I think some people think that they can just throw a party and expect everyone to have fun without thinking about the essential party games for kids.
I want to be the first to warn you. If you don’t plan some party games ahead of time, two things are going to happen.
- The kids are going to sit around staring at each other and have no idea what to do for fun.
- The kids are going to go batshit crazy creating their own completely out of control fun.
You do not want either of these things to happen. One ends with no one ever coming to your parties again and the other one might end up with a visit to the emergency room.
Either way it’s a disaster.
So let’s not do that, ok? Here are awesome, fun party games for kids so that no one loses an eye.
Easy and Fun Party Games for Kids
I could have used some other adjectives for the games I chose to include in this post today, but easy and fun are most important in my opinion.
Easy is essential; no one wants to have to think too hard about kids party games. I get it. You have a lot going on. If the party game instructions are more than a few lines long, it’s not happening.
Fun of course is the key ingredient. You want fun. You want laughter. This is what parties are about.
The games you pick are going to get you that laughter and fun.
One note on party games. Every party is different. Not every game is going to be fun for every set of party guests. Pick a few that you think will work and then go with the flow.
If one isn’t working, gently move on to the next. If one is a HUGE hit, let them play it til they are done.
Don’t be the party host with a shrill whistle making the kids scurry from one thing to the next just because you planned it that way.
Ok? Ok. Let’s get to the games.
Big Foot Game
It’s the simplest things that are usually the most fun. This big foot game isn’t fancy and you may not even have to buy anything to make it.
Fashion some gigantic feet from some cardboard. There are no hard and fast rules on how to make these feet. Just make them big and ugly.
Hot glue a cheap pair of flip flops onto the feet.
Add some light plastic balls to the toenails. You can do this with some packing tape. You may need to replace the packing tape for each contestant.
The object? Get to the finish line with the most balls still attached to the toenails.
The twist? You gotta be fast, too because tie goes to the fastest!
You can find detailed instructions at Get Your Holiday On.
There’s a also Dinosaur Party version of this game!
A relay race is great for a kids party. You now you are feeding them a bunch of sugar, so you want to have some type of game that is going to help them burn that sugar off.
There are so many fun types of relay races and they can be easily customized to match your party theme.
- Three Legged Race – Contestants are paired up with ankles tied together and must work together to get to the finish line without falling. Or with falling. That might be more fun.
- Wheelbarrow Race – You remember this one, right? One person holds the other persons feet while the other person walks on their hands, wheelbarrow style. My wrists hurt just thinking about it, but kids love it!
- Dizzy Bat – You need a couple of bats and a lot space. Two contestants hold one bat each upright on the ground. Place their foreheads on the knob of the bat, spin ten times then race to the finish line. In a very dizzy line.
- Keep It Up – Contestants can work alone or in pairs to get a balloon to the finish line without it touching the ground. The catch? They can’t use their hands! You can do this a few ways. I’ve seen it done with pool noodles or plastic tennis racquets, or you can go super minimal and do it with the breath in your lungs.
Balancing Pool Noodle Dance Game
This isn’t a dance, really. I mean for me it’s about as close you’re going to get to seeing me dance, so this is a dance for people who want to move around at a party but will not ever dance in front of other people.
You get a small crew of little people (4 or more) and give them each a pool noodle. They stand in a circle-ish fashion and hold the noodle vertically in front of them. The goal is to basically leave your pool noodle standing while you walk to the next persons noodle and grab it, keeping it upright.
It could also be called “walk in a circle around pool noodles while letting them go and simultaneously not allowing them to fall down”. That’s kind of long though.
You can make this game more or less difficult and more or less fun by making the circle smaller or bigger.
I’ll leave that up to you.
I’ve always loved a good scavenger hunt. What’s great about a scavenger is you can write the clues based on your theme.
Like this Lego Party one or this Pirate Party one. The Lego one is simple enough with just the visual cue of the Lego head to find while the Pirate one is suitable for older kids who need a little more of a challenge.
These can be done solo or as a team. Either way, kids love them and they usually eat up a considerable amount of time.
While they hunt, you can drink your wine. You’re going to need to when you see them start heading for the dining room with your Grandma’s crystal or to your rose bushes.
Human Ring Toss
Human Ring Toss sounds like a blast, doesn’t it? The idea is to toss an inner tube over your partner.
And they can’t move their feet or arms. So they tilt themselves forward, back, left or right, but they cannot lift their arms to protect their faces.
That’s the fun part. Watching them get hit in the face with the tube (which totally doesn’t hurt!) while they try to finagle the tube over their heads.
You do think that’s fun, too, right? Kids getting smacked in the face with a pool toy?
Ok, so a photo booth isn’t technically a game, but it is entertainment.
Kids love this. And it’s not really that difficult to do.
You find a blank wall, decorate in a way that is appropriate for your theme and then get yourself some props.
Yup, props. You can get them at the party store, or, if you’re resourceful, you can probably find on theme props as free printables on the wonderful world wide web.
If you need some inspiration, check out the photo backdrop for a Harry Potter Party in this post. It’s a bunch of Wanted! posters plastered to the wall. And yes, they are free printables.
Smash a Cone Party Game
Kids love to wreck things and make a mess.
They also love candy.
That makes the old Smash a Cone Party game an instant hit.
The idea is simple. Grab some flat bottom cones. Put them in a circle, upside down on a table. Put some candy (Hershey Kisses are great!) underneath some of them.
Let the kids smash the cones to reveal whether or not they’ve scored a candy. The candy isn’t really the prize, though.
The smashing is.
Poke A Prize
Poke a Prize is the Pinata’s far less dangerous 2nd cousin. No more blindfolding small children, handing them a heavy stick and telling them to “SMASH IT!”.
What were we really thinking?
Poke a Prize is still fun, though. You affix some plastic cups to a sturdy piece of cardboard, fill the cups with candy or other treats and then cover the cups with tissue paper attached to the rim of the cup with an elastic band.
The kids get to pick which cup the want to poke through for their prize.
Is it as much as fun as a Pinata? Perhaps not. But you know what’s not fun? Eyes poked out in the middle of the candy pile.
You can find full instructions on East Coast Mommy Blog.
Crazy Ball is kind of like Simon Says except the beach ball does all of the work.
It’s easy. Get a beach ball. Write some silly tasks on it like “Spin in a Circle Until You Vomit”.
Ok, not that.
But you get the idea.
You toss the ball amongst the children and whichever task their left thumb lands on, they have to do. It’s silly fun for everyone.
The Candy Bar Game
You’re going to need a ton of candy bars. At least one for each kid that’s playing and then also a few more more than that.
Toss all of the candy bars in the middle of the table. Set a timer for however many minutes you want (5, 10, 15 – however long you need them sitting in one place for. This is a great time to suck back some wine).
Give the birthday girl or boy a pair of dice. If you roll doubles, you get to pick a candy bar.
Then the next person goes. If they roll doubles, they get to pick a candy bar from the middle OR they get to steal a candy bar from anyone else.
I think this game is genius because the fact that you are pitting the party guests against each other makes the other parents forget that you are sending their kids home with multiple full size candy bars.
I know you don’t have a parachute lying around. It’s ok, Amazon has them. Obviously.
If you have kids, you are going to have many birthday parties for them. The use you get out of this parachute will be far and beyond what you pay for it.
There are a million different ways to play with a parachute and there’s no reason that you only pull it out for parties, either.
If you need some inspiration on how to use the parachute because you can’t remember 5th grade gym class, then check out this post from Kid’s Activities on 31 Fun Things to Do With a Parachute.
Party With a Plan
You are now armed with 11Easy and Fun Party Games that your kids are going to love.
Get ready to be adored by your kids for throwing the best birthday party ever.
For like 5 minutes before they go back to being brats and playing video games.
But it’s those five minutes that you’ll always remember.