8 Great Party Games for Children (and Adults!)

5. Monkey See Monkey Do

Players: 10 or more

How to Play

In this very funny game, none of the players are allowed to laugh. It begins with the players sitting close together in a circle. One of them starts the game by doing something to their neighbor on the right. The player may squeeze their arm, mess up hair, straighten clothes, make a face, tickle their nose, etc. Whatever that player does, the neighbor must do it to the next player to the right, and that player must do the same thing to the next neighbor. This goes on all around the circle until it gets back to the first player. Anyone who laughs is out of the game.

6. Orange Race

Players: 8 or more

Equipment: An orange for each team

How to Play

This popular icebreaker never fails to win laughs and sometimes reveals a contortionist or two! Start by dividing the group into equal teams, males and females alternating, if possible. The idea is to pass an ordinary orange from one member of the team to the next, right down the line, using your chin and neck alone. The first person in line tucks the orange under the chin. The next player must remove the orange with his or her own chin and be ready to surrender it to a third chin. First team to pass the orange down the whole line wins. If the orange falls to the floor, the player with the clumsy chin must pick it up by chin alone!

7. “Who Am I?” Game

Players: 8 or more

Equipment: Slips of paper with safety pins on them, one for each player

Preparation: Write the names of well-known people (living or dead), cartoon characters, or animals on the slips of paper.

How to Play

As the guests arrive, pin the slips of paper on their backs without showing them the name (of the famous person, cartoon character, or animal). Of course, they can see the names pinned to everyone else’s back — but not their own. The goal is for the person to determine their identity from other party guests by asking any question except “What’s my name?” Answers can be given only in the form of a yes or a no.

Players cannot ask the same person more than one question. When players think they know who they are, they must go to the leader for confirmation. For example, a player could ask, “Am I an athlete?” or “Did I play baseball?” and so on, but not “Am I Babe Ruth?” This type of direct question is saved for the leader when the player is already fairly sure of the answer. If a player’s guess is wrong, she must go back to asking questions. If a player guesses correctly, she rejoins the game to answer questions.

The leader can keep a record of the order in which players guessed their identity and declare the winner later. The game creates a lot of ruckus as participants try to be the first to determine their identity.

8. Suitcase Relay

Players: 8 or more

Equipment: 2 suitcases of old clothes (one for each team)

How to Play

Two teams of equal size line up behind the starting line. About 15 feet away stand two suitcases full of clothing. The suitcases must contain similar articles of clothing. For instance, if you have a hat, skirt, jacket, tie, scarf, belt and necklace in one suitcase, you must have the same in the other. At a signal, the first person on each team runs to the team’s suitcase and opens it up. The player dresses in all the clothes in the suitcase, closes the suitcase and runs back to the starting line, carrying the suitcase. There he or she takes off all the clothes and puts them back in the suitcase, closes it, and runs back to leave it in its original position. This player runs back to the team and tags the second player in line, who goes through the same actions. This continues until every player has had a turn. The team to finish first wins.

So what are some of the best party games? Listed below are eight ideas that are sure to be make your party a hit.

1. Baby Bottle Contest

Players: 2 or more

Equipment: Baby bottles, punctured by a straight pin

Preparation: Fill the bottles up to the 1-ounce mark with water. (Test them to make sure that the water runs out of each bottle at the same speed.)

How to Play

At a signal, each “baby” (party guest) tries to empty their bottle. The one to finish drinking the water first wins. This is probably the most popular of all contests. It’s hilarious, fast, and everyone loves being a baby again.

2. Hilarious Handkerchief

Players: 6 or more

Equipment: A handkerchief

How to Play

The players form a circle. One of them stands in the middle, throws a handkerchief up into the air, and starts laughing. Everyone in the circle laughs, too, until the handkerchief hits the floor. At that moment there is complete silence. Anyone who laughs is out.

3. Ha Ha Ha

Players: 8 or more

How to Play

Players sit in a circle. The first player says, “Ha.” The second player says, “ha-ha.” The third player says, “Ha-ha-ha,” and so on, each player adding another “ha.” Each “ha” must be pronounced solemnly. If any player laughs or fools around, he or she must drop out of the circle. But once the player is out, anything goes. The eliminated players are free to do anything they can think of to make the other players laugh. (No touching allowed.)

4. Poor Pussycat

Players: 5 or more

How to Play

This famous game has been popular for generations. The players sit in a circle, except for one person who is “poor pussycat.” This person, who is the “kitty,” kneels in front of any player and meows. The person must stroke the “kitty’s” head and say, “Poor kitty. Poor kitty. Poor kitty,” without smiling. If the person who is petting “kitty” smiles, she becomes the next pussycat, and gets to sit in the circle. To make it even tougher, the person playing the “kitty” is permitted to do anything to crack you up, including making weird purring sounds or ridiculous faces or other silly feline moves. Other people in the circle are permitted to laugh, hoot, whistle, and do whatever they can to make it more difficult to keep your cool.

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