Party games are a must for any children’s birthday party. They make sure that all the guests feel part of the festivities, they get everyone alive and energetic and, of course, the kids get to win prizes–and kids love winning prizes. If you’re pressed for time but don’t want the same old party games, here are some new or upgraded ones you can try:
1. Pass the Parcel Kids love winning prizes. And, if the prize is a surprise and is already within reach it becomes even better.
What you need: A small present (ex. a small toy, chocolate bar or a box of candy) Wrapping paper Music
Preparation: Wrap the present in several layers of paper. This will be your parcel. The number of layers will depend on how long you want the game to last.
How to play: Get the children to stand or sit in a circle. Turn on some lively music to get everyone excited. While the music is playing, the children must pass around the parcel. Once the music stops (you will be controlling the music), the player holding the parcel must unwrap one layer from the parcel. Start the music again and continue until all the layers have been peeled away. The child who gets the last layer (which will reveal the present) gets to keep it.
2. Sneaky Pete Have the birthday celebrant as the center of attention on her special day.
What you need: Stuffed toy Chair Blindfold
Preparation: Place the stuffed toy underneath the chair.
How to play: Have the birthday celebrant sit on the chair with the stuffed toy underneath it. Get the kids to stand in a circle around the celebrant. Then, blindfold the birthday child. Each one of the kids gets a turn to try and sneak up on the celebrant to snatch the toy underneath the chair. The celebrant can flail her arms around to protect the treasure. Whoever is caught by the celebrant is out and whoever successfully snatches the toy without getting caught wins.
3. Animal Stop Dance This is an upgrade to the classic Stop Dance party game. It encourages creativity and makes it easier for children who aren’t comfortable dancing.
What you need: Music
Preparation: You might want to have a list of animals and adjectives on hand to mix and match. Some examples are: angry monkey, sneaky cat, energetic dog, etc.
How to play: Put lively music on. Call out one of the items on your list, angry monkey for example, and tell the kids they have to dance to the music as if they were that animal. Once the music stops they have to strike a pose as that animal and hold it until the music starts again. Anyone who moves is out.
4. Wipe That Smile Off Your Face This game is so simple but is also a ton of fun. If everyone gives it their all, it’s definitely a lot of laughs too.
What you need: Just willing players
How to play: Have everyone sit in a circle. A chosen player will start the game by smiling his widest, goofiest and silliest smile. He can cross his eyes, stick out his tongue or flare his nostrils. The goal is to make someone in the circle smile, giggle or laugh at his silly face. Points are awarded to him for every player who can’t keep a straight face. After his turn, he “wipes the smile off his face” with his hand and passes it to the next player.
5. Bucket of Coins This game can be played in a number of different way. Easier versions can be played by younger kids and harder ones for older kids.
What you need: 2 containers 2 cups filled with P1 coins, chubby marshmallows or any other small object
How to play: Group the players into two. Set the two containers on the opposite end of the room. Give a cup of coins to each group. The goal is to get as much coins into the cup before time runs out. You can have a small container, like a milk can, and have the kids attempt to throw coins into it. You can also have a relay race where one by one, the kids put a coin in between their knees and wobble to the container to drop the coin in.
6. Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone? This game is a ton of fun if everyone joins in, that includes the little kiddos and the big adults.
What you need: A small stuffed toy
How to play: Everyone stands in a circle. A player is chosen to be the first one “it.” Standing in the middle, this person closes their eyes. The other players have to decide who gets the stuffed toy (or in the context of the game, the bone). The player with the stuffed toy hides the toy behind her back. The rest of the players have to hide their hands behind their back as well. Everyone will try to put on their most guilty or innocent looking face. The “it” opens his eyes and will try to guess who has the stuffed animal. Everyone can tease with shouts of “It’s with me!” or “No, I have it!”