Party Games

Tips for Party Games

What games are right for my party?

First you'll need to select a party theme. Then ask your child what they would like to play at their party. You can purchase pre- prepared party games or adapt a traditional party game so that it works with your theme. 

For instance... "Duck, Duck, Goose can be changed to "Princess, Princess, Knight" or Spiderman, Spiderman, Green Goblin" etc. 

With some artistic skills, markers and poster board, Pin the Tail on the Donkey can be turned into "Pin the Crown on the Princess".

Next, you need to consider your party space and whether you'll need to play indoors. We recommend that you select games that can be played indoors and outdoors or have a few easy games planned in case there is a weather change.

Tips for Birthday Party Games

* Select Appropriate Games

* Some games will be a hit and others not. 

* When appropriate, ask your child to participate in the party game planning. 

* If they think it's a fun game... their friends probably will too. 

* Consider your party space and the age group of the children.

Be Flexible

If you sense that a party game is not going well, let it go and move on the next activity. Or, make a quick adaptation to an existing game. If your party games are dependent on the weather... be prepared to take the party indoors if necessary.

Be Prepared

Have all games set up and ready to go before the party.

Make sure you understand how the game is played.

Everyone is a Winner

Parties are a time to have fun. We always suggest that all participants receive a prize or none at all. Especially when entertaining very young children who don't have a grasp of good sportsmanship. Consider playing most, if not all games without prizes but everyone gets a sweet or sticker.

When all of the games are complete... everyone receives their goody bags. 


Red Rover

Players are divided into two teams. Line up facing 

each other, about 25 to 50 feet apart. 

Each side takes turns calling

"Red Rover, Red Rover, send (name) come over." 

At that signal, the player called, runs from his line and tries to break through the line of opponents, who have joined hands. If he breaks through, he can take one opponent back with him to his team. If he does not break through, he must join the other team. The team to add the other players on its side first, or which has the most players at the end of a designated time period, wins.

Twenty Questions
One player is "It" and leaves the group while the other players choose an object in the room. "It" returns and tries to guess the object. He can ask 20 questions of the group members, all of which must be answered by yes or no. He asks his questions of each person in turn so that all are asked at least one question. If "It" guesses the object, someone else becomes "It"; otherwise he is "It" again for the next game. 

Simon Says
One player is the leader and orders the other players to make motions by saying "Simon says thumbs up" or "Simon says hands on your head." The leader also makes all of these motions. If he omits "Simon says," however, and just orders "Thumbs up," the players should not make the motion. Any player who does, is out of the game. The winner is the player who remains in the game the longest.

Circle Keep Away (Hot Potato)
Players form a circle. A bean bag is passed from player to player while one player sings, whistles or claps. When the music or clapping stops, the player who has the bean bag is out and sits in the center. The last one out wins. Stops should be made frequently so the game moves quickly and players will not be out for a long period. 

Catch the Balloon


Equipment: 3 or 4 balloons

Formation: Circle

Arrange the players in a circle on the floor and have them number off. Put the highest number in the center to act as 'it'. "IT" holds a balloon and calls out a number while dropping the balloon to the floor. The holder of that number then tries to catch the balloon before it touches the floor. If the player is successful 'it' tries another number. If the balloon touches the floor then that player is "it".

Buzz-Bomb Balloon



1 balloon per player, not inflated

Tape or string to make a target 

Formation: line or circle

All players inflate their balloon. Some players may need help. When the adult helper says "1,2,3,GO!" The players release their balloons in the direction of the target. If you are having a theme party, use a picture from the theme as the target center. Score 5 points for the closest balloon and 15 points for a direct hit. This game works well with teams - each team gets their own colored balloons; red, blue, green etc. Or, you do not need to keep score at all and just have fun playing the game several times. 

Pin the tail on the donkey 

One of the oldest and most favourite. But, it doesn't have to be a donkey. Change the donkey and the tail to match your theme! 


- Pin the butterfly on the flower

- Pin the tiara on the princess

- Pin the tail on the T-Rex

- Pin the fin on the fish 

You get the idea. Then each child is blindfolded and gets a try at placing the tail as close as possible to where it supposed to go. The closest is the winner.

Musical Chairs
Everyone hates to be the one left with "standing room only". Just set up a line of chairs, one short from the number of players and start the music. Everyone walks around the chairs and sits down once the music stops. Whoever is left standing has to drop out. Take away one chair so you are short one and start the music again. This continues until only one person has a chair. They are the winner!

Three Legged Race
The classic picnic race game. Have everyone line up in twos and tie one of their legs to their partners. Then start the race and see who can travel the fastest to a finish line. 

Sack Race
Another classic picnic race game. Have everyone line up and stand inside of old feed sacks or other large sacks. Then start the race and have everyone hop to the finish line. The first one there is the winner. 

Egg Race
And yet another classic picnic race game. Have everyone line up with an egg on a spoon. Then start the race and the first to cross the finish line without dropping the egg is the winner. If you use hard boiled eggs, then you can eat all the eggs.

Dance Contest
Play some old Chubby Checker "Twist" music and see who can twist the best! You will just have to pick out a judge and let them pick the winner. Of course it doesn't have to be the twist. (It can be any music)

Dress Up Game
This game is fun for ages 4-12. You take 2 boxes and fill it with clothing. (pants, shirts, hats, etc...) Then you divide the guests into to teams. The teams pick a first person and the two picked people on each team run towards the box with the clothes at the same time and puts on the clothing as fast as they can, then when the clothes are all on, have them take it all off again and then the next team mate starts and the game goes on until the whole team has gone. The winning team gets a small prize.

Drawing Game
Drawing Relay... This is good for game to play with many kids and very inexpensive, all you need is some cardboard and markers. I had a birthday party for my daughter and we had over 20 children. We separated the children into 4 teams. Each team was given a marker. We placed 4 pieces of cardboard at one end of the room, stuck to a wall, and had the children line up behind each other in their teams. We then made each person run and draw one part of the face, and each child went up and drew until all features were on the face (ears, eyes, hair etc) Then the first team to complete it, wins. 

Pass the Parcel
This is a variation of the original pass the parcel. All the children sit in a circle passing a present that has been wrapped up in many layers of newspapers. When the music has stopped the child holding the parcel gets to unwrap a layer. In my version, each layer has a small activity to do, such as sing a song or jump like a frog, that they all join in and do. At the end the present contains something small, such as a lollypop, each. I have found this to be a good game for children as there is plenty of little activities to amuse them, and in the end everyone wins.

Make a lot of cards. On each card write one word that can be acted out. Separate the children into 2 teams. Ask a person from one team to step up and close their eyes. Then ask them to pick a card. After this they have to act out the word that was on the card. Find a timer and time them one minute to act. Their team has to guess the answer before the time is up! If their team does guess it then another person from that team has a go. If that persons team does not guess it before the time is up then a person from the other team is allowed to have a go. This game can go on forever, so keep a score card and count one score for each correct answer. You may choose when to end the game and count up all the score to see the winning team. I have played this so many times with my daughters friends. They have so much fun too! Enjoy this game. ( Fun game for older children )