I don't know who has more fun at a child's birthday party, the children or the parents! Preschool party games help make any birthday party complete.
Age: Pre-school aged children
No. of players: As many as possible
Equipment: Depends on the game
Time: 10 minutes+
Aim: The aim varies with the game.
You will find descriptions for a variety of preschool party games which should suit any style of party. You may also like to check out Childrens Party Games (for 6 to 15 year olds), Outdoor Party Games or Musical Party Games for some more ideas.
Fish Flap is a race game for two or more children. Each player will need a sheet of newspaper cut into the shape of a fish and another sheet of rolled up newspaper. Competitors must use the rolled up newspaper to "flap" the fish from a starting line to the finish line.
Blow Ball is another racing preschool party game. Each player must move a ping-pong along a course by blowing it with a straw. It's not as easy as it sounds!
Tissue Squares is a relay game for two (or more) teams. Each team has one piece of tissue paper per child on a pillow at one end of the room and an empty plate at the other end. Players must use a spoon to pick up the tissue and carry it to the plate, without touching the paper with their hands. They return to their team and hand the spoon to the next player. The first team to get all their squares to the plate wins.
Cotton Balls is played by one child at a time. Two large bowls are placed next to each other, one of them filled with cotton balls. (If you don't have any cotton balls you could use balls of scrunched up paper.) A player is blindfolded and is given a big spoon. They have three tries to scoop up as many balls as they can and put them in the other bowl. Each cotton ball in the bowl is worth two points. Players take it in turns, with the most points winning the game.
The classic preschool party game is Pass the Parcel. Simply make up a parcel before the party with a bigger prize (for example, a bag of lollies) in the centre of the parcel and a small prize (for example, a small chocolate bar) placed between each layer of wrapping paper. You may like to ensure there is at least one prize per child, to make sure no one misses out. The game commences with the players sitting in a circle. When the music starts, players pass the parcel from player to player in a clockwise direction. The child holding the parcel when the music stops gets to open one layer and claim the prize. The music plays again and the game continues until one child claims the centre prize. (An adult may need to stop the music judiciously to ensure every child gets a prize.) The last child could be encouraged to share their big prize with everyone else.
Heights is one of the easiest preschool party games. All the children form a circle and hold hands. On the word "Go!" the children let go their hands and try to re-arrange the circle so that everyone is lined up in height order from tallest to shortest.
Duck Duck Goose is a fun, active preschool party game that can be played indoors or outdoors. Children sit in a circle, with one child standing on the outside of the circle. The child on the outside moves clockwise around the circle, touching the head of the seated children. As he touches them, he says, "Duck" for each child until he chooses to say to one child, "Goose". For example, he may say "Duck" to the first four players, but the fifth player is told "Goose". He may choose to go round the circle more than once before he says "Goose". Any child who is told "Duck" does nothing - they remain seated. However, the "Goose" must jump up and chase the first player clockwise around the outside of the circle. The first player tries to complete one lap and sit down where the Goose was sitting before the Goose tags him. If he is successful, the goose becomes the new player on the outside of the circle. If he is tagged, the Goose sits back down and the first player starts again. A supervising adult may like to ensure that every child is given a chance to be the Goose.
Hop Rabbit. Each player crouches down like a rabbit. An adult says "Hop, Rabbits, Hop". The rabbits must hop about the 'field' until the words "Fox is coming" when they must freeze. The last rabbit to freeze is captured by the fox and must leave the field. The final rabbit in the game is given a prize; maybe a carrot or lettuce leaf!
Musical Newspapers is an outdoor variation of musical chairs. Each child starts the game by standing on a sheet of newspaper (one per player), with four markers around the outside. Remove one sheet of paper. When the music starts, the children walk around the markers. When the music stops, they rush into the middle and try to stand on a sheet of paper. The child who does not find a piece of newspaper to stand on is out for the rest of this game. Continue removing one sheet of paper each round until one player is left (the Winner). NOTE: An adult should supervise the game to ensure players are not too rough and hurt each other.
Cat and Mouse is a noisy but fun preschool party game where one player is chosen as the cat and another player is the mouse. All the other players form three or four lines of equal numbers, holding hands to form arches, with enough room between players for the cat and mouse to be able to move. The mouse runs along the lines and between the arches to avoid the cat. An adult can say "Change" at any time, and the players must turn sideways to make new arches between the lines, hopefully confusing the cat and making it harder to catch the mouse. If the cat catches the mouse (or after one minute, if the cat cannot catch the mouse) two new players become the cat and mouse.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey is another classic preschool party game. A donkey (without a tail) is drawn on a large sheet of cardboard and a tail is constructed from wool or similar material with a pin in one end. (If you prefer, you can print a donkey picture you can cut out and paste onto cardboard by clicking here.) Children take turns to be blindfolded and attempt to pin the tail in the right place on the donkey without hints from other players (or parents!) The place where they pinned the tail is marked, with the closest to the correct position winning the game.
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The Family Guide to Party Games
The Family Guide to Christmas Games (Volume 1)
The Family Guide to Christmas Games (Volume 2)
The Family Guide to Printable Board Games
The Family Guide to Printable Travel Games