Looking for some inspiration for your next kids' shindig? Get the party started by playing these party games!
Birthday parties are a ton of fun, but cleaning up after is the worst. That’s why we’re so glad that there are fantastic birthday party venues that not only keep the kids entertained during the party but also provide delish food to boot, too. Sometimes, though, we’d much rather have a birthday party at home or in a function room by the pool. You can have your own bouncy castle, whatever birthday cake you fancy, a few party games, birthday potluck and bam – a cost-efficient and fun party. But when it comes to entertainment, what can you do? Well, we’ve got you covered. Check out our party games that’ll leave you howling with laughter and keep the kids entertained too!
Fun party games for kids of all ages
1. What’s in the box
You might’ve seen celebrities stick their hands into a box to feel all sorts of inanimate objects (and sometimes animals too!). Well, recreate it at your next party! You could put literally anything and everything you can fit into a cardboard box. All you need to do is blindfold the player (if your box doesn’t have a lid) and then guide their small hands to feel the object. Options include spaghetti, cottage cheese, jello, rambutans and lychees – they’re sure to make the kiddos squeal.
2. Pass the style
Got a pile of clothes set aside for donating? Perfect! You can use them for this game, which is similar to the traditional pass the parcel… except with clothes! Gather your clothes – and maybe include several pieces from the wardrobe you might like to keep – and get the kids to sit in a circle. Put the bag in the middle of the circle, start the music and get the kids to pass around a pair of sunglasses or blindfold. When the music stops, the kid with the sunglasses or blindfold has to reach into the bag (no peeking!) and put on the item. The party game ends when all the clothes are gone and the kiddo with the least amount of clothes on wins! Easy peasy, and hilarious. Plus, it makes a great photo-op after!
3. Ice cube
Got some spare ice cubes in your freezer? Take them out and play this chilly party game. The rules are simple: players have to do whatever it takes to melt an ice cube… except they can’t put the ice cube in their mouth, use any equipment or stomp on it. The person who melts the ice cube the quickest, wins! Bonus points for using an ingenious method to melt the cube.
4. Blind face painting
Head to Daiso for some cheap as chips face paints, and then pair up party-goers into teams of two. Player one gets to be blindfolded and player two gets to have their face painted: by player one! Let the hilarity commence, and then reverse the roles.
Up the ante and play this variation of the beloved hide-and-seek game. The party game starts off similar but there’s a difference: when the first person is found, the person who found them will join them in hiding. This continues on and on until one kid’s left. Best played when you have a large area to search and hide!
6. Telephone Pictionary
Test everyone’s drawing skills by playing a game of Telephone Pictionary! Curate a list of words (or if you can’t think of any, reach into your box of Taboo for some ideas) and get out some paper and a pencil. You’ll want to sit the kids down in a line, then whisper the first word to the first kiddo in line. They’ll have to draw the word, then fold the paper in half before passing it on. The following kid will then have to guess what it is (without saying it out loud), and draw what they think the word is. Rinse and repeat till the last kid, who has to guess the word. It’s a hilarious game when you get to the end and the scraggly drawings are nothing like what it started out with!
7. Sticker Stalker
This party game is a great one to play throughout your party. The aim of the game is to avoid getting a flurry of stickers on yourself while sticking your designated set of stickers on people without them noticing. The first person who finishes all their stickers without getting caught wins. Good luck trying not to get caught once everyone’s in on the game!
8. Ostrich Dance
This one’s easy to play: tape a card or piece of paper with a word written on it to each other’s backs. All you have to do is read the other person’s word – the first one who does, wins! This might result in kids running around in circles and trying to wrestle the piece of paper off each other… It’s sure to be a chuckle!
9. Balloon Stomp
Not sure what to do with all your balloons after the party? Play Balloon Stomper! Tie an inflated balloon with a piece of string around each player’s ankle and prepare for mayhem. The aim of the game is simple: players will need to pop each other’s balloons by stomping on them (make sure the kids are all wearing shoes, or it might end in tears…). The last kid standing with an unpopped balloon is the winner!
Psst, make the game extra fun by placing cut-out shapes in the balloons before inflating. Each time the balloon is popped, the popper claims the shape. The kid with the most shapes at the end gets a prize!
Planning a teen birthday party? You might want to check out Beanboozled! Head to a Candylicious store and pick up the game. Then sit back and watch the hilarity as older kids and teens (plus adults too) chow down on jelly beans ranging in flavours from vomit to popcorn, or baby wipes to apple! The idea is to spin a wheel and scoff the jelly bean colour as dictated by your spin. The catch? Each colour could be one of two flavours… one delish and one, well, revolting. Folks will love and hate this game in equal measures!
11. Mirror charades
This game is just like charades, except you have two people going up – one with their back towards the other players, while the other faces the first person (aka the mirror). Give the former (the person whose back faces the audience) the word or phrase that they have to act out, and the mirror will have to mimic the charade. Everyone else (including the mirror) will have to guess what the word or phrase is. It’s a lot harder than it sounds!
Retro birthday party games for kids of all ages
If you want to celebrate with a birthday party that’s unique, hark back (way back) to simpler times with a retro bash for your child! We’ve done a bit of an office poll and enjoyed reliving our fave childhood party games. Here’s our list of retro birthday party games for kids that are easily pulled together without much planning, and are sure to entertain those little party animals.
1. Red Light Green Light
This evergreen childhood game is popular again, all thanks to Squid Game. (Don’t worry, no guns will be involved here.) There are many versions of this game but here’s the basic premise. Appoint one person to be the traffic police, and gather the rest at the starting line. The cop will have to close their eyes and shout out “red light, green light, one two three!” while the remaining players race towards the police. Everyone has to freeze when it reaches the count of three. You’re eliminated or sent back to the starting line if the cop caught you moving. Start a new round when either the first person or all players reach the finishing line.
2. Snakes on a string
Tie some yarn between two trees and suspend your food of choice on long pieces of string (jelly snakes or cinnamon doughnuts work well). Tie the little terrors’ hands behind their backs and line them up. The first one to gobble their treat wins! It’s hilarious viewing for parents… cameras at the ready!
3. Pin the tail on the donkey
For a trip down memory lane get your hands on a 1950s-style sketched donkey, tail and blindfold set. Stick the poster on the wall and arm each child with a tail (we used drawing pins in the old days but this led to a few “accidental” pricks in the backside, so our suggestion is Blu Tack). Don each child with the blindfold, give them a spin and aim them in the general direction of the donkey. The tail pinned closest to the mark wins! Peekers disqualified.
4. Musical chairs
Make a circle of chairs or cushions (one less than the number of guests), and get the kids to boogie to some fun music. When the music stops, the race is on to get a bum on a seat. The child left standing is out. Take away one chair/cushion each round and watch the numbers, and dance moves, dwindle. Last one sitting is the winner.
5. Pass the parcel
Wrap a prize in layers of newspaper, one layer for each child. Gather the kids in a circle, turn on some tunes and watch them pass it around like a hot potato (or very slowly, if they’re strategic). When the music stops, the lucky one holding the parcel rips off a layer and is rewarded with a small trinket. Continue until you come to the major prize round (you’ll know as you have cleverly wrapped it in bright paper). Drag out the final round as long as you like – this retro birthday party game for kids is a sure-win.
6. Animal heads
You’ll need headbands, cardboard squares, sticky tape and textas for this guessing game based on the adult version ‘Which Celebrity Am I?’. Draw enough cute animals on cards for each player and stick to a headband. Simpler yet, you could draw on Post-it Notes. Ask each player to pull out a headband/note from a hat without looking and pop it on their noggin. Each child takes it in turns to ask questions about their animal, such as ‘Do I have fur?’ The winner is the first to guess their animal.
7. Bobbing for apples
This is a fun retro birthday party game for kids that the adults can participate too. First, fill a large tub with water and fresh apples, tie the kids’ hands behind their backs and get them to catch a floating apple with their toothy pegs. Do it in groups or individually – the one to catch the apple in the quickest time wins! Good, clean and healthy fun!
8. The chocolate game
Place a chocolate bar, a fork, hat, scarf, gloves and a die on a board in the centre of a circle of kids. Take a moment to watch their minds boggle. The first child to roll a perfect six must, fast as lightning, throw on all the clothes and try to break and eat the chocolate piece by piece. They continue this awkward pursuit until the next child rolls a six, and they have a chance to take over. Think movie montage meets chocolate indulgence – fun!
9. Cutting flour
Tightly compress flour into an ice cream container, turn out the flour cake on a tray and top with a wrapped treat. Starting from the outside, each kid takes it in turns to slice away slivers of the flour cake (with a butter knife). The winning child who eventually knocks the prize off its perch gets to dig through the flour for the treat – messy play with an added surprise? A huge hit with the tiny ones!
10. Egg and spoon race
This timeless party game tests the players’ ability to balance things. The first one to cross the finishing line with the egg still intact is the winner. You can make it harder by using only uncooked eggs. Oh, the messy fun to be had! Or, by doing relays where players have to pass the egg to someone waiting with an empty spoon.
11. Duck duck goose
We love duck duck goose for its old-fashioned charm and simplicity. Sit all the kids in a circle. One child stands up and walks around the circle calling out “duck” every time they touch each child on the head. Suddenly they scream out “goose” and run for their spot. The kid nominated as ‘goose’ jumps up and tries to catch them before they safely sit down. If they can’t catch them, it’s their turn and the process starts again. Expect plenty of squealing…
Let’s get this party started!