Planning your next birthday party for your child? Looking for the best party games to keep little ones entertained for an afternoon of fun?
What Makes a Great Party Game for Kids?
The best party games for kids offer a balance between participation and competition. It should be something simple enough for even the youngest kids at a party to be able to participate in.
At the same time, it should offer some challenge in order to drum up excitement and give kids an incentive to try to win the party game.
If you’ve ever thrown a child’s birthday party, you know that it can be difficult to get everyone involved. But that is what the best party games for kids do.
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Let’s get into our choices of the best party games for kids. You will find it hard to go wrong with these games and your party is sure to be a success!
31 Fun Party Games for Kids
1. Egg and Spoon Race
The Egg and Spoon Race is a traditional race that is often played outdoors. A staple of many a school event, it is a light-hearted race that involves balancing an egg on a spoon while either walking or running from a start point to the finish line over a designated course.
The aim of this party game for kids is to be the first to the finish line without dropping the egg. It is a test of skill and balance as participants can only hold on to the spoon while the egg sits cradled on the spoon.
It is fun to watch as kids try not to wobble the eggs as they make their way from one point to the other. Some will try to go slow while others may want to rush through the course thinking that momentum will keep them them in race.
If the egg falls off the spoon, the participant will have to make his or her way back to the start line and try again.
2. Obstacle Course
This is a fun party game for kids but it will involve some setting up beforehand.
You can make use of everyday objects found around the home to the obstacle course. Lay out the various elements between a start and finish line.
Examples of obstacles that you can create include crawling tunnels, inflatable structures, balancing beams and small hurdles. The obstacles should present some sort of physical challenge or require the use of strategy to overcome them.
Kids will move from one obstacle to other as quickly as they can. If you have the space, you can get teams to go head-to-head to try to get through the obstacles as quickly as possible. If not, you can time each team, where each time tries to beat the other teams’ time.
3. Musical Chairs
Musical Chairs is a classic kids party game that anyone can play and enjoy. It doesn’t take much to prepare for Musical Chairs. All you need is one less number of chairs than the players. You will also need to prepare a music player like a smart phone or a record player.
Chairs are placed facing outwards and kids will have to circle around the cluster of chairs while music is playing. When the music stops, they will each have to rush to sit down. However, one of the kids won’t be able to find a seat. He or she will be out of the game.
For the next round, remove one of the chairs and the cycle continues. Repeat this process under the last person gets the final chair – he or she is the winner.
To vary it up, change the type of music being played. For one round, it can be hip-hop while another it can be classical. Watch and be entertained as the kids get competitive trying to jockey for the chairs.
4. Pass the Parcel
Pass the Parcel is another classic children’s party game and very popular as especially at birthday parties.
This requires a bit of preparation work. The party organiser, i.e. mom or dad, will have to create the parcel. This involves starting off with a small prize that gets wrapped up. Then wrap another layer on top of the prize, followed by another layer and how ever many other layers you want to have. This will also be dependent on how many kids will be playing this party game.
When the game begins, play music to signal the start of the round. Kids will then need to pass the parcel in one direction. When the music stops, the kid who holding the parcel gets to unwrap one layer.
The process then continues and until the final layer is reached. The child who unwraps the last layer will reveal the prize and gets to keep it.
Can you hear the limbo music already? Limbo is fun party game is an exciting challenge for kids – especially if they are extremely flexible.
To play Limbo, you will need a pole and two people (each holding end of the pole) to create a horizontal bar. The objective is for kids make their way under the bar without touching it by bending backwards.
Start with the bar high enough to encourage everyone to participate. All the players can queue up in a line in front of the Limbo bar and take turns trying to go under it. After each round, the bar gets lower and lower.
The winner is the last person to be able to go under the bar without falling over.
6. Simon Says
This is a classic children’s game that puts the players listening skills to the test. Start off by designating one person as the leader. To play the game, the leader will give a set of instructions to all the other players. The players are only to follow the leader’s instruction if the leader starts off by saying “Simon Says”.
For example, if the leader says, “Simon Says, touch your nose” every one must follow the instructions and touch their noses. But if the leader simply says “touch your nose” without saying the magic words “Simon Says” everyone must not follow the instructions.
It is a fun game where the leader tries to trick the rest of the players into wrongly carrying out actions. Kids who make the mistake of following the wrong instructions will be eliminated from the game. The winner is the last one standing.
7. Ring Toss
All you need is some rings and a target for kids to toss the rings into. For example, you can use some bangles and a bottle.
Kids will stand a suitable distance away from the target and try to toss the ring into the target. The winner is the one who gets the most rings in.
To add to the excitement, you can divide the players into two teams and they can go head to head with each team member taking turns to toss the ring at the target.
8. Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Pin the Tail on the Donkey is a classic party game for kids.
To play the game, first prepare a large picture of a donkey without its tail. Have this displayed on a wall or bulletin board. The tail is separate and can be made out of ribbons with either double-sided tape or pins at the end.
Kids will then take turns being blindfolded and spun around to disorient them. With their eyes covered, they must rely on their sense of touch to try and pin the tail in the correct position on the donkey.
The fun starts when you see kids getting it wrong and pinning the tail at the wrong location, which lead to some hilarious outcomes. You can expect plenty of laughter as kids mistakenly pin the tail in amusingly incorrect spots.
The player who comes closest to the correct position or hits the designated target area is the winner of the game.
9. Egg Toss
Egg toss involves players playing in pairs. The paired up players stand facing each other and the aim is to toss an egg back and forth between each other. The team that drops the egg or cracks the egg is eliminated.
To increase the level of difficulty, as the game goes along, increase the distance between the players, so that they have to toss the eggs even further and further.
Be warned this party game can get messy if you are playing it with raw eggs; it is advisable to play it outdoors.
10. Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt
Treasure Hunt, also sometimes known as Scavenger Hunt, is an interactive and thrilling game that involves kids searching for specific items or solving clues to uncover hidden treasures.
Start by preparing a list of items or clues for participants to find or decipher. These can be hidden in a designated area, either indoors or outdoors.
Then players must use their observation skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork to locate the items or progress through the hunt. Set a time limit and the team that has found the most number of items wins the Treasure Hunt. As a variation, you can assign different point to different items and the team with the highest number of points wins.
This is a fun party game for kids – and even adults can get involved in it too.
11. Wheelbarrow Race
The party game for kids involves a degree of competition and cooperation too. Two players are paired together. One person is the wheelbarrow and the other is the handler. The wheelbarrow gets down with his or her hands on the ground and the handler lifts the wheelbarrow’s legs off the ground.
Then it is a race over a course where the handler and the wheelbarrow have to compete to come in first.
12. Duck Duck Goose
This is a classic and exciting children’s game that creates a lot of anticipation and also encourages physical movement.
Make all the kids site in a circle on the ground facing the center. Select one player to be It”. “It” walks around the outside of the circle, tapping each player on the head and saying “Duck” as they go, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and suspense.
After tapping several players going “Duck”, “Duck”, the “It” can choose one player to be the “Goose” by tapping them on the head and saying “Goose.” The “Goose” then stands up and has to run in a clockwise around the circle, aiming to make it back to the empty spot before being caught by the “It.”
If “Goose” is caught before reaching the empty spot, they become the new “It” and the game starts over. If “Goose” successfully makes it back to the empty spot, they rejoin the circle and remain seated. “It” will continue and repeat the cycle again until he or she manages to catch another “Goose”.
13. Balloon Pop
This can be an exciting game that generates a lot of jumping and hopping about.
Each child gets an inflated balloon with a rubber band attached to the neck of the balloon. The inflated balloon then get attached the child’s ankle using the rubber band.
The objective is to step on other kids’ balloon to make them pop while protecting one’s own balloon.
You will soon see plenty of action as kids try to attack other people’s balloons while dodging out to protect their own balloons. The winner is the last one whose balloon is left un-popped.
Piñata is a game often played at parties and celebrations. The piñata is a colorful, decorative figure made of papier-mâché and filled with candies, small toys, or other treats. It is then hung up above the kids using a strong string or rope.
Kids then take turns trying to hit the piñata while blindfolded to release the goodies inside.
15. Fishing Game
To set up the Fishing Game, create a fishing area by placing a container of water in the center of a sheet or mat. You can then spread magnetic fish toys in the water. Alternatively, for a variation that does not involve water, you can create “fish” using paper cutout attached with paper clips at the end.
Then each child a toy fishing rod with a magnet attached. The objective of the game is for the children to take turns catching the fish using their fishing rods.
Kids will need to lower their magnets to where the fish are and connect with the fish (or their paper clips) . Kids will then need to gently lift the fish out using their fishing rods.
Take turns until all the fish have been caught.
16. Toilet Paper Pull
This is a fun challenge for kids and a test of their patience too.
To play Toilet Paper Pull, lay out a length of toilet paper on a table length-wise. At one end, put the a tumbler of water on top to the toilet paper. The player must the “reel in” the tumbler to them by pulling on the toilet paper.
If they pull on the toilet paper too hard or too fast, it will break and they lose. If they pull too quickly and the tumbler topples over, they also lose.
The winner is the kid who manages to pull the tumbler of water to him or her in the shortest time possible.
17. Cookie Face
If you like fast-paced party games, this is for you. Player will need to race against the clock and complete various tasks while balancing a cookie on their face. Examples of tasks can include dancing, singing, making animal sounds, pretend to be animals and characters. All of these tasks must be completed without the cookie falling off the place.
Not only is it a hilarious game, it forces players to have better balance and coordination all while trying to maintain their composure. The rules are simple and it is an easy game to get everyone laughing in no time.
18. Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek is a timeless game that generations know and love. It can be played both indoors and outdoors. One player is the designed “seeker” while the rest of the players scatter and find the best hiding spots. The seeker then starts to count down with eyes closed or facing the wall.
The game is a test of stealth, quick thinking and creativity. Sometimes players need to be very creative (and daring) in finding the best hiding spots and blend in with the environment. Players can also work together to hide from the seeker and prevent one another from being found. There are also variations like flashlight Hide and Seek played in the dark .
A big plus is this game requires no setup nor props,
19. Keep Em Up
If you have a ball, use it for Keep Em Up!. This is an energetic game that has one objective – to keep the ball or balls up in the air for as long as possible. Players have to work together or compete with one another, if played in teams, to prevent the balls from touching the ground.
All you need is a ball, quick reflexes and some space weather indoors or outdoors. It is suitable for all ages. You can also set the rule to increase the difficulty. For instance, participants can only use one body part rather than all parts of the body.
20. Bottle Flip
You must have seen the Bottle Flip game in recent years, in which the kids and youths throw a plastic bottle and land it upright. The plastic bottle is usually filled with liquid. This might sound straightforward but it is actually quite challenging due to the shape of the bottle and its weight distribution.
Some techniques include a forceful toss or a gentle flick of the wrist. It often involves friendly competition with other players. There are also various TikTok techniques to try for the Bottle Flip game. You will need hand-eye coordination, patience and determination in this game.
21. Thread the Pasta or Cheerios
If you have uncooked pasta or Cheerios cereal at home, try the Thread the Pasta/Cheerios game. It challenges players to thread the pasta through a series of holes.
First, prepare a game board or a set of cards with different types of holes. Also set aside different pasta shapes. Players have to carefully manouvre the pasta through the holes without breaking it or letting it fall.
You will need dexterity, precision and fine motor skills to be a successful player! Thread the Pasta engages both the young and old, tests their level of dexterity, focus and patience. It is an easy and fun game to play whether in a small space or outdoors.
22. Ping Pong Puddle Jumper
If you have a few ping pong balls and some cups, this game would work perfectly!
Fill 12 cups to the brim with water and set the cups in two rows of six cups. You can space out the cups to make the game harder. Place one ping pong ball each on the first cups at the starting line.
Participants can only use their breath to blow the ping pong balls from the starting cups to the target cups. The first to get the ball from the starting cup to the ending cup wins the game.
Everyone knows Freeze – it is an exciting game that involves players freezing when a signal or command is given. Partipants have to keep moving or dancing until the signal is given to unfreeze.
The game is usually played with music accompaniment. The music can be chosen according to the type of players, or the theme of the party. You can also dictate the type of movements players must be seen doing.
Freeze is a game that everyone loves and will be a fun one to include at a party. It also requires no props or equipment except a music player like a mobile device.
24. Stop the Marble
The Stop the Marble game would require a little more preparation. What you need is a board with multiple holes plus a small marble that can fall through the holes. Players then have to tilt the board carefully and attempt to guide the marble or ball into specific target holes while avoiding others.
You can increase the challenge by increasing the number of holes and labelling holes with points. Players can also play for points, meaning accumulate points according to the holes the balls fall into. The objective is to guide the marbles or balls into the designated target hole with controlled movements. It will challenge anyone’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
To raise the level of difficulty, you could even time the game play!
25. Stack the Apples
Have a lot of apples at home? Play Stack the Apples by carefully balancing apples on top of each other to create a tall stack! The one with the tallest stack wins the game!
Players take turns to place apples one at a time. As the stack grows, it becomes more difficult to grow it. The game will reward those with steady hands, patience and the right approach in balancing each apple.
We would recommend playing this game on a carpet, or on grass to prevent the apples from bruising. After all, grandma says never to play with your food, right?
How about a game using chopsticks? The Chopsticks game is a hand-eye coordination game that originated in Asia. You will need two or more players, each with a set of chopsticks. The objective is to tactically capture and accumulate the opponent’s chopsticks by tapping or striking them. Speed is important as players have to strategise their moves and aim to disable opponents by reaching their chopsticks.
Whether it’s by dodging or jumping, it will be a funny sight seeing the players try to take one another’s chopsticks. We would be cautious about playing this game with younger children, it will probably be a game more suitable for youths and adults.
27. Cup Stacking or Speed Stacks
All you need for Speed Stacks is cups! This highly fast-paced and skills-based activity involves stacking plastic cups in a certain configuration as quickly as possible. Players have to stack them in a certain formation and then dismantle what they have built.
Since plastic cups are frequently used at parties, they can be used instead of specially designed cups. To challenge participants, game organisers can set timings and record them. Maximum time can also be set with forfeits given to those that cannot complete the task.
28. Roll the Potato
All you need for the game is the choice of root vegetable – one per contestant. You can pick potatos, onions or sweet potatos. What contestants need to do is to use only their nose to roll it from one end of the room to the other. Yes only noses allowed!
This will definitely send peels of laughter and tears of joy. However, don’t laugh too much as the fastest who gets their vegetable to the end of the room will win the game. Add on to the challenge by including obstacles in the way.
29. Who Am I
Who Am I is a guessing game that gets players to figure out which person or character they are. First each player receives a name written on the sticky note which is then attached to their forehead or held. They then ask one another yes or no questions to gather the blues about their assigned identity.
This game is a fun one that relies on deductive reasoning and clever questioning. Do make sure there are no mirror lying around. This is also a great game to play when getting to know one another better without all the awkwardness.
30. Bean Bag Toss
Love bean bag tosses? This is a popular game also known as Cornhole. Setup will include a raised platform and bean bags. Players will take turns to toss bean bags towards the hole and the objective is to throw the bean bag into the hole to earn points.
This game can be a team or an individual game, perfect for small parties or family gatherings. Scoring can also vary according to where the beanbag land. This game is easy to play for anyone!
31. Hula Hoops
Do we even need to explain this? The Hula Hoops game is simply spinning circular hoops around our waist or chosen body part. This involves a sense of rhythm and balance. Players must be able to keep the hula hoop for as long as possible before gravity takes hole and the hoop falls to the ground.
Variations include waist hopping arm hopping or passing the hoop to others in a continuous motion. This is one way to work off all the calories and work the core strength while making it competitive. Just get those hoops and hips ready!
If you enjoyed this compilation of games and you are looking for more low-prep games for kids, check out these easy minute to win it game ideas. Or you may also enjoy reading about how to play another classic party game – charades!