So you’ve decided to celebrate your toddler’s birthday with a party – the invites are done, food planned, party bags packed but what about party games? Before you open your house to lots of toddlers, make sure you have an entertainment plan in place (for your own sanity!). Smiles are Guaranteed with these 15 Fun Toddler Party Games, and will ensure that you and your little guests enjoy the occasion.
As toddlers don’t really understand the concept of rules and winning very well at this stage, it’s probably best to structure each game so that every child can “win” and have fun, thus staving off tears and possible meltdowns! Prizes don’t need to be that substantial either – stickers or a jelly have always worked well for me.
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1. Mark the Tail on the Donkey
An old classic – draw a big “donkey” on cardboard but leave out the tail. Tie a scarf over their eyes and rather than using pins (not ideal for toddlers) let each of them draw a mark on the place where they think the tail should be – initial each mark for convenience. The closest is the winner.
2. Pass the Ball
Instead, use a ball and when the music stops, the child holding the ball gets to pick a prize out of the prizes sack. Continue until everyone has gotten a chance to pick from prize sack.
3. Musical Chairs
This is another great favourite of kids. For toddlers, might be best to either use kid-sized chairs/stools or just use cushions on the floor.
You’ll need one less chair/cushion than the number of kids playing. They run around the chairs and when the music stops try to grab a seat. The last one left without a chair is out and sits out the rest of the game. Remove one chair and continue, until only one child remains.
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4. Musical Statues
Play their favourite music and get the children to dance around. When the music stops they need to stop dancing and freeze. Anyone who doesn’t stop or wobbles is out. Play continues until one child remains.
5. Treasure Hunt
Hide some “treasure” around the garden or play area and give the children clues to where it may be. Let them know if they are hot or cold when getting close to finding it. To keep tears at bay, give each child a clue for a particular “treasure”, so everyone gets to find one!
6. What’s the Time Mr. Wolf
Young kids seem to adore this game!
- One player is chosen to be Mr. Wolf and stands at the end of the garden/room which their back to the other kids.
- They all chant “What’s the time Mr. Wolf” and the wolf says the time, e.g. 3 o’ clock means the other kids can take 3 steps forward towards the wolf.
- But if the wolf says it’s “Dinner time” then he or she turns around and chases all the kids.
- Whoever gets caught first then becomes the wolf and the game starts again.
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7. Hide and Seek
The old classic. One child is the seeker and the rest go and hide (make sure you lock any rooms you don’t want them in). The child that stays hidden until the end is the winner.
8. Duck, Duck Goose
Kids of all ages seem to enjoy this game.
- Have the toddler sit in a circle, and decide who will be “It” first.
- They walk around the outside of circle, touching each child’s head and saying “Duck”.
- At one child, they say “Goose”, and run.
- That child must jump up and try chase the child who is “It”, and catch them before “It” runs around and sits down in that child’s space.
- If they don’t catch them, they then become “It”.
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9. Ball Pit
The ball pit can also be used for games like colour sorting, where get each child to find a certain coloured ball. Or counting games, where get each child to find ten of one colour to win a prize. Or get the child to “fish” for ten balls with a fishing net, or ladle.
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Turn on some music and let them all dance, and burn off some of that excess sugary energy! Give them dance themes – dance like animals, trees on a windy day, or funky/funny moves etc. Bring out the dress-up box and let them get dressed up for their dance.
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If you can’t get a parachute that easily (and who can?), then use a large flat king-sized sheet or sew some sheets together.
Let the adults hold the corners and throw it up in the air. Each child has to run under it before it comes down – though the best fun is when it does come down on top of them!
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12. Obstacle Course
Kids of all ages love obstacle courses, and these can be setup indoors our outdoors depending on the weather. Make the obstacles appropriately easy for the toddlers, like climb over cushions, crawl under duvets/blanket/under chairs etc., and have them run in pairs for extra fun.
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Have a load of different colour balloons tied up in a net which you let down at some point on top of the toddlers. If they catch a balloon they get a prize related to the colour they have caught.
This can keep them running around for a while plus they’ll love to play with the balloons afterwards too.
14. Bottom Shuffle/Crawling Race
Bottom shuffle/crawling races are a fun way for toddlers to race. Have each child sit down on the floor, and “shuffle”/crawl their way to the finish line.
15. Potato and Spoon Race
This is a take on the egg and spoon race, but using potatoes in lieu of the eggs, which are often easier for younger kids. Have each child balance their potato on their spoon and try get to finish line without dropping their potato. If space is limited, have then run in pairs.
Over to you! Let us know your favourite toddler party games in the comments below.