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Favorite Games and Activities for Mixed-Age Groups

These games and activities for mixed-age groups are perfect for family time, sibling play, and family reunions.

Click to read also: Classic Childhood Games Every Generation Loves

Games and Activities for Mixed Age Groups

Since I have four kids who are different ages, I am always on the lookout for games and activities that work for mixed ages. Here are some of our favorites, and I would love to hear your favorite games and activities for mixed-age groups in the comments!

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Crafts for Mixed-Age Groups

collaborative art for mixed-age groups

My kids love crafting together! Here are some of our favorite multi-age craft projects:

Collaborative Art

Take a large sheet of paper and let each kid add something to the picture. If kids aren’t used to working together like this, it is sometimes helpful to have them use different art media.

For the picture above, nine-year-old Emma was painting, and two-year-old Anna had stickers. At the end their middle siblings joined in, and all four kids added details with pens and markers.


.My kids love painting together – on sheets of paper, cardboard, or any other medium.

Pre kids, I worked with groups of refugee kids who ranged in age from kindergartners to high school, and they all loved painting too.

Sensory Art

You can go low-mess with contact paper or high-mess-but-easy-clean-up with corn starch, but either way mixed aged groups tend to enjoy sensory activities, particularly when materials are being used in unusual ways.

Cooking and baking together counts as sensory art!

Games for Mixed-Age Groups

These are our favorite games for mixed-age groups. We also find that most collaborative board games work well, like those found in this post full of board games for toddlers.

Favorite activities for mixed-age groups

Super sorting Pie

The Super Sorting Pie pictured above was a recent find. I was looking for a good game for my kids to practice using tongs, and I loved the cute pieces in this game. For two-year-old Anna, this is a color recognition game – match the fruit to the color. For older kids, we add the challenge that they have to pick up and transfer the fruit without any of the other pieces moving, like in Pick Up Sticks.

Spot It

I love games that even the playing field between kids and adults, and Spot It is one of those games! Each card has exactly one match, to every other card in the tin, and you have to be the first to spot the match!

Honeybee Tree

In Honeybee Tree, you try to pull as many leaves as possible out of the tree without waking up the bees. When two-year-old Anna plays this game we switch the rules so that you try to get the bees out as quickly as possible!

Active Games for Mixed-Age Groups

Most active games work well for mixed-age groups if you are willing to use one or more of these accommodations.

Move Like Little Kids

Take any sport, and change it so that you are moving in a way that adults and teens don’t usually move. Play soccer while crabwalking, race across a field by walking on your hands.

Create Two Sets of Rules

Let kids who are younger than a certain age double dribble, and give them a closer starting line.

For kids who are close to the age or height cut-off, it might be best to let them pick which set of rules they want to play by. Often kids will challenge themselves if they know they aren’t being forced to.

Mix Up Teams

Pair more skilled players with less skilled, but choose games – like three-legged races – that require collaboration between teammates.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Go on a mixed ages hike, a five senses walk, or bike ride. Play in a stream together. I have some great tips for hiking with kids, and I find that tide pools fascinate all ages.

What are your favorite games and activities for mixed-age groups?

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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

18 thoughts on “Favorite Games and Activities for Mixed-Age Groups”

  1. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    I love your collab art! When our friends are visiting with their almost-4-year-old, my 8 year old loves to play ball and build with different construction toys with him.

  2. We have Spot It too and agree that it levels the playing field. The pie game looks fun too. Great tips for active games too!

  3. Great ideas! We love the honeybee tree game! Another game that we think is fun is called Obstacles. You have journey cards that depict different kinds of scenery/obstacles. You have to creatively use your object cards to find a way through the scene. Some objects are a football helmet, a swim toy, a spring, stilts, etc. All ages can play and the imaginations run wild! Pinned.

  4. I always like games with a wide variety of difficulty, and you have a lot of good suggestions here. I’m pinning this and sharing it, I know some homeschooling Moms who could really use it.

  5. I was surprised that my kids liked painting together too, even though they’re different ages. I like how the younger ones copy the older one and try to do what he does.

  6. Elisa | blissfulE

    These are fun! We have races for the kids across our small living room sometimes, while the final touches are being added to dinner. We try to adapt the races so they are pretty fair across ages. They love it!

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