Finding party games for large groups can be really challenging.
Since more people will be playing, the decision making behind these games is more complex. You’ve got to find games that can adapt to large numbers without diluting the original concept of the game.
You’ve got to keep the rules of the game itself simple. That way, when you’re explaining to what to do, everyone understands quickly. You’ve got to decide if everyone plays together or in teams and if teams, how to manage them.
People need to feel engaged. But luckily at Partycurrent, we’ve got a few party games for large groups you can try out. Before we start getting into them, there are a few things you need to know first.
Tips to consider when planning your games
By their nature, party games for large groups require larger playing spaces that normal. This might be your backyard or the local park.
If you’re playing inside, make sure to clear the space of any non-essential furniture. Clear or lock away items that might cause accidents, for example loose cabling, overhanging doors, sharp objects.
If you’re playing on a wooden floor, cover as much of it as you can with a rug to avoid slippery surfaces. Get everyone in bare feet.
As the game organiser, it will be your job to supervise the game and take care of your players. Before deciding which game to use, check in with the general health of your players as well as their mood. For example, ask yourself would a relaxed group prefer a game with lots of running around? Is a running game better to play before or after food?
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends what they’d prefer to play. If you want to only supervise and prefer someone else referee, make sure to also ask. Don’t feel you have to manage these party games on your own.
Your party games for large groups
Move & Mingle
This is the most energetic of these party games for large groups. The game is played in two sections and needs a large indoor room.
“Move” is the section you play first first and is played in three fast rounds. Each side of a room represents a category players run to. If the left side is ‘tigers’ and right is ‘lions’, for example, then players run to their preference.
Occasionally pick out 3 people and ask them why they’ve chosen their category. So if it’s ‘tigers’, someone might say “saw one in India”.
On the fourth round, switch over to Mingle. In this section of the game, everyone now looks for other people who agree with their answer. So if the question is, “If you won the lottery, what one thing would you buy?” and a player thinks “travel the world”, they scour the room for like-minded people by asking them if they have the same answer.
Play each round of Mingle with a time limit, giving people time to have a chat and share after they’ve found each other. Then switch back to another Move, then more Mingle, and so on.
All In the Numbers
Write out a list of items that can be put into number order – such as, house number, number of years at work, shoe size. Then split everyone into even teams and give each team the same item to start with.
On GO, the teams now arrange into the correct order (small to large), all without talking. The order must be checked before moving to the next item. The team that completes your list of numbered items the fastest wins.
Make sure your room is safe for playing. Your guests will be blindfolded and moving around for the majority of this game.
The first half of the game involves preparation. Everyone is split into pairs, with one partner deciding they’re a machine and the other an animal. Each person is then given a minute to decide which machine or animal they are. What they choose needs to make a distinctive noise. So for example choo-choo for a train, a howl for a wolf, or a deep growl for a tiger. The pairs get familiar with each other’s noise.
When the preparation time is up, send the animals and machines to opposite sides of the room. Everyone is then blindfolded. After Go!, the pairs now try and find each other by making their noise. The game ends when all the pairs have been reunited.
Throw a Story
This game’s probably the most intimate of these party games for large groups. It’s the one where guests can learn more about each other. You can also use this game as a simple icebreaker.
Before starting, draw a grid of five squares by five on a large sheet of construction paper. Then fill each square with one topic, for example, embarrassing work stories, a personal triumph you’re dying to share, vacation gone wrong.
Lay your grid on the floor or on a table, with your guests lined up behind it.
Each person takes a turn, closing their eyes and tossing a coin at the grid. Wherever the coin lands is the story to share, for 2 minutes, while facing the group. Once their time is up, the next player takes their turn. The more rounds you play, the more stories can be shared.
Ah, but what happens if the coin lands between two squares? Well, that’s two stories to share. If a player’s coin lands in the same square, it’s no problem. It means they can share more detail about their last story.
Having a few party games for large groups to hand can help you get everyone relaxed and gelling together, which then eases any tension with your friends. I hope at least one of these ideas help you do that.