Ideas for a childs party on a rainy day including traditional party games

A few games and ideas for your party when you’ve had to make changes because of the English weather!

Traditional Party Games

Musical chairs – The children dance around to music. When the music stops, they have to stand absolutely still, like a statue.  If anyone moves, they’re out.  You can vary this game by getting the children to dance like a particular animal that you call out. When they freeze, they have to pose like that animal.

Musical bumps – The children just jump and dance around to the music and sit down on the floor when the music stops.  The last one to sit is out. The last child left dancing at the end is the winner.

Pass the parcel – Make a parcel by wrapping up a prize in several layers of paper (one for each child, plus an extra one). Put a small treat like a sweet or sticker between each layer. Make sure the prize is wrapped in different paper so you know when you’re at the last layer.  Sit the children in a circle, give one of them the parcel and when the music starts, get them to hand it around the circle.   When the music stops, the child who’s holding the parcel opens the first layer.  Make sure each child gets a turn to unwrap a layer, then turn away for the last round so the eventual winner is chosen randomly.  For an eco party use a set of fabric bags with a small present between each bag.

Pin the tail on the donkey – Get a large piece of card, draw a donkey on it and make a tail from a separate piece of card.  Blindfold each child and get them to attach the tail with Blu Tack.  Write the child’s name in the spot where they stick the tail.  The closest tail is the winner.  You can vary this game according to your party theme: pin the horn on the unicorn; pin the parrot on the pirate’s shoulder, pin the ball in the goal, etc.  

Who am I – First, put pictures of animals on post-it notes (or write if children are older); one for each child.  Put the post-it on each child’s forehead, so they can’t see it, but everyone else can. Then, all the kids walk around the room asking each other yes-or-no questions to figure out who they are.

Hot potato – The children sit in circle and pass a ball around.  One designated player sits eyes closed and then yells ‘hot potato’ at any random time.  Whoever is holding the ball is out of the game.

Feely game – Take a selection of boxes and put a different item in each one which can’t be seen, only touched, or maybe use a blindfold.  Ask the children to put their hand in the bag or box and guess what it is, without looking.  You could sand, jelly, hairbrush or anything with an interesting texture.

Balloon Games


“Children under eight years can choke or suffocate on un-inflated balloons. Adult supervision is required at all times.  Keep un-inflated balloons away from children.  Discard broken balloons at once.”

Use your Head – Each of the party guest writes their name on a balloon or decorates it before the game begins.  When the music starts each guest will have to keep their balloon in the air and off the floor only using their heads (unless they are very young).  If the balloon falls to the floor they are out.  Last one with their balloon still in the air wins.  Can be played for multiple rounds.


Balloon Name Game – Have your guests form a circle. One guest will go into the middle with a balloon.  That guest in the middle tosses up the balloon and calls out another guests name. They must then run to the middle and catch the balloon before it hits the ground.  If they catch the balloon then they are up next in the middle and so on.  This is a great ice breaker or way for the guests to get to know each other.  If the guests don’t know each other maybe give them a sticky name label when they arrive at the party.

Balloon Volleyball – Break your guests into two teams.  Place a rope of net down the middle of the playing area.  Each team will hit a balloon and score points when they are able to get the balloon to hit the ground on the opposite side.  If a balloon is popped the team that popped it loses a point.  You can set a maximum point value for the winner or a time limit for the game.

Craft Party Ideas on a Budget

Biscuit decoration – Buy gingerbread men or giant cookies for decoration with premade icing and edible cake decorations.  Finished product is an excellent addition to the party bag.

Cake decorating – Buy or make some simple cupcakes, and stock up on icing, food colouring, edible glitter, sprinkles and other decorations.  Let the children have a go at decorating the cakes to create their own culinary masterpieces!

Necklaces and bracelets – Buy beads and elastic thread to make bracelets and necklaces.  Use trays so that the beads don’t fall all over the floor.  An excellent addition to the party bag.

Decorate a plant pot – Provide a small plant pot with paints for the children to decorate their own pot.  Maybe have soil and sunflower seeds (or similar) available so that they can have a longer lasting reminder of the party.  Perfect for an eco party as a party going home gift.

Paper plane race – With help children can make their own paper plane, decorate them and then have a race to see whose flies the furthest.  Perfect for indoor or outdoor parties.

Party colouring sheets
 – Print off pictures from the internet and supply pencils and crayons for a quiet activity corner at the party – perfect for the children who prefer to draw and colour rather than join in with noisier games.

Here are some resources for your quiet corner:-

Colouring Pages (FREE) for themed parties (PDF download)

Colouring Pages (To Purchase) for sale on Etsy for DIY colouring corner

A little preparation needed

Fish racing game – An outdoor game unless you have a large indoor space.  Cut out some fish shapes from paper and have each child decorate one.  Make a fold in each lengthways then unfold it just so there is a bit of a gap between the fish and the floor.  Give each child a newspaper and have them bang the floor in front of their fish with it. The kipper should flip up and along a bit. They keep on flapping the paper until they get to the finish line.  The shapes of the animal can be varied to fit your theme – you could have unicorns, rainbows or pirates, etc.

Tissue paper race – Same as the fish racing game but using tissue paper instead of fish and a paper plate instead of newspaper.  A very simple and adaptable spur of the moment game for a rainy day party.

Animal matching game – Cut matching pairs of large animal shapes out of coloured card, making each pair a different colour.  Chop one of each pair into four pieces and hide the pieces around the garden or house.  Split the children into pairs, and give them one animal to find per pair.  Show them the complete example so they know what they’re looking for. The first pair to complete their animal is the winner.

Sandy scavenger hunt – The ideal treasure hunt for parties in small spaces or on a rainy party day.  Put some little pieces of ‘treasure’ such as little toys on a tray, evenly spaced out.  Pour sand all over them, so they’re completely hidden.  Give each child a little flag with their name on (make them from cocktail sticks with a slip of paper attached), then let them take it in turns to stick their flag into the sand.  When they’re all done, uncover the treasure – each child wins the items closest to their flag.  Works particularly well for pirate-themed parties as you can search for buried treasure!

Worth the investment

Parachute games – Use a parachute (a great investment or a colourful sheet) – Lay the ‘parachute’ flat on the ground, then have the kids surround it and each pick up a bit of the edge (if the kids are small, you’ll probably want a few adults to help). Toddlers will love just watching the fabric fly – it’s like the world’s most epic game of peek-a-boo!  There are plenty of parachute games ideas online but the classic is to call out two players’ names, and have them run under the ‘parachute’ to swap places.  Have a few medium balls to hand for extra fun.

Bubble machine – Children (and adults) love bubbles.  Challenge the toddlers to pop as many bubbles as they can before the music stops.