Make Free and Low Cost Party Games for Kids from Household Items

Fun doesn’t have to be expensive. As a matter of fact your kids could be having a blast right now without costing you a penny. Are you tired of shelling out money for video games? Sick of going to Chuckie Cheese? These things are great, but let’s get real not all parents can afford to buy their kids the world. Teaching your kids to have fun with what they have can expand their creativity, and teach them a valuable lesson.

As a counselor at a low budget summer camp I had to come up with free ways to entertain our campers. We had children of all different ages and here is a list of their most favorite free, or almost free, games.

Freeze Dance

The kids at the YMCA went crazy over this game, boys and girls alike. And I have to say the adults enjoyed it as well. All you need for this game is music and someone to control it. As the music plays everyone dances, but when the music stops everyone must stop. The music controller singles out the players who move after the music stops, and if you move you are out until the next round. You continue to play, varying the time you stop, until all but one player have been eliminated. The object of the game is to be the last person standing, the ultimate freeze dancer!

Birdie on a Perch

This game works best with a group of kids. You need at least four participants and a judge. Each child needs a partner for this game. All the kids get in a circle and go round and round until the judge yells, “Birdie on a Perch”. At this point the kids must race to each other and one must get on the other’s back. The participants who get there last will be eliminated. You do this until there is only one pair remaining. This also a fun game to play as father and son pairs, or mother and daughter.

Scavenger Hunt

Give the kids a list of things they must find before they can return. If playing outside you might include four leave clovers, bugs, specific color leaves, and other outdoor items on your list. Inside items might be a cookie from the kitchen, magazine from the table, books, toilet paper, pillows or other things you have dispersed through the house. The group or child that gets back the fastest wins.

Relay Race

You know you loved this game when you were younger, who didn’t? Set up a variety of obstacles for the kids. Use what you have around. Maybe they have to balance eggs on spoons, then ho-la hoop. Use your imagination on this game, the crazier you get the more fun they have. You can include making a basket, jump roping, jumping jacks and so many other things. Obviously the person who finishes first whens.

Splish, Splash, Sploosh

This is my favorite hot day game. Think of “Duck, duck goose” with a twist. All you need game is a bucket or large bowl, water and a sponge or rag. The kids sit in a circle as one player goes around with a the wet sponge. They hold it over each child’s head as they say, “splish, splash” and go around the circle. When they get to the person they want to chase them they squeeze the sponge over their head and yell, “splash”. They must go around the circle and claim the other person’s place without being tagged. It is duck, duck goose with water.

These are some awesome games, but don’t be afraid to try the classics. If all else fails go back to when you were a kid and remember the games you loved. Here are a few from when I was growing up.

Red light, Green light

Mother May I

Duck, duck goose

I Spy

Hide and Seek

Hot Potato

A lot of these games can be varied and a lot of fun if you use a little imagination. The best advice I can give you about party games is that if you have fun with the kids they will most likely enjoy it. Kids love to see adults playing at their level. Get down and dirty with the kids at the party, it will make all the difference. Who doesn’t love to see mom with a sponge full of water on her head?