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Old Fashioned Kids Party Games

We have raided the memory banks to create this list of our favourite kids party games. If you have any you want to add to the list, please drop us a note.

Old Fashioned Kids Party Games

Games with prizes

Pass the parcel – a perennial favourite with a prize wrapped in layers of paper which each child takes it in turn to peel off when the music stops

Bran tub / lucky dip – could be an alternative to a party bag. Fill any large enough container with wood shavings or similar & a small wrapped gift for each child. Big plastic crates are ideal if you have them and pet stores are a good place to hunt down wood shavings etc in the pet bedding department.

Piñata – see our kids party ideas for more info

Blindfold games

Guess the item / touch & feel / what’s in the sock – this is all variation on a similar theme. Either place some items on a tray and blindfold the child or items in a sock so they can’t see them and get them to guess what it is. In my experience the popular version of this normally involved things that felt quite disgusting to touch, cold tinned spaghetti, jelly etc that could be construed as brains, worms….you get the picture.

Pin the tail on the donkey – an old favourite & still hard to beat. If you have very small children Velcro makes a good alternative to a drawing pin. You can also keep your kids quiet before the party drawing, colouring in and cutting out said donkey and tail.

Blind man’s buff – a blindfold child tries to find the other children who scatter until one is caught & becomes “it”. Definitely one only to be played in a large space without anything to trip over!

Musical Games

Musical statues – when the music stops stand still, any child still moving is out.

Musical chairs – when the music stops each child sits on a chair. One chair gets removed each round & the child that does not get to a chair is out.

Musical bumps – when the music stops sit down, the child slowest to sit is out.

Musical Islands – similar to musical chairs, but put towels, blankets, floor cushions, bean bags etc. on the floor & take one away each round.

Games with a leader

Simon says – stand on one leg etc. Children are out when they follow an instruction not preceded by the magic ‘Simon says’ phrase.

Grandmother’s footsteps – someone stands with their back to the rest of the children who should be in a line. Each child moves forward but must stop when the person turns. Anyone caught moving is out.

What’s the time Mr Wolf – similar to Grandmother’s footsteps and for my money, more fun. Someone (a male adult is always really good) stands with their back to the children who chant “what’s the time Mr Wolf”. Mr Wolf replies with say 3 o clock and all the children move towards 3 o clock. At some point Mr Wolf replies “dinner time”, turns and runs after the children. The child caught is either out or becomes Mr Wolf.

Duck, duck, goose – sit in circle. One child walks round circle & pats each child on the head, saying “duck”, “duck”, when they say “goose” that child has to jump up & the 2 chase each other round the circle to get back to the space. Whoever does not make it is next on.

Games needing some planning

Treasure hunt – if you are having a themed party, this is relatively easy to adapt for your theme and the ages of the children. A nice variant on this is to put each child’s name on a counter that they have to find to get a prize.

Obstacle course – you can be as inventive as you like with this one. Carboard boxes are really useful as they can be made into tunnels or things to go over or under. You can either time things to get a winner or have a rule like no touching the floor depending on what you have designed.

Mummies – put the children into teams. Each team gets some toilet rolls & has to turn one team member into an Egyptian mummy. The team with the most realistic looking mummy wins.

Ball sorting – put different coloured balls around the room & spilt the children into teams. The teams have to sort the balls into their respective colours in a specific time.

Games with food

Apple bobbing – surprisingly difficult and a good way to get water everywhere so don’t do it on a carpeted surface!

Food on a string – apples, ring donuts, popcorn and I’m sure lots of other things are easy to hang from different length strings. The trick is to try and eat the item with your hands behind you back. Definitely one to be done on a wipe clean surface.

Cut up chocolate – roll a dice. If a 6, child puts on hat, scarf & gloves & has to cut up a chocolate bar with a knife & fork until the next child gets a 6.

Games to quieten things down

Dead / sleeping lions – who can be the stillest person. A good way of calming down after a lot of running about.

Chinese whispers – always fun to see how the original phrase has turned out once it has been passed from one child to another in a whisper.

Story telling – somebody starts off with the first line of a story & each child takes it in turn ot add a line

Recall the items / what’s on the tray – Show the children a tray with a dozen or so items for a couple of minutes and then cover with a cloth. Each child has to write down as many items as they can remember.

Games for older children

Who am I? – The usual sticky on the forehead can get people talking

Pictionary – (you can make your own if you don’t have it). This is the game where you draw what’s stated on the card and your team have to guess what the card says before the time runs out. Good for parties of up to 10








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