Sunday, February 19, 2017

10 Best Party Games for Kids

With four kids we seem to always have a birthday celebration coming around the corner. I always say I get to eat a piece of cake in every season since I had one child in each of the four seasons! Great planning, huh? Hey as long as it has chocolate we are all good!

We keep our birthday parties exclusive to family until the kids are about 6 or 7 years old. It is about that time when they really want to have friends over for birthday parties (oh and no one needs a nap, diaper change or to be spoon fed!). For us that age seems to work well for the family birthday parties to become friends birthday parties. 

As my kids interests change the party themes do too. We are on a budget so super extravagant is not typically our style. There are so many ways to be creative without having to spend extra money. It just takes some thought and creativity. Getting the kids involved with the planning and preparing is a must - plus they really enjoy it. The party is for them after all. 

Now don't think the only time we have parties is for birthdays! I love opening up our home to friends, neighbor kids and cousins to come over and enjoy a good party for various holiday celebrations. Recently we hosted two separate Christmas themed parties for two different groups of kids, one group was our neighborhood kids (about 24 kids) and the second was for our home school bible study class (21 kids). Creativity is key as well as some good pre-planning to have the games ready to go for a party. 

Here is a list of games we have tried and loved at some of the kid parties we have thrown or attended:
1. Donut on a Rope - attach a 6-10 foot rope or thick twine to a tree (or have two adults hold each end of the rope). String donuts onto the rope/twine and spread them out at even intervals. Line up the kids under the donuts on a rope and have them hold their hands behind their backs. Have an adult shout "go" and the first child to eat their donut off of the rope wins! This game is so much fun to play and watch.

via: Organize Your Stuff Now

2. Bucket Bonanza - In the warmer seasons this game can be played outside using large sand pails or buckets and some tennis or wiffle balls. Attach a small square of paper with a point value written on the front of the buckets (e.g., 5, 10, 20 points) and then arrange the buckets in any formation you want. Typically the higher point value buckets are set further away from where the person tossing the ball is standing. During the winter we play "Jingle Bell Bonanza". I hot glue some plastic party cups to a sturdy sheet of cardboard (think bottom of a large box) and write point values on the front of the cups like I did with the buckets. Then I slide the cardboard box with attached cups a short distance away from the person who is playing. In this version instead of tennis balls I give the kids large jingle bells to toss. It is kind of festive and just puts a new spin on the game. This is also a great counting / math game for kids - bonus!

via: Ever Never Again

3. Indoor Balloon Tennis - This is a fun game to get the kids moving and active. All you need are some of the large size Popsicle sticks, paper plates, tape and balloons. Tape the top edge of one Popsicle stick to the backside of a paper plate so your new paper plate paddle has a new handle. If the kids want to decorate their paddle to make it fancy let the creativity flow. Blow up some balloons and let the kids whack them back and forth. The can count to see how many times they can keep the balloon from hitting the ground.

via Happy Hooligans

4. Colorful Ice Sculpture Creations - Fill up various sizes of containers with water and add a few drops of different colored food coloring into each. Place the containers in the freezer and let the water freeze. This game takes a little pre-planning since you can't play until the water is frozen but if you freeze them the night before you will be all set to play the next day. Pop out all the colorful shape ice cubes and then challenge the kids to create their very own stacked sculptures. If it is wintertime you can put the completed sculptures outside to enjoy looking at while the temps are cold. If you play this in the summer it is a refreshing way to stay cool and have fun.

via: A Bunch Of Byrds

5. Balloon Stomp - This is a super simple game requiring next to no planning or supplies you don't already have on hand. You need two inflated balloons per child with a 18 inch piece of yarn tied to one end of the balloon. The other side of the yarn is loosely tied around the child's ankle. I recommend that the kids hold the two balloons that are tied around their ankles until everyone is ready thus reducing the chance that they pop their own balloons before the game even starts. Once everyone is ready shout "go" and the object is for the kids to try and stomp on the balloons tied to the other kids' ankles. The person left with one or two balloons not popped wins.


6. Drip, Drip, Drip, SPLASH !- Think classic duck, duck, goose + water = super fun game to play on a hot day outside. Grab a bucket of water and a sponge. All the kids sit in a circle and one child, who is "it", dips the sponge into the water but doesn't ring it out. The child who is "it" walks around the circle dripping water on each person's head while saying "DRIP". When they are ready to pick the next person to be "it" the child with the sponge squeezes the wet sponge over the head of the sitting child and yells "SPLASH". The one who got "SPLASHED" jumps up and runs around the circle chasing the other child who just emptied the wet sponge onto their head.


7. Use Your Noodle - This game is a great one for almost any age group. First blow up a bunch of balloons (the more the better!).Then cut pool noodles in half and give one half to each player. Divide the kids into two teams.  Set two empty plastic laundry baskets on each side of the yard (or living room if playing inside).  Let the kids know which basket is their teams' side. Release the balloons in the middle and have the kids try to whack the balloons into their team's basket. The team with the most balloons after 10 minutes wins that round.


8. Scoop It Up - Grab a bag of mini marshmallows a few plastic bowls and some plastic spoons and you are ready to play. Each kid should have their own spoon and and twp plastic bowl - one empty and the other full of mini marshmallows. Have the kids put the spoons in their mouths and then yell "go". The kids, with the spoons in their mouths scoop as many marshmallows from the bowl and try to dump them into the empty bowl. When one minute has passed have the kids stop and count to see who scooped the most mini marshmallows into their bowl.


9. Gone Fishing - You will need a disposable pie pan tin for each child. Set the pie tins around the perimeter of a table. Place 4 - 5 gummy fish candies in the bottom of the pie pan then fill up the pie pans with cool whip making sure the fish are well hidden. After shouting "go" the kids search for the hidden fish with their faces/mouths without using their hands. After a 1 minute time limit have them stop and see who "caught" the most fish. YUMMY!

10. Hose Head - Silly game with a silly name! Every child is given a pair of panty hose with a pair of socks stuffed into the toe of one leg. Place the panty hose over their heads so the leg swings freely. Once everyone is hose headed the game begins! Kids run around trying to grab the hose off of the other player's heads. Last one remaining with the hose on wins! Simple, crazy and lots of fun!

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for your next children's party or celebration. I know my kids love to play new games and will enjoy the ones on this list over and over again. My favorite part is that most of these games require little to no preplanning, are inexpensive and can be done outside or inside!

If you have any special party games that aren't on this list that you would like to share please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you!


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