Ready, set go! Christmas party games for kids

We’ve made our list and checked it twice! Here are our favorite Christmas party games for all the good little boys and girls coming to your home this holiday season. Keep them busy while providing fun entertainment for everyone with these creative party games. In the spirit of the holidays, give out prizes for the winners and gifts to all those who participate.

The amazing holiday maze

Here is a great way to get the party started. Purchase a ball of string or yarn for each child who will be attending the party, and tie a small prize to the end of each one. Hide the prize somewhere, and then unwind the ball of yarn completely around the room, passing it behind furniture, under table legs, and around banisters as needed. Tie a pencil to the remaining end of the string. Repeat this process for each ball of yarn that you have, crossing the strings amongst one another. When the children arrive, hand each one of them a pencil (with the string attached), and let them know that, at the other end of the string, there is a prize. They should wind the string around their pencil until it leads them to the end.

Mystery stocking

Fill a stocking or sock with a collection of “mystery items,” then pass the stocking around the circle, letting each child guess what is inside. They may shake the stocking, smell it, or simply feel the shape of what is inside. Fill the stocking with simple party favors that the children can keep (if they guess correctly). Consider including crayons, wind-up toys, a toy car, small stuffed animals, a ball and jacks, or a pack of cards.

Holiday ABC’s

Give each child a piece of paper with the alphabet written vertically from A to Z. They must come up with a holiday word that somehow relates to each letter. You may want to set the children up to work in teams if it is too difficult for them to work individually. The first team to complete their list wins a prize. Some of the words they come up with may seem like a bit of a stretch, but that just adds to the fun.

Santa in style

For this game, you will need several rolls of streamers in red, white, and black, a bag of cotton balls, and some masking tape. Divide the children into teams of 3 or 4 kids per team. Each team will choose one person to be Santa and use the given materials to create Santa’s costume. Do not supply the teams with scissors—it’s more fun to see how they make do without them. Let the Santas walk down the runway of your living room, and judge which one looks the best. An alternate version of this game would be to give each team a bag of items (suitable for either Santa or Frosty) and race to dress one member of their team.

Santa Says 

This game is played just like “Simon Says,” but children must listen for the leader Elf to say “Santa Says” before completing any motion. If they accidentally follow an instruction without hearing the magic phrase, they must sit down, and the last person standing becomes the next leader Elf.

Name that holiday tune

It’s the classic game with a holiday twist. Play a few notes of a Christmas song, and let the children guess the name of the tune. If you want to up the ante, you can ask them to guess the name of the artist as well. It’s best to find old versions of the classics, so the answers are not so obvious. After all, how many 10 year olds do you know who have heard of Bing Crosby?

Pin the nose on Rudolph 

Some kids’ Christmas party games can simply be holiday twists on the classics. This is just like pin the tail on the donkey, but instead you can use a cutout of image of a reindeer who is missing his red nose. Blindfold children and let them try to aim for the target. Whoever is closest to the mark, wins!

Gift unwrap relay

For this game, you will need several empty boxes and plenty of time to wrap the gift beforehand. Place a variety of holiday treats inside one box (enough for all of the children at the party) and wrap the box. Place the wrapped box inside a bigger box and wrap that one. Continue wrapping the box, layer upon layer, for as long as you can stand it. When the children arrive, have them sit in a circle. Play holiday music, intermittently stopping it and letting the child holding the gift unwrap a single layer at a time, until all of the layers are unwrapped and the treats are handed out. If you are short on boxes, you can wrap one box in several layers of paper. Also, you may want to consider having the children unwrap the boxes with mittens on their hands for an added extra challenge!