When you’re with family and friends, you look for boredom busters beyond the usual indoor games. Going out to the arcade, movies, or bowling alley isn’t always an option. You need to get creative with your ideas so that your children would love them. Challenging your friends and family would be an interesting idea to keep their spirits high and bring laughter.
Throwing challenges is also an excellent way to encourage your little one to try something new, learn new skills, and tackle obstacles. Keep reading this post as we bring you 30 exciting challenges for kids that they would love to try their hands on.
33 Challenges For Kids
1. Blindfolded drawing challenge
Drawing without seeing challenges your children and pushes them to come outside their comfort zone.
You would need a sheet of paper or a book and a pencil. The participants need to wear a blindfold and attempt to draw an object of their choice. Alternatively, before beginning each round, you can select a theme, such as fashion, kitchen, dinosaurs, spaghetti, animals, or famous characters, and challenge them further by setting a time limit.
You can determine the winner either by drawings or guesses. It’s one of the best games for kids and teenagers to unleash their creativity.
2. Pizza challenge
Turn the universal love for pizza into a fun and entertaining challenge for children. You need to get some ingredients, not necessarily pizza toppings, and place them in brown paper bags, so they’re not visible to the participants. If you have enough players, you can divide them into teams.
Next, each child takes turns to pick the paper bags. Whatever they have picked has to go on their pizza dough. Once they’re done, they can bake their pizzas. After baking, they get to feast on the pizzas! Bon appétit!
The fun challenge is a great way to get your little one’s hands dirty and explore their love for cooking. Parental supervision is recommended for this challenge.
3. Chinese whisper challenge
An oldie but a goodie! You might have heard of this game, but this time turn it into a challenge.
You have to get the children to sit in a circle. Ensure there’s enough distance maintained so the children cannot hear each other’s whisper. The person who starts has to think of something silly or complicated and whisper it to the person on their right. The whispering continues until it reaches the last player. Once it comes to the last player, they say the word or phrase out loud so everyone can hear how much it has changed from the first whisper. What you hear would surprise you!
A few things to keep in mind are each player can whisper the sentence only once, so make sure everyone pays close attention. Other than generating laughs, a few benefits of this game are clear communication, knowing the importance of active listening, and how small misconceptions can end up making a huge difference.
4. Toss and talk ball
It is one of the games for kids that is fun and could be used for educational purposes. Take a plastic ball and write a bunch of questions all over it. Make the children sit in a circle and toss the ball around. When they catch the ball, they have to answer the question closest to their right index finger. After answering, they toss it again.
Depending on the children’s age, the questions can be changed. You can go with your favorite color, favorite movie, a sports figure you would love to meet or name your best friend.
5. Blind makeup challenge
What are girls’ sleepovers without makeup and makeovers? But who said makeup is all about looking good? The blindfolded challenge takes it to another level!
You need to blindfold each participant and ask them to do their makeup themselves. The goal is to do perfect makeup, but the outcome would be unexpected! You can also split the participants into teams, and the neatest result wins the challenge. Don’t forget to have a camera and plenty of makeup remover in hand. Also, adult supervision is recommended.
6. No thumbs challenge
Have you ever thought of how you take your thumbs for granted, or how you would manage without them? Besides making a mess, the challenge will help you figure out things without a thumb.
Tape the participants’ thumbs in a way they cannot use them. Once that’s done, give them a simple task such as open a door, put clothes on, eat a bowl of spaghetti, hold a pencil, or put on nail polish. Then sit back and watch as this simple task can become a lot more challenging and hilarious.
You can play the game at sleepovers and divide the participants into teams. Whoever completes the tasks in the least amount of time wins the round! Besides fun, the challenge would improve coordination and the ability to use hands.
7. Pass the orange challenge
If you are up for a bit of a challenge and a whole lot of laughter, you will enjoy the activity. Ask the children to sit in a circle or stand in a line. The game is simple; you need to put an orange under the chin of the first person who must hold it using their chin and neck and then pass it to the next person in line, without using hands. The transfer has to be direct from neck to neck.
If the orange falls, the team has to start all over. You can play this game in teams and see which team passes the orange down the line first. The game can even help to break the ice and improve relationships.
8. Jelly bean tasting challenge
If you’re crazy about jelly beans and can’t stop at just one, the challenge is for you. You would need a bunch of children and a bag of jelly beans. Each child has to close their eyes, taste one jelly bean, and guess the flavor. Record the answers to see who’s right and repeat the round.
Besides chomping down on delicious beans, the challenge gives children the ability to learn about their senses.
9. ’Try not to laugh’ challenge
Even when you’re down, something funny can lift your spirits and make you smile. Imagine watching a hilarious video and having to keep a straight face!
It is what this challenge demands. You have to watch a funny video or a series of videos without grinning, laughing, or breaking into a smile. The first player to smile, grin, or laugh loses the game. Seems easy? It’s not that easy to keep a straight face!
You may have heard laughter is the best medicine, so the challenge will get everyone around in a better mood, lower stress hormones, and relax your muscles. Play the game, and add joy and zest to life.
10. Seven-second challenge
Whether you’re looking for a party game, a game for sleepovers, or a game for family nights, the challenge works for every occasion. Plus, you can play it anywhere.
The basic idea behind this challenge is that every participant has to complete the task in seven seconds. The task has to be easy; some of the examples are:
- Change your hair to a ponytail
- Add mascara with no mistakes
- Close your eyes and open the SMS app on your phone
- Count one to ten in a second language
- Do ten standard push-ups
- Put on lipstick without using any of your hands
- Hop on one leg for 20 meters
- Invent a challenge and do it
- Name five countries in the EU
- Name all the chess pieces
- Say ten words in Spanish
- Sing the letters of the alphabet backward
- What is the number before 1 trillion?
- Name five foods that end with the letter ‘y’
- What is a group of lions called?
- Name five NBA MVPs
- Name the different celebrities who play James Bond
- Name five plays written by Shakespeare
- What is the hottest planet in our solar system?
- Which gasses cause acid rain?
The game can give you tons of fun and help children pick up trivia.
11. Memorize challenge
Do you think your child has a photographic memory that stores every detail without error? The memory challenge is a great way to find out. It tests the memory of your child and the ability to remember things.
You can play the memory challenge in multiple ways. First, you can either play with different cards, keep them face down, and match the right ones. The other way is to listen to a part of a book/newspaper or magazine and then recite the same. You can even recite some themes/words/phrases at random, including spaghetti, flowers, fashion, fingers, mirror, or balls. Lastly, display some items and give them a time limit to memorize the order. Next, remove some items, and the participants have to guess the missing items.
Without a doubt, the challenge enhances the memory power of children.
12. Impression/guess who challenge
When you’re with family or friends, impressions can be an excellent game as you can mimic anyone you want, even your fellow participants.
You can play the challenge individually or in teams. If it’s individually, one participant goes up and makes an impression of selected characters, and the others guess. The person with the best impression wins the challenge. If it’s in teams, one team member goes up and makes an impression while the others from the same team take a guess. At the end of the game, the team with the highest number of correct guesses wins.
You can base the themes on celebrities, musicians, animals, characters, friends, and presidents. For instance, imitate Mickey Mouse or make noises like a sheep. It’s a fun game that gets children moving and makes them think outside the box!
13. Blindfolded food tasting challenge
You’ve always seen the food you eat. But does it taste the same if you haven’t seen it? The food challenge is a sensory fun guessing game that explores this question. Find out if seeing them makes the taste different.
The challenge requires children to become blindfolded, taste different foods, and guess the name of the food. A few ideas for your testing plate include:
With this challenge, your child will eat anything and know the importance of different senses. Do remember to take into account that some children may have allergies.
14. ‘Not my arms’ challenge
Want to instill qualities such as teamwork and socialization skills into your little ones? This challenge does just that!
You would need two people to pair up. Both of them have to squeeze into one oversized T-shirt. Use the T-shirt to jumble your arms. Once the duo is ready, they have to perform tasks such as putting on makeup, drinking, eating, or brushing their teeth. You can think of some creative initiatives that will make this challenge uber fun and even more entertaining. It’s best to have some parental supervision during this task.
15.One-minute game challenge
You have a minute to win it! It’s an excellent source of fun for children.
It is similar to the seven-second challenge. The only difference here is you have one minute to complete your task. The game is easy, everyone can play it, and you can enjoy this challenge with everyday items, such as pencils, bottles, cans, and balls.
The game has many variants. You can play it head to head where two people from opposing teams have to compete. The one who wins most rounds will be the winner. Similarly, you can play two on two. Lastly, you can make it a multiplayer game where everyone competes against one another.
Some ideas that can get you started include shuffling a deck of cards and having players arrange the suits in order, stacking the most number of paper cups in a minute, and flipping pennies into a shot glass. It is a fun idea that sees endless scope for competition and entertainment throughout the day or night.
16. Card house challenge
It is a building activity during which your children learn skills such as control, patience, and perseverance as they use cards to build a classic pyramid-style house. Besides building it, children love knocking it down. But tell them to clear the mess once they are done playing.
For this simple assignment, all you need is a deck of cards and a place to start the building. You can teach them how to build a house, and the first person to make the entire house wins. It’s interesting to watch how patience pans out throughout this challenge. While the card house will keep falling, they have to rebuild it constantly.
17. Beans and chopsticks challenge
While it looks like a simple task, the challenge is super fun as you put your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination to the test.
Start by setting a time limit for the children. They have to get as many beans as they can from one bowl into another using chopsticks. Remember, they can use only one hand. The person who gets the highest number of beans into the second bowl wins.
No matter the season, time of day, or age, children would enjoy this fun-filled challenge. The best part of the challenge is it doesn’t have any risks.
18. Guess the song
Bring out your child’s inner musician by throwing the challenge.
You need to have a non-participant to operate a music player/laptop/smartphone to play the music. As the song is played, children have to guess the artist or song name. Of course, it’s best to stay off the internet and applications. You can play in teams and keep scoring to know who wins.
From the pure pleasure of listening to rhythmic harmonies and soothing sounds, music has several positive effects.
19. Chubby bunny challenge
Did anyone say, “Don’t talk with your mouth full?” Well, that doesn’t count for this old-fashioned challenge.
Before you begin this challenge, you need lots of marshmallows. Grab a bowl and empty as many marshmallows as you can into it. Next, one player has to start by putting one marshmallow into their mouth and say, “Chubby Bunny.” If you can say it clearly, you move on to the next round, and the next person adds a marshmallow into their mouth and says, “Chubby Bunny.”When someone can no longer say the words or lose a marshmallow from their mouth, they’re eliminated from the game, and it continues until one player remains, who becomes the winner.
While it’s a simple challenge, there are a few rules to follow. For starters, players cannot eat their marshmallows, chew them, or swallow them. If you do so, you are disqualified. Players may use fingers to rearrange the marshmallows in their mouths. You can discuss other rules to avoid any confusion. It’s best to have parental supervision during this challenge.
20. No mirror makeup challenge
A mirror is your best friend when ’you’re trying to put your makeup on, and the challenge puts your skills to the test! It requires you to put makeup on yourself without the use of a mirror. From bronzer to concealer to eyebrows and lipstick, you need to go through the whole process without a mirror. The point of the challenge is to do it as accurately as possible. When everyone is done, vote on who did the best look sans the mirror.
By the end of the challenge, you would have worked on your motor skills, hand-eye coordination and creativity, and a lot more!
21. Riff off challenge
Based on the legendary scene from the movie Pitch Perfect, you can have a similar riff off with your friends.
Form teams or play as individuals and sing a song based on the given category. Once you complete, the next team/individual must start their song with the last word the person/team sang. If your song doesn’t fall into the category, you’re “Cut Off” and cannot participate. If you cannot start a song within one minute, then you’re cut out too.
Here are some category ideas:
- Famous duets
- TV theme songs
- Ladies of the 80s
22. ‘Try not to sing’ challenge
‘Try not to sing along’ challenge is a new favorite party game. It’s easy to play, and everyone can enjoy it. You can create your own rules. But to start, create a playlist of the group’s favorite sing-along songs. You can play the game in three rounds.
Round 1: You can dance or hum but cannot sing.
Round 2: You can dance but no singing or humming.
Round 3. You cannot move at all.
Every round, you eliminate participants if they break the rules, and the last person standing would be the winner.
Tip: Put the playlist on shuffle, so the order gets mixed up. You can also use music videos with lyrics to step up the challenge.
Whether you’re someone who hums or dances or not, it’s much harder than it sounds!
23. The alphabet challenge
All participants should come up with a list of themes such as fashion, characters, kitchen, ingredients, celebrities, presidents, food, or animals. You need to write down these themes on a sheet of paper and toss them into a bowl.
One player has to begin by randomly picking a piece from the bowl and saying a word, starting with the letter A that fits into the category they selected. The next person says another word from the same category with the next letter from the alphabet.
Another way to play it is to pick a category and tell all the words from A to Z. The same goes for all the players. The player who goes the farthest by mentioning the most words wins the challenge. Alternatively, you can also pick out a new topic after everyone had their turn.
The game sparks your children’s creativity and makes them exercise their memory, as well.
24. Balloon in the air challenge
Picture this, a bunch of children fighting in a room full of balloons, trying their level best not to let them touch the ground. Each player can have different colored balloons to avoid confusion.
Another version of this game is to use a straw, one that has an expanding bend. Place the longer end of the straw in your mouth, so the bent endpoint faces upwards towards the ceiling. Now, you need to hold the balloon above the straw. The challenge is to blow through the straw and keep the balloons suspended in the air for a long time. Once you’ve got the hang of it, one by one, you can add more balloons to the first. The last one standing wins!
To light up the place and the mood, children can burst the balloons in the end. It is a good way to keep your little ones active while staying at home.
25. Lip-reading challenge
Put your skills to the test and discover the challenges of lip reading. You may be surprised by how many words appear similar. This game also fosters social interactions and cooperation skills.
Depending on the children’s age, you can either let them make dialogues or give them cue cards to read. To make it challenging, you can team up the players in pairs. To start with, one of the players wears a pair of headphones at high volume enough to cancel outside noise but soft enough that it’s not uncomfortable. Their teammate has to say the phrase on the card or the one they’ve come up with, while the player wearing the headphones has to guess the word by reading their lips.
After a certain number of tries, the other child gets a turn. The team that answers correctly wins the game. Adult supervision can be useful, especially for younger children.
26. Guess the emoji
Your children can recreate various emojis, and the other player or team needs to guess the emoji. You can keep a list of emojis ready in front of them to make the guessing game a bit easy.
27. Misfits challenge
All you need is a sheet of paper and a pencil. A bunch of people should sit in the circle. The first person draws a head and folds the paper down, leaving a guide to where the next person has to draw the next part of the body. The following person continues the picture by drawing a neck. They then fold it so that the next person draws the next part of the body, the abdomen.
The last person unfolds the paper to reveal the hybrid drawing! You don’t have to stick to human figures. It can be anything from animals to food and more! For a fun finish, you can ask the children to color the drawings.
28. Post-it challenge
Grab all the colorful post-it’s you can and sit around. The group needs to choose a subject, such as celebrities, ingredients, animals, dinosaurs, or fashion. Everyone has to pick one from the category and write it on the post-it. Once everyone is done, each player has to stick the post-it on the forehead of the person to their left.
For instance, if the category selected is animals, every person has to pick an animal and write on their post-it. Suppose a person ‘A’ writes ‘Elephant’ on a post-it and sticks to their left one’s forehead, who is ‘B.’ Similarly, ‘B’ writes ‘Monkey’ and sticks on ‘C’s’ forehead. Make sure the person with the post-it on their forehead does not see what is written on it.
Once everyone is done, each person gets a chance to guess what’s on their post-it through clues given by others. If it’s B’s chance, others may say ‘world’s largest land animal,’ or ‘smart creatures of the jungle.’ If ‘B’ guesses the animal right, they win a point, and the game continues.
29. Accent challenge
How good are you with accents? You can find it out in the accent challenge.
Ask your children to mimic different accents of famous celebrities. You can play in teams or as individuals. Either the other individuals or the other team decides what accent your opponent has to mimic. Similarly, they can also imitate the accent of their favorite TV character or celebrities.
All in all, it would be a fun game for children of all ages.
30. ‘Say it backward’ challenge
Unleash your thinking skills because this game demands you to use them to exercise your brain. The challenge involves getting the participants to say words backward without mispronouncing or stuttering. The one who accurately says it wins the round.
A time limit ensures everyone has the same amount of time to figure out how to say a word backward. To ease into the game, you can make a list of simple words that get tougher as the rounds go and stress on time-management for players to have an enjoyable experience.
31. Mute challenge
Get your dancing shoes on and show you can dance from dawn to dusk!
One person in every round has to hold a remote. The others have to perform activities, such as singing, dancing, brushing their teeth, sipping on soda, eating spaghetti, modeling, putting on clothes, or cooking in the kitchen. It should be any activity that requires a lot of moving around or noise.
32. Yoga challenge
If your children are into yoga, you can arrange fun yoga challenges for them. Firstly, divide the children into two groups. Show a yoga pose to a member of the first group and ask them to perform it. A member from the second group should mimic the pose. Alternatively, you may call out any two body parts, and a player must primarily perform a pose using those body parts.
33. LEGO challenge
This challenge lets your child’s imagination run wild. Arrange for LEGO bricks and challenge your children to shape them into various items, such as a LEGO alligator, a LEGO car, or a LEGO tree. Give a prize to the child who creates the best shape.
The person with the remote can mute the button at any given time, and the player must immediately stop the activity. The player who doesn’t go on mute on time loses the round. The key is to have fun while being on high alert, so you don’t lose!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are challenges good for kids?
Challenges can help stimulate a child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Learning how to deal with obstacles and overcome them can also improve their resilience capacity. This also aids in the development of their creativity and problem-solving abilities.
2. What is the best way to teach children to embrace challenges?
Children can learn to embrace obstacles with a sense of responsibility when parents or caregivers provide optimum support, become their role models, and help shape their minds to achieve the seemingly unattainable. It is also important to praise them when they do something good, motivating them further to face new challenges.
3. How should parents set appropriate challenges for their children?
Children should always be challenged based on their age, and they vary substantially depending on each child’s unique abilities, interests, and developmental stages. But generally speaking, challenges for children are designed to be suitable for particular age groups, such as preschool, elementary school, and adolescence.
4. What are the risks associated with giving children too many challenges?
Studies have shown that when parental educational expectations are greater than their children, it has a negative impact on children’s cognition and often leads to depression (1). Providing excessive challenges to children may lead to exhaustion. This may result in waning motivation and dwindling confidence. Too much pressure may result in the children getting bored and setting back the gains they’ve achieved.
5. How does failure help my children learn about themselves and their capabilities?
Children learn important lessons through failure as they develop resilience, coping, critical thinking, and social and emotional skills. It strengthens them, and they learn that failure is a part of success and not the opposite.
Challenges for kids help them enhance their thinking, communication, memory, and sensory skills. This list of challenges will keep your kids occupied for hours, allowing them to do something productive rather than laze in front of the television. This is also a change from the regular outdoor games or arenas they participate in or visit. Include as many family members as possible, and enjoy these challenging activities with your child on your next holiday.
Infographic: Interesting Challenges For Kids
Giving simple and amusing challenges now and then is great for enhancing children’s creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. So, whether at school or home, the exciting challenges mentioned in this infographic will allow your child to have fun while facilitating learning.
- Introduce new challenges for your kids from time to time to help boost their creativity and learning skills.
- Whether a simple alphabet challenge or the good-old blind-folded challenges, your child is surely going to love trying these.
- You may also try fun and interactive challenges such as Chinese whisper challenges or Guess who challenge.
- Meimei Liu, et al.; (2022); The Effect of Educational Expectations on Children’s Cognition and Depression