Games for children and young people
(with grateful thanks to Mark Holdaway)
Names and ideas can always be changed to accommodate a theme
Table Tennis Balls
About 15 plastic cups are taped to the floor. The team has to stand behind a line approx 6ft away from the cups and taking it in turns tries to throw table tennis balls into a cup. Try to get as many balls in the cups in 4 minutes.
Points awarded for number of people in the group able to juggle 2 balls. Additional points for juggling 3 ablls or any other tricks!
Give us a clue
In 4 minutes, the team has to guess as correctly guess as many clues as possible. Team members take it in turns to act out the clue.
Using Giant Jenga if possible… The team has 4 minutes to play jenga as normal. The team with the highest number of complete rows gets the most points.
The team has 4 minutes to work out as many famous names from pictures as possible.
The Chair Game
Sitting on a chair the aim is to touch the ground as far as possible away from the back of the chair, with no other part of you touching the ground. Each team member scores points for the team depending on how far they reach.
Can you identify the sweets/chocolates with the clues below?
- A game with 10 men - skittles
- A good thing to do in the April showers - caramac
- Build your own pet from this? – kit kat
- Subject of Conversation - topic
- An explosion of Pop Idols? - starburst
- This avenue is in the classy end of town – quality street
- A happy eastern feeling – Turkish delight
- Americans place a value on this – dime bar
- It’s 48 carat – all gold
- Where cows go for a relaxing pint – milky bar
- These infants are all of a quiver – jelly babies
- IX – after eight
- The price on your head in paradise - bounty
- SET SAM LER - maltesers
- Falling Fruit – pear drops
- Up in space with the galaxy – milky way
- These sweets sing a sweet song - minstrels
- Before you swallow you need to… - chewits
- These are no cowards – miniature heroes
- You couldn’t play golf without one - club
Get as many pennies in a pot as possible. The pennies need to be transported from behind a line and dropped into the pot one at a time by different members of the team. The penny must be carried between your knees.
Each corner has a colour. Children choose a corner and a colour is chosen at random. Those in that corner are out. Continue as required!
Pick one person who is not going to play. They will pick the murderer and the detective. Get everyone else to sit in a circle and shut their eyes. Have the person who is not playing walk around the circle. He or she will tap one person on the head once. That person is the murderer. They will also tap someone else on the head twice. That person is the detective. The person who is not playing should tell everyone to open his or her eyes. Since that person knows who the murderer is, they cannot play this round. The detective will move to the middle of the circle. No one should know who the murderer is. The detective will try to figure out who the murderer is. The murderer will 'kill' people off by winking at them. Once you have been killed, make it dramatic! Pretend you're getting shot, strangled, poisoned, or something else, and topple over to the floor. After you have been killed, you cannot sit back up in the circle. Either stand up and sit farther away, or remain lying down. The detective has 3 chances to guess who the murderer is. If the detective did not guess correctly any of the three times, they stay the detective for the next round. If they did guess right, the murderer becomes the detective!
Duck, Duck, Goose
In this game, kids sit down in a circle facing each other. One person is "it" and walks around the circle. As they walk around, they tap people's heads and say whether they are a "duck" or a "goose". Once someone is the "goose" they get up and try to chase "it" around the circle. The goal is to tap that person before they are able sit down in the "goose's" spot. If the goose is not able to do this, they become "it" for the next round and play continues. If they do tap the "it" person, the person tagged has to sit in the center of the circle. Then the goose become it for the next round. The person in the middle can't leave until another person is tagged and they are replaced.
Unihoc and variants
Standing in the middle, children walk around you in a circle. On your command they do different actions – runner bean (run), chilli bean (shiver), French bean (o la la), Jumping bean, Mexican bean. On baked bean, all run to outside of area, and if caught by leader, they are out.
Tray and roll of newspaper for each of two contestants. Roll held in one hand, tray balancing on fingertips of other hand. Aim is to keep your tray balanced and knock tray off the other.
3 teams, 3 goals, 2 balls. Simple.
2 teams facing each other. 1 from each team jump up, race to middle where there are 3 bottles. Only allowed to carry one bottle at a time, and person to get 2 bottles back to their team wins.
Each corner is a shop. Call out an item of shopping. Children decide which shop you’d get it from and last ones there are out...
Knights, horses and cavaliers
Have the kids pair up. The partners split off to opposite sides of the playing area. One side forms a circle, then their partners stand behind them in an outer circle. The inner circle rotates clockwise, and the outer circle rotates counterclockwise. The leader yells out either "knight", "horse", or "cavalier". "Knight" means that one partner gets down on one knee and the other partner sits on his/her exposed knee. "Horse" means that one one partner gets down on all fours and the other partner sits on his/her back. "Cavalier" means that one partner picks the other partner up in the style of a groom carrying the bride over the threshold. When one of these positions is called out, the kids have to scramble to find their partners and assume said position. The last pair to do so is out, and so it goes until there is a winning team. It's fun to make the kids jump and spin while they are rotating in their circles to make it harder for them to keep track of their partners.
Eg. 10 children. Put 9 chairs in a circle, leaving one child standing in the middle. Each child is either a pear, apple, orange. When “pear” called out, all pears stand and have to sit on another empty chair (no returning to own chair). The child in the middle also tries to sit down, and so another child is left standing. Can call 2 fruits together or call “fruit salad” for all of them.
Yes/no – peas
Give each child 5 dried peas, or blades of grass or... Play the yes/no game. All talk to each other and if you say “yes” or “no” you lose a life and give one of your 5 to the one you’re talking to. Most at the end wins.
Each corner is N, S, E and W. Call out and children run to each corner. Additional calls while children are on their way.
Sit down quiet. Make sure hands behind back and clocks are hidden. Start the time. Child to stand up closest to one minute wins.
Cat and Mouse
Children stand and form a square grid. They hold arms out to touch those next to them. It all starts with all arms East-West. The “cat” chases the “mouse” being only able to run in the rows east-west. When change is shouted, arms go North-South and cat and mouse can only run in North-South rows. Cat needs to catch the mouse.
Stuck in the mud