What do you do with 15 kids coming over your house for a party?
Gone are the days of making crafts, pin the tail on the donkey, and breaking open a Pinata.
You need to plan for having some FUN and ACTIVE games to keep these kids occupied for a few hours!
But what games would these kids like and want to play?
You have come to the right place! I have created a list of 10 FUN and EASY games that 10-year-olds would love to play at a party with all their friends and family!
Game #1: Ultimate Frisbee
When we play ultimate frisbee in PE class, I ALWAYS play with the kids. This game is fast-moving and fun!
Party Favor Idea: Mini Rainbow Flying Discs
The object of the game for the team that possesses the Frisbee is to advance the Frisbee up the field with passes and to throw it to a teammate that is standing in the end zone.
Instructions for Ultimate Frisbee:
1. Create a playing area by placing cones in a square formation, so players know where the goals are.
2. Split the group up to make 2 equal teams
3. No contact is allowed in this game! You can not steal the Frisbee out of someone’s hands.
4. Every time the Frisbee hits the ground, the possession changes, no matter who caused it to hit the ground. The team takes over right from the spot where the Frisbee hit the ground.
5. You can take 2 steps with the Frisbee!
6. Once a score is made, the team that got scored on goes to the opposite side, and another round is started with the scoring team throwing the Frisbee to the other side.
Are you a visual learner? This video shows you the basic rules of Ultimate!
Game #2: Capture the Flag
Whenever my middle school students get a free choice day, this is one of the most popular choices by far!
Equipment: To play this game, you will need an object to be the flag. At school, we use scarves. Also, you will need something for the centerline either jump ropes tied together or sidewalk chalk if you play on the cement.
Party Favor Idea: Ribbons
Instructions for playing Capture the Flag:
1. Create 2 equal teams depending on how many people you have playing.
2. Make a center line by either using cones, tying jump ropes together, or draw a line using sidewalk chalk on the cement.
3. Have each team hide their flag somewhere on their side.
4. To get the flag, one person must cross the center line and retrieve the flag from the opposing team and successfully bring it back to their side without getting tagged.
5. If they get tagged while on the other team’s side, you can have them return to their side if there is a small group playing OR if there’s a larger group then you can have them freeze.
6. To get unfrozen, someone from your team has to cross over and tag their hand to bring them back to their team.
7. If a player gets tagged trying to come back to their side and they have the flag, they must put the flag back, and they are either frozen on the other team’s side, or they have to return to their side if there are not enough players.
8. The game is over when one team can get the opposing teams flag!
Game #3: Sharks and Minnows
I think every parent out there can say that they’ve heard this song at least 1,000 times right?
Sharks and Minnows is a fan favorite for all my students from Pre-K to 8th grade!
If you choose to play this game at your party, it’s sure to be a hit, especially if you play this song while the kids are running around!
Party favor idea: Plastic Shark Squirt Guns
Instructions for Sharks and Minnows
1. Create a playing area by using cones, so the kids know where the boundary lines are.
2. Choose 1 or 2 people to be the sharks (taggers), and they should go to the center of the playing area.
3. The other kids will line up by one set of cones.
4. On the GO signal, the kids will attempt to run across to the other set of cones without getting tagged by the shark(s).
5. If they get tagged, they become a shark, and they will try to tag the other players.
6. The goal of the game is to be the last one standing!
You can also add in some locomotor movements (skipping, galloping, sliding).
Game #4: Fast Football
Every day during recess, my 6th-grade students play fast football.
What I love most about this is both the boys and the girls play this together, and they have a blast playing!
Party Favor Idea: Mini sports footballs
Instructions for Fast Football:
1. Set up: Create a playing field by placing cones in a square formation. You can also include more cones for out of bounds lines if you would like!
2. Teams: Split the teams up into 2 equal groups. The teams will be known by the color flag that each person has!
3. The teams will get 4 chances to try to score a touchdown.
4. One person will serve as the quarterback each round then you can switch for the next time that teams on offense.
5. They will attempt to throw the ball to someone on their team that that person tries to run the ball into the end zone to score.
6. If they get their flag pulled, they stop where they got their flag pulled, and the quarterback starts from that point again.
7. After 4 attempts at scoring a touchdown, there is a change of possession.
8. When a touchdown is made, it’s automatically the other team’s ball!
9. If you are keeping score: Each time a team scores a touchdown, it’s 6 points. There are no 2 point conversion kicks or kickers in this game.
This game is fast-moving and fun! Take a look for yourself by watching a clip of my 6th grade PE class playing fast football.
Game #5: Continuous Kick Ball
Kickball is an oldie but a goodie!
Kids love to play kickball, and this version makes this simple game even more exciting!
Party Favor Idea: Little trophies will go along with the kickball theme!
Instructions for Continuous Kick Ball:
1. Set up the bases in a baseball field formation.
2. Teams: Split up the sides evenly and choose one group to go to the field and one to kick.
3. Pitching: You can either choose to have a parent pitch the ball or place the ball on home plate so the kids can kick the ball while it’s still.
4. After the ball is kicked, the player will run to first and so on if they choose to. The goal is to try to make it home before there are 3 outs. If a player makes it home, that is one run.
5. There are several kids allowed on each base, and they don’t have to run if they don’t want to each time the ball is kicked.
6. A player who is running the bases can choose to keep running after they touch home base and can go back to first base to run again or they can get back in line to kick if they feel like they could get “out” by running back to first.
7. How to get players out: fielders can catch the ball on the fly, throw the ball at a player running to a base, tag the runner with the ball or they can get a force out at first base by throwing the ball to the first baseman who is standing on the base before the runner steps on the base.
8. After the fielding team gets 3 outs, the teams will switch roles.
Game #6: Big Ball Volleyball
During my volleyball unit in physical education, one of the games that we play is Big Ball Volleyball.
The middle school students enjoy this game because we use a GIANT beach ball.
Equipment: Large beach ball and sports net (this is a pop-up version to save time, and it’s portable!).
Party Favor Idea: Mini Beach Balls
Instructions for Big Ball Volleyball:
1. Set up the net (I suggest using a portable pop-up net for ease).
2. Teams: Split the teams up into 2 even teams.
3. One team will start by serving the ball underhand/overhand/setting the ball.
4. There is no service line in big ball volleyball because it’s harder to get the ball over the net!
5. The receiving team will get 3 chances to hit the ball back over the net. If a team is not able to hit the ball over in 3 tries, hits the ball out of bounds or if the ball falls on the ground on their side, the serving team will receive a point.
6. The serving team will keep serving until they lose possession of the ball.
- You can have the same person keep serving until they lose possession or you can switch each time to give more kids a chance!
7. If you are keeping score: The first team to get 15 points is the winning team!
Game #7: Relay Races
I have planned 8 field days so far in my career, and every year I always incorporate relay races because the kids enjoy them!
There are many relay races that I have tried, but these are the kids’ favorites!
Party Favor Idea: Medals
Instructions for the Relay Races
A. 100 Yard Dash
1. Measure out 100 yards by using a tape measurer.
2. Spray paint a line on the grass to show the kids where to line up and where to run to.
3. Have the kids line up on the spray painted line on the grass.
4. On the GO signal, everyone will run as fast as they can from one line to the other line.
5. The person that gets the first wins!
B. Wheelbarrow Race
- Equipment: Spray paint
1. Spray paint a line on the grass to show the kids where to line up and where to race to.
2. The kids can choose a partner.
3. One person will have their hands on the ground, and the other person will be standing up holding their partner’s legs.
4. On the GO signal, the person who is on the ground will be moving their hands, and the person who has their feet will be moving their feet to try to get to the finish line before the other groups!
C. Drop and Pop Relay
- Equipment: Balloons and 4-6 chairs depending on how many groups you will have.
1. Teams: Split the group up into even teams and have each team make a line starting beside one chair.
2. Set Up: 2 chairs should be placed across from one another about 20 feet apart. Each person should receive a ballon.
3. On the GO signal, the first member of the team runs and brings their balloon to the chair across from them, drops the balloon on the chair, and then sits on the balloon until it pops!
4. When the balloon pops, the player runs back to his/her team and tags the next person in line.
5. The relay continues until the last person on each team has made it back to the line. The first team to finish wins!
I used this relay for one of my Field Day events, take a look to see how it’s done!
D. 3 Legged Race
- Equipment: 3 legged race band and spray paint
1. Spray paint a line on the grass to show the kids where to line up and where to run to.
2. Have the kids get a partner to race with!
3. Give the pair one band. One person should have the band on their left leg, and the other should have it on their right leg.
4. Each group is trying to walk as fast as they can to try to get to the finish line first!
5. If a pair falls, they can get right back up and keep going! That’s why it’s important to do this on the grass 🙂
Game #8: Cup Stacking
Too cold to go outside and play one of these games?
No worries! Cup stacking tournaments can be SO much fun.
Have you never heard of cup staking before? Check out this video to see how awesome it is!
I have used cup stacking in my physical education classes and have even been a referee at a tournament!
There are 3 types of stacks that the kids can practice (check out the video for a demonstration to learn how to do this)
- Cycle (3-6-3, 6-6, 1-10-1 ending in 3-6-3 formation)
Equipment: I would recommend getting at least to set of 4-speed stacks so several kids can play at once.
*You don’t need to buy the speed stack mat unless this is a sport that your middle schooler may be interested in. You can use a stopwatch to time how quickly they can stack the cups on a table that you have!
Game #9: Corn Hole
Corn hole is another game that can be played indoors if it’s rainy, cold or snowy during your party!
- Equipment: A few sets of corn hole.
*If you don’t want to purchase more than 1 set of boards, ask the parents of the kids that are coming to the party to see if they have any you can borrow!
Instructions for Corn Hole
1. Set up: Place the corn hole boards 27 feet apart from each other and place the bean bags on top of the boards.
2. The kids should pick a partner to play with, and they will play against another group of 2.
3. One person from the pair stands at one board, and the other person stands across from them at the other board.
4. They will choose what color bean bag that each team wants to throw.
5. One player will throw the bean bag in an underhand motion at a time.
6. Scoring: If they get the bean bag in the hole, they get 3 points for their team. If they get the bean bag to stay on the board, it’s 1 point.
7. When the other team throws their bean bag, and it knocks off the bean bag from the board, the point gets eliminated.
8. If the other team throws a bag and knocks the bean bag into the hole, that team gets to keep the points.
9. How to win: The first team to get to 21 points first wins. They can’t go above 21, or they go back to the score they had before, so they have to be strategic when placing the bean bags on the boards!
Game #10: Dodgeball
To be honest, I hesitated putting this game on my list.
Maybe because some of you think about this when you hear the word dodgeball.
As a result, I decided to because dodgeball is one of the most requested games that I get as a physical education teacher.
Also, when we play dodgeball in class, it looks nothing like the movie clip you see above. I play a variety of dodgeball games with my students, so they aren’t sitting out and feeling bad about themselves for getting out.
Let me lay out a few different options for your kids to play.
A. Doctor Dodgeball
1. To create a playing area tie jump ropes together to make a center line because the kids have to stay on their side when throwing the ball.
2. Split the kids up into two even teams.
3. Choose 1 or 2 players to be the doctors, depending on how many kids are playing (the doctors will hold a pool noodle, so everyone knows who they are).
4. If someone gets hit with a ball (not in the face) or someone catches a ball that they threw, they will have to sit down.
5. To get back up a doctor on their team has to touch them with the doctor’s stick (pool noodle).
6. When a doctor gets hit, then the other one can save them, but if they both get hit they can’t save their teammates.
7. The round is over when all of the players are sitting on one side.
Questioning whether this is a safe activity for kids? Look at the video below to see how dodgeball can be FUN and SAFE!
B. Prison Dodgeball
- Equipment: Dodge balls and cones
1. To create a playing area set up cones for centerline and the jails so kids can see what line they can’t cross when throwing or collecting dodgeballs and make a jail area.
The orange cones are the centerline, and the colored cones are where students go to jail.
3. Split the kids up into 2 even teams.
4. If someone gets hit with the dodge ball (not in the face), they are to go to the other side’s jail.
5. To get out of jail, someone from their team has to throw the ball from their side of the playing area to them, and they have to catch the ball.
6. The round is over if every player from one team is in jail.
C. Gotcha Dodgeball
- Equipment: Dodgeballs
1. The beautiful thing about this game is that it doesn’t require any playing area set up!
2. Throw out the dodge balls you would like to use; no one should touch the balls.
3. On the GO signal, the kids can run and try to get a dodge ball.
4. If they are hit with the dodge ball (not in the face), then they must sit down.
5. To get back up, they have to throw the ball at someone with the dodgeball that’s standing up.
6. If some players are sitting for too long, you can call a “jail break,” and everyone can get back in the game again!
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Hosting and planning a party for kids can be stressful, time-consuming, and break the bank.
By reading through my list of 10 active games to play at a kids party, I hope I can eliminate some of those feelings!
Some of these games may require some equipment to purchase but look on the bright side; you get to keep that equipment to use with your kids for a lifetime!
If you go to a trampoline park, zoo or amusement park you pay hundreds of dollars, don’t take anything home, and most of the time, the kids split up in different areas.
By playing any of these games/activities, it will create better memories for the kids and you!
If you do play one of these games at a party, I’d love to hear how it went! Are there any unique games or activities that you have done at a party that went well? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below!