kids at party

11 fun and easy party games for toddlers

We’ve put together some fun party games that toddlers and little ones will love. They’re all easy to plan and execute. And guaranteed to please all your pint-sized party guests.

Birthday parties are always a a real milestone and a cause for celebration. But planning your toddler or young child’s birthday party can feel a little daunting. We all know how taxing it can be to keep your own children amused and engaged at times. So, when you suddenly find yourself with a room full of of over-excited toddlers or little ones ready to party, how do you keep them entertained? (and your own sanity intact!)

The golden rule for toddler party games is to keep them simple. Games that everyone can join in at the same time work well. And games with very few rules (and where everyone’s a winner). Here’s our pick of the best party games for toddlers.

1. Crocodile swamp

This is an energetic (and quite silly) party game that little ones will love. Place as many sheets of newspaper on the floor as there are party guests. Play some music and get all the party guests to dance around the room. When it stops each party guest has to find their nearest sheet of newspaper and stand on it to escape from the ‘crocodile swamp’

Appoint one adult to be the crocodile who then roams around the floor to see if anyone steps off their newspaper sheet into the ‘swamp’. If they do they will be in danger and the croc might tap them on the shoulder and they are out. Spoiler alert – no one will wobble off a full newspaper sheet at this point but all guests will be excited by the ‘crocodile’ roaming and snapping their arms to check!

Play the music again and this time fold the newspaper sheets in half. When the music stops again it will be a little bit harder to keep feet on the sheet. The crocodile can also try to ‘boo’ or make guests giggle to encourage them to fall off their sheets.

Keep going, halving the newspaper sheets each time. Any child who steps off their folded newspaper sheet is out.

This game is all about fun and all party guests will probably manage to stay on their folded sheets until they get very small.

You can give out little treats to all at the end of the game for their Crocodile Swamp survival skills!

(Note: Make sure you play this game on a surface that isn’t going to slip and slide! We don’t want any bumped heads to come out of this game)

2. Bottom shuffle race

It’s exactly what it says on the tin! All your party guests must sit down at one end of the room. When you shout ‘Go!‘ they must shuffle on their bottoms from one end of the room to the other. The first to cross the finishing line wins! Good old silly fun. With toddlers and little ones you can pre-empt tears for those who are slower shufflers by handing out a small prize to everyone who crosses the finish line.

You can then repeat the race with different ways of crossing the room. Hopping, tiptoeing, walking backwards, pretending to swim like a fish…Play it out as long as your little guests are entertained.

3. The animal game

One of the easiest party games for toddlers in town! Ask all your party guests to line up at one side of the room. When you shout out an animal’s name they must cross the room, doing their best impression of that animal: making the noise and movements as they see fit. Much hilarity all round. At the end of a few rounds every child could claim a small prize for their efforts.

See also  An All-Weather Guide To Outdoor Clothing For Babies

4. Bubble pop

Perhaps one of the easiest way to entertain a room full of toddlers and little ones is to blow lots of bubbles! They simply have to chase after the bubbles and pop them. Or hand out bubble wands and ask them to try and catch a bubble. Good old simple fun that is guaranteed to get all your teeny party guests giggling in glee.

You might want to do this one in the garden, if it’s not too cold outside and you have an outdoor space where guests can rush about.

5. Keen beans

Another energetic party game for toddlers to burn up some of the excited party energy. This one is best carried out in a large space. So push back the furniture in a room or head out to a garden/park.

To play all the children walk or march around the room. When you call out the names of different beans they must all quickly do the right actions. So teach them the different actions first:

  • Runner Bean – they must run on the spot
  • French Bean – they must stop and shout out ‘Ooh La La!’
  • Broad Bean – they must lie on the floor and make themselves as wide as they can
  • String Bean – they must stretch themselves as high as they can
  • Jelly Bean – they must shake their bodies to wobble like jelly
  • Beans on toast – they must lie on the floor completely still

Do be aware that you will probably have to join in with this one so that you can remind the children of each action by doing it yourself so that they can copy.

6. Under sea treasure

A really special party game for toddlers, if you’ve got enough space. This game is often played with a parachute. But – of course – we don’t expect you to have a spare parachute lying about so if you can’t borrow one you can use a large sheet or blanket instead. Pop some under sea ‘treasure’ in the middle of the room (raid the toy basket for soft toys, or plastic jewellery and perhaps add bags of chocolate coins). Now ask all the children to stand in a circle and hold a bit of the blanket to cover all the treasure. They work together to raise the blanket (or parachute) up and down in waves. When you call a name, they must run under the blanket and grab some treasure.

7. Super slime sleuths

Make some big bowls of slime. A really easy way to do this is to buy some soap flakes (search online – they’re quite cheap to buy) and mix with warm water. Add a little food colouring or glitter for extra pizzazz! Then pop lots of small plastic toys (animals, dinosaurs, toy cars…) into your soapy slime mixture. Your party guests simply have to dig into the slime bowls to find their treasures.

It’s best to let them take turns to find one prize each to avoid one over-keen Slime Sleuth grabbing a whole heap of prizes on their go!

Add an extra bowl of warm water so little ones can wash their prize before adding it to their party bags to take home later.

As messy as it is, this one is one of those properly popular party games for toddlers.

See also  9 brilliant benefits of baby & toddler classes

8. My best biscuit!

Put out lots of plain biscuits on a table along with bowls of icing/icing pens and bowls of toppings (sprinkles, silver balls, mini marshmallows, sweeties). Let your little chefs decorate one or two biscuits each.

This is a lovely focused activity to regain a little bit of calm after a few energetic games.

You could have some pre-cut squares of cellophane (or party bags) so that each guest can pop their biscuits in ready to take home at the end of your party.

9. The balloon and spoon race

Just like the classic egg and spoon race but with balloons and large spoons. You could use wooden spoons or large ladles. Party guests simply have to balance balloons on their spoons and make their way from one end of the room to the other. Little prizes to all that cross the finish line.

10. Pin the tail on the donkey/dino

Little ones just love this traditional party game and you can easily adapt it to fit any theme. Draw (or, if drawing’s not your forte, print out) a large picture or an animal. Or character. And then draw (or print out) a tail. Or hat/nose…

In turns blindfold each party guest, gently turn them round three times and ask them to step forward and try to pin the tail (or other object) on the picture. If you’re worried about what might or might not be safe for little ones to use, you can always use blu-tac to pin the tail on.

The one who pins it nearest wins but, as always, with little ones, everyone can be praised or rewarded for their efforts.

11. Grand treasure hunt

Toddlers love a scavenger hunt. And this is one of the easiest to put together and is great fun to do. Gather lots of little toys (or treats) and hide them all around the room or garden. They could be rubber ducks, toy cars, wooden bricks – whatever you can find a nice number of.

Give each party guest a bag or basket and they simply have to rush about and see how much treasure they can find.

At the end they can trade their treasures for a little prize.

You can also make a treasure hunt by wrapping a small number of little treats for each party guest in coloured tissue paper. Then hide them. Each guest gets allocated a colour and they must hunt ONLY for treats wrapped in the same colour tissue paper.

Party games for toddlers – The old favourites

When you’re planning a birthday party for toddlers or little ones it’s always a good idea to have a few game ideas up your sleeve and ready to go. Just in case you race through the ones you’ve got planned more quickly than you thought and end up with acres of time to fill before home time!

Here are a few classic party games that toddlers love.

  • Musical Bumps
  • Musical Statues
  • Pass the Parcel (for little ones you might want to hide a small treat in each layer and ‘engineer’ it so that you know the music will stop on each party guest!)
  • Musical Chairs
  • Simon Says
  • The Hokey Cokey
  • The Farmer’s in his Den

And, when you need to reign in the energy (and grab a bit of rest yourself) pull out the old classic – Sleeping Lions. This one is genius. All party guests have to lie on the floor as sleeping lions. They need to close their eyes and be as still as possible. If anyone moves, they’re out. Cue – some much needed peace (and maybe even the chance to grab a cuppa!)


You might also like:

15 rainy day activities for toddlers

A-Z activities for toddlers

Sensory play ideas for toddlers

Read More From Our Blog:

Happity Author

Happity Author

This blog was written by an author from Team Happity! Created with research, love and care to make sure the information you are reading is useful, insightful and accurate. By reading this blog, you've made Team Happity do a little happy dance. Check out our main site to find a class near you!