Kids Musical Chairs Game

by Brenda Priddy
Use musical chair variations to give new life to the classic game.

Use musical chair variations to give new life to the classic game.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Musical chairs is a classic children's game played at parties and other children's events. The traditional way to play musical chairs is enjoyable for most children, but it can also be fun to incorporate several different variations, both competitive and non-competitive, of the game. Try one or two variations at your next party to mix things up.


In this game, a circle of chairs is arranged with one less chair than players. Play a selection of music for a few seconds while children march around the chairs. When the music stops, the children must rush to find an empty chair. The person who is unable to find a chair is out. Each round, one chair is removed until there are two players and only one chair. The last person seated wins the game.

Stacking Chairs

This variation is the opposite of traditional musical chairs. The game is arranged the same way, with one fewer chair than players. But instead of the person who does not get a chair getting out, the players must share chairs. Remove one additional chair per round, so that at the end of the game all players must try and fit on one single chair. This is a silly version that young children love.

Math Chairs

Place a number onto each chair in a circle. For this game, when the music stops, an announcer gives the children a math problem, such as "multiples of 2" or "prime numbers." The children must then try and find a chair with the correct answer to the math problem. For this game to work best, it is necessary to have more chairs than children to provide enough seats for different answers. Children get "out" in the same way as the original game.

Prize Chairs

This version of musical chairs is non-competitive. Place as many chairs as children in a large circle. Place a number on the seat of each chair. When the music stops, the children sit down in the chairs. The announcer reads off a number. The child sitting in the chair that matches that number receives a prize. Play this game until each child has earned a prize. The announcer can "cheat" to ensure that every child is able to win.

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