If you have a wide range of ages in your family, you might have a hard time figuring out how to appease everyone at once. This might get even more complicated when your extended family comes over and you have to include your nieces, nephews and cousins into the mix, too. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that no matter how hard you try, your gaggle of children will always decide to split between “big kids” and “little kids.” You can try to get them to be nice to one another, but that won’t be easy. Your best bet is to keep both sets of kids entertained. Easier said than done, right? We’ve got you covered with our curated list of easy peasy games and activities for kids of all ages that will keep them occupied and entertained for hours.
1. Keep ‘Em Up
Blow up a couple balloons leftover from your last party. Give one to each kiddo, if possible, and tell them “No hands.” Whoever keeps their balloon up the longest is the winner.
Puzzles are pretty underrated. Not only do they help with your kid’s fine motor skills, they also keep them really quiet. Consider keeping a stash of new puzzles to whip out as a “surprise” when you’re out of other ideas.
3. Indoor Bowling
Save some of your bigger cans when you empty them. Next time you have a gang of kids over, stack them up or position them like bowling pins then give your children a soft ball to roll or toss. It’s a loud activity, but they’ll have a blast.
4. Hoot Owl Hoot!
This super colorful and sweet board game is perfect for little kids as it not only teaches them colors but also how to work together to accomplish a task.
5. Sock Toss
Who can toss their sock ball the farthest and still get it into the laundry basket?
6. Card Games
It’s crazy how many games have been invented to play with a simple deck of cards. As long as you have one or two decks on-hand, you have an easy way to keep your kids busy for at least an hour or so.
Zingo is advertised as “Bingo with a zing” and that’s exactly right. It will take an adult to help with set-up and explaining how it works, but after that your littles can have fun with minimal adult interaction.
8. Indoor Obstacle Course
Crawl under the table and over the chairs. Walk like a duck down the hallway. Jump on the bed three times, then try to land in that pile of laundry.
9. Follow The Leader
Let the littles take turns leading their siblings and cousins around the house and yard. Who knows where each kid will adventure with their little row of ducks.
10. The Treasure Hunt Game
11. Flashlight Tag
While you might not want your little kids out after dark, the big kids will probably enjoy being turned loose for a while. Hand over the flashlights, set some clear boundaries and let them run wild.
From the banana-shaped sack it comes in to the exceptionally simple way to play, everything about Banagrams makes it the perfect game for “big kids.” The “Party Edition” might be best for large gatherings.
13. Floor Is Lava
Little kids could probably play this, too. However, it’s way more fun to watch bigger kids attempt jumps and balancing acts. Plus, they’re a lot more likely to get themselves stuck in awkward places.
14. Junk In The Trunk
One of the most popular Minute To Win It games, just tie a tissue box to their backs, put in some ping-pong balls and watch them try to bounce and shake the balls from their box.
15. Apples to Apples Jr.
While the grown-ups are playing Cards Against Humanity in the other room, give the big kids Apples to Apples Jr. to play a game that surprisingly similar… but much more innocent. If you have even bigger kids (tweens and teens), you can go for the original version for Apples to Apples, too.
16. Paper And Pencil Games
Connect the dots. Hangman. Finish the square. Tic Tac Toe. All games that are super quiet and require nothing more than a pen and paper.
This game never gets old. Send one person to hide while everyone else counts. When it’s time, have them split up and search for the hider. When they find them, they must squeeze into the hiding spot, as well. The last person to find everyone else is the new person to hide.
Charades can be awkward and embarrassing when you’re with people you don’t know well or are trying to impress. When you’re with siblings and cousins, though, it takes on a whole new animal. Help them pick some topics and send them on their ways.
19. Bears vs. Babies
If you want to hear some genuine laughter from your bigger kids, Bears vs. Babies is the way to go. It’s a silly monster-building game that doesn’t take a long time to get through. However, still requires your fair share of thoughtfulness.