Games for 8 – 11 year olds

How you choose and use these games as part of the kids party entertainment will depend on a number of things:

* how wide is the age range

* all boys

* all girls

* mixed boys and girls

Decide on the activities you will be using and then make sure that you have all the children’s party accessories you will need to organise them.

Twenty Questions

Equipment needed: none

One child is chosen and leaves while the rest pick an object in the room. The chosen child returns and tries to guess which object has been chosen. S/he asks a question of each child in turn who can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. S/he is allowed 20 questions in order to find out what the object is.

Catch the Balloon

Equipment needed: several party balloons

The children form a circle facing inwards. Number each child. Choose one child to be in the middle holding a balloon. S/he drops the balloon whilst calling a number. The child who has the number attempts to catch the balloon before it touches the floor. If successful he takes a turn at dropping the balloon.

Pop the Balloon

Equipment needed: a good supply of birthday party balloons

Children choose partners. Each pair is given a balloon. The balloon is placed between the pair who are back to back. At a signal they press together to pop the balloon. This can be competitive or just a bit of fun.

Squeak, Piggy, Squeak

Equipment needed: a blindfold

Children form a circle facing inwards with a blindfolded player in the centre. The circle moves around very, very quietly. The blindfolded player then walks to the circle to capture a victim and say “Squeak, Piggy, Squeak”. In a disguised voice the captured player squeaks like a pig. The blindfolded player tries to identify his prisoner. If s/he fails the prisoner is released and s/he captures another. If s/he succeeds then the two change places and the game begins again.

Pass the Parcel

Equipment needed: prepared parcel, music player,

Get a small gift. Then wrap it in many layers. Sit the children in a circle. Get them to pass the parcel one to another around the circle while the music plays. Stop the music suddenly. The child in possession of the parcel when the music stops has to remover one layer of wrapping. Then the passing resumes as does the music. Continue until someone removes the wrapping to disclose the gift which s/he gets to keep.

Pass the Parcel Activity

Equipment needed: prepared parcel, instructions slips, music player.

This works the same as the traditional Pass the Parcel. The difference is that as a layer of wrapping is removed there is a slip of paper with instructions about an activity or forfeit which have to be obeyed immediately. These activities should match your party theme.

Potato and Spoon Race

Equipment needed: spoons, potatoes, markers for start and finish

This needs plenty of room so if your party is in a garden or hall this is a good activity. You will need spoons and potatoes which will fit the bowl of the spoon. Mark a start line and a finish line. The children hold the spoon with a potato resting in it. They run along the course trying to keep the potato balanced (without using the other hand). If the potato drops off they may pick it up and resume the race. Have more than one heat and a final. This will give spectators for each race and lengthen the time for the activity.

Musical Chairs

Equipment needed: chairs, music player

Place a row of chairs in a line along the centre of the room. The chairs should face alternate directions. The number of chairs need is one fewer than players. As the music plays the children parade around the line of chairs. The music is stopped suddenly and the children have to sit on a chair. The child left standing is out. As the music begins again remove a chair. Continue in this manner until a winner is found. To make it more acceptable to be out you can give each child a small gift or sweetie as s/he is eliminated.

Musical Statues.

Equipment needed: music player

Have all the children dancing whilst music plays. When the music stops the children must stand still in the manner in which they are caught when interrupted. Any child deemed to still be moving when the music stops is out. As each child is out they help spot the movers.


Equipment needed: bags containing about 5 separate items

Collect ordinary every day items – for example: spoons, clothes pegs, combs, coasters, small toys. Be sure that you have two of each. Make up some bags with one of the various items – about 5 for each bag. Give a bag to each child who then has to hunt around the party area to find a match to each item in their particular bag. Many of the items for each child will be the same, some will be different. That is fine. The first child to find a match for all their items is the winner.


Equipment needed: paper, pencils, dice, pre-drawn beetle

A quiet, indoor game which has been popular for many years. Divide the guests into small groups of 4 or 5. Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil. In the centre of the group place a drawing of the beetle and show the number needed for each part. The children take it in turn to roll the dice. Depending on the number thrown they may draw the part of the beetle. To start the player must throw a six to draw the body. The parts/numbers are:

Six – body

Five – Head

Four – for each of the two front legs

Three – for each of four back legs

Two – for each of two eyes

One – for each of two antennae

The first to complete the drawing of a beetle is the winner

You are welcome to write your own tips and advice, or some experience you've had with planning parties, the actual event, making cakes or costumes. In fact anything at all to do with parties that you can share on this website.
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