloons until they pop, the do the action they find.
  • Balloon Popping – put a small piece of paper with each person’s name on it inside a blown up balloon.  One person not playing pops the first balloon, and reads the name on the paper inside.  The person with that name then pops the next balloon and reads the name inside, and so on.  The person named on the paper inside the last balloon remaining is the winner.
  • Lucky Dip – Put wrapped up presents in a big box.  Colour code your lucky dip presents, e.g. yellow is chocolates, red is lollies, blue is toys, green is novelties etc.  Keep everyone guessing by putting the smallest gifts in the biggest boxes.
  • Maze Game – Each person sits opposite their partner, around a square that has a maze drawn on (say) A1 paper, so that there are either 4 or 8 people around the square.  (The maze should then have 4 or 8 exits/entrances.)  Partners should have the same coloured pencil, and they have to find their partner by tracing their pencils through the maze.  First partners to connect their lines without crossing any of the maze walls wins!
  • Cupcake decorating - make a big batch of cupcakes, e.g. lemon flavour, and provide various colours of icing and decorations for everyone to make their own cupcake creations.
  • Paper darts - provide some paper and some books that have paper plane designs.  Everyone makes a paper dart or two and then the furthest dart to be thrown is the winner.  Variation 1: grown-ups can tell the kids what to do but aren’t allowed to touch the paper.  Variation 2: have a 5 minute time limit, and no limit to the number of darts that can be thrown, except that every dart has to be made first.  Variation 3: after throwing the darts, get everyone to fetch their dart, crunch it up into a ball, then have a “see who can throw their paper ball into the bucket” competition – this is a good way of cleaning up after the dart game!
  • Crafts – provide stamps, plasticine, scrap-booking materials and let people make things.  You can also provide blank masks, and people can paint and decorate them.
  • Dress-ups game – provide some old clothes of different colours, e.g. a hat, shirt and pants of each different colour, then provide a dozen or so balloons.  Inside each balloon is a small piece of paper with the name of a colour on it.  Each team of two people split up – the first person runs up to the balloons, starts popping until they find the name of a colour, then yells the colour name to their partner, who must run to the clothes pile and put on the clothes of that colour, then run to another corner.  The first person to get the clothes on and run to the corner wins!  Variation: leave half the balloons blank, or provide paper that says “try again!”
  • Postman Pat – Get 10 boxes and write the names of a country on each box.  Then get as many envelopes as there are players, and put 10 slips of paper each with the name of a capital city, and the player name, into each envelope.  When the game begins, each person gets their envelope, and must run around putting the slip of paper into the box which is the correct country for the capital city written on the paper.  However, the players may only hold one slip of paper at any one time (that is, they must return to the envelopes after each box insertion).  The winner is the person with the most correct capital cities once everyone is finished; if there are two people with the same number correct, then the person who finished first wins.
  • Ball shoot out – use a wheelie bin or big box at one end of the yard and make a line about 5 or 7 metres away.  Use a ball such as a soccer ball or maybe a tennis ball, and take turns trying to throw the ball in the bin/box.  Whoever gets the ball in first wins.  For variety you can also try kicking, kneeing or heading the ball instead of throwing.
  • Hat, scarf and shirt relay – players form teams and one player from each team puts on a hat, shirt and scarf.  When the whistle blows, they have to run to the next team member and that team member has to don the hat, shirt and scarf, then run to the next team member.  The winner is the first team to have all their members having worn the clothes.
  • Book Balancing – Each person puts a book on their head and balances it there.  Music plays, and when the music stops, each person must crouch down.  They stand up when the music begins again.  Last person remaining with the book still successfully balanced on their head wins.
  • The Memory Game – Players sit in a circle and the first person says “I went to the shop and I bought” and the name of an object.  The next person then repeats the entire phrase and adds another object.  It continues around the circle and if anyone cannot say exactly the sequence of objects bought, then they are out.  Winner is the last person remaining.
  • Guess how far the paper airplane will go - each person stands where they think a thrown paper airplane will land once thrown.  For best results, use a large paper airplane e.g. made out of thick A2 paper.  The person closest to the final landing position of the thrown paper dart wins.  Note: make sure to tell people that they are not allowed to move – they must remain still like statues!
  • Tower block challenge – this can be done with individuals or in 2 or 3 person teams.  You’ll need a reasonable number of construction bricks – Duplo bricks are ideal.  Each person/team gets a time limit, and the person/team who builds the tallest tower in that time is the winner.  Winning towers must be stable (not collapse or fall over) for at least 10 seconds once the time limit is up.
  • Bird/animal noises – you’ll need a microphone and speaker for this one.  Each person takes a turn to make the best-sounding bird or animal noise that they can, and grown-ups can score or otherwise judge the winner.  Competitors can be instructed “make the best lion growl”, “make the best eagle sqawk” etc.
  • Ice cube melt guessing game – the night before your party, freeze a large block of ice, e.g. a cube of 4cm on each side.  At the start of the party, everyone makes a guess at how long the ice cube will take to melt.  The guesses are recorded and the ice is left out in the sun, and someone observes when the ice finally melts.  The person whose guess is closest to the actual duration that was taken for the ice to melt is the winner.
  • Mega-size board game – if you have a large smooth area such as a street or driveway, use some large pavement chalk and draw a large-sized board such as for Snakes and Ladders.  The game is played as a normal game of Snakes and Ladders or suchlike, but each person is the “counter” on the board, and they move forward along the giant board according to the dice roll.  Note: a very large/oversized dice is good for this game.