When planning a kids party, the first games that come to mind are probably things like duck duck goose, and while there’s nothing wrong with these games, they’re probably the same for every kid’s party. So, if you’re looking to get a bit more creative and fun to create a truly unforgettable kids party, here’s our pick for 12 inventive and exciting kids party games that are sure to make your kid’s birthday party the envy of all of their friends!
1. Balloon Hungry Hippos
Our first game is a take on a real-life Hungry Hungry Hippos, where you split the kids into teams and they have to hoard as many balloons as quickly as possible. This high-energy game is excellent for big groups and doesn’t require much setup. All you need is a pack of balloons and a large space to play. Before the game starts, you split the party into 4 teams and release many balloons in the middle of the play area. You can do this indoors with balloons inflated with air or helium, but if you’re using helium balloons you’ll need to tie these to small weights individually.
Each team has a corner where they need to collect balloons once the game begins. Each team starts in this zone, and once the game begins, everyone rushes to the centre to collect balloons and bring them back to their zone. The winning team is the team with the most balloons once they’re all gone from the middle. You can quickly and easily reset and run this game as many times as you’d like by moving the balloons back into the centre and going again. If you’d like, you can also allow teams to steal balloons from other team’s corners and play for a set time limit, rather than playing until all of the balloons have been claimed.
For an extra fun touch, you can even hide small prizes in the balloons for the winners to claim at the end of the game!
2. Marshmallow Tilting Towers
All you need for this game is a few packets of marshmallows and some straws, toothpicks, chopsticks or something else to hold them together. With the group split up into teams, their objective is to build a marshmallow tower as tall as possible using only the items provided. Set a timer, play some music and let them commence! Build up the towers and see how high they can get it! Once the game is over, the winning team is the team with the tallest tower (although it has to be able to stand by itself without anyone supporting it!). So, they’ll need to balance height and stability.
If you use straws or honey to hold the marshmallows together, you can then challenge the teams to race to eat their whole tower once the game is over (if you’re using toothpicks, we recommend skipping this step to be safe!). Feel free to throw in some smaller additional rules to keep it interesting, like having to eat a marshmallow for every one they add to their tower, or adding a time penalty for any moment their tower falls over.
3. Doughnut Drop
This simple but fun (and delicious!) game involves tying string through the hole in a doughnut and hanging them from a washing line or other point. The aim is to have the doughnuts suspended at about head height for the kids. The kids are then challenged to try and eat the doughnut without using their hands without the doughnut falling onto the floor. It’s easy to set up and play, and the kids are sure to love it!
4. Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is a fast-paced competitive game that challenges your party attendees to be the first to find a series of items. These can be anything from items that are likely to be in the area, such as a shoe or a mug, to things that you’ve planted in the area ahead of time. You can also encourage the kids to get creative by going for more abstract ideas, such as something that makes noise or something soft.
To play, gather everyone in a starting area and announce your first item. It’s then a race to see who can find the item or something matching the description and bring it back to you. Whoever completes the request first gets a point or a small prize, and you can repeat until you run out of ideas! It’s quick, easy and gets the kids to use their imagination as well as their feet.
5. Themed Pass The Parcel
Pass the parcel has been a staple of kids parties for years, but a great and simple way to turn this game into something exciting is by giving it a trendy theme. Whether it’s their favourite video game or film, simply swapping out the layers of paper with themed or personalised wrapping paper and including small gifts from the theme is a sure-fire way to get a group of kids excited about this classic party game.
You’ll need to prepare your parcel in advance, but once you’ve got that ready, you’re good to go! With the kids sitting in a circle, they have to pass the parcel around while the music plays. When the music stops, whoever is holding the package gets to unwrap a layer, revealing a small prize and another layer inside. Once all the layers have been unwrapped, the final reward is revealed, and the game is over. You can choose to let the person who unwrapped the final prize keep it or make it something that the whole party can enjoy.
6. Water Balloon Toss
You’re probably going to want to play this game outside… To get started, you’re going to want to split your party into pairs or small groups. Each couple or group then gets a water balloon, which they have to throw to their partner, who then attempts to catch it without breaking. This is easy at first, but there’s a twist. While they start only a few steps apart, they have to take a step away from each other every time they successfully throw and catch the balloon. So, as the game goes on, it gets harder and harder to catch, and the chances are that somebody will get soaked!
It’s recommended to make sure that your party attendees don’t mind getting splashed with water before playing to avoid any angry parents! If the weather is good, you can play this outside at the beginning of the party and plan something afterwards that gives them time to dry off.
7. Extreme Noughts and Crosses
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How do you make noughts and crosses extreme? This game combines the classic noughts and crosses with a relay race to create an entertaining game that’s great for kids parties. Split your party into two teams and line them up at each side of a room, with the noughts and crosses grid laid out in the middle. They then take turns running to the centre and adding a nought or cross on the board. Each person can only make one move and must run back to their team and tag the next person in before they can make another move, like how you pass on the baton in a relay race. So, each team is rushing to be as quick as possible to get an advantage over the other team while also thinking carefully about how to play each move. It’s a great team game that gets everyone involved and is great fun!
This is one of the most accessible games to play on the list. All you need is a small object that the kids can pass around while trying to remain undetected. Get your party attendees to sit in a circle and pick one player to be the detective to start the game. The aim of the game is for the kids in the circle to pass around an item behind their backs, while the detective has to try and figure out who has it. It’s more difficult than it sounds! If the detective gets it right, they swap places with the person holding the item, and the detective closes their eyes for a few seconds to allow the object to move around the circle. Then you can pick up where you left off and repeat! It’s super easy to set up and play, and it’s a brilliant way to get everyone involved.
9. Chair Swap
You’ll need to set up a circle of chairs for this game, with one fewer chairs than the number of people playing. To start the game, someone stands in the middle, with everyone else taking a seat. Then, the person in the middle gets to call out something that the players might have in common and everyone who matches that description must get up and swap chairs. At the same time, the person in the middle has to steal one of the empty chairs, leaving someone new in the middle to call out the next thing. For example, the person in the middle might say everyone wearing the colour blue, meaning everyone with any blue in their clothes has to swap seats with someone else who matches that description.
This fun game might take a round to get used to, but once they’re in the swing of it, they’ll never want to stop playing! Trying to mix up the callouts, using things like hair and eye colours, if they have a certain letter in their name, if they go to the same school, or anything else you can think of! Try and avoid anything negative and make sure to mix up the callouts so everyone gets a turn. You can either play for a set number of rounds or let them go until they get tired – it could be a while!
10. Silly Races
What are silly races? Okay, so we might be cheating a bit for our last entry and giving you a few ideas under one category. Silly races are precisely that, races you can do with a tiny twist that makes them funny. This can be anything from having to balance something on your head while racing to holding a piece of paper between your knees – all of which produce hilarious and brilliantly fun results! Why not split your party into teams and have a series of ridiculous races, keeping track of the winners to crown one team victorious overall! To help you get started, here are a few more ideas:
- Wheelbarrow race
- Leapfrog race
- Obstacle relay race
- Three-legged race
- Jumping pillowcase race
- Crabwalk race
- Backwards race
There you go, there are our ideas to help you make your kid’s party stand out! Why not combine multiple ideas and mix in a few of your own to create a unique party experience that your child’s friends will be talking about for days? If you’re looking for exciting kids present ideas, take a look at our range of gifts for kids, and of course, don’t forget the party bags!