What makes a great kid’s party game?
Kids just want to have fun.
They want to be loud and move and laugh.
They enjoy something a little funny.
What do parent’s want?
They want the children to be entertained, to have fun and for the games to be easy for them to organise and implement.
I’ve used traditional party games at my parties like ‘pass the parcel, piñatas and pin the tail’ but shock horror… I’ve gone off them now. There is a place for them and some kid’s might request them for their party but I think it’s good to find games where everyone can be more active, laughing and taking part. Think about the last time you watched kid’s play ‘pass the parcel’. Was there much laughing and having fun, or more sitting still awkwardly waiting for your turn to get a sheet of stickers? Your child might request ‘pass the parcel’ but is it because it’s all they know and the expectation that it is the game you have at parties?
What’s not great at parties is games where kids have to wait their turn. Time standing around watching someone else have fun while you wait for your turn. If you need to, split children into smaller groups and have several of the same game running so more kids get a turn more often. Have you been to a party where the kids stand in a long line waiting for their short hazardous turn to hit the piñata?
Competitive games aren’t always great for parties either especially for younger children. Games where someone goes out and then has to sit and watch everyone else have fun aren’t the best for parties either. I’m not trying to be ‘PC’ but more thinking about what the children want to do… they want to move, be involved, laugh and have fun.
I think party games using balloon are a fabulous idea. Balloons are a low cost item and easy to source. Kid’s love them and you can colour match them to your theme. Balloons and parties go hand in hand. Keep it fun and simple and use some balloon games at your next party. With the help of my three little people I’ve sourced, modified and made up the 12 best balloon party games around.
Each person has a balloon. They have to move around the room and keep it afloat. Play music so they can dance around while doing it. Add some challenges like, use your elbow, shoulder, head, little finger, wrist, back, knee, foot, big toe, hacky sack it, nose, forehead, punch action. Theme it by using coloured balloons to match your theme and some music. Think batman theme song with yellow and black balloons.
Large amounts of balloon in centre of the room. How many balloons can you pick up and hold? Can do this all at the same time or watch a couple of people at a time. Use the Mission Impossible theme song for this one!
In two teams relay to a box of balloons with a balloon between your knees. When you get there you have to sit on a balloon from the box to burst it. This is called ‘bubble butt’. (You can put a soft prize inside the balloon. Ive used small individually wrapped chocolate fish for this.) You then travel back to your team with your original balloon between your legs. Other relay ideas are: under, overs with the balloon. Pass down the line only by using knees.
The whole group keeps a couple of balloons afloat to music. When music stops the last people to touch a balloon must burst it and complete the challenge inside the balloon. Challenge could be something like, “Sing Happy Birthday” or “do 5 star jumps” or something to match your party theme.
Protect your Balloon:
Children have a balloon tied to their ankle. They must protect their balloon from being burst while trying to burst other people’s balloons.
Catch that balloon:
Party guests standing in a circle. Call child’s name as you toss the balloon and they have to run into the centre of the circle and catch the balloon. Simple game yet little people love it. Have smaller groups so more chance of kids getting a turn.
In pairs with a balloon, can put a couple of lollies inside. Pop the balloon only by squeezing it back to back.
Match the Balloon:
One balloon per child that matches them somehow. Same colour as they are wearing or a number on it that matches a number sticker on their top. You could also give them a peg that matches the balloon colour. Dance around with the balloons to music. When music stops find your matching balloon. Yay! Repeat! Sounds simple yet kids love simple and it is all they need to move, laugh and have some fun. Unless they can’t find their balloon…
Hunt for hidden balloons. When you find one pop it. Inside is a task to perform. Go to the ‘prize master’ to perform your task and receive a prize. You can use water balloons for this. Like a scavenger hunt but for balloons with tasks or prizes in them.
Hot Air Balloon:
In a circle pat a balloon around the group while playing music. When the music stops last person to touch the balloon has to wear a party hat. (instead of going out). Continue. Extend: Say an item that matches the party theme or has something to do with the party person. You can buy party hats cheaply or make simple cone shapes with elastic string.
In pairs or teams children hunt for hidden balloons. Inside the balloons is treasure. Beads or glitter pom poms. (Watch choking hazards for smaller children) Children gather up as much ‘treasure’ as they can find and then return to count up how much they found. They can exchange their ‘treasure’ for a prize.
Balloon Tennis or Volleyball:
Using balloons and paper plates children bat balloons around the room keeping them afloat or set a up a ‘net’ with pool noodles. Bat across to each other. My kid’s can play this for hours!
A couple of things to be aware of with balloons… If your worried about balloons and the environment I have good news… standard balloons are made from latex, an organic material, made from the sap of a rubber tree. These balloons are biodegradable and decompose rapidly. Please remember burst balloons are a choking hazard for little people so make sure you put popped balloons into the rubbish bin. Also be aware that some people are scared of balloons and them bursting. Check before you begin your party games.
Remember it’s your child’s party so a great place to start is to ask them what games they would like to play at their party. You can adapt many games to match your theme with a little creative thinking. If your party is at home you will need to think about whether your games are suitable for indoors or outdoors and have a wet weather plan.
A great idea is to enlist some help. You could book in and pay your babysitter to come and help out at the party or ask a grown up cousin. Secondary school kids love helping out with younger kids and they usually make great game organsiers. Grandparents love helping and people usually like some purpose and to feel they have a special job. If all else fails you could hire entertainers to run your party games for you!
I hope you try a couple of these games at your next party. Kid’s don’t need games that require you to prepare heaps of stuff. Keep it simple and fun. It’s a party, blow up some balloons… get up moving and laughing!