Best Group Games for Kids’ Parties

Best group games for Kids'parties

Today is my ten-year-old daughter’s Birthday Party. Akaisha has invited her whole class to her Birthday Party down at a park near to the beach. She is super excited! We’re new to the little town of Augusta, having recently moved from the Cocos Islands, and this will be the first time for Akaisha to have friends from her school joining with our family for a celebration.

The birthday cake is ready, party food prepared, and tables and chairs set. All that is needed are group party games and a bunch of eager kids!

Luckily, my expertise is running group games for kids. So, coming up with a selection of group games for Akaisha’s Birthday Party was easy.

We planned for Akaisha’s party to run for two and a half hours. We wanted to run a couple of shorter games right away to get the kids moving and allow them to get to know one another. Then we would stop for some food and drink. After that, we will have a longer, large group game to run the kids off their feet! Finally, we plan to sing a Happy Birthday and share a cake before the kids all head home.  

Inexpensive Equipment

To be able to play these games we needed a little equipment. Cathy, Akaisha’s Mum stopped by the Big W store and bought some inexpensive soft balls, hoola hoops, marker cones and some colored plastic mats. I cut the mats up to make headbands.

So, let’s fast forward to after the party and talk about the group games we played…

Octopus Tag

First up, a game called Octopus Tag. This is a fun outdoor large group game, a little like the traditional game, British Bulldog. Only Octopus Tag is a lot less physical. This game took about 20 minutes to play with toddlers through to adults joining in.

The aim of Octopus Tag is to be the last player left in the game.

I set up a rectangular space about 50m long and 30m wide. Someone was chosen to be the Shark. He started in the middle of the area. All the other players were the minnows (fish). They began by standing at the base line. The game starts, and the minnows run the field to the other end to where it is safe. The shark chases the minnows trying to tag them. The first two minnows tagged become the crabs. The crabs joins the shark’s team. Crabs may sidestep in a line back and forth from one side of the field (width) to the other. They cannot run forwards or backwards, only sideways. They try and tag minnows swimming past. There can only be two crabs.

Once all the players are safely behind the end line, they then must run back to the baseline. The shark and crabs, tag minnows. When minnows are tagged, they become octopuses. Octopuses stay glued to one spot. They have long wavey tentacles to tag any minnows swimming past.

The game continued until all minnows had been tagged! The last minnow to be tagged, became the shark for the next game. The kids loved the game and we played four rounds, then stopped for a quick drink break.

You can add other creatures to the mix if you like, for example you could have a jelly fish. A jellyfish could be two players holding hands, chasing the minnows.

Dragons’ Tails

group games equipment
Inexpensive equipment from K-Mart

We were straight into our next game, Dragons’ Tails. A fun 20 minute team game where dragons chase one another around trying to, either steal tails, or have opposition dragons break apart. This is one of the best group games for parties, as it is quick, requires strategy and team collaboration, and can be run with large groups. All you need is a tail for each of the dragons. This can be a t-shirt or a length of cloth.

I put the players into teams of about eight players. The players in each team form a dragon, similar to the Chinese festival dragons. Players hold onto the player in front of them. The front player is the head, and the rear player is the tail. The rear player tucks a tail into the back of their shorts.

Allow a little time for dragons to plan a strategy and to have practice moving around without breaking apart.

Our game kicked off with dragons moving around the space seeking opportunities to grab a tail. If a tail is snatched, then that dragon is out of the game. In the excitement of the battles, dragons will break apart. These dragons are also out of the game.

Finally, the game will be left with two dragons battling it out. There can only be on victor! Our first game of Dragon’s Tails lasted about five minutes.

Now that the kids knew how the game works, they were better prepared for the following rounds of Dragon’s Tails. I noticed that they would each devise strategies for attack and defense.

Here is an article with a great little video showing Dragons’ Tails.

Having a Break

After these two games, we stopped for a drink and party food. However, before the kids settled down for too long, we had them up and ready for our final game. This game must be my all-time favorite. It is fast moving, caters for large groups and once the kids know the game, it will run itself.

Capture the Flag

We used a large space in the park, about 50m by 50m. This worked well for our group of about 40 players. This space, I Divided into quadrants using marker cones. If you don’t have marker cones, you could use rope, shoes or beanbags. In each quadrant I marked a circle (3mX3m) and place a ball in the middle of each.  The balls are called the Flags, and each team must start with one. A flag can be any object. Shoes make great flags.

Lastly with the setup, I placed a hoola-hoop (or you could use a mat) at the rear of each quadrant. These are the jails for holding captured enemy.

Divide the players into four teams and use something to identify teams. I used the colored mats that I had cut up. These were worn as either a headband or armband.

The aim of Capture the Flag is for one team to steal the flags from all the other teams. The team with all four flags, wins! Note: this is difficult to achieve, and often, no one wins the game.

To give you the general gist of how the game works I’ll outline the rules. Teams, each controlling a quadrant, defend their flag by tagging anyone who tries to steal it from them. When defending their flag, they do so by standing outside the defined circle where the flag is held (no doggy guarding). Whilst some team members are defending their flag, other players try to sneak into other teams’ quadrants and steal their flags. If successful they must run it back to their team and place it in their team’s flag circle. They cannot kick, throw, or pass the flag. If they are tagged whist escaping with their flag, then they simply drop it. Anyone can run in and grab it.

If a player is tagged whilst invading another team’s quadrant, they must go to that team’s jail (the hoola-hoop). They place one foot in the jail and wait to be rescued. If multiple players are in the jail, then they can link, by holding hands and form a chain from the jail.

To be rescued from jail, a player from your own team must reach you and hold your hand. They can then run you back to the safety of your team’s quadrant. If they let go of hands as they are running back to the safety of their quadrant, then they can be tagged immediately and send back to jail. A player can rescue more than one player at a time, but only players from their own team.

We played Capture the Flag for 45 minutes on a hot day. There were four-year-olds right through to adults playing. During the 45 minutes we had two winning games and the last one was called a draw.  Between each game the players stopped for a quick drink, then straight back into the next round. Everyone had an awesome time!

Final Thoughts…

I like to stop games whilst the kids are really enjoying it, despite protests to keep going. That way I know they’ve all had a great time and will be keen to play again another day.

Akaisha had a wonderful time sharing a fun experience with all her classmates and her family. Everyone went home tuckered out … and full of sugar!

These three kids group party games worked perfectly for the outdoor venue we had, and for the size group we had. There are many more games that would work just as well. Here is a list of some of my best group games for kids’ parties.

Indoor Group Games for Birthday Parties
Outdoor Group Games for Birthday Parties

Wacki App has most of these games, with excellent mini demo videos that give a great visual of each game, and a written description of the game and game rules.  

Youth Leadership Games and Challenges

Youth Leadership games

I’ve found that it isn’t always the loudest, the biggest or the most vocal person who is the leader amongst a group. Quite often it is the quiet ones who shine and succeed with leadership when presented with the opportunity. Here are a few of my favourite Youth Leadership Games

Chariot Races

Give each team a bundle of sturdy sticks (hockey sticks would do) and some rope (or skipping ropes). Teams are given a set time to construct a chariot with the equipment provided. The chariot must be strong enough to hold a player’s weight. Once constructed, teams line up with a player chosen to ride on the chariot. The rest of the team hold the chariot off the ground. A race is set up around an oval. At about every 30m place a marker cone. The race starts. When a team reaches a marker cone, they must swap over the chariot rider. Repeat this at every cone so that all team members have an opportunity to ride the chariot. First team to the end with an intact chariot wins!

Poison River

Have a 20m area set up as the ‘poison river’. Teams organise themselves along one bank of the river. The aim is to get all team members to the other side, without anyone putting a foot into the poison river. Each team is given a few small items (eg: small mat, tennis racket, small plank of wood) to use as stepping stones. These can be moved by players as they cross. Any players who make it to the other side, remain there. One player can run the equipment back to the remaining players on the other bank. If at any stage, someone puts a foot in the water, the whole team must go back to the start (not those who have made it to the other side). The first team to cross wins! Always good to embellish the game with a story of crocodiles, cannibals and piranhas.

Electric Fence

Best to play this team building group game is on soft grass or on a sandy beach. For the ‘electric fence’, set up two vertical poles about 3m apart, with a string tied between them. The string needs to be about chest height of the tallest player. Do this for each team. The aim of the challenge is for each team to get all their players over the electric fence without anyone touching it. If any member of the team touches the fence, the whole team must start again.

Sculptor

Sculptor is a fun youth leadership game. Each team must have a sculptor. His/her job is to create a sculpture using their team as the medium. He/she moulds players into positions, whereby each player is interconnected to the other players in the team. After a short time, sculptors must stop and explain their masterpiece to the judges. You can amp this game up by having two Sculptors per group. Wackiapp has an excellent video demonstrating this game. For a full explanation of this epic game check out our article on SCULPTOR.

The Leadership Game

This youth leadership game is a little hard to explain, as it has many elements. Best to view the video to get the idea. The Leadership Game is a serious game, requiring intense concentration and cooperation between players. It requires the leader to maintain calm control when placed under extreme pressure. A game like this is only suitable once a group has already established a certain level of trust. Check out the video.

Check back with us as we are sure to share a bunch more awesome youth leadership challenges that you can try out with your team.

For more ideas read our article on TEAM BUILDING GAMES.

Team Building Games for Kids

Water Bomb Volleyball Teambuilding group games

Every year, as the school Physical Education teacher, I would run a whole school Tribes Team Building Day. All the students would be divided into groups of ten, then they would be pit against one another with tribal or warrior challenges. Teams would be awarded points for completing or winning a team challenge. Here are some of the team building games for kids that I’ve used and have proven to be awesome fun!

Seven Awesome Team Building Games for kids

Team Tyre Race

Set up a race using the whole length of the oval with a marker cone every 30m. Each team, armed with a large car tire line up at a start line. The race starts and teams must pick up their tire and run towards the finish line. A whistle is blown as teams pass the first marker cone. As soon as the whistle blows, teams drop their tyres and players stand together on it. The first team to do so gets to stay where they are. All other teams must go back to the marker cone. Blow the whisle again to start the next leg of the race. As teams pass the next marker cone, blow the whistle. Again, teams drop their tires and stand united on them. Again, the first team to do so stays where they are and the other teams go back to the last marker cone they passed. The race continues until a team successfully passes the finish line.

Water Bomb Volleyball

For this team building group game, you will need two dozen balloons filled half with water. Next make a volleyball net with two poles and a rope. Either side of the net place a bed sheet. Teams pick up the bed sheet with each player holding an edge, stretching it out. A water balloon is tossed onto one of the sheets. The team must work together to use the sheet to toss the water balloon over the net. The other team must catch it with their sheet, then toss it back. Points are awarded for catches and being able to send the balloon over the net, popping it on players or the ground.

Puzzle Hunt

Create a 10 piece puzzle for each team (laminate a picture and cut it into 10 pieces). Hide the pieces in the playing area. Teams race around finding the pieces to their puzzle. First team to make the puzzle wins. Hint- so teams don’t take pieces from other teams, use different back sheet colours for each puzzle.

Icy Shirt

Place an old t-shirt into a four litre bucket of water and freeze it. Do this for each team in the game. Start the game with each team taking their block of ice. They must work out how to get the t-shirt out, then have one member of the team wear it. First to do it wins! This warrior camp challenge is quite challenging!

Helium stick

This team group game requires concentration and patience. Each team is given a long length of dowel timber, or a plastic hoola-hoop. Teams stand with their index finger placed under the stick/hoop, supporting it. Teams must lower the stick/hoop to the ground without anyone losing contact with the hoop with their index finger. Another very challenging group game!

Human Log

Teams each line up along a start line. One member must be a log. They lie on the ground. All the team members must lift the log and walk him/her to the finish line 20m away. Once they get there, they all run back to the start line, chose someone else to be the log and then carry them to the finish. Repeat this for each player as the log. Any log that touches the ground, the team must go back to the start line and recarry it. The winning team is the one that carries all logs to the finish line first!

Blanket Flip

Each team sits on a blanket. The group team challenge starts and teams stand and try to manoeuvre and shuffle the blanket under their feet in an attempt to flip it over. The rule is that no feet are allowed off the blanket. First team to do so wins!

Youth Group Camp Games

All these Team Building Games are ideal to use on youth camps. They promote team collaboration, require strategy and foster leadership.

Wacki App has a bunch of these Team Building Games for Kids (great for adults too!) Check out our unique app HERE. It’s free to download.

Check out our article on Youth Leadership Games and Challenges HERE.

Large Group Games for the Outdoors

large group games

Having groups of 100 or more presents challenges with finding a suitable group game that can be played easily, and at the same time, engage all players. Here are a few outdoor large group games that are definite winners with kids of all ages.

Secret Hunter

A large group game similar to Gang Up Chasey. A Secret Hunter is selected. Everyone runs off, and if they like, can hide. The Secret Hunter will hunt (tag) players. These players then join the Secret Hunter’s team and become Hunters. More and more Hunters band together seeking out players. The last player tagged wins the game! Perfect for big open spaces where kids can run. Guaranteed to wear them out!

Capture the Flag

For very large groups play this one with four teams. Each team has an area to defend and an ‘no go zone’ to place their flag (this can be a ball in a circle- 3 metre diameter). Each team also has a jail for holding their captures. The aim of the game is to capture all four flags. If players get tagged whilst in another team’s area they must go to that team’s jail. Only a player from their own team can rescue them from jail. This is an action strategy large group game where everyone is involved. Also a great night group game that kids would enjoy playing on a youth camp. When I was a teenager we played Capture the Flag at night in sand-dunes in the bush with just two teams! The guys manning the base would have torches.

Everybody’s It

 A very simple large group game that is perfect as a warm up. Everybody runs around tagging one another. If tagged, the player stands still with their arms out in a ‘tree pose’. Active players can also save other players by ducking under a tagged player’s outstretched arm. The game has not end, just lots of energized kids!

Large Group Games Capture the Flag

Treasure

This one is a favourite of mine! The kids love the game and they will play until they drop. The aim is to steal all the ‘treasure’ from the other team. Two teams, each with their own zone. In each zone there is a circle (about 2-3m diameter). Place three pieces of treasure in each circle (use anything- shoes, gator balls, coconuts). Each zone also has a jail and a safe base (use a hoola-hoop for these or a mat). Teams wear team colours. Allow players time to meet to discuss strategy, then start the game. Players must defend their treasure and at the same time try to steal the treasure from the other team. If caught they are put in jail. To be rescued from jail, a member from their team must get to the jail and link arms with their captured team mate. They can then walk them safely back to their team zone. Players can also use the safe base as a vantage point to get closer to the treasure. This is an action packed exciting Large group game for the outdoors.

The key to running successful large group games is having all players fully engaged in the game and not standing around.

Check out Wacki’s collection of outdoor large group games HERE.

RSS
YouTube
YouTube
Follow by Email
Instagram