Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Classic Birthday Party Games

January 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Games

When it comes to planning a Kids Birthday Party one thing you need to think about is keeping them entertained. Of course one of the ways to do that is by organizing some fun Party Games. Sometimes parents spend so much time trying to come up with New Party Games when kids really enjoy all those Classic Party Games we remember as kids.

Recently on my Facebook Page I asked my readers to list some of their favorite Party Games they played as a child and it turned out to be a nice list. I also hosted a chat at the Children’s Party Network and one of the topics I touched base on was Party Games and again the same thing – everyone resorted back to those Classics we all know and loved as children.

Of course it is great to have New Games at our parties, but a Classic is a Classic and they have proven to be fun over time. So when we think they may be old and outdated our kids may have never played them before. So they would be something new and exciting for them and a blast from the past for us.

In addition to that a lot of the Classic Party Games can be changed up to match your Party Theme. And even though a Classic Party Game may have a name like Musical Chairs, which is the name we all remember, changing the name to lets say Musical Ice Bergs like I did for a Penguin Party makes it new with that Classic Touch. Think about it… We have changed up the Classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey so many times over that you can pretty much Pin something on anything !!! So you catch my drift right?

So I decided to compile a list of Classic Birthday Party Games that I remember and loved and also some that have been shared with me I had forgotten about. So when you are trying to come up with ways to keep the kids busy at your party – Take a Step back in Time and play some of the Classics!!

Get ready for some reminiscing… Lets get to Playing Games

Sack Race – Yup a good ol’ Potato Sack Race !!! Give each Party Guest a Big Burlap Bag – or a one of the many Sacks you can now buy online (see we have come a long way).  Mark a starting line and finish line maybe 20 feet apart. Have all the party guest line up on the starting line. On go they must race to the finish line Hopping there way down in their sacks. Make sure players know they must stay in their sack at all times. 1st one to the Finish Line Wins !! This game always cracks me up.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey – You may be over this game, but the kids seem to love it. It is also a simple game for the younger Party Guest because it is so simple. And again you can go with a the Classic Donkey, Create your own version or purchase one of the many Pin the ? Games out on the Market to match your party theme. Just have your Blindfold handy and cover the party guests eyes, hand them the item to be pinned on and spin them around 3 times and let them go. Who ever comes the closet to where the item should be pinned wins !!! So Simple !!!

Hot Potato – Again this is another game that can be changed up into anything like Pass the Gift, Cold Ice, Pas the Plush etc… The idea is to just sit all your Party Guests in a circle and as they pass the “Hot Potato” you have music playing. Shut the music off and whomever is holding the Potato at that time is out. Then continue play until you have a Winner!! I find kids love to play this over and over and it is a great time filler.

Duck Duck Goose – Now this one brings back memories. For some reason I remember never being picked to be the Goose :0(. So here you have all your Party Guests sit in a circle besides one who will be the “Fox”. The Fox then goes around on the outside of the circle and taps each child’s head and while doing so saying “Duck”. Then when they are ready they tap one of them and say “GOOSE”. Then the Goose has to jump up and try and catch the Fox before they sit down in the spot that was once occupied by them. If they make it back and sit down before being tagged then they are Safe and the once Goose is now the Fox. If the Goose tags the Fox, the Fox must again roam about the circle. Keep playing until everyone has had a turn as the Fox or until the kids get tired of it.

Musical Chairs – Everyone love Musical Chairs !! I have done a couple versions of this as I stated above one of them being Musical Ice Bergs for a Penguin Party and another being Musical Towels in the Summer for a Pool Party. So again you can change it up to match your Party Theme. But the Classic Game is played by having an amount of chairs set up back to back with one less than your Party Guests. Turn on the Music and the kids have to circle the chairs. When the music stops they have to quickly find an open chair and sit down. One guest will not be so lucky and that one will be out of the game. Then you remove one chair and keeping doing the same until you have one chair and one Winner !!! Yahoo.

Red Light, Green Light 1…2…3… – Oh Boy this is one game we played so many times on my Childhood Best Friends Driveway, Oh Good Times. Do you remember how to play this? You start off by picking one person who will be the “Stop Light”.  Then line up the rest of the kids about 15-20 feet from where the Stop Light is standing. The goal is for someone to reach them and tag them. So now the “Stop Light” Turns their back to the kids and says “Red Light, Green Light 1…2…3″ and as they are doing that the other run up towards the “Stop Light”. Then the “Stop Light” turns around and if anyone is caught moving they are out. So running up faster is not always the best thing because they will be the one caught moving. This keep going until either everyone is out from being caught moving or someone is able to tag the “Stop Light”. I really loved this game !!!

Limbo – One thing about this game is that I wish I was able to stay in it longer – even as a kid I was not that great at it – hmmm. For Limbo you just need a Broomstick and some Good Music.  To play you have two people hold the stick on each end holding it up about 4 feet from the ground. Line up your party guests and have them each take turns going under the stick bending backward without touching it. After each guest has gone under you keep lowering the stick by 4 inches or so until you have one player left and then they are the Winner !!! Don’t have a Broomstick? Not to worry you can find many Limbo Stick Games on the market along with the special Limbo Music.

Red Rover – Another game we played a lot as kids. Do you remember this one? For this game you need lots of kids. You then break them up into two teams. Teams line up holding hands parallel to each other with lots of space between them. One Team will start by choosing a player from the other side by saying “Red Rover, Red Rover, Let name of child Come Over”  The one chosen must then run to the other team and try and break through the hands of any two kids. If the runner breaks through then they choose someone from that team to take to their team. If they don’t break through then they must join that team. The game ends when all the children are on one team.The kids should always look for the weakest point that they think they can get through. Kids really love this game, I know I did.

Mother May I – This is another I played all the time as a child – it happens to be one of my favorites. First pick who will be the “Mother”, this is the one who will be saying the commands.  Then have the rest of the players line up side by side about 20 feet away from “Mother”. The Mother then calls to one of the players by name and says “Amber take 3 Baby Steps” and Amber must say “Mother May I?”  and Mother says “Yes you may”. So then Amber would proceed by taking 3 Baby Steps forward towards Mother. If Amber would forget to say “Mother May I” then she would have to take 3 Baby Steps backwards. Sometimes when we would be asked “Mother May I”  we would say “No you may not” you may take 3 Giant Steps to change it up. You can tell someone to take Baby Steps, Giant Steps, Hop etc… The first person to reach and tag the “Mother” wins. it is a fun silly game, but again the kids like it.

Tag – There are so many versions of the game of Tag, but why not go back to the original. Simply chose who is “It” to start the game.Then “It” chases all the other kids around and when they Tag another Player then they are “It” and must do the same thing. You just keep playing until everyone has a chance to be “It”.  I do also like Freeze Tag though that is when one person who is “It” tags another player who must them Freeze in place. They can only be unfrozen by being tagged from another player still in the game. The game ends when “It” has frozen all of the players and then they can choose who will be “It” for the next round.

Spoon Race – Got a Spoon? Got some Eggs? Then you have a Game !! Now personally I like playing this game the old fashioned way with real eggs, but of course you can play with the fake ones too. Line all you players up at a Starting Line and make sure to mark a Finish Line and good distance away. Give each child a spoon and have them hold it by the handle.Then stick and egg on their spoons. On go they must race to the Finish Line without dropping their Egg. If they drop it and it does not crack they can pick it up and place back into their spoon and continue. The players who make it to the end with an intact Egg get to race again. Keep playing until you end up with one winner !!! Is that EGGciting or what?

Simon Says – Everyone has played this game at one time in their lives, but maybe your kids have not.  It is just a simple game of Follow the Leader with a twist. Pick a leader who will be “Simon” and then then all the other kids line up in front of them. “Simon” then gives a command by saying “Simon Says to jump up and down” and because they said Simon Says the kids have to do it. Now if Simon said” Jump up and down” and a kid did that they are out because Simon did not say. The game ends when there is only one person left standing. The quicker Simon gives commands the easier it is to catch someone for not listening.

Water Balloon Toss – With this game you may get wet and that is what makes it so much fun for kids. Before your party make a bunch of Water Balloons up for the game.  Then have your party guest choose a partner. Then have them all line up standing across from their partners maybe 3 feet away to start. Then they toss the Balloon to each other and after every toss they each take one step backwards widening the distance. The team that can toss the balloon the longest without dropping or exploding the water balloon wins and of course also stays dry.

Hide and Seek – An all time Classic Favorite !!! If you have a good playing area or yard with lots of Hiding Spots then you gotta let the kids play. First chose who is “It” and they will be the one who has to find the others and where they are hidden. “it” then stands in a designated spot and counts to 50 while all the other players find their best hiding spots and then “It” yells out “Ready or not here I come !!” And the search begins… When one of the other players is found by “It” then it their turn to be “It”. Everyone comes out of their hiding spots and it starts all over. Fun Fun Fun !!!

Donuts on a String – Now this is a Messy, but Classic Yummy Game. Making the kids work for a treat !! For this you will need some Ring Donuts – one for each Party Guest, some string and a place to hang your Donuts like a Clothing Line or a Tree. Hang the Donut at the appropriate height of the Party Guest. Then with their hands behind their back they have to Eat their Donut. !st one to eat theirs Wins !!! Powdered Donuts work best for this because the get all on their little faces and it is just funny to see.

3 Legged Race – This always sounds so easy to do, but in reality it never is. For this game have your Party Guests pair up. Then using a Rope, Scarf or Bandana have the pair stand next to each other and tie one Right Leg to the others Left Leg so they face in the same direction. Have a Starting Line marked and a Finish Line marked for the race. Line everyone up and on go lets see who can make it to the finish first !!! Sit back and enjoy a good laugh.

Pass the Parcel – To play this you need to wrap up a Gift in a Box with multiple layers of wrapping paper. Usually each layer of wrapping paper is different so you can distinguish one from the next. The game is then played like Hot Potato, music is played as the parcel is passed around. Whoever is holding the parcel when the music is stopped removes one layer of wrapping. The music is then restarted and the game continues until every layer is removed and the main prize claimed.

I could really go on and on, but these are the Most Popular Classic Party Games I can remember. If I have missed one you think should be added to this list – then Contact Me and let me know.

But before I go do you remember some of these old ways to choose someone to be “It”?

Rock, Paper, Scissors – Players make two fists and hit them on top of each other twice … then the third time they make a symbol with their hand.  The three symbols you can make are Rock, Paper and Scissors. Rock – Hand is kept in a fist. Paper – Hand is flattened out. Scissors – Hand is held with two fingers out. The winner is determined as follows: Rock – beats Scissors Paper – beats (covers) Rock Scissors – beats Paper  If players choose the same item it is a draw.

One Potato, Two Potato – One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more. Player who had their fist tapped on “more” would remove themselves from the circle and the rhyme would begin again – the player who was left from the group would be it.

Eenie, meenie, minie moe – Eenie, meenie, minie, moe Catch a tiger by the toe, If he hollers, let him go, Eenie meenie, minie, moe.

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum – Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum in a dish, How many pieces do you wish? The player who’s fist is tapped on the syllable “wish” picks a number and then the tapping of fists continues the amount of that number. Tap the hands again, following the same order, the number of times chosen by the wisher. Tap one hand for each number. Tap the hands again, following the same order, the number of times chosen by the wisher.  Tapping one hand for each number. The Hand that you land on is the person who is out. Continue doing this until you have one person left and then they are “It”.

So when it comes time to plan the Party Games at your Kid’s Birthday Party why not take a step back in time and play some of the Good Ol’ Classics we all remember and loved when we were wee ones !!!

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