We've had great fun pulling together tradional and modern party games for all ages. If you have any party game suggestions please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tip! It’s a nice idea to give all children a sweet or a small prize for joining in even if they don't win
Thanks to Chris Siouville from Jersey for this idea:
Write silly tasks on slips of paper, fold them small then place each in a balloon before inflating it. Some balloons can be left without messages if you wish it keeps them guessing & some will realise they can see which ones have paper inside and either go for or avoid them! tie the balloons onto string to make a 'washing line'. tie/hold the line at child height.
Call out a colour and name of child (or roll dice with colours on matched to balloons). The children have to burst a balloon of that colour and carry out any task on the note inside.
Eg tasks: hold choc button on tongue/nose without eating it (can be a game in itself!); stand on 1 leg; cartwheel; silly face/voice or whatever seems appropriate.
Tracey Benton, author of Birthday Party, has designed a simple Easter-themed game for children of all ages.
Bunny Bingo is a take on traditional bingo and is great for birthday parties and rainy holidays. It’s also a good tool to help younger children familiarise themselves with numbers. Tracey has provided six re-usable cards, instructions on how to play and all the numbers to cut up and put in a hat. All you have to do is print everything off on your home printer and you’re ready to go. Even better Bunny Bingo is available as a FREE download from her website - just click on the following link: http://www.ziegel.co.uk/page18.htm
Pass the Parcel
Wrap a prize gift in wrapping paper then wrap a small packet of sweets or small prize around that and wrap as many layers as required for the party guests, ensuring that there are enough layers for all guests to win something!
Sit the children in a circle, play music as the children pass the parcel around and when the music stops the child with the parcel opens a layer. Continue until the main prize is won. Make sure all children have one go of unwrapping the parcel.
Variations: Make the prize a "prize token" to save on the wrapping. You can buy fabric envelopes for pass the parcel instead of wrapping yourself and you can buy ready made pass the parcels too!
Pass the Bag Idea from Lynne in Shropshire
A game I always find makes children laugh is like pass the parcel except you pass a bag of clothes/ hats / shoes around and every time the music stops the child has to choose something from it to put on - there can be some hilarious results by the end of the game which is enjoyed by both girls and boys. Very simple & inexpensive to do!
Play music and ask all the children to dance to it, when the music stops all children must freeze, the child that moves first is out.
Play music and ask all the children to dance to it, when the music stops all the children sit down, the last child that sits down is out. You can provide cushions for the children to "bump" down on to!
4 adults or chairs in each corner of the room with a different picture on them (these can be themed to match your party). When the music stops the children run to a picture and then one of the pictures is picked out of a hat and all the children at this picture are out.
Hold a Note
You’ll need a microphone and a stopwatch for this one! Each child takes a turn to sing a note for as long as possible. The child that holds a note the longest time is the winner.
All the children dance to two songs and the nominated judges picks the best dancer.
Hunt the Sweets/Prize
Sweets or other small prizes are hidden around the venue for the children to find.
This game is ideal as a team game where you can split the party into 2 groups, can also be played inside or outside. Have a main prize ( or 2!) well hidden and then have 3 - 6 clues for the teams to find. These clues need to lead from one hiding place to another and can be a rhyming clue (if you are feeling inspired!) or a directing clue. You can also add a piece of dressing up at each clue stage if your party has a theme! The team have to work out the clues until they find the Treasure!
This is a great game to play at the end of a party to calm the children down and give the parents some quiet time! All the children have to pretend to be a sleeping lion, laying down on the floor as still and quiet as they can be. The first one to move is out and then slowly the children can join in and watch for the next sleeping lion to move! The last child left who has not moved is the winner and gets the Lions prize!
Lemon Relay from Birthday Party by Tracey Benton
…. Or ‘sock’ relay or ‘anything’ relay!
The aim of this game is to move a small object, like a lemon or rolled up socks, weaving it in and out between objects on an obstacle course. The thing is the children can only touch it with a stick (or chopstick, large serving spoon etc).
Use small teddies, cushions, upturned cups and buckets to mark out the obstacle course. For individuals let them take it in turns, time them and see who completes the whole course in the quickest time.
For teams each team member has to complete the course before tagging the next. The first team to finish wins.
Award extra stars for style, control and panache.
You can also use: Anything that can easily be rolled like balls, apples, potatoes, hard boiled eggs.
You can also make balls using newspaper screwed tightly and fastened with sticky tape.How to adapt this game to a themed party: For a Halloween party the children have to pit their wits against some ugly mugs. Tie balloons to mugs and decorate them with silly faces. You can use any props or pictures as part of the obstacle course. Perhaps fairies even have to complete the obstacle course in order to release the fairy princess from a wicked spell?
Straws and Pretzels from Birthday Party by Tracey Benton
Separate the children into teams. Each team should form a line. Give each child a pretzel stick or straw that they put in their mouths (without munching if it’s a pretzel!). The child at the front of each team is given a curly pretzel that they must pass to the next child using just the straw or stick in their mouth.
The first team to pass the pretzel down the line and back again wins the stars. If the pretzel or object is dropped it must go back to the person that dropped it …if you want to make the game harder for older children … back to the beginning of the line so they have to start again. Doh!
To make the game harder why not get each team to pass a selection of objects down the line to a bowl at the end. Set a time limit of say three minutes. Same rules as before. The team with the most objects when the whistle blows, wins.
For smaller groups of children, who want to play individually, get them to move a selection of objects from one side of the room to another, using just the straw. Whoever moves all their objects first, wins this game.
You can also award stars for the person who concentrated the hardest, pulled the best face or the one who managed to drop the prop the least amount of times.