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6 fun and simple toddler party games that will be the hit of the party

Toddlers are at such a fun age; it’s when children springboard from the baby stage toward becoming a preschooler. Mostly everything is new to toddlers and everything is a game. Hosting a party for toddlers can be exhilarating and exhausting. Thankfully, there are quite a few simple and engaging games to play at a toddler party that will keep the birthday boy or girl and the party guests happy.

Toddlers are learning the art of taking turns and waiting. Any games played should be relatively short with little downtime in between. Avoid eliminating children from any games. Toddlers don’t understand the concept of ‘being out.’ To keep the tears and tantrums to a minimum, skip the elimination part of tried and true party games like Musical Chairs. So, what games can a two-year-old play? Here are six party games ideal for toddlers that are sure to be a hit at any party.

toddler boys playing a party game
Inara Prusakova / Shutterstock

Toddler party games

Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are popular at any age but are especially exciting for toddlers. Unlike older children, a toddler scavenger hunt list should be short. Five items are ideal. Since toddlers can’t read, make up simple scavenger lists with pictures. A backyard scavenger hunt is perfect because you don’t want anyone wandering off. Scavenger hunt ideas for the backyard include a tree, flower, branch, leaf, bird, dirt, and an ant. Once each child completes his or her list, give them a sticker. Toddlers love stickers.

Pass the ball

Arrange the kids to sit in a circle. The birthday boy or girl starts off the passing. As the music plays, the participants keep passing the ball. When the music stops, the child holding the ball gets to choose something from a prize bag. The game continues until all the players get to pick a prize. Prizes can be anything from a lollipop to a sticker. Just keep in mind the size of the prizes because toddlers tend to put most things in their mouths. This game can be played without prizes too.

happy toddler girl playing party games
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Freeze dance

Toddlers love to move and they like music. This rockin’ game is extremely simple. All the kids dance while the music plays and freeze when it stops. Typically, kids are eliminated from Freeze Dance if they move. With toddlers, keep playing until the kiddos start to get bored.

Parachute

If you’re hosting a toddler party a parachute is a must. As long as Mother Nature cooperates, some fun in the backyard with a parachute is a definite do. Adults will need to join in and help their toddlers hold on to the parachute. If someone lets go, no bother. Just start over. Here are three parachute games that are sure to please.

  • Parachute merry-go-round: Everyone grabs hold of the parachute and walks around, taking the next handle as the music plays. When the music stops, the participants reverse direction and begin walking the other way.
  • Parachute ball bounce: Place a bunch of ball-pit balls in the center of a parachute. Working together, raise the parachute up and down or shake until all the balls have bounced off. When all the balls are gone, have the toddlers run around and pick them up, placing them back in the center for another round. Parents and caregivers will get a workout with this game. Toddlers like it a lot.
  • Parachute tag: Call out a child’s name. He or she has to run, crawl, or walk to the other side before the parachute comes down and tags them. Take turns until everyone has had a chance to be called.

Musical chairs

This game is a classic party game and kids do get a kick out of it. Arrange chairs in a circle or a line, making sure there’s one for each player. Have the participants keep walking around the chairs until the music stops. When the music stops, the players need to find a chair to sit in. With older kids, chairs are taken away one at a time, and players are eliminated as the game goes on. Skip the elimination part and just keep walking and sitting until the players begin to get bored. Five to 10 minutes of musical chairs are usually enough.

Balloon swim

This is a great activity for toddlers inside or out. Fill a toddler swimming pool with ball-pit balls. You can use balloons, but toddlers may cry if a balloon gets popped. Let the toddlers have a great time ‘swimming’ in the ball pit. To avoid accidental head bumps, have multiple pools. Four toddlers to a ball pool is ideal if space permits.

Happy toddler playing party games
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Other toddler party games

If you still have time between party games and snacks, here are a few more games toddlers love.

  • Hide-and-seek
  • Hot potato
  • Egg-egg-and-spoon walk (toddlers aren’t quite ready for racing).
  • Bubble dance: Use a bubble gun and let toddlers dance while popping bubbles.
  • Fishing pond: Fill a toddler swimming pool with the party favor bag and let the kids fish for theirs.

The toddler age is super fun. Toddlers are full of energy and enjoy playing games. Hosting a party for toddlers is daunting, but the key is keeping them busy. Since toddlers love to play, short party games keep the little ones occupied. With this list of simple party games, your toddler and his guests will go home happy and ready for a nap.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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