This is a collection of lively games that fit well in team competitions. Most come in the form of relays, but they can easily be adopted so that team members take turns and only one member participates in each game. Many of these games are entertaining for bystanders and participants alike.
You will need: A knife, fork, tray, and a rugged plate and glass that both can take a beating. And a stopwatch for timing it all.
This is a very challenging balancing competition. It’s a perfect outdoor game for adults, older kids, or teenagers. Play it in the garden or in a park.
Place the knife and fork, glass, and plate on the tray. The players must balance the tray using only one flat hand placed under the tray. Curling fingers around the edge of the tray to hold it steady is not allowed while moving.
The goal of the game is to traverse a course as fast as possible.
The course can be as simple as just rounding a tree in the backyard and running back. You can also put up obstacles along the way as a table to crawl under or something to step over.
If the contestants drop anything off of the tray, they must stop and pick it up. They are allowed to continue only once everything is placed back on the tray. Still with just the one flat hand under the tray while moving. They can put the tray down and use both hands to pick things up and reset the tray, though.
The fastest to reach the goal wins!
The game can easily be made into a relay race!
Divide the players up into teams. When a player finishes the course, they hand the tray over to the next team member.
The fastest team wins!
You will need: A cookie and chair for each participant.
Face the Cookie Challenge is a classic, popular and fun game that is much harder than it looks. It’s also easy to prepare and fun for other party guests to watch.
The participants are seated in chairs with their faces turned toward the ceiling/sky. Their hands should be at their backs. Place a cookie on each of the participants' foreheads.
When the start signal sounds, the participants must as fast as they can move the cookie from their forehead to their mouth and take a bite out of it without using their hands or leaving their chair.
The first one to take a bite is the winner.
If someone drops their cookie, they can use their hands to pick it up and place it back on their forehead again to start over.
You will need: Pancakes and frying pans.
Of course, this fun party game is best played as an outdoor game. Play it with both kids and adults.
The game’s goal is to run to some kind of rounding point (like a stick or a tree) and then run back. During this time, each participant carries a frying pan and has to flip the pancake three times without dropping it.
If a pancake is dropped, the flip does not count. Have some spare pancakes ready if a participant completely breaks theirs.
The game is really fun to play in teams. You, then, play the game as a relay. Once a team member has finished, they keep their pancake but pass on the frying pan to the next person in line, who must now run with and flip their pancake.
The first team to pass the finish line wins.
The game is hilarious to watch for the onlookers.
You will need: Chairs, cotton balls, bowls, and vaseline.
This party game is fun to play for both kids and adults. It’s also a game where all ages can compete simultaneously. Those not participating will have a great time watching the game, and it is easy to prepare.
I’ve mostly played this outdoors, but it’s a game that works fine indoors, too. If you have the space, that is.
Prepare the game by positioning a couple of chairs with at least seven feet between the chairs. Put an empty bowl on one chair and a bowl filled with cotton balls on the other. Before the competition starts, give each contestant some vaseline on the tip of their nose.
The participants must move as many cotton balls as possible from the cotton bowl to the empty bowl. No hands allowed, only use the nose! It is okay to shake and swing the head to drop the cotton balls in the empty bowl during the game, though.
The player who moves the most cotton balls in 2 minutes wins the game.
This game can be played both in teams or individually. However, it is the most fun if several people are playing simultaneously. Here you’ll need two chairs per player or team.
If you are playing in teams, you simply make it a relay and compete for about 5 minutes total.
You will need: Balloons.
This is an entertaining balloon race game for both children and adults. The participants will feel a bit goofy, and the spectators sure will be entertained.
The game works well both as an individual and a team competition.
Each player receives a blown-up balloon to place between their knees. (Give kids smaller balloons than grown-ups.)
When you start the game, the contestants must waddle or jump to try and move forward and round a predetermined point and then hurry back without dropping or popping the balloon.
When someone drops their balloon, they have to pick it up again and run back to restart from the starting point. The rounding point works as a checkpoint. If a player drops their balloon after passing this checkpoint, they only have to run back there, not start all over from the start.
If the balloon pops, the person must run back to the start and blow up a new one. Then return to the place where it popped and continue.
Balloon Race Relay Version
The game can easily be turned into a team relay. The team member that just finished then passes on the balloon to the next member in the team. Each team has its own course and object they must round.
You will need: An open space and some strings.
This game can be played both in teams and individually.
The first step is for everyone to tie their own feet together by the ankles using a string. When the competition starts, the participants must make it through a course as fast as possible. They’re only allowed to two-foot jump (or try to wiggle forward). No hands or crawling is allowed.
The course can, for example, be to round a tree in the garden. You pick if you want everybody to compete simultaneously or if you use a stopwatch and let one participant finish the course at a time.
The fastest contestant wins!
Team Relay Game
If you want a team contest, you can play this game as a relay. The team members go one at a time, still with their feet tied together, of course.
When the first participant crosses the finish line, the next member of the team starts.
The first team to finish wins the relay!
All Together Team Relay (Fun Cooperation Competition)
A hilarious version of this outdoor game is to tie the whole team together. First, everyone ties their feet at the ankles, just as described above. Then the team binds themselves to each other. The whole team must be connected, and each member tied to at least one other team member.
Now let the teams try to finish the course as fast as they can. The team that first crosses the finish line wins.
You will need: A game set of Kubb (or wooden blocks).
Kubb is a very popular lawn game, especially in Sweden. With the kubb equipment, you can also play other games - like Kubb relay. This game is a very fun outdoor activity that also suits as an event in a pentathlon.
Play it individually or in teams! Challenge your friends, kids, colleagues, and family and see who will be the most successful.
You need to put five kubbs in line with 3 feet between them to play. Then, place the starting point 10 feet from the first kubb in the row. Farthest away in the line, you put the king. Now, you will have six targets in a row.
If you play in two teams, you need to arrange two different lines and put the king farthest away between these two lines.
Here are some versions of the game you can play.
Version 1 - Individually
The player gets six throw-sticks and must, from the starting point, try to knock down the kubbs. Two points are given for every knocked down kubb, and four points are given for the king.
The player who gathers the most points wins.
Version 2 - Individually with Time Limit
This Kubb version aims to knock down both the kubbs and the king in the shortest time. When all the throw-sticks have been thrown, the player must run and collect them. Then, run back and try again until all kubb + the king has fallen.
The player that manages to knock down all six objects in the shortest time wins the game.
Version 3 - Team Relay
Equip each team with one throwing-stick. The first player makes a throw and then runs away to pick it up and hand it over to the next team member in line. The team that first knocks down all the six kubbs + the king wins.
Version 4 - Move Forward
In this version, the player must start by knocking down the kubb placed closest in line. Then, when successful, the player can move forward to this spot and make the next throw from there.
Feel free to put the kubbs with varying distances between each other in this version. You can even arrange it like a route through your garden. But, of course, you set the king last.
Choose if you want to have a limited number of throw-sticks or a time limit.
You will need: An empty bottle, a string, and a pen for each player/team.
This is a hilarious party game to play both in teams and individually. You can have mixed ages and play both indoors and outdoors. The game is also entertaining to watch for your other guests, making this the perfect party game idea.
Each player ties a string or yarn around a pen and then ties the other end around the waist. Let the pen hang from the back. Place an empty bottle 10 yards from each player/team.
When the start signal sounds, the competitors must run to their bottle and try to get the pen into their bottled without using their hands by squatting.
The first player to drop their pen into the bottle wins the game.
The game can easily be made into a relay game. Do the game as described above. When a player succeeds with their pen, they must run back to their team and hand it over to the next person in line. That person ties the string around their waist (with the pen hanging from the back). Then, the player runs to the bottle and repeats the challenge. The team where every member has managed to get the pen into the bottles wins the game.
Use a tampon instead of a pen. Fill the bottles (preferably plastic ones) with water halfway. When the tampon enters the bottle, it will swell and get stuck inside it. To win, the players now must run back and cross the start line (no hands), with the bottle hanging behind them.
You will need: Buckets/bowls, water, and sponges for each player/team.
This is a fun and fast-paced outdoor game that includes water. The game can be played in both teams and individually, and mixed ages in the groups are no problem.
Play it at birthday parties for kids or with family and friends when having an outdoor party.
To prepare the game, you need to fill a bucket with water for each team and place it at the starting line. Then, you put an empty bucket/bowl some distance away from each participant/team. The buckets/bowls must be the same size for all the teams/players. You also provide them with a dry sponge.
When the game begins, the players must dip the sponge into the water and then run away and squeeze as much water as possible into their empty bucket/bowl. Then run back and redo it (or hand the sponge over to the next player if you play in teams).
It is not allowed to touch or move the empty buckets/bowls.
The team/player who first makes the water pour over wins the game.
You will need: A tennis ball or a suitable fruit (apple, orange) for each team.
This game is played in pairs but can easily be made into a relay. First, each team gets a fruit or a tennis ball. The most commonly used is fruit like an orange. The pair will then move the orange through a course or a specific distance.
The competing pairs stand face to face with their hands on their backs. The couple then places an orange between their bellies. The goal is to move as quickly as possible from start to finish without dropping it.
If the orange is dropped, the pair must pick it up and move back three steps before continuing.
You can easily make this a relay where a pair simply passes the orange on to the next couple after finishing their distance.
This children’s party game can easily be themed for the season. For example, use pumpkins for the Halloween party, eggs for the Easter party, etc.
You will need: A stick, bat, or other similar long objects per player. Longer for adults and shorter for kids.
Dizzy Bat is a very fun game to play and even more fun to watch. Holding this activity on the soft grass in the backyard is not bad since some people get very dizzy from the spinning and might fall.
Play this lawn game individually or in teams as a relay.
Prepare the game by making a starting line and then placing a stick/bat at a 50 feet’s distance from the start. Place one stick for each participant and make sure to have a lot of space between the sticks.
The goal is to run to a stick and pick it up. The players must now hold one end of the stick against their forehead and the other against the ground. Then they have to run seven laps around the spot where the stick meets the ground. The stick should be kept in place in the same spot on the ground while running.
When players have spun around seven times, they have to run back to the starting line. The first one to get back wins!
Team Relay Dizzy Bat Competition
This can turn into a relay team competition where the whole team competes.
One team player starts and runs to the stick, spins around, and runs back. Then the next player of the team does the same thing and so on.
The first team to have all members finish and back at the starting line wins the game.
You will need: One sack per participant.
You probably are familiar with this game since it is such a popular game and has been so for many decades.
Sack race if often a favored activity at kid’s parties, but it is also an entertaining game for adults. The onlookers will sure enjoy it too. Challenge the guests at your garden party or arrange it at as a student party game. The game works well both as an individual and a relay team competition.
Each participant gets a sack and stands in it with both legs, with the sack reaching the waist. When the start signal sounds, the goal is to hop from start to finish.
The participants might have to round something and hop back to the start again or just hop forward to a finish line from the starting point. The first one to reach the finish wins.
The sack is just handed over to the next team member if you play in teams.
You will need: A boot.
This game has many names like Welly Throwing, Welly Hoying, and Boot Throwing.
The game can be played as an independent game or as an event of a pentathlon. You need to play outside since you need a lot of space. Play it with your family and friends on your lawn, garden, or as a field game.
All you need is a boot. The game’s goal is for the participants to try to throw the boot as long a distance as possible.
Version 1 - Easy
The participants are allowed to throw the boot in the way they prefer. You can even allow them to run before releasing the boot if you want. They, however, must throw it from the same starting point.
Version 2 - Challengeing
In this challenging version, the participants must stand still with their backs towards the throwing direction. They must then swing the boot over their head to throw the boot as far as possible.
Version 2 - Very Challengeing
In this very challenging version, the participants must stand still facing the throwing direction. They then must swing the boot back between their legs and over their head and release it at the right time to get the boot as far as possible in the right direction.
If you want to make it a bit silly, you can offer a helmet since this version sometimes ends with the participant getting the boot in their head.