Games to Play at Parties

In the end, it’s the party games that everyone remembers, especially the ones that result in loud laughter and rowdy cheering.

Is there a sure fire secret to picking the best games to play at parties? Ones that are guaranteed to make everyone happy?

I wish I could say, Yes.  But I’d be lying.

Every once in a while, a game falls short of your expectations. In other words, it bombs, tanks, or generally bites the dust.

But if you follow these tips and include some of the fun games described here, your chances of success are great!

Kids just want to have a good time. So if you follow the strike out with a home run … that’s what they’ll remember!

Ask Your Child:  Depending on your child’s age, plan the games and activities with your son or daughter. Asking for their opinion makes them feel important and valued. Plus, if they like the game, their friends probably will, too!

He likes Blind Man’s Bluff and you’re having a firefighter party. No problem. Change it into Sirens and Sounds.

She likes Duck, Duck, Goose and you’re having a tea party. Simple. Change it into Teddy, Teddy, Bear.

It’s easy to rework the classics to fit the theme of your birthday party. Plus most children love to play these and they already know the rules.

Choose Age Appropriate Games:  Keep your guests ages and temperaments in mind when choosing your party games.

Games to Play at Parties

Toddlers and preschooler’s have short attention spans. Keep the games simple to avoid overwhelming them. This group enjoys re-themed classics such as Pin the Horn on the Unicorn for a fairy party and Musical Animal Stalls for a barnyard party.

School-age children are keen to try new things, are capable of understanding more complex rules, and enjoy social games that require teamwork. Fear Factor games encourage teamwork and they love the “gross” factor. Modified relay races work wonderfully for pool parties. Playing Dress Me with mom’s night gown at a slumber party makes getting ready for bed a hoot.

Preteens are proud of “getting older” and enjoy reworked versions of grown up games like Charades. But don’t let them fool you, they still like hide-and-seek games like Ghost in the Graveyard.

Choose a Mix of Loud and Quiet Games:   Kids love games that are loud, fun, and physical. String three of these activities together in a row, however, and you will have an unruly mob on your hands.

Let them play boisterous games! It’s a party after all. But slow those little engines down with a quiet activity. Make them idle at a stop sign for 5-10 minutes. Then, for a firefighter party, start the race up again with a heart pounding game of Squirt Gun Tag.

Finally, end with a quiet activity before opening gifts or sitting down for cake and ice cream. Revved up children neither appreciate their gifts nor do they eat.

Plan Extra Games and be Flexible:   It’s easy to misjudge how long a game will take. Better to have a few games that you don’t play than a group of bored six year olds.

And with extra games, you can easily move from one to the next if the first isn’t going as planned. Likewise, if a game is a smash hit and the kids want to play it again, go ahead and give them another round.  Why ruin a good thing?

Be Prepared:   Have all the games set up prior to the party. Know the rules and understand how the game is played.

It doesn’t look good if Cinderella’s fairy godmother (that’s you) needs to consult her spell book before waving her magic wand for the start of the next  princess game.

And Make Sure Everyone Wins:   This is especially true for the little ones who don’t understand the concept of “good sportsmanship.” But even the eight year old birthday boy might show some disgruntled emotions at not winning. Give out stickers or small pieces of candy after the game is over.