Have you forgotten all those wonderful party games that you used to play when you were little, like pass the parcel, musical bumps or the chocolate game? It’s time to bring back some old-fashioned fun and celebrate the traditional way.
Most of the bits and pieces you need for traditional party games are very easy to find and most things you will need can be brought at your local shop. Things like flour, chocolate, apples and doughnuts are inexpensive and all the other things you probably have at home anyway. The joy of the classic party games is that it doesn’t require lots of planning so you can spend more time on the other elements for the party.
1) Pin the tail on donkey: This is a classic party game that is great for indoors and can be adapted for any party theme (age 4+). You can buy ready prepared kits for this game or if you would rather make your own all you need is a picture of a tailless animal along with enough tails for each child, a blindfold and some pins to attach the tails. Each child takes it in turns to pin the tail as close to the point where the tail should be, whilst blindfolded. Alternative themes include pin the jewel on the tiara for a princess party, pin the turtle for an underwater party game and pin the patch on the pirate for a pirate party. Find lots of pin the tail games from Party Pieces.
2) The Chocolate Game: This game is great fun and a chance for children to eat as much chocolate as they possibly can with a knife and fork! Get the children to sit in a circle and in the middle place a board with a large unwrapped bar of chocolate, a knife, fork, hat, scarf, pair of gloves and a die. The die is passed around the circle and whoever rolls a six has to quickly put on the hat, scarf and gloves and try to eat the bar of chocolate with a knife and fork. Meanwhile, the rest of the circle continue rolling the die until another six is thrown and the next child then takes over. Adapt this game for younger children by using chocolate buttons instead.
3) Doughnut Game: Another messy challenge is the doughnut eating game where children have to eat a suspended doughnut without using their hands or licking their lips! You can hang a doughnut for each child by creating washing line out of string. The child who uses their hands or licks their lips is out of the game. This game also works well with apples.
4) Apple Bobbing: Apples are also essential for the ‘bobbing’ game where children take it in turns to try and retrieve a floating apple with their teeth, with their hands tied behind their back. Fill a large tub with cold water and place enough apples for each player. Children can then either bob for the apples together or individually, but the player to get the apple first or quickest is the winner.
5) The Flour Game: Definitely one of those games that will bring inevitable chaos but it is a simple game that children aged 5 or older will love. Firstly you need to make the ‘flour cake’ by tightly compacting flour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Then turn this out on to a board and top with a large chunk of Mars bar. Each child takes it in turns to slice away sections of the flour cake ensuring the chunk of chocolate remains at the top. The child who eventually topples the chocolate from the top has to find it with their teeth.
6) Pass the Parcel: An all time favourite party game that is a must and best for ages 3 +. You can pre-prepare the parcel beforehand and ensure the present is wrapped in many layers, each layer with a sweetie attached. Sit all the children in a circle and when the music starts they pass it around until the music stops. Whoever is holding the parcel at this point must tear open a layer and the music begins again. This continues until the last layer and the child who removes this wins the prize. For a quick solution, you can buy a pass the parcel game pack.
7) Tray Memory Game: This is a quieter game and will also get the party guests to think! All you need is a tray filled with weird and wonderful objects you find around your house along with some pen and paper for each child. Once the children are sitting around a table ready with pen and paper, place the tray with objects in the centre of the table and give them 1 minute to try and memorize what’s on the tray. Once the time is up, remove the tray and each child has to write down as many objects as they can remember from the tray. The child who remembers the most number of correct objects is the winner.
8.) Musical Statues, Bumps & Chairs: To play these games you need a fun CD as children will love dancing to their favourite songs. For musical statues, get the children to dance about and when the music stops they have to keep as still as possible. The one that moves the most is out and keep playing until you have a winner. Musical bumps is a similar game but instead of standing still, players have to sit down. The last person to sit down is out. If you have enough room, musical chairs is another fun game where players have to dance about until the music stops, at which point they have to find the nearest chair to sit on. Make sure there is always one less chair than the amount of players so there will be one person without one. Each time a player is out, remove another chair until you have a winner!
9) Simon Says: A perfect game for younger children and can be adapted to fit with any party theme. Firstly choose a leader (this can be yourself or another adult) to act as ‘Simon’ who will call out a series of commands that the children have to follow such as ‘Simon say’s put your hands in the air’. The children must do any commandment that begins with ‘Simon says . . .’ However the leader will put in some trick commands without beginning with ‘Simon says’ such as ‘turn around’ and the children who do this task by mistake are out.
10. Sleeping Lions: After lots of activity this is a great game to quieten things down. Choose a large open room and get all the children to lie down and pretend to be sleepy lions. If you are doing a particular theme you can get them to pretend to be fairies, pirates, dinosaurs or whatever fits your theme instead. Explain that whoever moves after the game begins will be out. During this time you can walk around the room, talking to them and trying to make them laugh. Each child who is out can help you try and make the others laugh. The last person left sleeping is the winner.
For lots of kids party games visit Party Pieces