Fun Leader Games

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This page includes leader games that all involve the children taking turns to be “It”. Let the birthday boy or girl be “It” first if they wish.

There is also included a couple of classic playground games on this page - Red Rover and Tug of War.

Allow plenty of time for each person who wants to be "It" to have a turn. If there are a large number of guests, you may want to select a few of these games, and let different people be “It” in different games, but everyone gets to be “It” at some point in the party. There are plenty of leader games here to choose from!

Select other children’s party games such as races, target games and more from our kids party game page.

Leader Games List

  • Arm Lock Wrestle - You've seen this one. Have players sit on the floor, back to back with their legs spread and arms locked at the elbows. On "go", each player tries to pull the other over to his side so that his arm or shoulder touches the floor.

  • Birthday Lineup - On "go", everyone lines up in chronological order, according to birthdays, without talking.

  • Charades – Select one child to be “It” and stand up in front of the group. Tell “It” to think of an animal, and then act out what the animal does. The kids try to guess what animal it is.

  • Follow the Leader – One of the classic leader games! Select one child to be “It” and either form a line behind this child or have him stand up in front of the group. “It” will move around and all the children have to copy the actions. Take turns being the leader.

  • Don’t follow the Leader- How about playing some anti - leader games? Select one child to be “It” and either form a line behind this child or have him stand up in front of the group. “It” will move around and all the children have to do the opposite of his actions. Take turns being the leader.

  • Hand Push - Easy to set up and play anywhere. Have two players stand facing each other with their toes touching and their palms together at shoulder height. On "go", have each play push the other's hands until one of them has to take a step back or lose their balance. The player who forces his opponent backward is the winner. Have everyone team up to play, and then have the winners play each other, etc. until you get to an ultimate champion.

  • I Spy– Select one child to be “It” and have them stand up in front of the group. He’ll gaze around the room and then say “I spy something…(and name the color of the object)”. Then the other children can take turns guessing what the object is. For example, if “It” spies a tree, he could say “I spy something green” and the children can take turns guessing until one of them guesses “tree”. With large groups, have the kids raise their hands and be called on to make a guess.

  • Red Light, Green Light - Choose one player to be “the stoplight”. Have all other kids line up at the other end of the party area. The stoplight faces away from the other players and calls out Red Light. Green means that all players should “go”. Red means that all players should stop. If the stoplight calls out “Red Light”, he can turn around try to catch a player moving. If any of the kids are caught moving, they are out. The game is over when either all the kids are out, or when one of the players reaches the stoplight. Variation: When calling out Green Light, name an activity, such as jumping, walking, dancing, etc.

  • Red Rover - Divide kids into two teams and have each team form a line by holding hands. Have each team face each other and take turns calling out “Red Rover, Red Rover, let Susie (insert the name of one of the kids on the team) come over!”. At this point Susie will leave her team and run towards the other team, attempting to break thru their clasped hands. If Susie breaks thru, she returns to her team and takes a player from the other team with her. If Susie doesn’t break thru the line, she becomes a member of the other team. Play until one team is down to one person.

  • Simon Says – One person is “It”. “It” gives instructions, and as long as the instructions start with “Simon Says”, the kids should follow the instructions. For example, if “It” says “Simon Says pat your head”, all kids should then pat their heads. When “It” gives a command without saying “Simon Says” first, the kids should not follow the command. As soon as one of the kids misses a command, switch to let someone else be “It”. Let everyone keep playing, but keep track and congratulate the player that can go the longest without missing a command!

  • Tug of War - You’ll need a rope with a ribbon tied to its center. Divide the players into 2 teams. Make 2 lines on the ground with masking tape to mark a line where the ribbon must be tugged to. On “Go” the team that pulls the other team over the line is the winner. Enjoy playing these classic playground and leader games!

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