Classic Party Games
Is your child's birthday coming up? Count on these fun games to keep the party hopping. Use the instructions as a guide or alter them to fit your party's theme.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Hang up a picture of a donkey without a tail. Line the kids up a few feet away and give each one a tail (write their names on the tails or make each one a different color). Blindfold the first child and slowly spin him around three times. Point him in the direction of the poster to tape on his tail. After each child has had a turn, see which tail is the closest to where it should be.
Line up a row of chairs back to back. You should have one less chair than the number of kids playing. Turn up the tunes and have the kids walk clockwise around the chairs. When the music stops everyone must take a seat; one child will be left standing. Continue to play until only one child is left.
Bean Bag Toss
Lay a hula-hoop on the ground, or, as we suggested, a lion's head drawn onto a piece of cardboard with the mouth cut out. Line the kids up a few feet away. Each child takes a turn tossing three beanbags into the lion's mouth. Push the starting line back a few feet each round, to make it more challenging.
Choose one child to be the leader and have her stand in front of the rest of the group. The leader shouts out commands like, "Simon says, 'wave your right hand' or 'bend your left knee'". The group must mimic her moves but only if she says, "Simon says" first, otherwise they're out. The last one standing wins the game.
Give each child a bingo card and place-markers (try pennies). If you're using numbers, slowly call out each number. If the kids have a match on their board, they place a penny on top. The first child to get a straight line up or down calls out "BINGO". Older kids can try to cover diagonal lines too.
Guess How Many
Fill a jar with colorful candy or toys, like jelly beans or bouncy balls. Then have each child write down how many they think are in the jar. The child with the guess closest to the actual number is the winner.
Think of fun questions related to the party theme, such as sports. If it's a large party, split the kids into teams and have them answer questions as a group. Keep a tally to see which team has the most points at the end.