Here are my top 5 kids party games ever! They are the ones I use the most when I run kids parties. Also it’s worth having a look at this post I did about games for girls - especially if you’ve got a roomful of girls to entertain.
All these games work best in the context of the simple party plan I tend to use.
1) The Mummy Game.
You need four toilet rolls for this. Split the kids into four groups ideally with an equal number of kids in each team. Each team decides their team name and nominates one person from their team to be their ‘Mummy’. This person stands at the front of their team facing them with the loo roll at their feet. Press play on a suitable pop track (the Bangles ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ is on-theme for this game). The children from each team then take the tissue paper and begin wrapping up their ‘Mummy’. They keep going until the whole roll is done, perhaps balancing the remaining cardboard inner roll on the ‘Mummy’s’ head as a finishing touch. Stand back and judge each team’s ‘Mummy’, giving prizes for each team for different brilliant winning attributes. The great thing about this game is that everyone wins. Plus it’s really memorable and funny. There’s a bit of an element of being a bit ‘messy’ in it which appeals to the kids, but it’s easy to clear up. Good for 6 and over.
2) Pass the Parcel.
The classic. A good sitting down game – so perfect for calming things down when you need to – e.g after eating.
You need ten sheets of tissue paper, some sparkly star table confetti, ten packets of sweets or raisins and a little prize like a bottle of bubbles or a squishy toy of some sort! Plus a sticker to put on the last layer so you can rig it to make the birthday child win, should you choose.
Watch my video here for a step by step guide on how to make a pass the parcel.
To play, get all the kids sat in a circle. If you have more than ten children playing explain that not all of them will win, but they shouldn’t worry because you will play another game afterwards where they will all win a prize. Check that they understand this. It’s better to set expectations before you play and you will avoid any disappointment. Give the parcel to the birthday child and press play on the music. The parcel is passed around the circle. Pause the music regularly so the layers can be opened. If you have used a sticker to identify the final layer you can make sure the birthday child wins the main prize. If you have two children sharing a birthday party, do two ‘last layers’ each with prizes so they both get one.
3) Musical Statues.
Follow pass the parcel with this variant of Musical Statues. I like to play it with prizes for being the best statues instead of anyone being out.
Get the music on, and get the dancing established. Then pause the music at regular intervals so the kids have to freeze. Go round and say ‘boo’ to them and ‘Look! There’s a spider!’ to try and make them move and they will most likely manage to keep still despite your best efforts. Be amazed at their statue skills and as a reward balance a little prize on their head… a packet of sweets, a chocolate coin or give them a sticker. You can create a theme for the statues, such as animals or princesses or superheroes to stretch their statue creativity. Or do Jarvis Cocker’s hilarious version – dancing when the music isn’t on and freezing when it starts again – great fun.
4) Duck, Duck, Goose.
Have the children sitting in a circle. One child (start with the birthday boy or girl) goes round the circle patting each head saying ‘Duck’ with each pat. If they choose to say ‘Goose’ on one of their pats, this child (the goose) has to get up and chase after the ‘patting’ child and try and tag them before they get round the circle and take the ‘goose’s’ place in the circle. If they don’t catch them, the ‘goose’ now becomes the ‘patting’ child. If they do tag them the patting child has to go again.
5) Bubble Jungle.
You need a big old bed sheet or a play parachute, and a whole load of balloons. Have all the children holding the edge of the parachute or sheet. Put all your balloons in the middle of it. Nominate a child to sit in the middle of the parachute or sheet surrounded by all the balloons. The kids on the outside shake the parachute so all the balloons whirl around. The child in the middle has to catch and hold onto as many balloons as they can as you all count down from 5,4,3,2,1. Then call “STOP!”. Count up how many they managed to grab and hold onto. The next person has to try and catch more than that. Keep going until all the children have had a turn. You can also pair them up to work in little teams. Brilliant for photos!
So there they are – reliable and brilliant games for a kids party.