Popular Party Games

Hide and Seek

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 7+ and requires no preparation.

The aim of the game is to get .home. without being touched.

One player is made .seeker. and covers his or her eyes and counts to 30 whilst the other players go and hide. The seeker then has to find the players and touch them. The players must try to reach home without being touched, or better still, without being seen by the seeker. The players who are caught are out. If more than one player reaches the home place, the .seeker. counts again. The players who were previously out can then help the .seeker. to find the players who are still in. The last player to be caught is the winner and then becomes .seeker. next time.

Treasure Hunt

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires considerable preparation by the host beforehand.

The host should prepare by hiding a number of .treasures. indoors or out. A series of clues should then be prepared as to where the treasure is hidden. This can be in the form of pictures or a map for younger children, or in the form of a story. For example, a reference in the story to a bucket and spade, or a beach, could be a reference to a treasure hidden in the sandpit. Treasures can consist of any item, usually small toys or packets of sweets.

Each player is given a copy of the clues and a marker (which could be a card with the name of the player on it). The players then set off to seek the treasure. When a player finds a treasure they should place a marker where the treasure was found so that other players know that the treasure has been found. A time limit, of say, 15 minutes could be allowed. Each player keeps the treasure that they have found as a prize. It is a good idea to have a few more .treasures. than children playing to ensure that everyone gets a prize. If different types of treasure are used (such as a large number of very small toys, a few packets of sweets, and one or two larger items) players may then choose when they find a treasure whether to accept it and leave their marker, or to leave it in place and search for a .better. treasure.

The Chocolate Game

You will need a dice, a plate, a knife and fork, several bars of chocolate, a big old overcoat, a hat, large gloves, large boots and a scarf. All the players sit in a circle. In the middle of the circle you put the clothes, the plate with a bar of chocolate on it, and the knife and fork.

Players take turns to roll the dice. The dice should be passed around as quickly as possible. When someone rolls a six, they rush into the centre, put on the boots and all the clothes and try to eat the chocolate with the knife and fork (no cheating and using hands). When the next person rolls a six, the person in the middle must take the clothes off again and the new person must dress up before they can start eating. You must hand over the clothes immediately, even if you haven't been near the chocolate yet.

Keep going until you run out of chocolate bars. This game never ends on account of waning interest. Thanks Rachel).


This is a variation of hide and seek that is often played in the dark. It is suitable for a group of players, aged 7+ and is more exciting the more number of rooms that are available in which to play the game.

The aim of the game is to find and join the .sardine..

One player is chosen to be the sardine. This person will go and hide (preferably in a place that is large enough for the other players to squeeze into too) whilst the other players cover their eyes and count to 30. The players then become seekers and go off individually to find the sardine. When a seeker finds the sardine, he or she joines the sardine in the hiding place. Eventually the hiding place is full of hiders, while fewer and fewer seeders remain. The last player to find the hiding place becomes the next sardine.

Simon Says

This is an old favourite party game suitable for players aged 3+.

One player is the leader and stands in front of the other players. The leader then orders the others to make various actions (such as put your hands on your head, or touch your toes). If the leader begins the order with .Simon Says. the players must obey the order. owever, if he does not say .Simon Says. the order should not be obeyed. If a player obeys an order that has not been started with the phrase .Simon Says. they are out. The leader can encourage mistakes by giving rapid orders, by developing a rhythm and repeating a pattern of movement which is then broken, or by making the actions himself for the players to follow. The last person left in the game is the winner and becomes the next leader.

Triangular Tug of War

This game is suitable for children aged 10+ and requires a 2-3 meter length of rope or cord, and three handkerchiefs. The ends of the rope should be tied together. Three players stand outside the rope and hold it, facing outwards, with one hand behind them to form a triangle. A handkerchief is then placed on the ground in front of each player, approximately 2 . 3 feet away. The players then have to hold on to the rope behind them and pick up the handkerchief in front of them. Each player should remain aware of their opponents and pull the rope to make sure they don.t get to their handkerchief first. The player who manages to pick up his handkerchief first, while holding onto the rope is the winner.

What's the time, Mr Wolf

This game is suitable for a group of children, aged 5+, and requires no preparation.

One player is chosen to be Mr Wolf. Mr Wolf then stands with his back to the others, who advance one step at a time towards him from a reasonable distance. At each step, one member of the advancing group shouts, .What.s the time, Mr Wolf?. The wolf gives the time and the group takes another step forward. At a moment of his choosing Mr Wolf may, instead of giving the time, shout the reply .Dinner Time.. He then turns round quickly and chase after the other players. The player who is caught becomes Mr Wolf.

Hot Potato

This is a ball game for a group of players, aged 5 . 10.

Players stand in a circle, and one player is chosen to stand in the centre. A ball is then thrown from player to player, with the aim of keeping the ball away from the player in the middle. The player in the middle tries to intercept the ball and may win by touching it at any time, even if one of the other players is holding it, or it falls outside the circle. Whoever makes the mistake that allows the player in the middle to touch the ball then replaces the player in the middle of the circle. The game can continue until either all players have had a turn in the middle, or for a specified length of time. The winner may be the person who holds out the longest, or who did not make a mistake and go into the middle of the circle.

Blind Man's Bluff

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 7+.

A player is chosen to be blindfolded. They are then turned around three times in the centre of the room and then left alone. The other players dance around, taunting the blindfolded person and dodging out of his or her way to avoid capture. When the blindfolded person catches someone, he or she will have two or three guesses, depending on the number of people in play, at the name of the prisoner. If they guess correctly, the prisoner becomes the new .blind man.. If they guess incorrectly, they continue to be the .blind man. and will try to catch another player.


This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 6+.

The aim of this game is for a blindfolded player to try to catch players stealing from him or her.

One player is blindfolded and given a rolled paper or other soft implement to hold in his or her hand. The blindfolded player sits in the middle of a circle made by the other players, and a pile of .treasure. (which could be necklaces, broaches, bracelets etc, or some small toys) is placed in front of him or her. Players in the circle quietly take turns to steal a piece of treasure. If the blindfolded person hears a thief, he or she strikes at the player with the newspaper and calls .thief, thief.. If he or she touches the thief, the thief must return empty-handed to his or her place to await the next turn. The thief who collects the most treasure wins the game.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires some preparation.

The host should draw a large picture of a donkey without a tail and fasten it onto a pinboard propped upright. A donkey.s tail should also be made out of cardboard or wool, with a large pin stuck through the body end. (Alternatively, see Party Games to Buy for a pre-prepared pin-the tail on the donkey game).

Players take it in turns to be blindfolded and turned around so that he or she is in front of, and facing the donkey. The player is then given the tail and must attempt to pin it to the correct part of the donkey. The host should mark the position of each player.s attempt. The player who places the tail closest to the correct position is the winner.

Squeak Piggy Squeak

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 7+.

One player is chosen to be blindfolded and is given a cushion. He or she is then turned around three times in the centre of the room, whilst the other players sit down around the room. The blindfolded person must then find a player and place his or her cushion on the player.s lap. They then sit on the cushion and call .speak piggy squeak.. The player who is being sat on must then squeak like a pig. If the blindfolded person correctly guesses who the player is, they change places. If they guess incorrectly, they then try to find another player and guess again. Once the new person is blindfolded, the players all change seats before he or she tries to sit on a players lap.

Murder in the Dark

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 10+ and requires a dark room and a little preparation.

One person hands out sealed envelopes to the players. Only two of them have anything written on the piece of paper inside. On one is written .You are the murderer., and the other says .You are the Detective..

Once the players have opened their envelopes, the player who has been chosen to play the detective lets everyone know this. All other players must keep quiet about the contents of their envelope.

When all the players are ready, the detective turns out the lights for one minute, during which time the players mill about in the dark. The .murderer. commits the crime by very gently squeezing someone.s neck. The moment the victim feels the murderer.s hands, he or she must scream loudly and fall to the floor. Meanwhile, the .murderer. must try to get as far away from the scene of the crime as possible in order to appear innocent.

A few seconds after the scream, the detective puts the lights back on, noting the positions of all the players. He or she then asks the players questions about the .murder.. They must all answer truthfully, except the murderer, who may lie as much as he or she likes. When the detective thinks he or she knows the identity of the murderer, he officially accuses someone. If the detective is correct, the murderer must confess, but if he or she is wrong (and only one guess is allowed) the murderer wins and the mystery remains unsolved.

Musical Chairs

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires chairs and something to play the music on.

Chairs are placed around the room in a big circle (or alternatively back to back in the centre of the room). There should be one chair fewer than the number of players.

The players stand in the middle of the circle and, when the music starts, all dance around (or dance around the chairs if they have been placed back to back). When the music stops, each player tries to sit on a seat. The player left without a seat is out. One chair is then removed and the music is restarted. The last person to stay in the game is the winner.

Musical Bumps

This game is like Musical Chairs (see above) except that it is played without the chairs. In this case, when the music stops, players sit down on the floor. The last person to sit down is out. The last person to stay in the game is the winner.

Musical Statues

This game is a quiet and fun alternative to Musical Chairs and is suitable for children aged 3+.

Players dance around the room to music. When the music stops, the players immediately stop dancing and stand as still as statues. Any player who is seen moving is out. The music is started again fairly quickly and play continues. Players who are out can help to spot moving statues. The last player to remain is the winner.

Musical Numbers

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires something to play music on.

The players march, walk or dance around the room as the music plays. From time to time the host stops the music and calls out a number. Players must then arrange themselves into groups of the number called. For example, if the number is three, players must arrange themselves into groups of three). Any players finding themselves not part of a group drop out of the game. The game ends when there are only three or four players remaining, too few with which to continue the game.

Pass the Parcel

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 4+. It requires some preparation and something to play music on.

The host should prepare a .parcel. by wrapping a present in layer after layer of paper. Each layer should be secured with tread, glue, or a rubber band. A small present or sweet can also be included in each layer.

Players sit in a circle and one of them holds the parcel. When the music starts, players pass the parcel around the circle to the right. When the music stops, whoever is holding the parcel unwraps one layer of wrapping. If a small toy or sweet has been included in the layers, the person unwrapping gets to keep the item. The music is then restarted and the parcel is passed on again. The game continues in this way until somebody takes off the final wrapping and so wins the present.

Balloon Race

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires two balloons.

Players are separated into two teams of equal number. The teams then form two lines, which stand side by side. The balloon is given to the front player in each team, who passes it backwards over his or her head to the next player. The balloon continues to be passed backwards along the line to the last player, who runs to the front of the line and then passes the balloon through his or her feet to the player behind. This alternating process continues until the teams are back to the order in which they started the game. The first team to reach it.s original position wins.

Hoop Race

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires two hoops.

Players are separated into two teams of equal number. The teams then form two lines. When they are given the word .Go., the first player takes the hoop, passes it over his oir her head and steps through it, before passing it to the player behind. This continues down the line. When the last person in the line has stepped through the hoop, he or she runs with it to the front of the line and the game continues. The winning team is the first team that has its. players back in their original positions.

Wool Tangles

This game is suitable for a group of players, aged 5+ and requires four differently coloured balls of yarn, and one chair, for each team of four players.

Players are formed into teams of four and each team is given four balls of yarn of different colours and a chair. Teams are then allowed about one minute in which to tangle their yarn around their chairs. They are not allowed to lift up their chairs or to make deliberate knots in the yarn. At the end of the time limit, the host calls .Stop. and each team moves around to a different chair.

At the work .Go. teams start to disentangle the yarn from their new chair. Each player winds one of the balls of yarn. Players are not allowed to pick up the chair or deliberately break the yarn. The first team to untangle the yarn into four separate balls wins.