I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp counselor, babysitter, teacher, children’s ministry director, student ministry director, and now mom. With my love for games and kids, I’ve got my list of go-to games that I think could work for just about any school or home party if you adjust it for the theme.
Here are a few of my favorite party games for kids. I listed the ages I think they are most appropriate for below.
Halloween Freeze Dance (with a Twist)
Ages: For ages 4 and up.
Description: Preschool and elementary kids of all ages love this game, plus you don’t have to have a winner. This game gets fidgety kids moving after a long day at school!
Time Length: As short or as long as you want, making it a great filler for the end of the party.
Supplies: CD player, a fun Halloween dance song like “Monster Mash” or “Thriller”
- Say to the kids: You must dance (like a monster, mummy, robot, etc if they want) while the music is on. When it stops, you must freeze. The last one to freeze, has to perform a Halloween challenge. Variation: The last one to freeze can also be “out”, but this ends up leaving you with a bunch of kids sitting out and bored. I prefer the “challenge” variation myself because the kids have so much fun this way.
- Play the music and let the kids dance a short time and then pause the music and yell “Freeze”. You may wish to have another parent be the judge and decide which child was the last to freeze.
- The last one to freeze each round is subjected to a Halloween or Fall challenge. Challenge ideas:
- Walk around the room like a mummy.
- Show us your scariest monster face.
- Say “Happy Halloween” (or “Happy Fall”) in your scariest monster voice.
- Pretend you’re a robot for Halloween. Show us your best dance move.
- Imagine you’re a leaf falling off a tree to the ground. Act this out for us.
- Say “Happy Halloween” in your silliest voice.
- Pretend there is a giant pumpkin in front of you. Jump over it and back 2x.
- Spin around quickly 10x and try to walk in a straight line.
- Pretend you’re a ballerina for Halloween and do your best ballet move. (Could be funny for boys!)
- Jump up and down 10x while saying “Happy Halloween” each time.
Halloween Pass It Pictionary
Ages: For 3rd grade through 80+ years old.
Description: This game is similar to “telephone” or “gossip” except on paper. There is no winner, but it’s incredibly engaging and hilarious when kids see the final product of the game. They can even take it home and show their parents. Believe me, you’ll get some good laughs. You can download and print this FREE Halloween Pass It Pictionary handout, if you’d like to use it.
Time Length: About 15 minutes
Supplies: piece of paper (or the free Halloween Pass It Pictionary printable) and a pencil for each child
- Kids can sit at tables or desks for this game. There should be about 6-7 kids in a group or row to pass your paper around to.
- Hand each child a piece of paper and a pencil. Instruct them to write a descriptive sentence about Halloween or Fall at the very top of the page. The more descriptive or active, the better. You might even want to give them a prompt at the top like “One time at Halloween I…” Example: One time at Halloween I wore a blue monkey costume and scared my little sister so badly that she cried. This is a good example because it includes details and a little bit of a story.
- Give kids about a minute to finish their sentence. After they are done, they should pass their paper to the 2nd person.
- The 2nd person should then read the sentence and do their best to draw a small picture of what they’ve just read in about a minute. (Note: They must do this right under the sentence, leaving room for the rest of the kids to work on the piece of paper, too. That’s why my Halloween Pass It Pictionary handout might be helpful or your own homemade version.)
- After that child is done drawing, instruct them to fold the top sentence over so the next person can’t see it. Then, they will pass their paper on to the 3rd person who will look at their picture. Again, it’s very important that the 3rd person does not read the sentence.
- This 3rd person will look at the picture and then write a sentence describing the scene. When done, that person will fold over the 2nd person’s picture and pass it to the 4th person.
- The 4th person will read the sentence on the paper and draw a picture and so on.
- This pattern repeats until every child in the group has gone. Then, have them pass the papers back to the original owner. Kids will want to pass them around the group and read each one. So hilarious!
- Note: It will be helpful if you can demonstrate at the beginning what a finished product will look like and how it will be folded along the way, so the kids will understand the concept. So try this game out at home with your family first and keep the sample.
Create a Monster Contest
Ages: Ages 3 and up.
Description: Each child will create a monster using the play dough and supplies provided. Prizes are given for the Most Creative, Scariest, and Silliest.
Supplies (for each child): 1 small Play-Doh container or small bag of Model Magic and Optional: a few googly eyes, a few 1 inch pieces of piper cleaner, a few small feathers, any other small craft items you want to throw in the mix (i.e. beads, etc), a small ziplock bag
Time Length: 5 minutes
- Children will have 5 minutes to create a monster using the provided supplies. They will have fun even if it is just the play dough, but the additional supplies make for even more creativity.
- When kids are done, have an adult volunteer come around with a tray and collect all the monsters.
- While another game is being played a judge can choose the Most Creative, Scariest, and Silliest Monsters. At the end of the next game, award prizes and show off the winning monsters. Let kids take home their creations in a baggie.
Have fun and remember it is possible to keep your party simple, cheap, and healthy!