It's a lot of fun planning indoor party games for children around 4-6 years of age. They are beginning to understand how to follow rules and get competitive. While you can’t go wrong with classic favorites, variations and more unique games are welcomed as well. Following are some ideas to help you get started. You might even have your birthday boy/girl help choose which ones they like.
Hide and Seek
Whether you play it the traditional way or another variation, hide and seek is a familiar favorite. Of course traditional hide and seek is where one person hides while the rest close their eyes and count, then go find the hider.
- Sardines is similar to hide and seek, except one player hides in a dark house then the other players go off on their own to find the hider. When a hunter finds the hiding place, he hides along with them. As each hunter finds the hiding spot, he hides with them until the last hunter finds the "sardines."
- Timer: Another version is to use a kitchen timer. One person winds up the timer, hides it in the house, then have the children look for it by listening.
- Hide and Seek Toys: Play hide and seek with stuffed animals or small toys. Pick a room and have one child help hide the toys around the room. Then have the other kids find them all.
Indoor Foot Volleyball
Materials needed: Yarn or string, 10-inch inflated balloon
Set up the game by tying a piece of string across a 10-foot space, around 1 foot above the floor. Divide the children into two teams and have them sit crab style (leaning back on their hands and feet). Determine which team goes first, then have a player on that team throw the balloon in the air for a teammate to kick over. The teams kick the ball from one side to another, taking all the kicks they need. When one team lets the ball touch the ground, the other team gets 1 point and serves from their side. The first team to reach 15 points wins.
Car Race Tracks
Materials needed: Large ream of paper, crayons/markers, toy cars
Lay down a large sheet of ream paper and have the kids work together to draw a race track. Draw the road, buildings, trees, houses, stores, etc. Then get out a bunch of small race cars and let the kids race the cars around the track and talk about where they are driving.
Materials needed: Small, soft balls and toys/objects to bowl over
Most kids are familiar with the concept of bowling. Providing a variety of things to bowl over can make it more interesting. Some ideas are wooden blocks, stacking cups, plastic cups, large Legos/ Mega Blocks. Then allow the kids to take turns setting up the toys and bowling them over with a soft plastic or foam ball. This is a great game because you can use mostly things your kids already have.
Materials needed: Stick for fishing pole, string, magnet, scissors, construction paper, glue or tape, metal paper clips
To get ready for the game, cut fish shapes out of construction paper. Then put a paper clip on each fish. Get a long stick to make a fishing pole with a string the length of the pole. Tie a magnet onto the end of the string. Have the kids take turns fishing by dangling the line from standing position or over the edge of the sofa. For added learning, draw a shape or letter on each fish for the kids to identify. Fishing also works well for party goodies. Have each kid put the pole over the edge of a sofa, box, etc. and fish for a surprise goodie.
Materials needed: 4-by-6-inch scraps of material, needle and thread, dried beans, Ziploc bag
To make the bean bags, fill a Ziploc bag with dried beans (this protects the beans if it gets wet). Then sew two squares of material together on three sides and turn it to hide seams. Put the bean filled back into the material. Sew the fourth side closed. To play bean bag toss, get a laundry basket or box(es) to throw the beanbag from a distance. See how many beanbags they can get inside the basket.
Indoor Treasure Hunt
Materials needed: Treasure map (drawn ahead of time), small goodie bags with prizes
Hide several small party/goodie bags around the house. Give the children clues or a treasure map that will help them find the treasure. Tell them they need to follow all the clues till each child has a treasure bag. At the end, have a spot where they will find the next game/activity. Optional: Extend the activity by helping the children draw their own treasure maps and play the game again.
Drama Bag Girls Game
To get ready for this activity: Gather shopping bags and put 5 different items in each bag, such as a shoe, hat, party favor, purse, etc.
Divide the kids into teams and give each team a bag. Have them gather in different areas to come up with a skit using all the items. After 15 minutes, have the kids come back and put on their skits. A fun variation to this game is to make a song or commercial. Great game for a mostly girls party.
More Classic Game Ideas
- Pin the Tail on the Donkey
- Musical Chairs
- Duck, Duck Goose
- Memory (create own cards)
- Red Light/Green Light
- What's Missing
- Find out more about these games on Family Education.