Kids Party Games and Activities
Kids love party games! The excitement of being together with a group of friends adds to the fun of classic games they have played before. And when you choose well, the party games will keep everyone entertained and create happy memories for your child.
How many games should you plan? At a party for toddlers, the children will want to play freely most of the time, so only plan one or two games. For older children, you will need about 3-5 activities when the party lasts one and a half hours. If the party will last two hours, plan 4-6 activities.
Click on the links below for a full list of party games, craft ideas and more:
Tips for Successful Party Games:
1. Plan two more games than you think you will need. Kids have a way of racing through activities much faster than you expected, and you’ll need another game ready to go. Jot down all the games on an index card and keep it in your pocket. It’s easy to forget some things and this tip has helped me many times during the noise and excitement of a party. It’s better to have more games planned than not enough!
2. Let each game continue if the kids are really enjoying it. Don’t insist that they move on to your next planned activity, because chances are they won’t like it as well. And if a game seems to be a “dud” with the kids, end it early and move on to your next activity.
3. Be sure to include at least one really active game, like Freeze Dance. Children have a huge amount of energy at a party, and you need a way to burn off some of it! They also tend to get bored if all the activities are quiet and calm.
4. Line up your helpers before the party. Ask a good friend, other parents, or hire a teen to help you supervise. This really takes the pressure off when you don’t have to run EVERYTHING! Let a teen operate the music during Freeze Dance or Musical Chairs; have someone else apply temporary tattoos or face painting; ask another adult to serve the cake;
5. Keep the games and crafts easy to understand for the kids. Don’t try anything too complicated when you’re dealing with a group of excited children. Stick with classic birthday party games for the most part, but feel free to change the name to fit your party theme. For example, play “Pin the Nose on Elmo” at a Sesame Street party, instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
See our list of Classic Kids Party Games for lots more suggestions.
6. Prizes – yes or no? Should you hand out prizes to the winners of party games? Will that make some of the kids feel bad? What should a parent do?
- For guests ages 5 and under –If you decide to hand out prizes, give one to every child. Keep the prizes small, like a package of candy or a fancy sticker. Children this age all need to feel like winners.
- Ages 6 and up –By this age, the kids start to understand being a good sport, so you can hand out prizes to the winners of the games. But again, try to keep the prize items small to avoid jealous feelings. A pack of Skittles or M&M’s were a hit at a recent party for 6 year old boys.
7. Be sure to include some non-competitive activity at your party, like a craft project or team game. This lets shy kids have a chance to excel, and it also helps you bring the energy level down if the kids are over-excited.
See our list of Craft Projects for Kids’ Parties.