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37 Super-Fun Low or No-Cost Party Games

Whether it’s for a kid’s birthday party; tiring out toddlers; to entertain teenagers at a sleepover; or as a bit of fun before/after a dinner party for adults – there are plenty of times when having a good selection of ‘party games’ at hand can be invaluable.

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Best Family Games

There are 37 games here – which is too much for anyone to read in one go – so we’ve categorised them for you into a number of lists (some games will appear in multiple lists). Pick a list below to see games which fit in that category:

Socially Distanced Party Games

With concerns around pandemics and social distancing, plus ‘family bubbles’ and varying lock-down rules, we thought it would be useful to add another list to filter all the party game suggestions: non-contact party games – so your kids can have fun, without breaching lock-down rules or putting themselves or others at risk.

If you’re trying to organise a Lock-Down Birthday Party for your child – and don’t want it to be a miserable disaster that ruins their big day – we hope this will help. These games are all easy to play whilst keeping kids apart.

In fact, for many of them keeping apart is the whole idea – so why not make social distancing part of the fun?

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. I Spy
  4. Memory Game
  5. Sort It Out!
  6. Simon Says
  7. Charades
  8. Animal Charades
  9. Musical Statues
  10. Musical Bumps
  11. Truth or Lie?
  12. Twenty Questions
  13. Alphabet Game
  14. Chopstick Delivery
  15. Swing-Rope

Indoor party games

Rainy day play time? Or is your son/daughter’s birthday in winter and/or got a party to organise when the weather won’t be terrific outside?

We’ve got 37 great games you can play indoors – simply pick a game to find out how to play, what you need and more:

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Duck-Duck-Goose
  4. Hide & Seek
  5. Sardines
  6. I Spy
  7. Memory Game
  8. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  9. Sort It Out!
  10. Keep It Up!
  11. Simon Says
  12. Scavenger Hunt
  13. Hot Potato
  14. Charades
  15. Animal Charades
  16. Musical Chairs
  17. Musical Statues
  18. Musical Bumps
  19. Musical Numbers
  20. Rock, Paper, Scissors Race!
  21. Telephone
  22. Truth or Lie?
  23. Twenty Questions
  24. Alphabet Game
  25. Balloon Relay
  26. Cotton Wool Conveyor
  27. Name Game
  28. Greetings O’ Great One
  29. Hunt the Thimble
  30. Balloon Pop
  31. Chopstick Delivery
  32. Line Up Game
  33. Wool Game
  34. Swing-Rope
  35. Spotlight
  36. Crab Football
  37. Bench Ball

Classic party games

These 8 party games are classics. From Hide and Seek to Hunt the Thimble these are the sorts of games where Granny will say “I remember playing that when I was a girl!”

  1. Hide & Seek
  2. Sardines
  3. Memory Game
  4. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  5. Musical Chairs
  6. Musical Statues
  7. Musical Bumps
  8. Hunt the Thimble

Quiet & Calm party games

If you’ve got a house (or village hall) full of kids, hyped-up on sugar, sweets and fizzy drink – having some calming, quiet games (where, in fact being quiet makes the game easier) – up your sleeve is always a great idea.

Here are 6 party games that can help you turn the screaming down!

  1. Memory Game
  2. Twenty Questions
  3. Alphabet Game
  4. Musical Statues
  5. Wool Game
  6. Spotlight

Active & noisy party games

At the other end of the scale, parties are supposed to be fun – and lots of parents will expect you to ‘do your duty’ and return their kids to them duly exhausted and set to sleep well!

Here are 24 fun, active games where the participants will all move around a lot and burn off some energy!

  1. Riverbank
  2. Duck-Duck-Goose
  3. Hide & Seek
  4. Sardines
  5. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  6. Sort It Out!
  7. Keep It Up!
  8. Simon Says
  9. Scavenger Hunt
  10. Hot Potato
  11. Charades
  12. Animal Charades
  13. Musical Chairs
  14. Musical Bumps
  15. Musical Numbers
  16. Rock, Paper, Scissors Race!
  17. Balloon Relay
  18. Cotton Wool Conveyor
  19. Balloon Pop
  20. Chopstick Delivery
  21. Line Up Game
  22. Swing-Rope
  23. Crab Football
  24. Bench Ball

Party games for all ages

If you’ve got a mixed group (perhaps at a family gathering or event) finding party games that people of all ages can play – without horribly unbalancing things – is tricky.

Here are 24 games that mixed groups can get along with really well, with simple enough rules that Grandpa and the Grandkids can play together:

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Hide & Seek
  4. Sardines
  5. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  6. Sort It Out!
  7. Keep It Up!
  8. Scavenger Hunt
  9. Charades
  10. Animal Charades
  11. Musical Chairs
  12. Musical Statues
  13. Musical Bumps
  14. Musical Numbers
  15. Alphabet Game
  16. Balloon Relay
  17. Cotton Wool Conveyor
  18. Greetings O’ Great One
  19. Hunt the Thimble
  20. Chopstick Delivery
  21. Line Up Game
  22. Wool Game
  23. Swing-Rope
  24. Spotlight

Party games for 5-year-olds +

So… you’re about to try and entertain a group of children around the age of five. Good luck!

These 25 party games are all great fun, simple to explain to players with drifting (short!) attention spans and not too heavy on rules and complicating factors – 5-year-olds will love them:

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Duck-Duck-Goose
  4. Hide & Seek
  5. Sardines
  6. I Spy
  7. Memory Game
  8. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  9. Sort It Out!
  10. Keep It Up!
  11. Scavenger Hunt
  12. Hot Potato
  13. Animal Charades
  14. Musical Chairs
  15. Musical Statues
  16. Musical Bumps
  17. Musical Numbers
  18. Balloon Relay
  19. Cotton Wool Conveyor
  20. Greetings O’ Great One
  21. Hunt the Thimble
  22. Balloon Pop
  23. Chopstick Delivery
  24. Line Up Game
  25. Spotlight

Party games for 7-year-olds +

Kids around 7-years-old are tough to please. Differences in size and maturity really start to show up and games seen as ‘baby-ish’ will not be tolerated!

These 34 fun games to play at a party should melt even the ‘coolest’ of kids into having a load of fun:

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Duck-Duck-Goose
  4. Hide & Seek
  5. Sardines
  6. I Spy
  7. Memory Game
  8. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  9. Sort It Out!
  10. Keep It Up!
  11. Simon Says
  12. Scavenger Hunt
  13. Hot Potato
  14. Musical Chairs
  15. Musical Statues
  16. Musical Bumps
  17. Musical Numbers
  18. Rock, Paper, Scissors Race!
  19. Telephone
  20. Truth or Lie?
  21. Twenty Questions
  22. Alphabet Game
  23. Balloon Relay
  24. Cotton Wool Conveyor
  25. Greetings O’ Great One
  26. Hunt the Thimble
  27. Balloon Pop
  28. Chopstick Delivery
  29. Line Up Game
  30. Wool Game
  31. Swing-Rope
  32. Spotlight
  33. Crab Football
  34. Bench Ball

Party games for 10-year-olds +

Entertain ten-year-olds is hard. In their heads half of them consider themselves teenagers; others still behave like toddlers most of the time.

We’ve curated this list of 32 party games that will go down brilliantly with a group of ‘tweenagers’:

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Duck-Duck-Goose
  4. Hide & Seek
  5. Sardines
  6. I Spy
  7. Memory Game
  8. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  9. Sort It Out!
  10. Keep It Up!
  11. Simon Says
  12. Scavenger Hunt
  13. Hot Potato
  14. Charades
  15. Rock, Paper, Scissors Race!
  16. Telephone
  17. Truth or Lie?
  18. Twenty Questions
  19. Alphabet Game
  20. Balloon Relay
  21. Cotton Wool Conveyor
  22. Name Game
  23. Greetings O’ Great One
  24. Hunt the Thimble
  25. Balloon Pop
  26. Chopstick Delivery
  27. Line Up Game
  28. Wool Game
  29. Swing-Rope
  30. Spotlight
  31. Crab Football
  32. Bench Ball

Party games for Teenagers

Teenagers. Parties. Teenager’s parties. Words to strike fear into the heart of parents worldwide.

But… with some planning and careful curation, you can turn this list of 16 party games into an [insert buzzword for ‘good’ that teenagers use] party. E.g. depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing, adding/allowing a bit of moderate swearing into the games like Telephone can make them hilarious fun.

Do be careful with games like Sardines if you have a mixed gender group – forcing teenagers into close physical proximity can be excruciatingly embarrassing and/or completely inappropriate.

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Hide & Seek
  4. Sardines
  5. Charades
  6. Rock, Paper, Scissors Race!
  7. Telephone
  8. Truth or Lie?
  9. Twenty Questions
  10. Name Game
  11. Chopstick Delivery
  12. Line Up Game
  13. Swing-Rope
  14. Spotlight
  15. Crab Football
  16. Bench Ball

Party games Without props/Equipment

Sometimes parties just happen. Other times you have to conjure up a party or game at the last minute (perhaps the magician you booked didn’t show up!) – these 18 games require almost zero equipment (or only things you can rustle up easily) so are great when you need a party game in a hurry:

  1. Riverbank
  2. Court Jester
  3. Duck-Duck-Goose
  4. Hide & Seek
  5. Sardines
  6. I Spy
  7. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  8. Simon Says
  9. Hot Potato
  10. Charades
  11. Animal Charades
  12. Telephone
  13. Truth or Lie?
  14. Twenty Questions
  15. Alphabet Game
  16. Name Game
  17. Greetings O’ Great One
  18. Line Up Game

Party games Without winners

Some groups (especially young kids) don’t cope well with losing. Having a stranger’s child in floods of tears because they “Wanted to win!” is horrible.

A great way to avoid that? This list of 17 party games with no winners. They can just go on in perpetuity or are great team games (e.g. the Line Up Game can be played as a group – where everyone ‘wins’ by getting themselves in the right order).

  1. Court Jester
  2. Duck-Duck-Goose
  3. Hide & Seek
  4. Sardines
  5. Squeak Piggy Squeak
  6. Scavenger Hunt
  7. Hot Potato
  8. Charades
  9. Animal Charades
  10. Telephone
  11. Truth or Lie?
  12. Twenty Questions
  13. Alphabet Game
  14. Name Game
  15. Greetings O’ Great One
  16. Line Up Game
  17. Spotlight

List of all party games

  1. Riverbank

    Aim of the game: This is a ‘last one standing’ game, where people get ‘knocked out’. The winner is the last person left!

    Equipment/props needed: You need something to be the ‘river’ – this can be a line on a sports pitch, a piece of rope, a strip of masking tape on the floor – anything.

    Ideal for: All ages. We’ve played this with kids 3 years old and up. If they can understand two words: “River” and “Bank” they can play.

    How it’s played: This is a variation on the classic party game ‘Simon Says’.

    One person is the caller. Everyone else stands in ‘the river’ (the line or markers you’ve put down on the floor).

    The caller shouts out “River” or “Bank”. If they say “River” all the players must jump in ‘the river’. If they say “Bank” all the players need to jump backwards ‘onto the bank’.

    Anyone that gets it wrong (or the last person to do the action, depending on how harsh you want to be!) is out.

    The caller can make this more tricky by shouting “River!” when players are already in the river – thereby making them jump onto the ‘bank’ by accident – meaning they’re out!

    The caller should start slowly – to let everyone get used to the game but as the players get more used to it, they can speed up… and try and catch people out!

    Here’s a fun video of  a sports team playing it with some kids so you can see how this works and just how into it the kids get!


    Variations: You can mix this up as much as you like, to make it easier/harder depending on the age-group playing.

    Throw in new ways/places to stand like “riverbank” (one foot in the river, one on the bank) or “fishing” (on the bank with your arms out, holding an imaginary fishing rod). These are only limited by your imagination!

    If you’ve got enough space one which always gets the kids laughing is “Dead fish!” (lying in the river!).

    A further layer of complexity can be added with a imaginary ‘Road’ next to the ‘Bank’ – thereby allowing you add commands like ‘Hitch-hike’ (standing on the bank, with your thumb out on the road side); or ‘Roadkill’ (lying dead in the road!).

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  2. Court Jester

    Aim of the game: To make the King or Queen laugh!

    Equipment/props needed: No props or equipment are required!

    Ideal for: All ages. We’ve played this with kids 3 years old and up.

    How it’s played: Nominate the first King or Queen (start with the youngest player if you’re unsure).

    They sit on their throne (any chair, or even the floor if you’re outside) facing their ‘subjects’. The nominate a subject as the Court Jester by calling their name.

    The Court Jester then has 30 seconds to make the King/Queen laugh without touching them. Telling jokes, funny dancing, funny faces anything is allowed – so long as they don’t touch their royal highness!

    As soon as the King or Queen so much as cracks a smile the Jester wins and they’re the new King/Queen (and nominate the next Jester etc.)

    If the King or Queen holds out for 30 seconds they can nominate the next Jester etc. If they get through the whole group without smiling or laughing, they get to nominate the next King/Queen.

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  3. Duck-Duck-Goose

    Aim of the game: This is a game without winners – handy if you have some super-competitive kids taking part and all the issues that brings!

    It could, potentially, go on for ever (perhaps best to set a time limit if you’re doing this as part of a birthday party!).

    Equipment/props needed: No equipment is needed — just enough space to make a circle big enough for the size of the group you have.

    Ideal for: Any age can play this — but there’s a chasing-element to the game, so if your group has a wide range of ages and sizes it can be a little unbalanced.

    How it’s played: Here’s a video of some primary school-aged children playing Duck-Duck-Goose in the playground of their school. They’re aged around 5-to-6-years-old (which gives you a good gauge of how easy this game is for even quite young kids to understand).

    Everyone sits in a circle. One person is chosen as ‘it’. They walk around the outside of the circle, touch everyone’s head as they pass saying “Duck”. They can do this to as many people as they wish.

    The game really starts when they tap someone’s head and say “Goose”. Then the race is on!

    Racing outside of the circle ‘It’ has to get back to their original starting position and sit down, before the ‘Goose’ tags them.

    If they make it back, the ‘Goose’ becomes ‘It’ and walks around the circle tapping heads again. If they tag ‘It’ before they get back to their place, then ‘It’ is ‘It’ again and the Goose returns to their original place.


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  4. Hide & Seek

    Aim of the game: Get found last (or not at all!).

    Equipment/props needed: None!

    Ideal for: Any age – mixed age groups can make this even more fun (the places the smaller ones can squeeze into is astonishing at times!).

    How it’s played: There is one ‘Seeker’ (start with the oldest player). Everyone else is a ‘Hider’.

    As the Seeker covers/closes their eyes and counts slowly (pick a suitably high number to give the Hider’s sufficient time to find terrific hiding places!) the Hiders hide.

    When the Seeker counts up to 100 (or whichever number you chose) they have to announce, loudly “Ready or not, here I come!” (usually resulting in fits of giggles from the hidden players – giving their hiding places away!).

    The Seeker then has to find the Hiders. The first person they find is the next Seeker.

    Variations: You can obviously dial-up/down the number the Seeker has to count to, to make things easier/harder accordingly (or if your Seekers can’t count as high as 100!).

    You can also have teams of Seekers vs. Hiders; or make it so that each discovered Hider joins the Seekers’ team in trying to find people.

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  5. Sardines

    Aim of the game: Find your friends (and have loads of fun!).

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: All ages.

    How it’s played: This is essentially Hide and Seek… in reverse!There is one Hider (the Sardine!) and everyone else is a Seeker.

    All the Seekers count, slowly to a suitably high number (100+). They then have to split up and try and find the Sardine.

    The twist comes as… when they find the Sardine they have to hide with them! Literally squeezing into the same cupboard/under the same bed etc.

    Until the next person finds them… and they have to squeeze in too! Hence the name of the game… you’ll be packed in like sardines!

    The last person to find the Sardines is the first Sardine for the next round.

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  6. I Spy

    Aim of the game: Be the first to spot the object ‘spied’ by the other player(s).

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: Best for kids aged 5+. Kids of all ages can ‘spy’ things… but they do need to be able to spell them too (we’ve lost a lot of time looking for things like ‘clothes’ beginning with a ‘Letter K’…)!

    The great thing with this game is you can play with just two or 200 players!

    How it’s played: The youngest player starts. They have to choose an object — one that everyone can see — and then, when they’re ready say “I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with…” and the first letter of their chosen object (e.g. ‘C’ for car).

    The other players then take it in turns to guess objects beginning with that letter. If they guess correctly, the ‘spyer’ has to say so — and that person is then the next ‘spyer’.

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  7. Memory Game

    Aim of the game: Remember as many objects as you can.

    Equipment/props needed: A tray, a number of objects (more than 10 ideally), someway to measure the time (a watch, or the stopwatch on your phone is fine).

    LEAP Digital Sport Stopwatch Timer with Large LCD Display, Black
    Learning Resources LER 0808 Simple 3 Button Stopwatch, Supports Science Investigations, Maths Exercises, Elapsed Time Tracking, Ages 5+, Mulitcoloured, Set of 1
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm - Black
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm
    LEAP Digital Sport Stopwatch Timer with Large LCD Display, Black
    Learning Resources LER 0808 Simple 3 Button Stopwatch, Supports Science Investigations, Maths Exercises, Elapsed Time Tracking, Ages 5+, Mulitcoloured, Set of 1
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm - Black
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm
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    £10.43
    £5.49
    £4.99
    LEAP Digital Sport Stopwatch Timer with Large LCD Display, Black
    LEAP Digital Sport Stopwatch Timer with Large LCD Display, Black
    £9.99
    Learning Resources LER 0808 Simple 3 Button Stopwatch, Supports Science Investigations, Maths Exercises, Elapsed Time Tracking, Ages 5+, Mulitcoloured, Set of 1
    Learning Resources LER 0808 Simple 3 Button Stopwatch, Supports Science Investigations, Maths Exercises, Elapsed Time Tracking, Ages 5+, Mulitcoloured, Set of 1
    £10.43
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm - Black
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm - Black
    £5.49
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm
    H&S Kitchen Timer Digital Cooking Timer Magnetic Countdown Clock Large LCD Screen Loud Alarm
    £4.99

    Ideal for: Anyone aged 5-years-old or more can play — basically as soon as kids can write and (vaguely) spell they can play.

    This is also a great ‘calming down’ game for kids parties.

    How it’s played: Arrange the objects on the tray. Players sit around a table (or around the tray on the floor or whatever). They get to look at the tray of objects for one minute — trying to memorise as many as they can.

    Then take the tray away.

    Players then have another minute to write down as many objects as they can remember. Whoever remembers the most, wins!

    Variations: Obviously the more objects you add the harder it is to remember.

    You can also dial-up the difficulty (for older or more capable kids, teenagers or adults) by twisting the game to remember/notice which objects have been added/removed.  When you take the tray of objects away the first time, remove an object or two, move things around the tray a bit — maybe add some similar ‘new’ objects.

    Then return the tray and the players have to note down which objects have been removed/added — again, the winner is the person that gets the most.

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  8. Squeak Piggy Squeak

    Aim of the game: Identify the player ‘squeaking’ at you!

    Equipment/props needed: A blindfold and a large (but restricted) space (so other players can’t run away too far!).

    Ideal for: Anyone from ages 3 and up can play this one.

    How it’s played: One player is the Farmer.  They’re blindfolded and spun around a few times to disorientate them a bit (not so much they’re so dizzy they fall down!).

    The other players are the ‘pigs’ who mill around the Farmer — who reaches out to try a grab one.  If a pig is touched they have to stand still and the Farmer says “Squeak piggy, squeak!”.

    The pig then have to say “Squeak, squeak, squeak!” — and the Farmer has to guess who it is e.g. “This pig is Jane/Justin.” if they’re right, the pig becomes the Farmer.  If not, the Farmer has to release the ‘pig’ and play again until the catch and correctly identify a ‘pig’.

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  9. Sort It Out!

    Aim of the game: Sort all the objects according to a given instruction.

    Equipment/props needed: Pots or bowls into which to sort things; an array of objects to sort (Lego, beads, marbles anything will do!).

    ARSUK Cat's Eye Glass Marble Runs, Comes in a bag, Protection against damage, Sports Toys & Outdoor Games (100 Pcs Colour Marble)
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    House of Marbles Tub of 50 Marbles
    ARSUK Cat's Eye Glass Marble Runs, Comes in a bag, Protection against damage, Sports Toys & Outdoor Games (100 Pcs Colour Marble)
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    House of Marbles Tub of 50 Marbles
    £8.15
    £6.99
    £8.98
    ARSUK Cat's Eye Glass Marble Runs, Comes in a bag, Protection against damage, Sports Toys & Outdoor Games (100 Pcs Colour Marble)
    ARSUK Cat's Eye Glass Marble Runs, Comes in a bag, Protection against damage, Sports Toys & Outdoor Games (100 Pcs Colour Marble)
    £8.15
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    £6.99
    House of Marbles Tub of 50 Marbles
    House of Marbles Tub of 50 Marbles
    £8.98

    Ideal for: Kids aged 3-years-old or up can master this — it can also be a fun challenge to get the adults to race the kids!

    How it’s played: Each player is given a mix or Lego/beads etc. to sort 20+ is enough for a good challenge.

    At the shout of “GO!” all the players race to sort their pieces into the pots/bowls as quickly as possible, shouting their name when they’ve finished.

    The instruction can vary from the simple “Sort them all by colour” to the complex “Sort them all by size” etc.

    Variations: The difficulty can be turned up or down by varying the objects to be sorted, the number of varieties available (e.g. giving the players Lego bricks in five colours, rather than three or four), or the complexity of the sorting instruction.

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  10. Keep It Up!

    Aim of the game: Keep a balloon off the ground.

    Equipment/props needed: A balloon (you’ll need more than one, to cover for popped balloons!).

    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    £4.44
    £3.98
    £10.02
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    £4.44
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    £3.98
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    £10.02

    Ideal for: Even toddlers can grasp this game but kids from ages 3 or more tend to get the most fun out of it!

    How it’s played: The players all have to work as a team to keep the balloon off the floor.

    No one player can touch the balloon more than once (meaning everyone gets a turn and players will have to think of the other players to make sure they ‘Keep it up!’.

    Variations: You can make this more difficult by specifying a body part e.g. “Keep it Up using only… your elbows!” — you can even vary the body part during the game, shouting out a new body part after each player touches the balloon.

    Another fun variation can be to forbid players from touching the balloon at all – meaning they have to blow the balloon up into the air again and again!

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  11. Simon Says

    Aim of the game: The winner is the last person left – who has followed all the Leader’s instructions, without being caught out!

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: All ages — we’ve played this with kids from 3-years-old upwards.

    How it’s played: One person (an adult or older sibling if it’s a kids party) is ‘Simon’ or the leader.  The game is essentially ‘Follow my leader’.

    Simon issues instructions to the team like ‘Put your hands on your head’. The key is if they precede it with “Simon says…” or not.

    If they say “Simon says…” everyone has to do it. If they don’t, the other players don’t do what the leader says. If they don’t obey a “Simon says…” command they’re out. If they do obey a command where Simon didn’t say they’re out. Last person left in wins!

    ‘Simon’ can obviously try and catch people out — a good one is often to say “Simon says… put your hands on your head.” then quickly follow it up with “Take them off again.” — anyone that takes their hands off their heads, even for a second, is out — as Simon didn’t say to take them off again!

    Variations: Difficulty can be dialled up or down by the complexity and speed with which the commands are given (and by how strict you are about how quickly players have to respond!).

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  12. Scavenger Hunt

    Aim of the game: Be the first to collect all the items on the list.

    Equipment/props needed: Items to find/see/collect.  You can do this game without props if necessary (see “How it’s played”).

    Ideal for: Ages 7+ tend to get most out of this game – but any age can play.

    How it’s played: There’s a ‘Treasure List’ of items to collect or tick off.  This can vary depending on where you’re playing, how many players you have etc.

    The winner is the first person back with the whole list collected/ticked off.A list of party games

    You can play this game any number of ways:

    – Set specific things to find e.g. “A red Lego brick” or “A fork” etc.
    – Or add in activities things for the hunters to do e.g. “A picture of Grandpa” where they need to take a photo on their phone (or draw one!)
    – Or make the list a guide but not specific e.g. “Something with three legs” or “A picture of the Queen” (to test players lateral thinking – e.g. a coin, stamp or paper bank note would all have a picture of the Queen on!)

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  13. Hot Potato

    Aim of the game: Don’t hold on to the hot potato for too long!

    Equipment/props needed: A ball, beanbag or something soft to throw between players (if you’re out and about a pair of rolled up socks will do!)

    Ideal for: All ages – but kids under 12 tend to get most fun out of this one.

    How it’s played: The ball/beanbag/socks is a ‘Hot Potato’. Players must throw (under-arm… no ‘fast ball’ baseball pitches at other players’ heads allowed!) the potato to another player before the count of 3.

    Make sure you inject some urgency into the game, emphasising how hot that potato is and how important it is to keep it moving!

    Variations: You can make this game harder or easier for the whole group or certain players (to keep more able players’ focus) by adding caveats or rules e.g. “Lilly can only catch with her left hand.” etc.

    It can be a good ice-breaker or way for a group that don’t know each other well to say the name of the player they’re tossing the ‘potato’ to – e.g. “Catch the potato Gary!” who catches it and shouts “Catch the potato Lisa!” etc.

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  14. Charades

    Aim of the game: Convey a message to the rest of the group – without speaking or making any sounds!

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: All ages can play – but often this is best for ages 8-years-old and up.

    How it’s played: Starting with the oldest player, they (secretly) choose the name of a famous book, movie, TV show, band or famous saying (that the rest of the group would know).

    Then, without speaking or making any sounds they have to give clues to the rest of the group to help them guess it.

    There are no strict rules on how to do this but some common ‘Charade’ actions are:

    – Holding up fingers to convey how many words there are in the item (e.g. 3 fingers for ‘Romeo and Juliet’)
    – Hands flat, palms together ‘opening’ into a book to convey that it’s a book
    – Drawing a square in the air with pointed fingers to convey it’s a TV show
    – Miming a old school movie film camera (one hand circled around one eye, the other eye closed, the other hand ‘cranking’ the camera)
    – Miming sweeping stage curtains to convey that it’s a play
    – Miming singing (one hand on your chest, the other up in the air, mouth wide ‘singing’ (silently of course!)) to convey that it’s a song
    – If it’s especially complex, you can tap fingers on your arm to convey the number of syllables in a word

    Here’s a video of US chat show host, Jimmy Fallon playing charades with Saoirse Ronan, Alessia Cara and Anderson .Paak — you can see Jimmy doing the action for ‘Song’ and Saoirse holding fingers up for the number of words etc.

    Variations: You can make this game more simple for kids by setting them charades to perform (an adult can whisper the idea to them) and it can be simple actions like “Bouncing a ball” or “Sweeping the floor” — and the other kids have to guess what they’re doing.

    Also check out Animal Charades (below) for a great variation for kids.

    You can also make this more complex for older/more able players by getting people to write down obscure phrases, movies, books etc. on a piece of paper, then each player picks what they have to perform from the hat/bowl etc.

    This can be devilish… you’ll always find someone comes up with impossibly hard things to perform. You try and act out ‘Don Quixote’ for example!

    You can also add a time-limit. The more generous you are with the time, the easier/harder it can be.

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  15. Animal Charades

    Aim of the game: Act out an animal for the rest of the group to guess… with no noises!

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: Kids aged 5 and under (but this can also be hilarious for teenagers or adults!)

    How it’s played: Much like charades above, the difference here is the performer has to act out an animal – like a horse or pig etc. To help keep them on the straight and narrow an adult should probably pick the animals they have to act out (with a quick whisper in the ear to the ‘actor’).

    This can actually be really hard — especially for kids — as so much of what an animal is for kids is the noise they make e.g. moo, woof, meow etc. But it can be great fun for them to try and mime an animal to their friends in silence!

    Variations: Obviously the tricky part here is in the picking of the animal. For younger kids pick easy ones for them: cow, pig, dog, horse etc.

    Once they start getting the hang of it add in some more complex ones: elephant, giraffe etc.

    When they’re really getting it throw some curve balls in there: bat, tiger, squirrel etc. The only limit is your imagination!

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  16. Musical Chairs

    Aim of the game: Be the last player with a chair!

    Equipment/props needed: One fewer chairs than you have players; some way to play/stop music (though you can sing if you’re short of music!)

    Ideal for: Kids under the age of 10 tend to enjoy this one most — but anyone can play. We’ve played with adults some of whom, after a few drinks, get fiercely competitive on this one!

    How it’s played: Line up the chairs, back-to-back in two even rows (e.g. if you have eleven players, five chairs back-to-back with five other chairs – ten chairs in all).

    Start the music.

    Players have to walk around the lines of chairs in a circle (everyone has to go in the same direction). When the music stops you have to sit on a chair. The person left standing is out. You are not allowed to grab or move the chairs.

    Remove one chair and start the music again. Repeat until you have one player sat on one chair — they win!

    Variations: If you’re worried about the players getting a little rough in this game, a great variation is Musical Numbers below.

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  17. Musical Statues

    Aim of the game: Be the last person left!

    Equipment/props needed: A ‘dancefloor’ or space for the group to dance; some way to play music (singing is fine if you’re short of music players!)

    Table could not be displayed.

    Ideal for: Kids from 3-years-old to any age can play this game – though the younger ones tend to enjoy it most of all!

    How it’s played: When the music is playing, you gotta dance. When it stops… freeze!

    If you move whilst the music is off (even a wobble or a giggle – you’re out!). And when the music is playing, no half-hearted-barely-moving-dancing is allowed – you’ve got to be dancin’!

    Here’s some 3/4-year-old kids playing (and loving!) this game:

    Variations: Some kids (younger ones especially!) find it really hard to be completely still — especially for any length of time.

    How picky you are as a judge is obviously up to you — but you can also turn this into a ‘No winner’ game by just choosing ‘the best statue’ each time the music stops, then when it starts again everyone is back in again, so no-one is ever ‘out’.

    If standing still is too tricky Musical Bumps is a great variation on this game.

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  18. Musical Bumps

    Aim of the game: Be the last person left!

    Equipment/props needed: A ‘dancefloor’ or space for the group to dance; some way to play music (singing is fine if you’re short of music players!)

    Ideal for: Kids from 3-years-old to any age can play this game – though the younger ones tend to enjoy it most of all!

    How it’s played: When the music is playing, you gotta dance. When it stops… sit down!

    The last person to sit down is out or — depending on your group or aims — gets a point (the winner being the person with fewest points at the end).

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  19. Musical Numbers

    Aim of the game: Score the most points (or collect the most prizes)!

    Equipment/props needed: Sheets of paper or post-its with numbers on equal the number of players in the game (the foam number mats below are ideal – as they’re easy on bouncing bottoms and sturdy enough to endure the game!); some source of music (singing is fine if you don’t have a music player!).

    TLCmat Soft Foam Play Mat - EN71 Safety Approved Non-Toxic, Odorless, Use for Indoor and Outdoor (Number 10pcs Pack)
    ADEPTNA 36 PCS MULTI-COLOURED SOFT EVA FOAM JIGSAW PLAY MAT LETTERS AND NUMBERS - ALPHABET FLOOR MAT FOR KIDS PLAY ROOM - EACH TILE MEASURES 15.4CM X 15.4CM X 1CM
    Large foam puzzle for children with letters and numbers, 40 pieces
    TLCmat Soft Foam Play Mat - EN71 Safety Approved Non-Toxic, Odorless, Use for Indoor and Outdoor (Number 10pcs Pack)
    ADEPTNA 36 PCS MULTI-COLOURED SOFT EVA FOAM JIGSAW PLAY MAT LETTERS AND NUMBERS - ALPHABET FLOOR MAT FOR KIDS PLAY ROOM - EACH TILE MEASURES 15.4CM X 15.4CM X 1CM
    Large foam puzzle for children with letters and numbers, 40 pieces
    £17.99
    £12.95
    £9.95
    TLCmat Soft Foam Play Mat - EN71 Safety Approved Non-Toxic, Odorless, Use for Indoor and Outdoor (Number 10pcs Pack)
    TLCmat Soft Foam Play Mat - EN71 Safety Approved Non-Toxic, Odorless, Use for Indoor and Outdoor (Number 10pcs Pack)
    £17.99
    ADEPTNA 36 PCS MULTI-COLOURED SOFT EVA FOAM JIGSAW PLAY MAT LETTERS AND NUMBERS - ALPHABET FLOOR MAT FOR KIDS PLAY ROOM - EACH TILE MEASURES 15.4CM X 15.4CM X 1CM
    ADEPTNA 36 PCS MULTI-COLOURED SOFT EVA FOAM JIGSAW PLAY MAT LETTERS AND NUMBERS - ALPHABET FLOOR MAT FOR KIDS PLAY ROOM - EACH TILE MEASURES 15.4CM X 15.4CM X 1CM
    £12.95
    Large foam puzzle for children with letters and numbers, 40 pieces
    Large foam puzzle for children with letters and numbers, 40 pieces
    £9.95

    Ideal for: Kids from 3-years-old to any age can play this game – though the younger ones tend to enjoy it most of all!

    This is a great variation on Musical Chairs if your group are getting a bit rowdy or rough. The winner in each round is entirely random so even the last person to get a ‘chair’ has just as much chance of winning as everyone else.

    How it’s played: Much like musical chairs, players dance around whilst the music is playing.

    Scattered around the dance-floor are the pieces of paper/post-its with a different number on each. Unlike musical chairs you should have the same amount of numbers as you have players (not one fewer).

    When the music stops, players sit on a number.  The adult then randomly chooses a number (roll a dice, point your finger at a list with your eyes closed etc.). Whomever is sitting on that number wins!

    Variations: What winners get is up to you. They can score a point (with the winner the person with the most points at the end) or you could reward each winner with a prize or sweet each time etc.

    Parents: You can often ‘rig’ this game to make sure everyone gets a turn as a winner.  Once you’ve done a few ‘random’ choices of winners, the kids are soon so into it they won’t notice how you’re picking winners!

    You may want to add a rule about sitting on the same number twice in a row – to stop players just dancing/jigging on the spot around their favourite/lucky number etc.

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  20. Rock, Paper, Scissors Race!

    Aim of the game: The first team to get all their players across the track and lined-up on the other side.

    Equipment/props needed: Markers of some sort — hoops are ideal but pieces of paper; masking tape crosses on the floor anything will do — to mark the course.

    Table could not be displayed.

    Ideal for: Kids aged 8-years-old and upwards tend to get most out of this one — this is a good one for teenagers too.

    How it’s played: Split the group into two teams.

    Mark out the course on the floor. The course is a large ‘X’.

    Line one team up at one ‘tip’ of the X; line the other team up next to them (not opposite).

    The aim is to get your team across the X and lined-up on the other side – opposite where they started.

    Only one player from each team can be on the course at a time.

    They have to bunny-hop across the course but… if they meet a player from the other team, those two players have to have a rock, paper, scissors contest.  The winner can carry on across the course, the loser goes to back of their team’s queue!

    Variations: How the players have to travel across the course is up to you: hopping, skipping, dancing whatever you want!

    You can also vary the shape of course too – just make sure there are lots of points where the course intersects.

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  21. Telephone

    Aim of the game: Successfully convey an entire message from one end of a line to the other.

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: Any age can play this – kids from 6-years-old and up tend to get most out of it – as younger kids seem to miss the point of having to try and transmit the original message… they seem to get more out of it by deliberately mixing up the message!

    How it’s played: All the players stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder.  The person at one end of the line chooses a message.

    They then whisper it, once, to the person next to them.  Crucially, only once.  If the other person doesn’t hear it too bad! That’s all part of the game.

    That person then has to whisper the message they think they heard to the person next to them; and so on down the line until it reaches the end of the line.

    The person at the end of the line then says what they think they’ve heard out loud — and the the person at the start of the line says what they should have heard (e.g. the original message).

    Variations: You can obviously vary this for younger players — you can feed the first player the original message etc.  You can make this a famous saying if you want to make it easier.

    For older players the more ‘random’ the saying the better (e.g. not a famous saying) and adding in words which are commonly misheard can make this more fun/difficult too — sound-a-like words are often good ones: love/glove/shove/dove etc.

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  22. Truth or Lie?

    Aim of the game: Guess which statements from the other players are true/false.

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: Any age can play this but this can be a good ice-breaker for a group where not everyone knows one another; or for teenagers etc. to ‘get them in the mood’ for parlour games etc.

    How it’s played: Each player has to think of three ‘facts’ to tell about themselves.

    Two of them are lies; one of them is true. The other players have to guess the truth from the lies.

    You move around the group in turn: the first player states their 3 ‘facts’.  Other players can then discuss which they think is true and why; and then they have to guess which statement is true.  The player then has to confirm which was the true statement.

    Play then moves on to the next player who repeats the process — stating the 3 ‘facts’ and the other players guess etc.

    For example the first player might say: “I have met the Queen; I have met Helen Mirren; I have met Freddie Mercury.”  The other players then have to guess which of those three things is true.

    Variations: Players can write their ‘facts’ down if that’s easier.  You can also mix up everyone’s statements and try to associate the facts with the right person etc.

    The statements need not necessarily be related (as per our example) they could be utterly random (it’s often harder to pick the truth from the lie if they are related) but the only limit is your imagination!

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  23. Twenty Questions

    Aim of the game: Guess the other players’ chosen ‘thing’.

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: All ages can play this one — but kids aged 8-years-old or more tend to get most fun out of this game.

    How it’s played: One player (start with the youngest) chooses an object (a thing, person, place etc.), which they keep secret.

    The other players are then allowed ’20 questions’ to help them work out what the thing is.

    They can only ask questions which can be answered yes or no. E.g. “Is it bigger than a car?” not “What colour is it?”

    Players can guess at any time but that counts as one of the allotted 20 questions e.g. “Is it a duck?”

    Variations: This game is sometimes known as ‘Animal, Mineral, Vegetable’ – because the first question is always “Is it an animal, a mineral or a vegetable?” — even though it’s not a ‘yes/no’ question that’s a freebie, the player must say whether it’s an animal, a mineral or a vegetable.

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  24. Alphabet Game

    Aim of the game: Working as a team, get through the whole alphabet

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: We’ve played this with our kids from ages 4-years-old plus — but they need a fair bit of help until they’re at least 7 or 8 years-old.

    How it’s played: As a group pick a broad subject like ‘Fruit and Vegetables’ or ‘First Names’ etc.

    Starting with the youngest, that player then has to name something, in the given topic, beginning with the letter A.  The next player has to name something in the topic beginning with the letter B; then C and so on.

    The aim is to get to the letter Z without missing any letters out!

    Variations: You can add a memory element to this game, whereby the first player names something beginning with A; the second player then has to remember the previous players item and add another item beginning with B.

    The third player has to remember the items beginning with A and B, then add an item beginning with C etc.

    This variation of the game is often also known as “I went to the shop…” as players precede their item with the phrase “I went to the shop and I bought…” so they might say: “I went to the shop and I bought… an apple, a bus and a chinchilla.” etc.

    How strict you are with the ‘theme’ in these instances can be fairly flexible!  Shape the game depending on the players — make it easier/harder for older or younger players.

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  25. Balloon Relay

    Aim of the game: Get a balloon from one end of your line to the other — without bursting it!

    Equipment/props needed: Balloons — probably lots of them, given many will get burst during the game!

    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    £4.44
    £3.98
    £10.02
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    £4.44
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    £3.98
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    £10.02

    Ideal for: Kids from any age love this game — they can grasp the, fairly simple, rules from about aged 3-years-old or more.

    How it’s played: Split your group into two equal halves.  Line them up, in queue-like lines facing one another.

    The person at the front of each ‘queue’ is given a balloon.  At the shout of ‘Go!’ they have to pass the balloon over their head to the player behind them; who has to pass it under their legs to the next… and so on, over and under until the balloon reaches the back of the line.

    Variations: You can make this into a race whereby, when the balloon reaches the back of the line that player runs, with the balloon in hands, to the front of the line and starts again — passing the balloon over their head to the person behind, who passes it under their legs etc.

    The winner is the first to cross a given line or touch the opposing wall of the room etc.

    A common twist on this game is to take hands out of the equation entirely.  Players have to pass the balloon to the next person in their line between their knees.

    The winner is the first line whose last player has the balloon between their knees!

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  26. Cotton Wool Conveyor

    Aim of the game: Also sometimes known as ‘Cotton Wool Giggles’ – the aim is to transfer balls of cotton wool from one bowl to another, as quickly as possible.

    Equipment/props needed: A blindfold, a timer or stopwatch, two bowls, a small spoon and lots of cotton wool.

    Ideal for: Kids of all ages really enjoy this game — the ‘Cotton Wool Giggles’ name is apt!  Children from ages 4-years-old and seem to enjoy it the most.

    How it’s played: Fill one bowl with the cotton wool balls. The other bowl is nearby, but empty.

    Blindfold the first player (start with the youngest), spin them around a couple of times to disorientate them a bit, then lead them to the first bowl.

    Place the spoon in their strongest hand and steer it to the edge of the cotton wool-filled bowl.  They then have a minute to transfer as much of the cotton wool from the first bowl to the second, using only the spoon as they can (no two-handed efforts, or holding it on the spoon allowed!).

    The fun comes as cotton wool is extremely light, so the player really has no idea whether they have any on their spoon or not!

    Variations: If your birthday boy/girl can take a joke, you can have a bit of fun here.

    After they’ve watched a few others have a go when it comes to their turn, blindfold them then empty both the bowls.  Take them to the first bowl, put the spoon in their hand and watch them try and spoon nothingness into nothingness!

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  27. The Name Game

    Aim of the game: Guess the name of the famous person on your head.

    Equipment/props needed: Post its or ‘sticky notes’ (regular paper and some way to stick it to people works just as well – sticky tape etc. is your friend!).

    Stick N 21332 Sticky Note 76x76mm Neon - Assorted Colour (Pack of 12)
    Post-it 3M 654-TFEN 76 x 76 mm Notes, Energetic Colours, 6 Pads (100 Sheets Per Pad)
    Nice Style Sticky Note Cube (450 Sheets/Cube) - 76 x 76 mm, Neon/Assorted Colours
    Stick N 21332 Sticky Note 76x76mm Neon - Assorted Colour (Pack of 12)
    Post-it 3M 654-TFEN 76 x 76 mm Notes, Energetic Colours, 6 Pads (100 Sheets Per Pad)
    Nice Style Sticky Note Cube (450 Sheets/Cube) - 76 x 76 mm, Neon/Assorted Colours
    £6.20
    £7.90
    £3.99
    Stick N 21332 Sticky Note 76x76mm Neon - Assorted Colour (Pack of 12)
    Stick N 21332 Sticky Note 76x76mm Neon - Assorted Colour (Pack of 12)
    £6.20
    Post-it 3M 654-TFEN 76 x 76 mm Notes, Energetic Colours, 6 Pads (100 Sheets Per Pad)
    Post-it 3M 654-TFEN 76 x 76 mm Notes, Energetic Colours, 6 Pads (100 Sheets Per Pad)
    £7.90
    Nice Style Sticky Note Cube (450 Sheets/Cube) - 76 x 76 mm, Neon/Assorted Colours
    Nice Style Sticky Note Cube (450 Sheets/Cube) - 76 x 76 mm, Neon/Assorted Colours
    £3.99

    Ideal for: This is a good game for teenagers or adults.  It can be a fun ice-breaker but children aged 10-years-old and higher have enough knowledge of enough famous figures to make this game work.

    How it’s played: Players write the name of a famous person on a sticky note, without anyone else seeing.

    They then stick their note to the forehead of another player.  Each player should have one note on their head.

    Everyone can see everyone else’s note/name but not their own!

    Players mingle among each other asking yes/no questions about ‘themselves’.  The other players can answer yes/no to help them guess who they are.

    To keep players moving around the group you can only ask each person you ‘meet’ a maximum of two questions.

    Variations: You can have a ‘winner’ in this game for the first person that guesses who they are.

    You can also give a theme for the famous people that players can be tagged with (e.g. sports stars or movie actors etc.).

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  28. Greetings O’ Great One

    Aim of the game: Guess the identity of the other players, despite a blindfold!

    Equipment/props needed: A blindfold (a tea-towel, scarf – even hands over the eyes (if you can trust everyone!) work).

    Ideal for: Children of any age can play — kids from toddlers upwards (aged 5-years-old and more) tend to get most out of it.

    How it’s played: The oldest player is blindfolded and sits on their throne (this can be a chair, or just on the floor in the middle of the circle/group).

    The other players take it in turns to approach the blindfolded player and say “Greetings O’ Great One!” – in a disguised/squeaky/silly voice. The ‘Great One’ has to guess who it was that said it!

    If they’re right, the guessed person is the next ‘Great One’.  This keeps going until the ‘Great One’ guesses correctly, thereby selecting a new ‘Great One’.

    Variations: This game is similar in many ways to ‘Squeak Piggy Squeak’.

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  29. Hunt the Thimble

    Aim of the game: Find the ‘thimble’!

    Equipment/props needed: A thimble… but actually any object will do. Most 21st century kids won’t even know what a thimble is!  A similarly small object (a key, a coin even a special toy will do the job).

    Ideal for: Kids aged 4-years-old or more can master this game — but kids as old as 9 or 10 still enjoy it!

    How it’s played: Everyone leaves the room or area where the item will be hidden.  One player (or responsible adult!) hides the ‘thimble’.

    They then call all the players into the room to ‘Hunt the Thimble’.  The first person to spot it, wins!

    Variations: You can make this a ‘winner/reward’ game whereby the player which finds the thimble gets to hide it for the next round.

    You can make the hiding places more obvious/difficult depending on the players. Younger children tend not to look upwards that often, focusing all their efforts on the floor or things in their immediate eye-line.

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  30. Balloon Pop

    Aim of the game: Pop all the other teams’ balloons!

    Equipment/props needed: Lots (and lots) of balloons; maybe a timer (for some variations).

    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    £4.44
    £3.98
    £10.02
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    Unique Party 56870 - 12" Latex Crystal Assorted Colour Balloons, Pack of 50
    £4.44
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    50 Assorted Colour 12 Inch Latex Balloons
    £3.98
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    Karaloon G00099 Latex Balloons
    £10.02

    Ideal for: Kids up to about 8-years-old love this game — the younger the players the more fun they seem to have.

    How it’s played: You’ll need about a dozen balloons ideally in two colours (e.g. for a red team and a blue team) but  you can have multiple colours so long as there’s an equal number for each team (e.g. one team is pink and green; the other team is blue and yellow etc.).

    Each team stands around the outside of the ‘playing area’ the room or space you’re playing in.  The balloons are scattered and mixed about in the middle of the room. No-one moves.

    At the shout of ‘Go!’ everyone has to pop the other team’s balloons!  The first team to pop all the other team’s balloons wins!

    Variations: This game can be carnage. It can get very loud, very quickly (hence why most kids love it!).

    You can try to dampen things down a bit by adding rules like: “You can only pop a balloon with…” and add a body part (“Your bottom” is often a good one, resulting in lots of people trying to sit on fast-moving balloons!).

    You can also set a time limit – say 30 seconds on frenetic activity – then count the balloons remaining to see who won.

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  31. Chopstick Delivery

    Aim of the game: Transfer a number of objects from A to B using only a pair of chopsticks.

    Equipment/props needed: A set of chopsticks; two bowls; things to deliver (beads, marshmallows, Malteasers, Lego bricks etc.)

    KitchenCraft World of Flavours Wooden Chopsticks, Japanese Style, 24 cm, Pack of 10
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    Dexam 17841076 Bamboo Chopsticks with Dragon Print Pack of 10 pairs, Brown
    KitchenCraft World of Flavours Wooden Chopsticks, Japanese Style, 24 cm, Pack of 10
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    Dexam 17841076 Bamboo Chopsticks with Dragon Print Pack of 10 pairs, Brown
    £2.25
    £6.99
    £5.00
    KitchenCraft World of Flavours Wooden Chopsticks, Japanese Style, 24 cm, Pack of 10
    KitchenCraft World of Flavours Wooden Chopsticks, Japanese Style, 24 cm, Pack of 10
    £2.25
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    KandyToys 160 Piece Classic Glass Marbles in a Vintage Storage / Gift Tin
    £6.99
    Dexam 17841076 Bamboo Chopsticks with Dragon Print Pack of 10 pairs, Brown
    Dexam 17841076 Bamboo Chopsticks with Dragon Print Pack of 10 pairs, Brown
    £5.00

    Ideal for: This game of skill is a fun one for older players – teenagers can get quite competitive on this one and it’s great fun for dinner parties – but kids of all ages can have a go!

    How it’s played: Fill one of the bowls with the beads/marshmallows etc.

    Each player has 30 seconds to transfer as many as they can into the empty bowl.  Whoever does the most is the winner!

    Variations: Obviously the choice of ‘cargo’ is key here. Marshmallows are quite easy; small round beads can be really hard.

    You can vary the time limit too – a ‘minute to win it’ is perfectly feasible, though can be more of a test of stamina and concentration than anything else!

    It can be a fun twist to put the second ‘target’ bowl somewhere other than right next to the first bowl. Across the room; via an obstacle; even balanced on the head of another player can all add more fun or difficulty to the game.

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  32. Line Up Game

    Aim of the game: Get in line, in the correct order for the specified rule, as quickly as possible!

    Equipment/props needed: None.

    Ideal for: This can work for all ages (can be a great ice-breaker for adults or older groups or a great way for new people to learn a bit about each other) – but kids from 5-years-old and upwards can play this game and have lots of fun.

    How it’s played: With everyone standing in the room, you need one leader (the eldest, adult in charge or you can take it in turns etc.).

    That person calls out: “Line up in order of…” and then adds the criteria say “… in height order, tallest to shortest.” or “…in age order, oldest to youngest.” or “…in order of the month you were born in, January to December.” or “…in alphabetical order, A to Z.” etc.

    The group then have to get themselves in the correct order as quickly as possible, by talking to each other, asking questions, measuring against one another etc.

    Once they’re happy, the leader then checks by measuring them, asking them to say their birth date out loud etc.

    Variations: You can add a competitive element here by splitting the group in two (or more, depending on how many people in the group). You can also do it against the clock to add a bit of pace. Obviously any mistakes in their order means that team forfeits, even if they were quickest!

    Another fun variation is caveats like: “Line up in order of the month you were born in – but you cannot say any numbers or months.” – so when the players speak to one another they have to say things like “I was born in winter, how about you?” or “My birthday is near the FA Cup Final/Superbowl/Wimbledon Finals.” etc.

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  33. Wool Game

    Aim of the game: Collect the longest piece of wool.

    Equipment/props needed: Lots of pieces of wool, cut to various lengths. Factor on needing around 3-5 pieces per player (e.g. 30-50 pieces of wool for 10 players).

    Ideal for: Any age can play this one but it’s best for kids from ages 8-years-old and up as it can be a bit fiddly for younger children.

    How it’s played: An adult (or other ‘referee’) has to hide the pieces of wool around the room (whilst the players are elsewhere, or waiting outside etc.). Each piece of wool must have just an end showing (e.g. the tail of a piece of wool peeking out from down the side of the sofa, or poking out from under a book).

    The trick is, from just the peeking end of the wool, the players don’t know how long that piece is.

    The players now have to come into the room and find all the pieces of wool. Each time they find a piece they must tie it on to the end of their existing piece(s).

    The key here is they must tie it. This is to stop them ‘picking and choosing’ which pieces they tie on (e.g. rejecting the shorter pieces to try and win). The rule is ‘You touch it, you tie it!’ so if you tug out a piece of wool from it’s hidey-hole it’s yours and you have to tie it on.

    This also gives some of the slower players a chance, as they may discover a mega piece of wool just by luck!

    The person with the longest string of wool at the end, wins!

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  34. Swing-Rope

    Aim of the game: This is a ‘last (wo)man standing’ game. The winner is the last person left in the game.

    Equipment/props needed: A long (8ft+ long) piece of rope with a beanbag or other (soft) weight tied at the end (a teddy or toy is fine if you’re short of ideas!).

    Wolike 10 Meters Long Natural Hemp Ropes 6mm Thickness and Strong Jute Ropes, Camping Rope, Garden, Boating, Pets, Multi Purpose Utility Sisal Twine Rope MS002
    jijAcraft 10mm Jute Rope Hemp Rope Thick Jute Twine for Crafts, Home Decors, Gardening Bundling, Cat Scratch Post (32 feet)
    jijAcraft Jute Twine Rope 5mm,20M Thick Rope Jute String Strong Hemp Rope Cord Garden Rope for DIY Arts Crafts(3-Ply)
    Wolike 10 Meters Long Natural Hemp Ropes 6mm Thickness and Strong Jute Ropes, Camping Rope, Garden, Boating, Pets, Multi Purpose Utility Sisal Twine Rope MS002
    jijAcraft 10mm Jute Rope Hemp Rope Thick Jute Twine for Crafts, Home Decors, Gardening Bundling, Cat Scratch Post (32 feet)
    jijAcraft Jute Twine Rope 5mm,20M Thick Rope Jute String Strong Hemp Rope Cord Garden Rope for DIY Arts Crafts(3-Ply)
    Price not available
    £13.45
    £7.99
    Wolike 10 Meters Long Natural Hemp Ropes 6mm Thickness and Strong Jute Ropes, Camping Rope, Garden, Boating, Pets, Multi Purpose Utility Sisal Twine Rope MS002
    Wolike 10 Meters Long Natural Hemp Ropes 6mm Thickness and Strong Jute Ropes, Camping Rope, Garden, Boating, Pets, Multi Purpose Utility Sisal Twine Rope MS002
    Price not available
    jijAcraft 10mm Jute Rope Hemp Rope Thick Jute Twine for Crafts, Home Decors, Gardening Bundling, Cat Scratch Post (32 feet)
    jijAcraft 10mm Jute Rope Hemp Rope Thick Jute Twine for Crafts, Home Decors, Gardening Bundling, Cat Scratch Post (32 feet)
    £13.45
    jijAcraft Jute Twine Rope 5mm,20M Thick Rope Jute String Strong Hemp Rope Cord Garden Rope for DIY Arts Crafts(3-Ply)
    jijAcraft Jute Twine Rope 5mm,20M Thick Rope Jute String Strong Hemp Rope Cord Garden Rope for DIY Arts Crafts(3-Ply)
    £7.99

    Ideal for: Kids of all ages can play this game, but it’s best for ages 5-years-old and up.

    How it’s played: An adult (or other ‘referee’) stands in the centre of the circle holding the non-weighted end of the rope.

    The rest of the players stand around them in a circle less than the length of the rope away.

    The referee now swings the rope slowly around the circle (starting on the floor and never going higher than knee height – you don’t want ropes tangled around people’s necks etc.).

    Players have to jump the rope as it swings past them. If any part of the rope or the weight on the end so much as brushes them, they’re out (and stand to one side).

    Keep swinging the rope until all but one player is out – they’re the winner!

    Variations: Depending on the agility of your players you may need to swing the rope faster; or around ankle (or knee) level to catch them out. Varying the speed (faster and then slower) is a good trick as is the odd rapid dart across the circle to catch someone out!

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  35. Spotlight

    Aim of the game: Steal the ogre’s keys without getting caught!

    Equipment/props needed: A bunch of jangly keys – the noisier the better! A torch, with an on/off switch, a blindfold and a chair.

    Kingavon BB-RT323 9-LED Aluminium Torch "Color may Vary"
    H&S Sleep Mask Silk Eye Mask Soft Adjustable Strap Cotton Filled Sleeping Eye Mask Blackout for Men Women Kids
    RAC, RACHP392 Heavy Duty Lantern, 3W
    Kingavon BB-RT323 9-LED Aluminium Torch "Color may Vary"
    H&S Sleep Mask Silk Eye Mask Soft Adjustable Strap Cotton Filled Sleeping Eye Mask Blackout for Men Women Kids
    RAC, RACHP392 Heavy Duty Lantern, 3W
    £2.99
    £3.99
    £9.99
    Kingavon BB-RT323 9-LED Aluminium Torch "Color may Vary"
    Kingavon BB-RT323 9-LED Aluminium Torch "Color may Vary"
    £2.99
    H&S Sleep Mask Silk Eye Mask Soft Adjustable Strap Cotton Filled Sleeping Eye Mask Blackout for Men Women Kids
    H&S Sleep Mask Silk Eye Mask Soft Adjustable Strap Cotton Filled Sleeping Eye Mask Blackout for Men Women Kids
    £3.99
    RAC, RACHP392 Heavy Duty Lantern, 3W
    RAC, RACHP392 Heavy Duty Lantern, 3W
    £9.99

    Ideal for: Kids of all ages love this game but teenagers/tweenagers tend to love this game most in our experience!

    How it’s played: One player is the ogre/giant/monster etc. (or jailer, banker whatever floats your group’s boat!).

    They sit on the chair, with the torch in hand and the blindfold on.

    The rest of the players sit around them in a circle – about 8-10ft away. They are the bank robbers/spies/rebels etc. Their aim is the steal the keys, without getting spotted!

    The players – in silence – nominate one of their number to sneak forwards and try to steal the keys and return to their place in the circle. If they want to give up, they can nominate another player (again, quiet is key!) to have a go instead. But only one player can try to steal the keys at a time.

    The ‘ogre’ has to try and listen to work out who’s moving – and shine the torch beam on them. They have to hold them in the beam for a second or more (so wildly casting the light around won’t work!).

    If the players steal the keys successfully the ogre gets another go at trying to ‘spotlight’ them. If the ogre spotlights someone, that player is the next ogre!

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  36. Crab Football

    Aim of the game: Score more goals than the other team!

    Equipment/props needed: A football and something to mark out two goals – jumpers on the floor is fine; pop-up football goals ideal if you have them.

    Kids Football Training Soccer Pop Up Goal Post Net Children Outdoor Garden Toy (2 x 3 x 2 ft)
    Wilton Bradley, Goaline Kids Pop-Up Goal Net, Set of 2, for Indoor or Outdoor Use
    Amazon Basics Pop Up Goal Set with Carrying Case, 0.76 m
    SONGMICS Pop-up Football Goal Set of 2 for Kids, Foldable, Garden Park Beach, Steel Frame, Fibreglass Rods, Oxford and Polyester Fabric, Blue and Black SZQ122Q01
    Kids Football Training Soccer Pop Up Goal Post Net Children Outdoor Garden Toy (2 x 3 x 2 ft)
    Wilton Bradley, Goaline Kids Pop-Up Goal Net, Set of 2, for Indoor or Outdoor Use
    Amazon Basics Pop Up Goal Set with Carrying Case, 0.76 m
    SONGMICS Pop-up Football Goal Set of 2 for Kids, Foldable, Garden Park Beach, Steel Frame, Fibreglass Rods, Oxford and Polyester Fabric, Blue and Black SZQ122Q01
    £13.99
    £17.99
    £19.99
    £24.99
    Kids Football Training Soccer Pop Up Goal Post Net Children Outdoor Garden Toy (2 x 3 x 2 ft)
    Kids Football Training Soccer Pop Up Goal Post Net Children Outdoor Garden Toy (2 x 3 x 2 ft)
    £13.99
    Wilton Bradley, Goaline Kids Pop-Up Goal Net, Set of 2, for Indoor or Outdoor Use
    Wilton Bradley, Goaline Kids Pop-Up Goal Net, Set of 2, for Indoor or Outdoor Use
    £17.99
    Amazon Basics Pop Up Goal Set with Carrying Case, 0.76 m
    Amazon Basics Pop Up Goal Set with Carrying Case, 0.76 m
    £19.99
    SONGMICS Pop-up Football Goal Set of 2 for Kids, Foldable, Garden Park Beach, Steel Frame, Fibreglass Rods, Oxford and Polyester Fabric, Blue and Black SZQ122Q01
    SONGMICS Pop-up Football Goal Set of 2 for Kids, Foldable, Garden Park Beach, Steel Frame, Fibreglass Rods, Oxford and Polyester Fabric, Blue and Black SZQ122Q01
    £24.99

    Ideal for: Children of all ages enjoy this one – it’s best for 5-years-old or more.

    How it’s played: This game works like football (or soccer).

    Split the group into two equal teams.

    Players can only touch the ball, with their feet, if they’re in the ‘crab’ position – which is basically: hands and feet on the floor, stomach towards the ceiling.

    They can scramble around the pitch on all fours (or in the ‘bear’ position). This is probably easier to understand with a video:

    The aim is to kick the ball into the other team’s goal (and stop them kicking it in yours!).

    Any breaches in the rules – playing the ball when in the ‘bear’ position; or knocking other players over etc. is a freekick (e.g. give the ball to the other team).

    Varitions: If you find your group getting a bit rough, you can make this a no-contact game (though often the bumbling and bumping into one another is half the fun!).

    You can also add a ‘ball on the floor’ rule – to prevent players punting the ball hard from one end to another.

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  37. Bench Ball

    Aim of the game: Get all your team ‘on the bench’.

    Equipment/props needed: A bench (or raised area for players to stand on) and a ball (a tennis ball is fine – the bigger the ball, the easier the game, generally).

    Ideal for: Kids love this game – but it works best for 7-year-olds or older as it’s quite a feat of coordination, throwing and catching to play successfully.

    How it’s played: This game is often used as a netball training drill – as it has some similarities to the popular sport.

    Start with two players standing on the bench.

    Split the rest of the group into two teams (you have three or more teams if you have a big group). The rest of the group start the game about 10ft away from the bench. Toss the ball into the group.

    A player, once they’re touching the ball, cannot move (like netball) – they can pivot around one foot but not step, walk or move. They have to try to throw the ball to any of the players on the bench.

    If a player on the bench catches a pass cleanly (no bounces or fumbles) the player that threw it joins them on the bench – and the game starts again with the ball tossed into the remaining group.

    Team-mates can (and should) work together. They can pass to one another netball-style e.g. players not touching the ball can move freely around the playing area; once touching the ball players must stand still.

    Passing between them a team can move closer to the bench to make a clean pass to a player on the bench easier.

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    We’re delighted to say three of these great game ideas were featured in Twinkl’s ‘Fun Outdoor Activities for Families’ blog of brilliant ideas to keep your children entertained throughout the summer!

Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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