This post contains affiliate links. We may earn money from the products mentioned in this post, but this is at no cost to you
Selection of totally awesome and fun party games for kids. Simple classic games that are also budget friendly and easy to organize.
These games will ensure that all kids at the party will remain engaged and enjoying themselves.
When you are a kid, parties are simply the best. Kids will look forward to their birthday party, days, weeks even months in advance. No pressure of course!
Whilst lots of people choose to have their kids parties outside where all the work is done for you, there are LOTS of advantages to having the party at home.
It’s definitely cheaper for a start!
So if you decided to have your kids party at home, you will need to be pre-prepared with games. The last thing you want (or need) is to have a ton of kids running wild high on sugar because there is no structure to the party.
These party games for kids WILL ensure that each and every child has a great time, and your party goes smoothly with the least amount of stress as possible.
Classic Party Games For Kids
When considering what party games to play, you really can’t go wrong with the classic games. They are classic for a reason of course.
All of these games have stood the test of time to be super popular, and kids never get bored of them.
1. Pass The Parcel
This game is great for all age groups as you simply choose the prize according to the kids you have at the party. In between each layer you might like to place a small candy or a sticker.
To play the game have all the kids sit in a circle. Give the parcel to the birthday child and start the music.
The kids pass the parcel around the circle and stop when the music stops. The layer of the parcel is opened, the music starts again and play resumes. The winner is the child who unwraps the last layer and gets to keep the gift inside.
If you have chosen to place a candy or sticker in between each layer, ensure that each child has a chance to open a layer. Once every child has a turn, make sure you turn your back to the circle so you don’t know who the winner will be.
Tip: It’s a good idea to wrap the final layer in a different colored paper. That way you can ensure that you turn around when you need to!
2. Musical Chairs
To play this game you will need to have a chair for every child at the party. If you don’t have chairs, you could stick dots to the floor instead.
Line the chairs up in a row with seats 1,3,5 etc facing one way and seats 2,4, 6 etc facing the other way.
At the beginning of the game, every child should have a seat. Start to play the music and ask the kids to walk around the line of chairs. Ensure that you remove one chair.
When the music stops, the kids have to sit on the closest chair to them. The child left standing is out the game and the game resumes.
Ensure that you take away a chair at each round. The last child sitting is the winner.
3. Musical Statues
Kids LOVE this game and it is so easy to coordinate.
Simply play some music. When the music stops ask them to stand as still as they can.
If you are having a themed party you could ask them to pose. For example a Princess or Superhero pose. Otherwise just stand still!
The kids that move are out of the round and the music plays again. The last child standing is the winner.
Alternatively as a less competitive game, the kids can still be told that they have moved, but can still continue to play in further rounds of the game.
4. Musical Bumps
This game is played similar to musical statues, however when the music stops the children have to quickly sit down.
The last child to sit down is out and the game repeats.
Just like musical statues, this game can be played either with children going out each round, or just for continual fun.
5. Egg and Spoon Race
The egg and spoon race is a great classic game.
Simply hand each child a spoon and a boiled egg. The aim of the game is to run to the finish line without dropping the egg.
If they drop the egg, simply stop, place it back on the spoon and continue running.
The kids are not allowed to touch the egg with their other hand. It’s a good idea to ask them to put their hand behind their back to avoid temptation.
6. Pin The Tail On The Donkey
The great thing about pin the tail on the donkey, is that it can be tailored to all party themes.
The game consists of having a picture on the wall, in this case a donkey.
The children are blindfolded and turned around on the spot 3 times. They are then directed to walk towards the picture and pin the tail where they think it should be.
Take off their blind fold to see the result.
The winner is the child who gets it closest to the correct spot.
This game can also be purchased from many party stores to tailor to individual themes, such as mermaid, superhero, pirate etc.
7. Simon Says
You are Simon and all the kids stand in front of you. Give out instructions that the kids need to follow.
For example, say “Simon says Jump up and down”. Or “Simon says turn around”.
Keep coming up with new instructions that the kids will follow. Then throw in an instruction without saying “Simon Says”.
Make sure the children understand that if you just say “Jump up and down” without saying “Simon says” first, then they are out.
This game can either be played with a final winner, or just continuous play where all the children stay in to play each round.
8. Duck Duck Goose
For this game, the children all sit in a circle. One of the kids is chosen to be the goose.
Standing on the outside of the circle, the child walks around tapping each child’s head. As they do so they say “duck”. The child keeps doing this round the circle, until they tap a child’s head and say “goose”.
The goose then runs around the circle, whilst the other child gets up, runs and tries to catch them.
If the goose makes it back to the original spot and sits down, the new child becomes the goose. If however the child that was sitting manages to catch the goose, then the goose has to try again.
9. What’s The Time Mr Wolf
All the children stand in a line and one child is the Wolf. The wolf stands a long distance in front of the other children with their back turned to them.
The children in the line shout “what’s the time Mr Wolf?”.
The wolf might answer “2 O’clock”. At that point, the children move forward 2 spaces whilst also shouting out 1, 2. The children can choose to either take little or big steps.
Then the children ask again “what’s the time Mr Wolf?”.
The wolf can shout out another time or “It’s dinner time”. At this point, the wolf turns and runs towards the children to try and catch one.
The aim of the game is for a child to tap the Wolf’s back before the Wolf turns around to say it’s dinner time. OR the wolf catches one of the children to become the new wolf.
10. Hot Potato
The children all sit in a circle. To start the game, give one child either a ball or an actual potato.
Music then starts and the children have to pass the potato around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the potato is out.
The last child sitting without holding the potato is the winner.
To make it fair, ensure that you turn your back on the children when playing and pausing the music.
11. Apple Bobbing
Use a large bucket or several buckets for teams and fill with water. Place at least 5-10 apples in the tubs.
The kids have to try and retrieve the apples from the water, with their hands placed behind their back and using only their teeth.
The kids are given a set amount of time to play the game and whomever retrieves the most apples wins.
12. Donut Grab
Tie some strong twine between two trees or poles. Then tie some twine to a donut and hang the twine from the line. Ensure that you have a donut for each child at the party.
The kids then have to eat the hanging donut whilst they have their hands behind their back.
The first child to finish their donut wins.
Find a selection of classic water gun games here > 15 Epic Water Gun Games For Easy Summer Fun
Active Party Games For Kids
If you have a reasonable amount of room for the kids to play, then you will love these party games for kids that will get them being active.
It is always a good idea to mix some active party games in with some other calmer, quiet games.
13. Stuck In The Mud
Depending on the number of kids you have playing, you will either have 1 or 2 of them as “It”.
To play this game, the kids simply run around and try and avoid the tagger. If they get tagged, then they have to stand still as if they were “stuck in the mud”.
To become unstuck, the kids must stand with their feet wide apart and have another child who is not tagged crawl between their legs to unstick them.
The game either ends when all the kids are either stuck in the mud OR the game has reached a time limit and it is restarted with a new “It”.
14. Three Legged Race
The children need to pair up and stand next to each other. Tie the two of their inner legs together using some rope or scarf’s.
Have the children race each other whilst trying to keep their balance.
15. Sack Race
Depending on the number of children at the party, this race can either be run as individuals or as teams.
Each child (or team) is given a sack. The kids climb into the sack and have to jump to the finish line. If playing as a team, then the race is run as a relay.
This game can either be played with a limbo set or simply with 2 adults holding a broom or stick.
The children take it in turns to move under the stick without touching it. They can either do “proper” limbo style and bend backwards or you could allow them to choose how they manoeuvre themselves under it.
If however their body or their hands touch the ground they are out!
Keep moving the stick lower and lower to make it more difficult and create a lot of laughs!
17. Tug of War
A tug of war will definitely get the competitive nature out in the kids!
Divide the kids into two equal teams and have them stand at each end of a long rope.
Mark lines on the ground for the where the middle of the rope starts and where the rope needs to be pulled to for the team to win. Ensure that you tie a ribbon to the centre of the rope so it’s easy to see.
When you shout GO, the teams both pull. The first team to pull the hanky on the rope over their line is the winner.
You might like to try making your own pinata or you can simply buy one to match the theme of your party.
Fill the pinata with candy or small prizes and hang from the roof. Ensure that you allow enough room for the pinata to swing!
The kids will take turns to hit the pinata until enough holes are present for the goodies to fall out.
This game will require CLOSE supervision to ensure that the kids do not hit each other with the stick!
A lot of parents like to make their own pinata, otherwise there are a lot of varieties which can be purchased to suit any party theme.
19. Under Over Game
Divide the kids into teams and get them to all stand in a line.
The game can either be played with balls or balloons.
The child at the front of the line has to pass the ball above their head to the child behind. That child takes the ball and passes it to the child behind them between their legs. This continues, above the head and between the legs until the child at the back of the line has the ball.
The child at the back then runs to the front of the line and and the game continues.
The winning team is the team that has the child that started the game back at the front of the line and then all the children sit down.
20. Dress Up Relay Race
Relay races are always fun at parties, and a dress up relay adds another fun element.
Either choose random dress up’s or pick dress up’s that will suit the theme of the party.
Divide the kids into teams and have them complete a relay race. However before their team mate can start running, they must don on the dress up’s.
The added element of having to swap clothes will bring excitement and another level of competition.
21. Opposites Game
This game will create a lot of laughs quickly.
Gather all the children together and have them stand in front of you.
The children are given a command and they have to do the opposite.
For example, if you say “raise your right hand”, the children have to raise their left hand.
If you say “jump on your right foot”, the children have to jump on their left foot.
The last child to follow the command, or children that get the command are wrong are out. The winner is the last child in the game.
22. Stomp The Balloon
A balloon is tied to a piece of string (roughly 50cm long) and then tied to the children’s ankles. You can choose to tie either 1 or 2 balloons.
The aim of the game is to move around and try and stomp out everyone.
Find even more balloon games > 23 of The Best Easy Balloon Games Kids Will Love
Wonderful Quiet Party Games For Kids
Whilst it’s fantastic to have games that allow the kids to run around and create lots of noise, sometimes it’s also good to have some downtime.
These games are good to mix up the active games, or to quieten the kids down before getting them together for the birthday cake, or the end of the party.
23. Murder Winks
For this game, all the children sit in the circle. One of the kids is chosen to be the “detective” and leaves the circle.
Another child in the circle is chosen to be the “murderer”.
The detective comes back to the circle and stands in the middle. It is their job to work out who the murderer is.
The murderer then looks across the circle and winks at other children. Once winked at, the child has to pretend to die.
It becomes a race for the murderer to try and kill all the kids in the circle before the detective finds them.
The game can continue as many times as you like.
24. Sleeping Lions
This game is great, especially for the younger children.
All the children must lay on the ground and stay as still and as quiet as they can.
Someone walks around the children talking, singing, telling jokes, to try and make them move or laugh. If they do however they are out the game.
The child who remains still the longest is the winner.
25. Silent Whispers
Have the children sit in a circle.
Prepare a few sentences that you are going to send round the circle in whispers.
The sentences can be anything you like, such as:
- I am talking gibberish and you will have to guess it
- A pink and fluffy unicorn is dancing on the big bright rainbow
Choose a child to start and whisper the sentence ONCE to them. The child then has to repeat what they heard to the child next to them. The sentence moves around the circle until the final child who says aloud what they have heard.
The adult then repeats what the sentence was supposed to say.
Repeat with as many sentences as you like.
26. The Chocolate Game
This game will require a block of chocolate, knife and fork, dress up clothes and dice.
The children all sit in a circle and all the pieces are placed in the middle (except for the dice).
Children will take it in turns to throw the dice. If they throw a 6, they move into the middle of the circle, put the dress up clothes on and start cutting away at the chocolate. They can only eat one piece of chocolate at a time!
As soon as another child throws a 6, they have to take off the dress ups, hand to the other child who then starts to cut the chocolate.
27. Photo Booth
Whilst a photo booth isn’t technically a party game, it is still awesome to have at parties and kids of all ages can enjoy it.
A photo booth also allows some independent party time, but also keeps the kids occupied.
A photo booth doesn’t have to be complicated to set up. Just use a simple party backdrop, and have some props available.
Then let the kids loose and see what fun photos they come up with.
How Many Games Should I Prepare For The Party?
One thing that parents always struggle with is to know how many games to prepare for the party. There is a fine line between having not enough games, but also having too many.
Ultimately the amount of games that you play will depend on two things.
- How long the party will be
- The age of the children attending.
As a general rule, it is wise to coordinate between 3-5 games for a party that lasts 1 1/2 hours and 4-6 games for a 2 hour party.
When you coordinate the games make two lists.
Have one list of games that you will definitely play and one list for games that can easily be played if you need more to fill in the time.
The games on the second list can be super easy ones that don’t need any planning such as:
- Simon Says
- Musical Statues
These are the type of games that you can quickly coordinate if you need to. Having this list will save you from any stress as you know you will have exactly the amount of games that you need.
Talk through this list of games with your child and see which ones they get excited about. That will give yo a good place to start when choosing which ones to organise.
One thing is absolutely guaranteed. Games make a party totally awesome!
- Games help all little guests feel comfortable and involved with the party (even if they don’t know each other).
- Games create a LOT of fun.
- Having a list of games will take off the stress and pressure from parents running the party.
- Kids will be talking about all the games they played long after the party is over.
So be prepared and go armed with some of these party games for kids. You definitely wont regret it, and the smiles and laughs you will hear from the kids will make all the planning worthwhile.
More Party Games Ideas
Need some more ideas for a party? Check out these party ideas. You will have a ton of inspiration for different themes for boys and girls, decoration ideas and more.
Let’s keep in touch. Did you love these party games for kids? Sign up to the weekly newsletter to be kept up to date with other fun party ideas. You will also be kept up to date with easy recipes, party themes, decoration, plus have access to the free printable library. See you there!