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10 kids' traditional party games

Joe Cleverley

Posted on August 26 2019

10 kids' traditional party games

Remember all those wonderful party games that you used to play when you were little, such as 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 kid's 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 classic children’s party games is that they don’t require lots of planning, so you can dedicate plenty of time bringing the rest of the party together. Here are 10 of our absolute favourites...

1. Pin the Tail on the 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, enough tails for each child, a blindfold and some pins to attach the tails. While blindfolded, each child takes it in turns to pin the tail as close to the point where the tail should be. Alternative themes include 'pin the jewel on the tiara' for a princess party, 'pin the shell on the turtle' for an underwater party game and 'pin the patch on the pirate' for a pirate party. 

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.

A plate of doughnuts

3. The 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. Children who use their hands or licks their lips are out of the game. This game also works well with apples, or for more apple-related fun, get the party-goers bobbing for them. Fill a large bowl bucket 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. This one is classic for Halloween parties. 

4. Pi

Not a traditional British party game, but a kids' party staple nonetheless. They come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional stars to unicorns, so all you need to do is choose one that will suit your party theme, hang it somewhere with plenty of room around it and then let the kids take it turns to wear the blindfold and have a whack at it. The piñata will eventually break up and sweet treats and mini gifts that you hide inside will rain down on the children. When buying your piñata, don't forget to also get a mask and stick kit, too.

A group of children playing pass the parcel

5. Pass the Parcel

An all time favourite party game that is a must and best for ages 3+. You can 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.

6. Egg and Spoon Race

A sports day favourite that will also work well for children's parties in the great outdoors. The rules are simples: everyone grabs an egg and spoon and, once the starter shouts 'Ready, steady, go!', makes a dash for the finish line. The winner is the person who finishes first and, crucially, with their egg still on their spoon. Speed isn't always of the essence in this game! Either use real eggs and spoons from home for a cracking time, or treat yourself to our stylish Egg and Spoon Race set.


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 from around your house along with a pen and paper for each child. Once the children are ready, place the tray with objects in the centre of the table and give them one minute to try and memorise 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. The child who remembers the most number of correct objects is the winner.

8. Musical Statues, Bumps & Chairs

To play these games, just fire up a playlist of classic kids' party tunes and get stuck in. 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 when the music stops. 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 one person is left without one. That person is knocked out and a chair is removed at the end of every round until there's 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 says 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 that don't begin with ‘Simon says’, such as: ‘Turn around’, and the children who do these tasks 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 sleeping lions. If you are doing a particular theme you can get them to pretend to be fairies, pirates, dinosaurs or whatever fits . 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.

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