This is a traditional game that never loses its luster! All you need is some music and something "hot" to pass around. The versatility of this game is endless. By removing the "you're out" element, this game is perfect for those ages 4 and up.
AgePreschool, School-age, Tweens, Teens
Number of Players5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20+
Team DivisionEvery man for himself (individual players)
CompetitivenessEither/or (can be played either way)
DifficultyEasy peasy (fun and simple)
Indoor or OutdoorEither
Space NeededSmall (a clearable open space the size of a 1-car garage)
Mess FactorClean and tidy
Prep TimeNo prep time needed!
Game Time Length5 - 15 minutes
1. Select an item to be the "hot potato." You can use a real potato, but something simple like a stuffed animal or a ball can be used as well.
2. Place the group in a large circle, sitting shoulder to shoulder.
3. Have music ready to play and somebody available to turn it on and off.
How to Play
1. When the music starts, the children will pass the "hot potato" around the circle from one person to the next.
2. The goal is to pass it quickly because players do not want the potato in their hands when the music stops!
3. The person in charge of the music will turn it off unexpectedly.
4. Whomever has the potato in their hands at that time is out!
5. The music is turned back on and the game repeats!
6. Last person in the circle wins the game!
1. For a non-competitive version, just have whoever ends up with the "potato" stand up and do something silly. It can be a dance move, or a funny face, making a silly noise, or pretending to be an animal - just as long as it's silly. If you have a theme for your hot potato game (for example, "Pass the Coconut" for a jungle theme) have your guests act out something thematic (like act like a monkey).
2. "The Stinky Shoe": the same game, but played with a yucky, smelly, gross shoe! When the music stops the player pretends to smell the shoe and then acts out a gagging death scene for everyone.
3. By changing the "hot potato" to anything else, you can revamp the game to fit any theme, party or interest.
Keep it moving! Younger children may need encouragement to do so. They tend to hold onto the items before passing them, especially if it is cute and cuddly.