Regardless of their ages, there are a lot of factors that go into throwing a great kids party. The planning alone can be stressful, especially when it’s for picky tweens or teenagers—and as kids get older it becomes less about the kind of cake and all about the games. But don’t worry, the games we’ve rounded up are surprisingly simple to put together (i.e., you won’t be up all night making it) and budget friendly. So put out the snacks, turn on the iPod and let the games begin.
Photo credit: WikiHow
Spoons—Think musical chairs but with spoons and a deck of cards instead.
How to play: Lay spoons in a circular fashion in the middle of a table; remove the jokers and deal each player four cards. Once a player gets four of a kind, they grab a spoon. After that, all players can grab spoons—the player left without a spoon, gets an “S” and so on until one player spells “Spoon.” The winner is the player with the least amount of letters.
Number of players: 3-13 / Ages: 8 - 17
Photo credit: Pinterest
Round Robin Story—A password-inspired game in which kids help write a story.
How to play: The format is simple—write down a great opening line from a favorite book and then pass the notebook around, with each player getting the opportunity to add a line or two, moving the story forward. Once all players have contributed, the host reads the story aloud.
Number of players: 3 or more / Ages: 9 - 16
Camouflage—In this souped up version of “I Spy” the first person to find all the “hidden” objects wins. The catch? The items are actually in plain sight.
How to play: One person, using a bit of tacky wax or something similar, places 8-10 smaller objects throughout a room, or rooms, on furniture, walls, doors, pictures, books and so on. The objects can be anything; but smaller is usually better—think paper clip, penny or dime, piece of ziti, even a jellybean. After the “camouflaging” is done, every participant gets a list of the items and tries to find each item—keeping it to themselves when they do. The first person to find everything on the list, wins. Make it holiday ritual, add in a trophy and you have a game everyone will love.
Number of players: Any / Ages: 6 & Up
Celebrity—Grab a hat and some paper and you’ve got everything you need for this great guessing game.
How to play: Divide players into teams and give each player 5-10 pieces of paper to write the name of a celebrity—the person can be alive or dead, an actor, author, musician and so on. Keep the names secret, fold paper in half and have each player toss their names into the hat. One player from each team goes first and teams have 1 minute to get through as many names as they can before the next team goes. There are three rounds and three different rules for each round. Round one clues are verbal—say anything you want about the person on your piece of paper except their name; Round two clues are restricted to one word, so make it count; Round three clues are charades. Tally up the pieces of paper after rounds one and two—after round three, the team with the most wins.
Number of players: 4 + /Ages: 12 & up
Photo credit: Etsy
Corn Hole—Despite the unfortunate name, this easy-to-play beanbag toss game is popular with just about everyone who tries it. Just as fun on the beach or in your backyard. You can make your own here or check out Backwoodhobbies on Etsy.
How to play: Toss the beanbags into the opposing team's board, aiming to get it through the opening.
Number of players: 2+ /Ages: 8 & up