At a time when kids seem to be glued to their (or their parent’s) phones, iPads, or computers, keeping kids entertained without the use of technology can be a bit tricky. Unfortunately, this is even the case at parties! Luckily, there are plenty of fun kids games for parties. You can play these and keep the kiddos occupied even without the help of a glowing screen. We believe it’s vital to the overall health and development of kids to spend as much time playing as possible. So, we’ve come up with a long list of fun and engaging games for kids! These can be played not only at parties but also during family outings. Let’s get to it!
Letting the Games Begin With Adventures From Scratch
Having a good time doesn’t just come down to the kinds of kid games for your party. At the end of the day, spending time with friends and family will stick with you the most. After the party ends, keep bonding with Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition. Pick a day for some fun together, and then scratch off an adventure! You can hang around the house or set out to challenge yourselves. Either way, there’s space to document your day and plenty of activities to complete. What will you discover together? Find out today!
The Best Party Games for Kids
Below, you will find a list of our favorite kids party games. Some of these are the old classic party games that many of us remember from our childhood. Others are modern creations. We’ve included outdoor party games as well as indoor party games to keep the kids entertained all year round. All of the great games below are designed to help kids develop skills they will need later in life, whether that be creativity, critical thinking, or even coordination. That means they’re ideal for a kids birthday party, Halloween party, or family gathering.
Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt. From racing to answer questions to completing challenges, scavenger hunts are a great way to promote teamwork, critical thinking, and bonding. They can also be played with just a few players.
Scavenger hunts are particularly great to use as icebreakers. That’s especially true if you have a few shy youngsters who may not be as comfortable speaking up in front of a larger group of kids. Having just a few teammates to work with gives them the chance to come out of their shells a bit. Then, they’ll feel much more comfortable and confident during the rest of the party.
You can DIY your own scavenger hunt at home or in a classroom. But an easy way to add this to your party playlist is with the help of Let’s Roam! Just download our scavenger hunt app, and see what’s nearby! We have hunts in cities around the world. But if you’d rather roam at home, our in-home scavenger hunt is a great choice!
Like scavenger hunts, treasure hunts involve a series of clues or challenges that help teams get to a finish line. In the case of a treasure hunt, this finish line is a treasure that has been creatively hidden. Much like scavenger hunts, treasure hunts are great for promoting team building when played as a group. They’re also awesome at inspiring kids to use their creative thinking and problem-solving skills!
One of the great things about organizing a treasure hunt is that planning it is nearly as much fun as playing it! You can make the game as short or as long as you want depending on how much time you have. It’s a good rule of thumb to make the treasure comparable to the amount of time the kids spend playing. If the kids are searching as a team, you’ll also want the treasure to be easily divided between a group of people. That way, everyone can get a piece of it. This could be a bunch of small prizes or a large one that everyone can share.
This famous Mexican import actually originated in China! People filled paper figures with seeds before breaking them as a way to bring someone good luck. According to legend, Marco Polo found this tradition really cool and decided to take it back to Italy. The Italians must have loved it! The Piñata eventually became popular in Spain. The tradition was then brought to North America by Spanish missionaries.
Interestingly, the ever-creative Mayans had already developed their own version of a piñata. They would take a piñata and suspend it from the air before covering their eyes and attempting to hit the piñata with a stick. At some point, these two traditions melded together to form the birthday party game that many of us know and love today!
During a game of piñata, a colorful figure full of candy and small toys is strung up in the area. One by one, each player is blindfolded with a bandana or scarf, spun around a few times, and then given a stick. Their shoulders are pointed toward the piñata to give them a sense of direction, and away they go. The first child to break open the piñata is technically the winner. But in reality, every player has the chance to grab some of the prizes.
Musical chairs is a fast-moving game where seats are arranged facing outwards in a tight circle. The number of chairs in action at any given time should always be one less than the amount of players you have. One non-player is put in charge of starting and stopping music. This can be done pretty much whenever they feel like it. When the music stops, everyone has to sit down as fast as possible. The person left without a seat is out, and the game continues with one less player and one less chair.
You play until there are just two players and one chair left. When the music stops, the person who gets the seat is the winner. Depending on how enthusiastic the kids are and how much time you have, you can let the winner be in charge of the music during the next round.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Another great way to promote coordination and concentration, Pin the Tail on the Donkey is a simple game to play for kids of all ages. To start the game, you simply need to hang up a picture on a corkboard. The picture could be of anything (a superhero, unicorn, cartoon character, etc.), but ideally, it should reflect the party theme. This picture is then considered the “donkey.” You can either buy a ready-made picture and accessories to play with, or you can search for printable ones online. There are tons of great options out there to choose from!
Each player is then given a “tail” they need to pin on the donkey. However, they’re blindfolded and spun around a few times before they’re given the chance to do this. The first player goes, and then each player follows. After every player has had the chance to pin the tail on the donkey, the person who was able to put it the closest to its actual spot is the winner. If you’re playing with very little kids, you may want to use stickers instead of anything with a sharp end on it just to make sure everyone stays safe!
DIY Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses can be a fun way to challenge kids both mentally and physically. Different obstacles can be created using things you have lying around the house or in your natural environment. This could be anything from jumping or climbing through hula hoops, throwing ping pong balls into a cup, running around a tree, or even shooting a basketball.
Once each obstacle is completed, each player can move on to the next one. The first team or child to complete the entire obstacle course is the winner. The course can be adapted for different ages and group sizes. You’re only really limited by your own creativity!
The premise of tug-of-war is pretty simple. A group of people is divided into two teams. Each team then gathers at either end of the rope. They then try to pull the other team across a central line. While this sounds relatively straightforward, the game starts to get a bit more complicated when the teams start strategizing about how they’re going to beat the other team.
If you have the time, it’s a good idea to give the kids the chance to play a few rounds of tug-of-war. This gives them the opportunity to change their strategy a little bit to try and beat the other team. This can turn into a great way to learn about weight shifting, muscle strength, and core strength as well as the importance of teamwork and cooperation.
Charades is a gesture and acting game where players act out a word while making no sounds. If their teammates can figure out the word simply through gestures and acting, that team gets a point. However, if the team is unable to guess the word within an allotted time period (anywhere between 30 seconds to three minutes), they don’t get a point. Each team can try to get through as many words as possible during the allocated time period. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
You can start the game by having the first player draw a word randomly out of a hat. Otherwise, you can use an online word generator.
Egg and Spoon Race
As the name suggests, the egg and spoon race is a foot race where players compete to cross a finish line first. However, to make things a little bit trickier, each player is holding a spoon with an egg bounced delicately on the end of it. Both they and the intact egg must cross the finish line to be the winner. This one can get a little messy, so you definitely want to play this outside!
Simon Says is a fun game where one player (aka Simon) gives commands to the other players. For example, they could say, “Simon says touch your toes,” or, “Simon says spin in a circle.” The game continues like this until Simon gives a command without saying “Simon says.” Any players who still do the command are then out.
Although it sounds simple enough, the game can actually get pretty competitive. As players complete more and more of the commands, they stop listening as carefully as they had at the beginning of the game. This is a great way for kids to learn how to pay attention a little bit better. Simon Says can help them stay focused even when there are a lot of different distractions around them.
This is an old favorite that is sure to get some hearts pumping! A sack race is a fun competition where all players step into a sack. This could be a pillowcase for younger kids or a sleeping bag for some of the older kids. All of the players line up at the starting line. When the race starts, they hop their way to the finish line as fast as possible. The first person to cross the finish line is the winner.
Once again, this is a good game to divide by age group to make it a little more fun for everyone. You could either have two different rounds for the younger kids and older kids or have a separate starting line or finish line.
If the sack race seemed like a fun activity, you may also want to consider the three-legged race for your next party! A three-legged race pairs two team members together. The right leg of one player is then tied or connected to the left leg of another player.
All teams stand at a starting line, and when the race begins, they try to get to a finish line faster than any other team. The team that crosses the finish line fastest is the winner.
Put very simply, a relay race is any race that is done as a team where one person or the entire team must finish a particular task or obstacle before they can move on to the next one. You can easily transform a three-legged race or sack race into a relay race. This can help change the focus of these games more towards teamwork and bonding while still promoting overall fitness and exercise. That’s definitely what we call a win-win!
How low can you go? Limbo is a fun way for partygoers to show off their flexibility and strength. The premise of the game is relatively simple. Two people stand holding either end of a pole so that it’s horizontal. This could be anything sturdy that is roughly the size of a broomstick. Each player then goes underneath the pole. However, each player must be bending backward, and they can’t touch the pole with any part of their body or the ground with their hands. If they do, they’re out of the game.
After everyone has their turn going under the pole, it is then lowered a few inches, and a new round starts. This continues until there is only one player left who has been able to successfully walk underneath the pole without touching it. This is a great way to get kids of all ages up and moving. To make the game fair for everyone playing, we do recommend having kids play against other children who are similar ages and heights. This way, the older kids don’t get excluded right away while the shorter or younger children get to continue playing.
Minute to Win It Games
Minute to Win It games are quick and easy games where players have to complete tasks within a minute. They can then move on to the next task. The person or team that finishes all the tasks first wins. Alternatively, you can award points for each successfully completed task, and the team with the most points wins. Both ways work well and help bring out everyone’s competitive side.
In this exciting party game, a group of partygoers stands in a circle. They then pass an item from one person to another. While they do this, another person plays music. When the music stops, the person holding the object (aka the hot potato) is out. The game gets more and more exciting as there are fewer and fewer players. Every person generally tries to get rid of the hot potato as soon as possible so that they can stay in the game.
In the rush to get rid of the object, players may have a tendency to drop it. You can either consider this “out” or make it a rule that they must retrieve it and put it back into play. This is perfect for little ones who may not understand the rules of some of the more complex games on this list. But Hot Potato can still be played by kids of all ages. Just make sure you use something soft, like bean bags or water balloons if you are outside, to ensure no little fingers or toes get hurt while they’re playing.
DIY Goodie Bags
No matter how much you plan, it seems like preparing goodie bags is one of the easiest things to perfect. A cool party game idea is to let them create their own DIY goodie bags!
To make it extra fun, the goodie bags can be full of things the party guests made at the party. Depending on the ages and abilities of the kids, this could be little candy bags they put together from a variety of candy options, no-bake cookies they make during the party, tiny birthday cakes or donuts they decorate themselves, or arts and crafts projects. Depending on how much time you have, the kids can even decorate their own piñatas made out of a balloon and paper-mache.
This activity can be tailored to kids of all ages. It could be a lot of fun for the creative kids out there. It also means that everyone can take home exactly what they want instead of a random bag full of toys and candy.
Time to Party!
Well, do you feel like playing around yet? We hope this list of kids games for parties has given you everything you need! Challenge yourself to mix in some fun birthday party games for your next event to make it really special.
If you’re looking for more birthday party ideas, check out “200 Truth or Dare Questions for Kids!” You can easily keep them occupied as you set up some games. Or if you want to make sure there are plenty of guests to invite, read our article on “How to Help Kids Make Friends (Without Getting in the Way).”