These quiet games for kids will keep your little ones engaged, entertained, and using their inside voices. When you need to bring down the energy in your house or when you are in a public space that doesn’t allow for giant roars, we have ten solutions that offer up plenty of fun without any of big bangs.
A little peace and quiet. Isn’t that something that we are all looking for? Sometimes we just need a break but we don’t want to always have to rely on technology to do it.
When it’s rainy and you can’t send the kids outside or you just want to do something fun with them that doesn’t make them super hyper, quiet games are perfect. These team building game ideas for kids are just the solution.
The best time to play these quiet games for kids is just before bed. They are fun, promote togetherness, and can calm them down for an easier bedtime. (Fingers crossed!)
What are some quiet games to play?
As a note, most of these selections are great ideas for older siblings to play with younger ones. So, again, they can really help you sneak in some time for yourself.
You also don’t need many items to make them work! I’m all about low maintenance fun. So, think about being in a place where your kids might not have everything at their disposal – like a visit to grandma’s house or while you are in a hotel during a weekend trip away.
Related: 12 Fun Games to Play With Pen and Paper
Items needed: Ball, rolled up socks, small stuffed animal or similar item
How to play: Have the kids stand in a circle. One person throws an item to another person in complete silence. If the ball is thrown badly, the thrower sits down. If the ball is thrown well but the other person doesn’t catch it, the catcher sits.
The person who catches the ball throws it to another person in the circle. The best thing about this game is that it is played in complete silence. Anyone who talks has to sit down. The winner is the last person left standing. Kids love this game!
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COTTON BALL PUFF RACE
Items needed: Straws and cotton balls
How to play: Using masking tape, create a “race course”. It can be as simple as a starting and ending line or a complicated weave. Players exhale through the straw to move the cotton ball toward the finish line. If you have 4 or more kids, make it a relay race!
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Items needed: Empty paper towel or toilet paper tube for each player and a marble (super balls also can work).
How to play: Similar to the cotton ball race, create a starting point and a finish line using masking tape. The difference though is that by working in teams, kids have to use the tubes to move the ball forward towards the finish line. You can do this around the house, in the backyard, at school – the options are endless.
If you want to add some education to this game, you can talk to the kids about inertia, gravity, and the basics of geometry.
M&M’s COLOR GAME
Items needed: A large opaque container, several packs of M&M’s or other colored candies. Paper and pencil to keep score.
How to play: Pour the candy into the container. Make a point chart for each color of M&M’s. For example, green = 10, red = 25, brown = 50 etc. You can make the point numbers larger or smaller depending on the age of the children.
Then have one child close their eyes and pull out an M&M. The scorekeeper writes that score under the person’s name. First team to reach 500 points is the winner. This is one of the best quiet games for kids who are very competitive.
Variation: Make each M&M correspond to a baseball hit (green = single, red = double, blue = out, etc). Keep score like a regular baseball game.
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How to play: Children should be sitting down with their heads down, eyes covered and their thumb up. Seven chosen children walk around and each push down the thumb of one of the other children. When they are finished, they “Heads up, seven up”.
The seven kids who had their thumb pushed down stand up and try to guess which child pushed their thumb down. If they are correct, they get to be one of the chosen seven for the next round. This game obviously works well with a large group of children.
I grew up playing this game and I can tell you that nothing has changed. Kids love this game! It’s even great for older kids.
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THE TELEPHONE GAME
How to play: Have the kids line up in a row, arms-length apart. The first person in line reads a sentence the leader has written down or whispered to her. Then she mouths that sentence to the next person, who mouths what he/she thinks she hears to the next person and so on.
The last person in line then says what he/she heard and it undoubtedly will be something silly when compared with the initial statement. If available, you may want to have kids put earphones on so they can’t hear any mistaken whispers.
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Items needed: Paper and pencil
How to play: This is a modern version of the hangman game you may have played in your childhood. With the rate of suicide among youth rising as well as the obvious racial overtones of past lynchings, changing up the game makes sense.
You can play this game just about anywhere with as few as two players. One player thinks of a word and writes dashes on the paper for the number of letters in the word. They also draw a circle (like a pizza) and divide it into 8 slices.
The guesser tries to guess the word by asking if a particular letter is in it. If the letter is in the word, the first player writes that letter on the corresponding dash. If it doesn’t, then the guesser has to cross out one “piece” of the pizza.
If the person guesses the word before their “pizza” is gone, they win. If they don’t guess it by the time their last slice is crossed out, then the first person wins.
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Items needed: Paper and pencil
How to play: As one of the simplest and well-known games, most children already know how to play this. One person is the X and the other is the O. Each player tries to get 3 X’s or 3 O’s in a row on the hashtag-like game board drawn on a piece of paper.
Want a fun variation for Tic Tac Toe? Play it backwards! The first person to make 3 in a row loses. (It’s not as easy as it seems.)
This classic strategy game is a hit when waiting for dinner to arrive at a restaurant or any place where you are trying to keep kids contained and entertained.
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Items needed: Chess set
How to play: Pick up a rule book for chess (or find one online). It will describe each piece and the rules and regulations for this game. For those who like games of strategy, this game can provide hours of fun.
Don’t think your child is too young either. Kids as young as 4 or 5 can play chess! You must add this option to your fun games list. Even though it provides loads of quiet time and is very stimulating, it is truly a wonderful game.
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Items needed: Oreo cookies (or similar)
How to play: All the kids sit in a circle with their heads back, looking up at the ceiling, with their arms behind their back. The leader puts an Oreo on each child’s forehead. The child then tries to get the cookie into their mouth without using their hands.
Variations: Use peppermints. Make it a relay. Put the item on the child’s shoulder while standing.
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Quiet Fun For Hours
These quiet games for kids are fun and creative. They will keep your kids occupied and can be altered for different numbers of kids, ages and abilities. Which one will you play?