Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs

What You'll Need:

  • 1 Chair Per Guest for traditional versions of the game.
  • Other variations of the game, will require a large cardboard box (large enough for kids to crawl through), construction paper, poster board, a blanket or other items to step on as specified below
  • A CD/CD Player or iTunes playlist of party appropriate songs
  • Favors Other Small Prizes

How to Play Competitively:

  1. Line up the chairs, back-to-back, so that there are enough for all but one player.
  2. Station an adult by the stereo to start and stop the music randomly.
  3. When the music starts playing, the children start walking around the cluster of chairs.
  4. Then, when the music stops, everyone tries to sit on an empty chair.
  5. Only one person can sit on each chair. The person who doesn't find a seat is out.
  6. One chair is taken away after each round until only one person is left and is named the winner.

How to Play Non-Competitively:

  1. Line up all of the chairs, back-to-back.
  2. Decorate one chair with balloons or theme-related decorations, such as construction-paper stars for a space party or crowns for a princess party.
  3. Station an adult by the stereo to start and stop the music randomly.
  4. When the music starts playing, the children start walking around the cluster of chairs.
  5. Then, when the music stops, everyone sits on an empty chair.
  6. Whoever lands on the decorated chair wins a sticker or other small prize.
  7. Ensure that every child lands on the decorated chair at some point so that everyone wins. This will require the adult playing the music to pay attention to who's landed on it already so he or she can stop the music at appropriate intervals.


  • Barn Dance: Instead of chairs, paint a large box in red, white and black to look like a barn. Line the kids up in front of the box and start the music, the child that is inside the box when the music stops is trapped in the barn and out of the game.

  • Brave Musical Bears: This game requires 1 large teddy bear as the grand prize and enough small bears for every child. Play the soundtrack from Brave. Place all but one small bear in a pile in the middle of the floor. When the music starts the kids walk in a circle around the pile. When the music stops everyone grabs a bear. The one left without a bear is out. Remove a bear and continue. The last one left gets the big bear as a prize and all of the other children get a small bear.

  • Fly Away Home: For this game, chairs are replace with construction paper cut-outs of large leaves. Scatter the leaves randomly around the party floor (one less than the number of players). Play instructions are the same as for the traditional version.

  • Flying Jet Planes: Time for the jets to fly around and test their landing skills. You'll need a sheet of black construction paper for each child, minus one. Place them around the room so they become "runways." Have the kids put their arms out like airplane while the music plays. When the music stops they must find a place to land. The one without a runway crashes and is out of the game.

  • Godzilla Stomp: Use construction paper or poster board to make monster or dinosaur footprints to use in a large circle instead of chairs. This is perfect for a Godzilla party and can be adapted for any type of monster, dinosaur, big foot or jungle animal party.

  • Haunted Halloween Walk: Find a different Halloween Themed item for each child such as a witch's hat, a broom, a pumpkin, a cauldron, etc Write the word for each of these items and place them in a hat. Have the kids walk around the items and when the music stops they need to place their hand on the object nearest them. Only one object per child. Draw a word from the hat and the child touching that object is out. Continue until only one is left

  • Hippos In Mud: Cut a very large "mud puddle" out of butcher paper. You an also use a brown blanket. The little hippos need to walk through the mud puddle as the roam through the plains. An kids standing in the mud when the music stops are out.

  • Igloo Icescape: Turn a very large box such as an appliance box into an igloo by painting it white. Keep it open on two ends so kids can crawl through it. Play the soundtrack from Happy Feet, Ice Age or Frozen as the kids make their way in and out of the igloo. The child in the igloo when music turns off is out.

  • In the Doghouse: This game is exactly like the one above but this time, the big box becomes a dog house. You can paint a dog's name on it like Snoopy or Clifford to give it a theme.

  • Kryponite Cave: Superman's only weakness is Kryptonite. A large box, tent or play tunnel becomes the Kryptonite cave and any child in the cave when the tunes shut off loses his super powers until the next round.

  • Mardi Gras Zydeco Chairs: Blast the Zydeco or Big Band music and have a Mardi Gras version of this game. Hand out beads a prizes.

  • Mariachi Musical Sillas: Blast the fiesta music and have a ball. You can also substitute chairs for Sombreros and when the music ends everyone (but one) must put a sombrero on their head.

  • Mouth of the Shark: Take your big box and paint it so it looks like the mouth of a great white shark. Play the music from Jaws as the kids approach the mouth of the shark.

  • Mouth of the Whale: See Shark, above.

  • Musical Beach Towels: Crank up the summer time music like The Beach Boys and lay beach towels around the playing area. Play according to the standard rules. Let every child keep a beach towel as a party favor.

  • Shark Attack: Place pillows or large pieces of paper around the play area. These are rafts. Play some shark themed music and when an adult yells, "SHARK" everyone has to scramble to find a raft, the one without a raft will be eaten by the shark.

  • Stop in the Name of Love: Use red paper to cut our large heart shapes, place them in a large circle and play as instructed at the top of the page.

  • The House Began to Pitch: For a Wizard of Oz party, play music from the movie but don't get stuck your cardboard box house or you "won't be in Kansas anymore."

  • Tiana and Naveen's Lily Pad LeapThe Princess and the Frog is a wonderful Disney princess theme. The kids will leap from Lilly pad to lily pad in this version as they wait for the Disney music to stop.

  • Penguin Waddle: To make this game a challenge, tie a length of string around every players' knees to they have to waddle instead of walk. Just be careful with younger kids because this might be too difficult.

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