Have you ever tried a board game on a large group of children, only to have it crash and burn? What is the best way to keep children entertained at a party? The better question to start with might be to first ask yourself where you can find a guide on Kids Party Games for All Group Sizes so that you are prepared for anything! Larger groups of children do well with outdoor games that require some physical exertion, while small, more intimate gatherings enjoy a good turn around a board game or two. So, it might be that you’ve been trying the wrong game on the wrong size group.
What makes a good party game for kids?
The number of participants can enhance a game’s enjoyability by increasing the level of social interaction and motor and cognitive skills needed. The more players, the greater the challenge, and also the greater the fun. Diversity is always a wonderful thing. Simple game mechanics like drawing, guessing, acting etc. are all a lot more fun when there are more friends to interact with!
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best Kids Party Games for All Group Sizes so that you don’t need to spend more time scratching your head for an entertainment solution!
Party Games for Large Groups
Buzzing Bee is a great interactive and memorable learning game that works well for groups of 10-20 members. The aim is for one member to guess who is holding a secret object.
One member will volunteer to guess where the object is and then they will leave the room while the game master chooses a player to hold the object. It must be something small, like a coin or ring, but that’s not the final prize.
The participants in the group, including the one holding the object, are the buzzing bees. When the volunteer re-enters the room, they will be blindfolded, and the group members all form a circle around them and begin to make buzzing sounds. The aim is for the one holding the object to be buzzing the loudest, but the others must try to compete to throw the volunteer off. The volunteer will be at the center of the circle, trying to discern where the loudest buzz is coming from. Once they are ready to guess, the buzzing stops, and they take the blindfold off. If they guess right, they win a prize.
What to prepare: A small object to hide, prizes, blindfold – a bandana or scarf works well.
Capture the Flag
The objective is simple: to capture the opposing team’s flag and bring it back to your territory. If a player gets tagged while in the other team’s territory, they get sent to ‘jail’. You can either have them stay there for the whole game, which means less activity for them, or have them do a penalty of, say, jumping jacks, or push ups, before getting out.
Designate each team’s territory and then place the flag in it. Members should not be too close to their own flag as this can be too challenging for the opposition. A distance of 10 feet is good, otherwise everyone will be spending all their time in jail.
The game ends when one team has successfully captured the opposition’s flag and brought it back to their own territory. Each team is simultaneously trying to capture the opposition’s flag and defend their own, so each team has to strategize who is offense and who is defense, before the game commences. It’s a bit of wonderfully fun chaos.
What to prepare:
Flags – make your own from t-shirts or bandanas
A large open outdoor area – if there are lots of trees and rocks to dodge, that makes it more fun, but be sure to clear away any hazards like lawn tools, and clearly mark if there are holes anywhere.
The objective of the game is for the tagger to find their friends hiding/running away by using the flashlight. The tagger counts to 30 while everyone runs away and tries to shield themselves or hide. Then the tagger turns on the flashlight and chases the players down. When they shine the beam on someone, that person is out. The last person tagged wins.
What to prepare:
A dark area with hiding places and room to run. If the tagger gets close, you need to dart off to another spot.
Excited children, music pumping and the fastest butt to a chair – that’s why kids love musical chairs. What’s better than trying to jostle your friends for top spot and laughing if they’re too slow?
Basically, the objective of musical chairs is to shake your tail feather for a bit and then be lightning fast to grab a seat when the music stops. The anticipation is what makes this game thrilling. The last person left standing is out and then the rounds continue until there is one person remaining.
What to prepare:
Some cool tunes that the kids love
Chairs – make sure there is always one less chair than there is number of children
Space to dance
This game is like tag, but instead of one person being the tagger at any given time, and the one tagged being out, the one tagged now joins hands with the tagger and they work together. What makes this fun is that whoever is ‘out’ gets to continue playing and only the players on the ends of the ‘blob’ (of kids holding hands) get to tag, making it a way of learning to run co-ordinately and deciding which direction to go. This game works amazingly for large groups – the more kids, the more interesting it is once they all start forming part of the blob trying to tag everyone out.
What to prepare: A large open space, loads of kids and your co-ordination skills!
Gather the gold for a fun treasure hunt – because everybody loves searching for treasure! You can make the prizes as simple or as extravagant as you wish. Either way, it will be exciting to search for them, and that’s why everyone loves a good treasure hunt. You can decide if you want to divide the kids into team to see who can find the most treasure or have everyone work as one group to find all the gems. Get your creative cap on to write out some clues for them to follow!
What to prepare: Treats to hide & clues.
Tug of War
Tie a red bandana or scarf around the center of a long rope and mark 13 feet from the center of the rope to either side. You can make the mark with a cone or shoe, or even some chalk if you have.
The objective of the game is to have two opposing teams hold on either side of the rope and pull as hard as they can to get the red bandana over the 13 feet mark on their side. To be very serious, you can assign teams according to weight, so that one team does not have more, uh, body, than the other. It’s good to keep to a max of 8 players per side, otherwise either the rope won’t be long enough or the players will huddle up too close to the 13 foot mark.
What to prepare: A rope, bandana, markers and arm strength! (Check our our Tug of War guide here)
Party Games for Small Groups
This abstract board game debuted in 2017 and won game of the year! While being a tile laying artist for the Royal Palace of Evora, Portugal, might not sound like the most exciting thing on earth, there’s a reason why this game sold it in its first couple of runs.
To keep it as short as possible, as there are quite a few things to explain, in Azul (Portuguese for blue), players take turns claiming colored tiles onto their personal player board, which they will later use to decorate their wall of the palace and earn points for specific patterns and completing sets or lose points for wasted tiles etc.
Each player begins by randomly drawing tiles from a bag holding 20 tiles of each color. The game is played over multiple rounds, each with 3 steps: Factory offer, Wall-tiling, Preparing the next round.
What to prepare:
One Azul board game – find it here
A table to play on
Players place tiles on the table in turn, matching one face of the domino with an open face of one that has already been played. The objective of dominoes is generally to score the most points, by putting your tiles down in such a way as to gain the most advantage, although some versions are won by the first player to put down all of their tiles. Luck does play a part but being somewhat strategic does also come into play and if anyone has any bit of consistency, it can be challenging to beat them.
What to prepare:
Dominoes game – buy it here
Fibber is ideal for small groups aged 7+, and the object is to catch someone trying to pull the wool over your nose – sorry, we mean eyes. Each player is assigned a character based on where they sit in conjunction to the board – a witch, a ghost, bigfoot, a dragon and an alien. Of the cards each person is dealt, they will discard at each turn, turning the cards face down. The player discarding will either fib or tell the truth about what they’re discarding and you are to try and guess which it is – if they are fibbing and you guess correctly, they need to add an extension to their nose. If you guess wrong, you add to your nose, plus you take all the discarded cards from the pile and add them to your hand. If there is a tie for the shortest nose at the end of the game, the one with the least amount of cards takes the cake.
What to prepare:
Fibber board game – get it here
A table to play on
Heads Talk, Tails Walk
Get ready to make your best animal sounds! This hilarious game for children 3+ will have you in stitches. Players need to match hidden head tiles of animals to the correct bodies. If they tiles don’t match, you need to walk and talk like the mismatched tiles.
What to prepare:
Heads Talk Tails Walk board game – check it here
All the awesome moves!
In The River
The objective: this depends on which version you play. There are a couple. Be at the right place at the right time or make the jump to the other side without falling in!
For the budding Olympiads, you can combine it with a kiddie obstacle course and have many ‘rivers’ to jump, each one all the wider. You can either use sticks or rope to mark the ‘banks’ or you can use actual kid pools of varying sizes, or small baths of water for the kids to jump over. You can make the kids do a run up if the river is extra wide and they can do it in their cozzies so that if they get wet, there’s no harm done. Clearing the jump is key to continuing the course.
Another alternative for a ‘dry’ game, is to mark the river from the bank with a piece of rope and have the children line up on the bank (behind the rope). Then the game master must shout either ‘on the bank’ or ‘in the river’ and the children must jump appropriately. You can also mix it up and say ‘on the bank’ or ‘in the river’ twice in a row to trick participants. If you say it faster, this will add an exciting tension.
Some things to bear in mind: you have to jump with both feet at the same time. You can’t step over the line. You also can’t touch the ground with your hands, so if you jump and you tilt over and touch the ground to keep from falling, you’re out.
How to prepare:
Depending on which version you choose –
Kids Paddling Pools
Ropes/something to mark the river from the bank
Maybe some other obstacles if you’re making an obstacle course
Get comfy with your friends in this in-your-space hide and seek game. The objective is to eventually have all the kids squished into the same space.
One player goes off to hide – try not to find a space that’s too small right off the bat, as it would need to be possible to at least get some of the other kids in for the first few turns, otherwise it becomes too easy to find everyone.
The rest of the group splits up to find the player hiding and when someone finds them, they join them in the hiding place. This continues until all the kids are crammed in the same hiding place. There is no clear winner – the game ends once everyone is hidden.
What to prepare: An area with lots of cool hiding spots – this can be indoors or outdoors.
The cousin of the popular Dominoes is played with triangular tiles hosting numbers instead of dots. The game is designed for 2-4 players. The tiles have a number ranging from 0-5 in each corner and there are 56 tiles in a 0-5 Tri-omino set.
The objective is to play all the tiles from your hand and be the first to get to a score of 400. You do this by matching tiles with tiles on the board, similar to Dominoes, but with added complexity because of the 3-side tiles. Each match must have at least two matching numbers on the tile and be placed side to side and so on, in order to continue the line.
How to prepare:
Get a super cool Tri-omino game here
And a table to play on!
And that’s our awesome list of Kids Party Games for All Group Sizes! We’re sure that no matter the size of your party group, now there’s no reason to stress about how to keep them busy. We hope that your party is epically memorable, and that the kids have loads of fun trying one of these games.
Party Games with Yombu
With so many games and so many kids to manage, you might find yourself feeling a tad overwhelmed by the task. If that’s you, then why not try booking a party games coordinator from Yombu to help out? Our talented party games maestros enjoy rallying the children for a good time and giving the parents a load off. You can book easily from your Yombu account and make any changes, whenever you need to make them.
Besides some that we’ve already mentioned, Duck, Duck, Goose, What Time Is It Mr Wolf and doing the limbo are always very popular and enjoyable kids party games.
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