If you’re not having a pool party or hiring a jumping castle or other entertainment, you’re going to want to have a few party games to keep the children busy. (And to burn off some energy to counter all the sweets they will be consuming.)
Here are some of my favourite party games:
1. Pass the parcel
You can’t go wrong with this game. Wrap an inexpensive prize in layers of newspaper – make sure there’s enough for each guest to have at least one chance to unwrap a layer. Stick a sweet in each layer and everyone’s a winner!
Requirements: music, a unisex gift
How to play: The guests sit in a circle and pass the parcel around while the music plays. Whoever is holding the parcel when the music stops, unwraps a layer.
2. Pin the tail on the donkey
Or bow on Hello Kitty, or whatever the theme requires.
Requirements: a large image of something, enough ‘pins’ for each guest, a prize
How to play: Each guest has a turn to stick their ‘pin’ on the image while blindfolded. Whoever gets closest to the mark, wins the prize.
3. Musical statues
Because what kid doesn’t like running around like a crazy person?
Requirements: space, music, a prize
How to play: The guests dance or run around or do some kind of movement while the music plays. Anyone caught moving or twitching when the music has stopped is out. The last person left in the game wins.
4. Duck, duck, goose
Another simple game that doesn’t require any preparation and can be adapted to suit the party’s theme.
How to play: Guests sit in a circle. The ‘goose’ walks around calling out, “Duck, duck, duck,” while tapping each guest’s head. When the ‘goose’ calls, “Goose!” the person who has been tapped chases the ‘goose’ around the circle. If the ‘goose’ sits down before being caught, the other player becomes the ‘goose’. And so on, until the children tire of the game.
5. Frozen chocolate race
I have no idea what this game is actually called, but I love it.
Requirements: a slab of chocolate, a knife and fork, an oversized hat, shirt and pair of gloves, an object to pass around, music
How to play: Freeze a slab of chocolate so that it’s nice and hard. The guests sit in a circle and pass an object while music plays. When the music stops, the person holding the object must don the dress-up items and try to cut a piece of the slab of chocolate using the knife and fork. The person has as long as the music plays to attempt this. When the music stops, another player takes over. The person may eat whatever chocolate has been successfully cut off the slab.
6. Stuck in the mud
Another easy game that everyone loves. It is probably not the best idea if there are girls in princess dresses, though.
How to play: One person is ‘on’ and chases the other guests. Whoever is caught must freeze with legs akimbo until another player crawls through their legs to free them.
What is your favourite children’s party game?