Children’s Party Games

Cartoon of pin the tail on the donkey children's party game

Children’s Party Games

Under each party theme, I have suggested children’s party games to play & any items you will need. Below are a selection that can be adapted to suit most themes & ages:

Pin the Tail on the Donkey 

An old favourite children’s party game & any picture can be used. Fairies can have wands put in a hand, princesses a crown on their head, dragons can breathe fire, clowns a red nose, knights a sword – just use your imagination! For my eldest daughter’s first birthday party, when it was a mix of adults & children of various ages, I enlarged a photo of her on a coloured photocopier & cut out pictures of dummies. Using blu tac, everyone then had a go at pinning a dummy on her picture.

Treasure Hunt 

Hide pictures around the venue depicting the theme. For example, an underwater theme could have mermaid, fish, seahorse, crab, whale, dolphin & turtle pictures. Hide about 10 of each, keeping back one of each. Split the children into pairs & hand each pair a picture. The first pair to find all their pictures wins. Alternatively, get them to find as many pictures as they can of any sort. Allot values to the different pictures & the pair with the highest total wins.

I find the best way to create the pictures is to insert a table into a word document 4 rows x 3 columns. Insert the pictures you require & print off as many times as necessary. Go to for cute graphics.

Lucky Dip

Or Digging for Treasure. Another children’s party game that’s been around for years, children will love the excitement of looking for treasure. Originally a box was filled with sawdust & small gifts buried in it. Whilst sawdust is great for a circus or animal theme here are a few more options:

shredded coloured paper – pink for a fairy or princess party, green or blue for a sea theme, orange & black for Halloween

sand – under sea, pirate or beach party

straw or hay – animal, circus or farm theme

feathers – available in a range of colours so great for a variety of themes but you’ll need quite a few so may be quite expensive. Fairies & princesses will love them & can be included in the party bag.

tissue paper – see ‘shredded coloured paper’ above

leaves (preferably dry!) – ideal for jungle or woodland fairy themes

ball pit – fill a paddling pool with small plastic balls.

Musical Islands 

A variation of musical chairs but using A4 pictures placed on the floor for the children to dance around or blu-tacked to the wall. Have one less sheet of paper than the number of children taking part & when the music stops they then try & sit or stand on one. The child without an island is out & can help or sit /dance in a special area (small sweets are good at this point, especially for younger children). This game works for any theme & either the same picture can be used for each sheet of paper or a different one on each.

Picture Bingo 

Create a table in Word (or similar) with 9 cells. Insert a different theme related picture into each cell or cut out from a magazine & glue. Repeat so that you have a table (bingo card) for each guest, making sure that each table is slightly different. Copy & cut out one of each picture & set aside; these will go into a box or bag to be called out.

At the party, hand each guest a bingo card. Call out a picture from the bag one at time. If someone has the picture on their card, they put a line through it or tick it. If you wish to play this several times, have lots of copies of each  picture so that guests can take from a pile in the middle (or be handed by the organiser) & cover the picture on their bingo card. The first person to complete a line &/or complete their card, wins a prize.

Musical Groups

The children dance around to musical until told to sit down in 2s (or 3s or 4s). They then get into a group of the relevant number & sit down together. The last group to sit (if equal numbers of guests) or those left without a group are out. The last two left in the game are the winners. If it is a themed party, the organiser can fit the game to the theme by saying ‘pirates sit down in 2s’ or ‘animals sit down in 3s’.

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