Children's Team Activities & Party Games

Updated July 20, 2017

Spice up your child's next birthday party or team activity by planning games to get kids moving and working together. Many of the best games for children have simple rules and minimal supplies. Party games can be modified for younger children or made more challenging for older players.

Rock-Paper-Scissors conga

Children face off in this game to be the champion of the room. To start, every player finds a partner. If you have an odd number of players, the extra player can jump in the second round. Partners face off in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Make sure you have established the rules for the game first. You might want to practice the timing with the group before the game begins. Also, choose whether to have the partners play one game or the best-of-three to determine the winner. After partners face off, the winner finds another partner to challenge. The losing partner forms a conga line behind the winner and has to chant the name of the winner as they move around the room. This process continues until the final face-off, when all the players have formed two conga lines behind the winning players. The winner of the last match is the champion of the room. It is recommended for players age 10 and up.

Over-and-under relay

For this game you will need at least two teams of three. It is easy to add more players or teams if necessary. Each team needs a ball. Establish a starting and finish line. The first player stands on the starting line with her back to the finish line. Other team members line up behind her, facing the same direction. The player in front (on the starting line) has the ball. When the signal is given, the first player passes the ball backward over their head to the second player. The first player then runs to the end of the line. The second player passes the ball between their legs (under) to the third player, and then runs to the end of the line. This pattern continues until the team reaches the finish line. This game can be played with children age 5 and up. For younger players, use a larger ball that is easy to grab. Older players can use a small ball.

Human knot

Players have to work together in this game to untangle the human knot. Participants stand in a circle and put their hands in the middle. With each hand, they clasp another player's hand. The catch is that players can not hold the hand of the player next to them, and they must be holding hands with two different people. Once every player has their hands full, this is the knot. Players now have to work together to untangle the knot, keeping their hands clasped. Players can crawl under, over and around. It requires intense team work. The game is finished when the knot has been fully untied and players are standing in a circle still holding hands. This game works best with between six and ten players. If you have a large group, you can break the players up into two smaller groups and race to untangle. This game is recommended for players age 10 and up.

Four corners

This game requires luck to win. It can be played in a large room, gymnasium or outside using cones to designate the corners. Assign a number to each corner. Select a player to be "it" first. This player stands in the middle of the room or playing field with his eyes closed and counts to 10. The other players dash or tiptoe to a corner. Once the middle player gets to 10, they select a corner by calling out a number. Every player in that corner is out and sits on the side. This process continues until there is one person left. That person becomes "it." This game can be played with children age 5 and up. For younger children, make sure the corners are close together and that there are no obstacles in the way. For older children, the corners can be further apart and additional rules can be established. They can be required to hop, crawl or crab walk to the corners. This game works best with five or more players.

Toothpick and marshmallow tower

Children love this game because it involves marshmallows. Divide your players into teams. You need at least two teams with three players. Smaller teams work better for this game to ensure that every player gets involved. Each team needs a bag of mini-marshmallows and a box of toothpicks. Set a time limit (more time for younger players, less time for older). When you give the signal to begin, the teams race to see who can build the tallest freestanding marshmallow and toothpick tower. Teams can develop strategy and assign each player a role. They will need to work together. For younger players, you may want to use large marshmallows and straws (cut the straws in half). This game works well for children age 10 and up. Players need a table or a flat surface. If you plan to eat the tower when done, make sure the children wash their hands first.

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About the Author

Cindy Dauer has been a journalist since 2004. Her articles have appeared in "Valley Parent Magazine," "Willamette Valley Life" and the "Cannon Beach Gazette." Dauer is also a coach, educator and fitness enthusiast. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.