Whether at home on a rainy afternoon, outside at recess, at a party or just hanging out with friends, children love to play games! The most fun kids’ games are those that keep everyone enjoying themselves and playing rather than waiting a long time to take a brief turn. Childen get restless pretty easily so make sure to keep them on their toes! Take a classic game, like Go Fish, and amp up its fun factor by assigning a wild card!
Different Kinds of Games
Fun outdoor games include classic ball games, like Spud and dodge ball, and running games like Freeze Tag and relay races. Active indoor games, such as charades and Simon Says, get kids moving without breaking things. (if they’re really energetic, try doing a lightening fast round of Simon Says!) Quieter indoor games include word and logic games like Mad Libs, Scrabble and 20 Questions, as well as board games, such as Chutes and Ladders, Sorry!, Pictionary, Clue and Scattergories. Dramatic games like Statues, the Hokey Pokey and Freeze Dance get children singing or dancing.
Classic Games with a Twist!
Very fun kids’ games involve the whole group. In Boola Boola, a person leaves the room while a leader hides a small object in plain sight. The person reenters the room, and players sing "Boola Boola" louder as the person gets closer to the object, and softer as the person gets further away. In Four Corners, a leader turns his back to the group as group members run to one of four corners. The leader yells out a corner number; the person who is standing in that corner gets the letter "F." Play continues until people spell out the word "Four" by getting caught four times in the wrong corner.
Unlike competitive sports, fun children’s games do not focus much on winning or losing. It’s the best way to avoid sore losers or boastful winners. While someone may be last or have the lowest score, the play can continue regardless. For example, in a wheelbarrow race, someone may finish last, but the fun is in trying to do the wheelbarrow position. In cooperative games, the whole group strives toward a common goal, such as building a structure to make marbles race down quickly or finding a hidden treasure by solving clues or reading a map.
While some fun games, such as jacks, marbles, croquet, ping pong and badminton require equipment, many games only demand willing players. In Animalisms, a leader turns his back on the room. A mystery player approaches, and the leader must guess the player’s identity by having her make different animal noises.
Keep it Short!
Even the most fun children’s games cannot entertain an entire group for the duration of an afternoon. Most preschoolers last about 10 minutes with games, and twice that long for unstructured activities, such as painting, blowing soap bubbles or playing in sand. Primary grade children may stick with a game for 20 to 30 minutes.