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"Party Games for all Ages"

PEBBLE TAG: Ages 4 - 8
This is a simple game that needs no props. All you need is a small pebble and a lot of space to run. Everyone stands in a line. One person is selected to be IT. IT holds the pebble. IT chooses a goal about 30 feet away from the line. Everyone in line now sticks out both hands with the palms together and thumbs together. The thumbs are pointed up so that the hands form an opening. The person who is IT will then walk down the line and either pretends to put the pebble in someone's hands or gives it to someone for real. The person receiving the pebble must run to the goal and back to IT without being tagged by any of the other children. If anyone tags the person with the pebble, then he or she becomes the next IT.

BALL TAG: Ages 7 - 12
In a restricted area (basketball or volleyball court size) two teams easily identifiable oppose each other. A ball is given to one team. They throw the ball to each other to try and tag the opposing team with the ball - no throwing the ball at the "taggee". It must be held and the ball touch them. If the ball touches the ground or goes out of the boundaries then it goes to the opposing team. Players cannot run with the ball or dribble the ball it is great training game for Netball, basketball and basic team play. Object is to get as many of the opposing team out.

TWO TIMES TAG: Ages 8 - 12
Start with one person who is IT. IT chases others and when he or she catches someone else these two people now hold hands and then try to catch a new person. When they tag a third person, the three of them run around trying to tag another person. When this is accomplished the four break into two and the two sets of pairs run around trying to build their pairs into fours which then breaks up into pairs again.

DICE COUNT: Ages 6 - 12
You will need one die, a pair of oven mitts, a chocolate bar or other wrapped treat, and a hat. A chocolate bar is wrapped up in 5-6 layers of paper and placed in front of one of the players who are sitting in a circle. The person directly to the left of the person who has the chocolate bar starts rolling the die while the person with the chocolate bar starts to put on the hat and the oven mitts. Once the oven mitts and hat are on the player starts to unwrap the chocolate bar. The unwrapping continues until the roller rolls doubles. When that happens, everything is passed to the left, and a new person starts to roll the die, and the old roller starts to put on the mitts and hat. The game continues until the chocolate bar is eaten.

Divide players into two equal teams. For each team have a suitcase or box containing a large shirt, shorts, boots and hat. In turn each player must put on the old clothes and run to a certain point where they take off the old clothes off and put them back in a box, then run back to start where the next player repeats the process until one team finishes and wins.

This is a new team relay game best played barefoot. You will need at least 6 people. You will need masking tape that can easily come off. Duct tape is okay. Everyone gets into a team of 3 or 4 people. They sit down and each player except the first person in line wraps their feet around the person in front of them. They line up about 10 - 15 feet away from masking tape finish lines on the floor. On the word GO the teams must use only their hands to slide themselves towards the tape. If any team breaks apart they must get back together again. The first team to reach the tape wins.

Form two teams sitting on the floor in two straight lines. You should be barefoot for this game. You will need two pairs of clean socks for each team. The first team member in each line then puts on a pair of socks over their feet. Then the other pair of socks is placed over their hands and pulled up as far as can be. On the word GO the team member must then put their feet toe to toe with the next player and only the player with the socks on their hands can then pull down the socks off her feet and over onto the next person's feet. The socks must be completely off and completely pulled up on the next player. Then the socks on the hands are then pulled down and puled up on the next player. This is passed down the line. No tickling.

All of the players (Octopus) start out at one end of the playing area and when the Shark, standing in the middle of the playing area, call out, "Octopus, octopus, come swim in my ocean!", they run to the other end trying to avoid being tagged. If they are tagged, they must sit down right where they were tagged. They are now playing with the Shark. If anyone runs within arms length of them they are to try to tag those people. If someone is tagged by a sitting person, they must sit down as well. The game continues until only one person remains. That person can be the Shark for the next round. Make things interesting by having the Octopus and Shark travel in different ways (skipping, crawling, crab-walking, etc.).

In this game, one person plays the "stop light" and the rest try to touch him. At the start, all the children form a line about 15 feet away from the stop light. The stop light faces away from the line of kids and says "green light". At this point the kids are allowed to move towards the stoplight. At any point, the stop light may say "red light" and turn around. If any of the kids are caught moving after this has occurred, they are out. Play resumes when the stop light turns back around and says "green light". The stop light wins if all the kids are out before anyone is able to touch him. Otherwise, the first player to touch the stop light wins the game and earns the right to be "stop light" for the next game.

Each team will need a sheet, and you will need a good supply of filled water balloons. Everyone on the tam holds a corner or side of the sheet, then put a water balloon on the sheet. Using lots of teamwork, bounce the balloon on the sheet until you can flip it over the net. The other team must catch it in their sheet and flip it back. For smaller groups or children, use a smaller sheet or a tablecloth. You can also use a ping-pong ball.

TEAM HUG TAG: Ages 5 - 12
The object of this game is to tag people as a team. Two players start off as "it" linking arms at the elbow and chasing to catch another player only with their "free hands". When a free player is tagged, he must then join the tag team. Only the end players can tag the free players. The game ends when everyone is tagged.

WOLF! WOLF!: Ages 4 - 8
This game is a tag game. Everyone forms a large circle around the person who is IT. If there are a lot of children they may hold hands. This person who is IT is the WOLF. The children then chant, "Wolf, Wolf, what are you doing?" and then wait for the WOLF to say a response. The WOLF responds by saying only once an action sentence such as "Brushing my teeth" or "Washing my hands" or "Combing my hair" and so forth. However, if the WOLF replies with "Chasing you" the kids scatter so that they cannot be tagged by the WOLF. The first person tagged becomes the new WOLF.

STEAL THE BACON: Ages 5 - 12
The object of Steal the Bacon is take the "bacon" back to your own side without being caught. In this game, two teams are chosen, and one umpire is selected. One object is required to be the bacon (a glove is a common choice). The members of each team are numbered. They form two opposing lines and place the bacon in the exact center between them. The umpire then calls out a number. The players on each side who are assigned that number are the players for that round. No other team members leave their side of the field. Neither player may touch the other until someone touches the bacon. Once a player touches the bacon however, the other player may tag him. If a player is able to grab the bacon and carry it back over to his own side, that team scores a point. If a player is tagged after touching the bacon and before he returns their own side, the team that tagged him scores a point. Note that the sequence of play usually involves the two kids running out and hovering over the bacon, waiting for a slight advantage to grab it and run back before the other player can react. The game is over when a predetermined number of points are scored, or when all numbers have been called. The umpire can call more than one number, in which case several players from each side participate. In some games, players may tag any player on the opposing team, in others, a player may only tag the player on the other team that they share a number with.

ALL ON ONE SIDE: Ages 5 - 12
Your whole team starts on one side of a volleyball net with no one on the other side. The object is to get your team to the other side of the net and back as many times as possible. Using a balloon for a ball, each player volleys the balloon to another player and then scoots under the net to the other side. The last player to touch the balloon taps it over the net and scoots under. The receiving players try to keep the balloon in play and repeat the process.

A dragon if formed by grouping the players into a long line each with their hands on the shoulders of the one in front of him. The first in the row is the dragon's head. The last in the row is the dragon's tail, eager to lash to the right and left in order to escape the head. Until the signal GO is given, the dragon must be in a straight line. Someone in the group counts "One, two, three, go!" On the signal GO the head runs around toward the tail and tries to catch it. The whole body must move with the head and remain unbroken. If the head succeeds in touching the tail, they may continue to be the head. If the body breaks before he catches the tail the head becomes the tail and the next in line is the head and so on until each has a chance to be the head and the tail.

You'll need a ping pong ball and cardboard box lid, like a shirt box. Cut a hole in the center and tape a paper cup under the hole - this will be the target for the ball. Other holes that the ball could drop through should be cut as hazards. Decorate the box according to the holiday with crayons, markers, construction paper, etc. To play, drop the ping pong ball into a corner of the box and have the child maneuver the box lid trying to get the ball into the paper cup without letting it fall through any of the other holes.

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN: Ages 6 - 12
Start off with a tennis ball and throw the ball continuously back and forth until somebody drops the ball. The first time a person drops the ball, they have to go down on one knee. The second time they go down on two knees, then down on one elbow, down on two elbows and finally on their chin before going out. But remember, you have to stay in the position you're in to catch the ball and throw the ball.

GUESS WHO: Ages 8 - 12
You will need pieces of paper with names on them and tape. Each player needs a name taped to their back. The object of the game is to figure out who you are. Everyone goes around and asks the other players questions. The players can only answer yes or no. This game is great when a theme is incorporated like cartoon characters, book characters, etc.

LEADER: Ages 6 - 12
The children all sit in a large circle. A person is picked to be IT. He leaves the room or sits with his back to the circle. The group then decides on a leader who is to start a motion in which all the children copy. The motion can be anything at all, and the person who is IT, comes in to find the leader of the motion. The leader changes the motion from time to time and the person who is it has three guesses to determine who the leader is. If IT guesses correctly then the leader becomes IT. If IT does not guess correctly a new games is started by choosing a new IT.

GUESS WHO: Pre-teens
This is a fun game, but the kids should know each other pretty well by their first and last names. Divide the kids into two teams with one team leader. Have two adults (or two tall kids) hold up a dark blanket between the two teams of kids so that they cannot see each other. Then two kids stand facing each other on opposite sides of the blanket. On the word "drop" the blanket is dropped. The first person to shout out the first and last name of the person standing in front of them gets a point. The team leader then picks the next opponents when the blanket goes back up.

One player stands blindfolded in the center of the room. Have the other children stand in a circle or a line. Have the children switch places in the circle and take one person out of the room. Then unblindfold the child in the center, and give him one minute to name the missing player. Let the person who was removed now be blindfolded.

DUCKS FLY: Ages 3 - 6
This game is similar to the game, "Simon Says". It is based on animals or things that fly. One person is the Caller. Everyone else either stands in a line or forms a half circle with their hands at their sides. The Caller then shouts out, "All ducks fly" and everyone begins to flap their arms twice like a duck since the statement is true. The caller continues by calling out animals or things that fly such as robins, bats, airplanes, etc. However, if the caller shouts out an animal that doesn't fly such as "cats fly" or "rabbits fly" then no one should move since this is not true. If anyone moves, he or she is out of the game and must then stand next to the caller. The game ends when only one person is left after everyone else is eliminated.

FREEZE FRAME: Ages 3 - 6
The object of this game is to get the kids to loosen up, have fun and giggle a little. Have everybody stand in a large room or wide open space. Explain that when they hear the music, they can dance any way they want, but when the music stops, they must freeze immediately. Wait a few seconds to see if they can hold their positions, then start over.

Gather all the kids in a large room or wide open space. Tell the kids that they can start dancing any way they want to, and you will pick different kids to be the leader. The leader will stand facing the group and do any movement they want. The other kids have to follow. After a minute or so, pick a new leader. Make sure everyone gets a turn to lead.

Unlike the traditional version of the game, in this version no one is out. Instead, you remove one chair each time, and the kids have to all sit on each other's laps when the music stops. The object is to see if you can eventually pile everybody on one chair.

This game involves some advance preparation, but it's such a hit with the kids that it's worth the extra effort. You can direct kids to the proper clues by writing the clues out, or drawing or using photographs for non-readers. Before the party, decide where you want the kids to hunt, then carefully hide little clues throughout the house, out of the way where no one can see them easily. Each clue will direct them to the next one. For example, the word "couch" or a picture of a couch will lead the kids to the couch, where you've hidden a clue with the word "bookshelf" or a picture of the bookshelf on it. If you can stand it, zigzag the kids all over the place, until, five or ten clues later, they find the treasures (some party favours, some candy bars, whatever, as long as there is enough for all of the kids to share).

This is a fun game to play with a lot of kids. Think of some animals that make distinctive sounds, such as dogs, cats, pigs, ducks, and horses. Very quietly whisper the name of one of those animals to each kid, making sure that every animal is represented at least twice. Then, at the count of three, have the kids find their own kind of animal by making the noise and joining together in a group. This game is also fun to play with older kids, especially if you give them some more difficult animals, such as turtle, rabbits, or fish.

TELL ME A STORY: Ages 3 - 8
For the non-reader version, have all the kids sit in a circle. You might need to start things off by saying, "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess..." or "Back in the olden days when cowboys roamed the range..." Go with something you know the kids are interested in. Going around the circle, let each kid add a bit action or a few details. You may need to go around the circle more than once, and you may need to help out along the way. If possible, tape record or video tape the story and play it back to the kids. For the reader's version, have each child sit at the table and give them some paper and pencils. You can start off as in the non-reader version, or let each child think up their own story. Let them write for a minute or two, then tell them it's time to move. They all move into the chair to their right and continue the story their neighbour started. Switch again in another minute or two. When it's time to finish the story, tell them to quickly get to the happily ever after part. Have everyone read the story they end up with out loud.

Giving each child a turn, have one child come up to the front of the group and whisper the name of an animal to them. They then act out what the animal does. The rest of the kids try to guess the name of the animal. To make it more fun, have the kids make the animal sounds instead of calling out the name.

BUBBLE FUN: Ages 3 - 6
For lots of bubble fun, get a baby pool and fill it with bubble solution (or Dawn dish soap). Place a box or a crate in the middle that kids can stand on. Get a hula hoop and place it over the box/crate into the bubble mixture, then have a child stand on the box/crate. An adult can pull up the hula hoop and it makes a bubble as big as the kids and they are actually inside the bubble. Kids love it.

Ahead of time spray paint pebbles with gold spray paint or you can use change. Bury these in the sandbox (or a kid's swimming pool filled with sawdust). Tell your kids you are looking for Fool's Gold. Using a plastic toy sieve or kitchen sieve have kids sift through the sand. They will be amazed when they find the gold.

DUCK POND: Ages 3 - 6
Put plastic ducks in water and the children pull out a duck and get the prize associated with that duck. You could put numbers or shapes on the bottom of the ducks.

WHAT'S IN IT: Ages 3 - 6
You will need to fill a large tub with water. Then you gather 2 -4 volunteers and blindford them. Then while they are blindfolded you put all kinds of "safe" and "appropriate" articles in it (nothing sharp). Then one by one they must take each item out and guess what it is by feeling it and identifying it. They leave their blindfolds on until the end of the game. They must pass the item along to the next person until someone guesses what it is.

STUFFIE FIND: Ages 3 - 6
You will need soft toys and blindfolds. Get everybody to bring their soft toys along one day. When it is time to play the game, blindfold everybody and ask them to find their soft toy, by feeling.

DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE: Ages 3 - 5
Everyone sits in a circle. Choose one person to be the goose. The goose goes around the circle tapping each child on the head while saying "duck, duck..." until he taps someone saying "goose". The new goose has to catch the old goose before they sit back in the circle. If the new goose catches the old goose, then the old goose continues to be IT. If the new goose doesn't catch the old goose then they become IT. Try to make sure no one is IT more than 3 times in a row.

In this contest, blindfolded mothers (or fathers) race to find their children, who are calling to them from across a designated distance. Just imagine the roar of fifty kids bellowing for their mothers. Line up the mothers side by side. After they've been blindfolded, the children also line up side by side across an open expanse, with sibling grouped together. At the signal, the kids start calling for their mothers; the mothers can move but the kids must remain stationary. Whoever touches her own children first is the winner.

This a relay race with five legs to it with events such as cartwheeling, the wheelbarrow, crab-walking, skipping and hopping. You will need a large foam board sign naming the laps so that during the race families know what comes next. For example, Lap 1: Cartwheels, Lap 2: Wheelbarrow. Ask each team member to choose a lap. The cartwheelers might start first, and then tag the wheelbarrow-walkers. The first team to finish the last lap wins.

This race is the opposite of leapfrog. Instead of jumping over the backs of his teammates, the last person in line tunnels through their legs toward the finish line. Line up families so they're facing the finish line. At the start of the race, the last person in line drops to the ground and crawls through the legs of everyone in front of him. Not until he stands up and spreads his feet can the next person at the end of the line start crawling. The team continues tunneling in this way until it reaches the finish line.



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