Children's Party Games
So you have agreed to host your child’s birthday party. As well as cupcakes and balloons you will need to arrange a few games to keep the little ones amused.
For a 2 hour party you may need 5 games. Make sure you purchase a few prizes to hand out to the winners, and double check that you have everything you need before the day.
Pin the tail on the donkey
You pin up a picture of a donkey, and mark where the tail should be. Blindfold the players and give them a tail with a pin in it. You then spin them round three times, before letting them go. They now need to try to pin the tail on the picture. The person who gets closest to the place where the tail should be – wins!
Guess the number
To keep the kids amused whilst everyone is arriving, have a jar of jellybeans on show. As each of the children arrive at the party have them guess the amount of jellybeans inside, and write down each person’s guess. The winner gets to take the jar home
Get some empty plastic bottles or cans, and put a little water in each. Next, tape the names of the children onto the bottom or back of each bottle. Each child then takes it turn to throw a ball and try to knock a bottle down. If they miss then it is the next child’s turn, if they knock one over, then whoever’s name is on the bottle or can is out. Keep playing until all the bottles or cans are knocked down.
You can choose how many throws each child gets. Depending on age you may want to give 3 throws to younger children and only 1 to older children.
Draw a monster
Cut up strips of blank paper about 20 x 10 cms. Give one to each child along with a pen. Get all the kids to sit in a circle.
First everyone must draw a head and neck of a funny or scary monster; they then fold the paper over at the neck so you can’t see the head and pass their paper to the next child in the circle.
Now everyone draws a middle or stomach on the monster with or without arms, they leave small lines for where the legs will be attached, fold the paper over and pass it to the next child.
The last part of the game is to draw the legs on the monster, fold the paper again and pass it to the next child. You then go around in a circle and each child tells you the name of their monster and unfolds the paper to find a funny picture inside.
Water balloon target
Set up a target on the ground, give each child a water balloon, they can either have different colours or you can write their name on each balloon with a texta. Each child throws their balloon and tries to hit the target, if the balloon pops they are out. The person closest to the target wins.
An alternative is to throw the balloons into an empty bucket, large bowl or bin. The person with the most balloons in the bucket wins.
Clear an area to play the game.
Give each child a balloon, or have teams or play two at a time so you can have a ‘play off’ at the end
Basically each player must try to keep the balloon in the air as long as they can.
Players can bounce their balloon on their heads to keep it in the air – but no hands, feet or other objects are allowed.
The winner is the person who keeps it up in the air the longest.
What's the Time Mr. Wolf?
Again set up a start and finish line.
Get all the children to stand on the line.
Choose one child to be the wolf and get them to stand in front of the other children with their backs turned.
Once the wolf has turned away from the other children, they start to creep up behind the wolf saying ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’
The wolf can turn around and say 3 o’clock, or 6 o’clock or any time he likes and the children have to stand still.
If the wolf calls out DINNER TIME, then the children have to run back to the start line.
If they get caught by the wolf then they have to sit out the rest of the game. If they make it back to the finish line, then they are safe.
The last child left at the end of the game is the next wolf.
Dog and the Bone
Get all the children to sit in a circle.
Get one child to sit in the middle with their eyes shut and a bone behind them. They will be the dog.
A parent or adult then chooses a child by pointing at them.
The chosen child then has to creep in and get the bone and put it behind their back.
Then all of the children put their hands behind their backs and say ‘Doggie, doggie, who’s got the bone?’
The dog then opens their eyes and tries to guess who has the bone. Usually the dog will get two guesses.
If they guess correctly they get another turn. If not, then the child with the bone becomes the new dog.
Separate the children into two teams and then give each child a balloon.
Mark out a start and finish line.
Get the children to line up in their team at the start line.
Each child then takes it in turn to get from the start to the finish line, holding the balloon between their knees.
If they drop the balloon they have to go back to the start and start again.
Once they cross the finish line, the next person in their team can start racing to the finish line with their balloon.
The first team to get all of their members across the finish line wins.
Again set out a start and finish line or some boundaries to keep the kids within a certain running area.
One child is selected to be the first “IT”.
Their job is to run around and try to catch the other children.
Anyone who is caught must freeze and stand as still as possible. They cannot move again until another child touches them and unfreezes them.
Whoever is tagged twice becomes the next IT.
When the child playing IT changes, any player who is still frozen can unfreeze.
The games start over again.
Egg and Spoon Race
Again decide or mark out a start and finish line.
Get all the kids to stand in a line and give them an egg and a spoon. If you are indoors, you may want to use hard boiled eggs, small potatoes or ping pong balls, and if you are playing outside then you can use regular eggs.
The game can be either played with each guest being an individual contestant or you can play is as a team (as a relay).
To begin, place the egg on the spoon.
The children must then walk or run from the starting line to the finish line without dropping the egg or ball.
The first one to cross the line with the egg still on the spoon wins.
Egg and Spoon Relay Race
If you want to play the game as a relay race, then divide the guests into 2 teams. Then split the teams, so that half of the team is at the starting line and the other is at the finish line. (If you don’t have enough children then one child can go twice).
To start each team has one spoon and egg/ball.
One player from each team starts the race by walking or running towards the finish line and then gives the spoon to the next team member, who then goes back to the starting point.
This continues until all the players have completed the race. The first team to finish wins.
Note: During the relay race, if the egg or ball is dropped then the team member can pick it up, but they must go back to the starting line and start their trip again.
Water Balloon Target Game
Place a target on the ground and depending on the age of the children, have the kids stand 2, 3 or 4 metres away.
Each person is given a water balloon.
They then take it in turns to toss the balloon towards the centre of the target.
Mark the throw that is closest to the bull’s eye and remark those throws that are closest.
If a balloon breaks – mark where it broke and if a balloon does not break mark from the final resting point. Just remember to keep track of who is the closest.
The person who is closest to the bull’s eye wins.
Set up some chairs in a circle, one less than the amount of players.
The players then have to move around the chairs whilst the music is playing.
When the music stops they have to race to sit down on a free chair.
The player without a chair is out.
Take away one chair and repeat until you have 2 players and 1 chair.
The person to get the last chair wins.
Follow the Leader
The children line up in a line behind a leader.
They then have to follow the leader and do all the actions he or she does.
The leader can walk and choose their actions, they can wave arms, then jump, then hop, and so on. All the children must do the same.
After a while a new leader can be chosen.
Parcel the parcel
First make a parcel. This is done by layering lots of paper around a present. You can have only one present in the middle, or you can have small presents in each layer with a major prize in the middle.
The children sit in a circle. A parent or adult then plays some music as the children pass the parcel around the circle.
When the parent stops the music, the child holding the parcel unwraps just one layer of paper.
The music then starts again and the children must pass the parcel around the circle again.
Watch where you stop the music each time, so that each child gets a turn.
The game continues until the parcel has been completely unwrapped and the winner gets the prize in the middle.
There are two ways you can do this. You can either hide random gifts around the house or garden the way you would with Easter eggs, and let the children race around and find them. Or for older children you can make a list of simple clues with each child receiving a different card with different clues, each leading to their own prize.
A modern day take on this is to take photos of objects around the house, but take them up close or at an angle so that you can’t tell straight away what the object is.
Print the photos and give one to each child; if they find their object they win a prize.
Red Light, Green Light
Before the game, lay out two pieces of rope, to mark the start and finish lines. (about 6 or 7 metres will do). The birthday boy or girl gets to be the police officer and they need to stand in front of the finish line. The other children stand behind the start line.
The game begins when the Police Officer turns his/her back on the other players and shouts, "Green Light!" He or she then turns around and counts to five.
While the Police Officer is counting, the other players try to run or walk quickly toward the finish line. When the Police Officer has finished counting to five he/she shouts, "Red Light!" and turns around quickly.
The other players must freeze instantly. If the Police Officer catches anyone moving, then that player must return to the starting line. Play continues until one of the players crosses the finish line whilst the Police Officer's back is turned. This player will become the next Police Officer.
A game for older children. Write the name of a person or character on a piece of paper or ‘post it’ note and tape to the child’s forehead.
Each person takes turns in getting to ask a Yes or No question. For example, am I a woman? Am I an actor? Am I alive?
The first person to guess who they are first wins.