Where Future Meets Past
Phrases that begin with “When I was younger…” usually mean that things used to be better (to some extent) than they are nowadays. Parents and grandparents love to reminiscent and tell little ones of the things that used to make them happy. Back then, people used to be different.
Sometimes it seems that they were more creative, for they came up with the games that kept children occupied for ages. I, too, remember brainstorming with friends to come up with some kids party games to kill time. My mother could not get a hold of me, and it was beautiful.
Over time, things have changed drastically. Instead of playing outside, children stay at home and indulge in playing computer games. On the one hand, it is totally fine considering the development of technologies.
On the other – physical activities and live communication prevail. Are you torn between two points? Don’t be. Instead, introduce children to both worlds of games and entertainment.
Games are always fun when you play with the “right” people. Because children are full of a too high level of energy, they need to burn it. You can kill two birds with one stone!
By introducing kids to the old ways of spending time, you can occupy them, help to get rid of this amount of energy, have fun, and get yourself some free time. Hence, find a quiet space and ruminate a little about the games that once have made you happy.
However, if you are willing to skip the ruminating part, you can just scroll and go through our list of old school kids party games.
10 Old School Kids Party Games:
Remember how it felt when competitive spirit overwhelmed you? When each game felt like a battle that you needed to win? Although you are not a child anymore and fighting to win a toy does not seem like a decent reward anymore, it is still worth living this through again.
Here are 10 old school kids party games that will make children happy and draw a smile to your face.
1. The Chocolate Game
This sweet game was quite popular and gave beginning to different variations of the game. It is one of the most exciting and challenging of birthday games that I know.
You will need:
- A large bar of chocolate;
- A pair of dice;
- Some of your silver cutlery or merely a fork and a knife;
- Some extra clothes
The rules are simple:
Seat children in a circle and give them a dice. They will be throwing it and passing it to the left.
Whenever a child rolls double, he or she goes to the middle of the circle, puts on the clothes that are there, and tries to open and eat the chocolate bar. They are not allowed to do this with their hands!
While the child is trying to each chocolate, other kids roll the dice. Once the other person rolls double, the player does the same thing. The game continues until there is no chocolate left.
You can alter and adapt to each game until it meets the demands of the group. Please pay attention to the number of children and their age. The game involves knives and forks that are potentially dangerous for small kids.
One can never be too careful. Always have one or two spare chocolate bars, in case there are many children, and someone might not get a chance to play. You can also divide kids into two teams or three smaller ones.
This way, everyone will get a chance to play. The same goes for dice. Have two sets of dice if you decide to create teams or if there are too many children in a circle.
When you have a big group of kids, establish some new rules. For instance, give them two sets of dice that will be passed in different directions simultaneously. In this case, it would be better to limit doubles to two or three numbers (like double 3 and 4 or double 5 and 6, etc.)
Speaking of variations, you can replace one thing for another in order to make the game safer or more enjoyable. For instance, instead of cutlery, you can use chopsticks (hey are safer for younger children). Instead of chocolate, you can use peanuts, M&Ms, or anything else.
It can be a means of safety or a more challenging level of the game (it requires practice and focus on operating chopsticks). Remember to ask if kids are allergic to any of the foods they will be eating during the game!
2. Egg and Spoon Race
The origin of the game trace back to 1894. This game was a part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. Today, the game is also quite popular.
There are people who hold the records in egg-and-spoon races. It shows that not only children can enjoy the game. Would you like to play?
You will need:
- Uncooked eggs;
Note! If you feel that it might be too messy, you can buy a set for Egg and Spoon race.
Essentially, all you need to do is to put an egg on a spoon and race with it. A person needs to keep it intact until the finish line.
If you feel like it is too easy, you can turn it into a relay. Kids will have to pass the eggs to the members of their team. Of course, this activity is for older children.
Therefore, if you are looking for interesting outdoor kids party games, this is the one for you.
3. Three-Legged Race
The three-legged race is one of the fun games to play at a birthday party. Same as Egg and Spoon race, the three-legged race is famous for its achievements.
Did you know that in 2013 in Scotland, Mark Howlett and Rad Lee ran 109.8 km in 24 hours, establishing a new record? This exciting fact might get children all fired up and ready to play.
You will need:
- A rope or three-legged race bands (actually anything made of fabric will do);
Divide children into groups of two and ask them to stand near each other. Then tie their inside legs together (make sure that the rope is not too tight) and give them some time to practice. First, they need to start walking to coordinate their movements.
Once children are done with practice, move to the racing. The first pair to cross the finish line will win the prize.
Mind the age of contestants so that children would not get hurt. Besides, you can divide them into teams and make it a relay.
4. Pin The Tail On The Donkey
Pin the tail on the donkey is probably one of the most popular birthday games. It has been around for decades, and it seems that it is not going anywhere any time soon.
Nowadays, there are so many variations as to the animal that loses the tail. Depending on the theme of the birthday party, you can choose another animal. Get creative and come up with the ideas that will suit you and your celebration.
You will need:
- A blindfold;
- Picture of the donkey (or any other animal) that you will stick to the wall;
- A “tail” to stick on the animal;
You can either make it on your own or buy it online.
Blindfold a child. Spin a little one three times and help him or her to get to the donkey. Once a child is close, let the game begin!
Mark a place where a child has pinned the tale and let another kid try. After everyone is done, choose the winner, which means the person closest to the correct place.
5. Sack Race
Sack race (also known as gunny sack race) is one of the outdoor kids party games. This game is popular among children and adults, although it is considered an activity for children.
Fun fact, Stephen Wildish holds the world record for 200 m sack race, which he completed in 64.19 seconds.
You will need:
- A large sack for each child (these can be old pillowcases that reach the kid’s waist);
Each child gets inside of the sack and races with other kids. The first kid to jump to the finish line is the winner.
6. Blind Man’s Bluff
Blind man’s bluff (initially Blind man’s buff) is an old game with different variations.
You will need:
One child is blindfolded and becomes “it.” While “it” is spinning, others scatter. A blindfolded child must tag one of the players and guess who that is. If a blindfolded child guesses correctly, then the tagged person becomes “it.” However, it is one of a few versions of the game.
In other versions, if a blindfolded player tags a person, the one automatically becomes “it,” and the new round of the game begins.
In yet another version, if “it” tags someone, the person is out of the game. The game proceeds until all children are out of the game. After, the game begins again.
You can play choose any of these versions or even mix them all together.
7. Sleeping Lions
Sleeping lions is one of the indoor party games (however, teachers usually use it at school to calm kids down after playing other active games).
It is the best game to play at a birthday party, especially if you see that children are overexcited, and they need some time to calm down.
You will need:
- Your beautiful voice.
Children from the group are “lions,” and they lay on the ground motionless with eyes closed. As a result, there will be a bunch of silent children lying on the floor. Can you hear it? It’s the sound of silence.
One or two kids from the group become “hunters.” They cannot touch lions, but they can move around and tell jokes. If a lion laughs or moves, he or she stands up and joins “hunters,” or they are out of the game.
8. Pass the Parcel
Pass the parcel is a typical birthday game. It is interesting, for each child will get a small gift.
You will need:
- A gift that you will need to wrap in 10-15 layers of paper;
- Small gifts for some layers (one for each child, including the main prize);
If you have absolutely no wish to create the parcel yourself, you can buy one. However, these ready-made parcels are quite expensive.
If you decide to do one by yourself, keep in mind a few things:
- Wrap the gift easily, so that it will not be too difficult and time-consuming for children to unwrap it.
- Create a few empty layers so that children would be excited to find the first little gift.
- Make sure that there are enough small gifts for everyone plus the main prize.
Children sit in a circle, and they start passing the parcel to their right as soon as the music begins to play. When the music stops, a kid that has the box will open one layer. The game ends as soon as the last prize finds its owner.
9. Musical Statues
Music statues is a typical game to play at a birthday party. In the USA, the game is better known as “Freeze Dance.”
You will need:
Children dance to the music that you (or one of the kids) turn on. Whenever the music stops, each player needs to freeze. A person that moves is out. Play the game until there is only one person left.
There are different variations of this game. Sometimes, people bring some new ideas into it. In the Philippines, people love to play a “Newspaper Dance,” which is one of the variations of “Musical Statues” (known as “Statue Dance” in the Philippines).
People are divided into small groups or pairs and are given a page from the newspaper. They dance around it, and whenever the music stops, they need to get on the paper and wait until the music starts to play again.
The newspaper is folded in half for each round so that only a few can stand on it. Whoever did not find a place on the paper is out of the game.
10. Musical Chairs
This game is quite similar to the previous ones we have mentioned.
You will need:
- Enough chairs for all kids;
Put the chairs back to back in a circle in the middle of the room. Remember that there must be fewer chairs than children, which means that one kid will leave without a place to sit. As soon as the music starts to play, kids must dance around the chairs.
As soon as the music stops, children have to sit on a chair. The one, who’s left standing, is out. Each round, one chair is removed. The game is over as soon as one of the two players left takes the seat.
Like many other games, this one has a similar one called “Musical Bumps.” It is mainly for smaller children, like preschoolers, for they are more likely to traumatize themselves during the game with chairs.
For this game, you will need:
- Something to put the spot on the floor with (a tape or anything that suits the party theme);
- Music and Space.
Each child has to dance around and sit on the spot whenever the music stops. Practically, here apply the same rules as in the “Musical Chairs” game.
Prize For The Winner (Kids Party Games)
Each child wants to win the prize. Also, each child hopes that the award would be something tremendous. As a result, assumptions and reality are two opposites that rarely meet.
There are two ways: 1) either you buy some gifts for the children, or 2) you create something by yourself. Frankly speaking, the second option sounds much more interesting to me. However, everything depends on whether you have time and wish to create gifts.
First of all, come up with the plan! You need to know how many children you are going to invite. The next step would be to think of how many games you will offer to play and how many prizes you are prepared to buy.
Here are some ideas for you as to what could be a perfect prize for a child:
- Arts materials. You can give a child a coloring book, crayons, or other tools for drawing. Also, these can be tools for different crafts.
- Board Games. Board games are trendy these days, especially among adults. You can give a board game as a super-prize for something. For instance, this can be a prize for Pass the Parcel, etc.
- Loot Bags. These begs are perfect for birthday parties. Depending on the party’s theme, you can give each child a loot bag with cute things. You can make some for boys and girls or give everyone the same gifts that both parties will love alike. These can be wristbands, figures of characters from cartoons, cute pens and pencils, chocolates, and so on. It does not take that much time or resources to create these bags. You just need to know what you are going to put inside.
- Onesie. Regardless of age, onesies are everyone’s favorites. Therefore, you can get one for the winner as a special prize.
- Create a coupon. You can create coupons as gifts. A child can exchange it for something he or she wants ( a bar of chocolate or a bag of candies, etc.) You can think of anything you want.
There are many games to play at a birthday party. This list will give you at least 10 ideas for a child’s party.
Alter these ideas, adapt them, and change them in any way you like. You can come up with your own rules if you feel like it or stick to the old ones.
The games that we used to play as kids have this spirit of adventure in them. Therefore, take some time to go through the ideas above and go back to the good old days.
Show your children what you used to do when you were their age. These games are the part of the past that one day can once again become the future.
Do you like this list of old school kids party games? Do you want to read more articles like this? Check out this list!
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