Simple Games for Any Kind of Kids' Party

kids at a party

Kids' party games can make or break your child's birthday party. Fortunately, there are hundreds of fun-filled activities appropriate for children of all ages. If you want to ensure that your child's party is a real winner, gather your young guests to play some simple games.

Traditional Party Games

These timeless party games can be tailored to entertain kids from three to thirteen:

Limbo

Everyone loves to do the limbo! All you need is a yardstick and a couple of people to hold the ends. After each child tries to go under the stick once, lower the stick a few inches. Kids are out when they can't make it under the stick without touching it.

Simon Says

Simon Says is always fun and can be tailored to fit a number of different age groups. Older children will have more fun dealing with trickier demands, while young kids can get by with simple prompts. Remember, if a child follows a command that wasn't issued as "Simon says...," he's out.

Scavenger Hunt

Kids love to hunt for things. Create a list of scavenger hunt clues ahead of time, and then make several copies of the list. You can even add some inexpensive treasures around the yard, such as chocolate covered coins, plastic toys, bubbles, etc. Be sure you have extras on hand so that everyone gets a prize.

Piñata

Fill a homemade or store-bought piñata with candy and small toys. When you begin, you might want to give the kids something light to hit with at first while they are blindfolded, so that each child has the opportunity to hit the piñata before it breaks. Then, give the birthday child a heavier stick, and let her break the piñata.

Active Games

These games are designed to get kids moving in creative ways:

Freeze Dance

Children love to move, and love music even more. Even toddlers can get in on the action with this easy game. To play, have kids wiggle and giggle to the sounds of silly songs, then, when you turn off the music, they have to freeze until the music starts again.

Marco Polo

This popular pool game will really get the party started. Get it going by having one person close his eyes. Next, have the other guests scatter around the pool. The person who has his eyes closed must tag the others in the pool by calling out, "Marco" while the others reply, "Polo."

Watch for the Alligators!

This game is lots of fun for little ones, and easy for parents to set-up. All you need to do is scatter some socks around the room. Next, tell the kids that the socks are alligators. Children must then navigate through the socks to the other side of the room without touching the "alligators."

Turtle Tag

This is a variation on the popular game of tag. Be sure you designate a base, and declare someone "it." The person who is "it" tries to tag the others; when he successfully tags a player, that person must fall onto his back and remain there like a turtle on his shell.

Water Balloon Toss

In this wet and wild game, children pair up to toss water balloons back and forth to each other. Once a balloon bursts, that team is out.

Brain Games

Not all party games require running around and breaking a sweat. These brain busters challenge kids to use their thinking caps to win prizes:

Mad Libs

This hilarious word game is a riot, especially for older kids. Kids get to flex their creative muscles by thinking of super silly words to fill in the blanks.

Pictionary

Even younger kids can get in on the action with this group-oriented game. Split the guests into teams. While one person draws clues to a particular word or phrase, his fellow teammates shout out answers until they guess correctly.

Puzzles

Divide kids into separate teams and give each team identical puzzles. The team who is able to complete the puzzle first, wins. This game's difficulty can be modified to accommodate different ages.

Party Tips

Before selecting games for your child's party, be sure to consider the guests' ages and interests. Party ideas for teens will typically differ from those for preschoolers. However, with a little creativity you can modify rules on classic games to accommodate the interests of kids of all ages. Consider consulting with the birthday boy or girl before coming up with a final list of party games at the birthday bash.

Simple Games for Any Kind of Kids' Party