Three colored pieces of paper on which are written "Keep It Simple!"

Step 3 to Becoming an Amazing Games Leader: Simple Is Better!

In my previous post, I discussed how important it is to create healthy competition during kids games. Now I’ll go into the third secret to always turn your games into a hit: keep things simple.

Simple Games Work

After years as a children’s entertainer, I’ve learned and proven that simple games are better. A game does not have to be complex to be fun and entertaining. Something easy to play will serve.

I once tried to force a difficult game on a group of kids because I knew that the game would be fun. I had good intentions, but before I finished explaining how to play the game, the kids were distracted, disinterested, and bored to tears. I learned the hard way that simple games are the way to go.

So if you’re deciding what games to line up, choose those that are easy to explain and play. And when explaining the rules, do your very best to make them easy to understand.

Think about it this way: You ask for volunteers to come play a game with you. Hands shoot up around the room as kids brimming with anticipation hope and pray that you select them. You pick Billy and Susy and bring them on the stage with you. The two stare at you with big puppy eyes, excited to play your awesome game. But five minutes later, you find yourself still explaining the intricacies of the game, and Billy and Susy are now giving you puzzled looks. They’re probably thinking what have they gotten themselves into, while the rest of the audience are, at this point, turning their attention somewhere else.

That’s a scenario best prevented. So how do you avoid that and keep your audience interested? Stick to games that are easy to explain.

A good rule of thumb: if you can’t explain how to play the game in less than 60 seconds, it is probably too complicated.

Delivery and Explanation Are Important

Another thing you have to keep in mind when explaining the rules of the game: remember step 1—make it fun! Sound eager and excited when talking about how to play your game. Don’t be boring when explaining the rules. Be clear and concise but don’t forget to be enthusiastic because enthusiasm is contagious. When explained with enthusiasm, the rules will become a great buildup to your game. So put a giant smile on your face and make your game sound fun, and you’ll see your little audience’s eyes sparkle with excitement.

Competition Adds to the Excitement

And while you’re at it, go a step further and follow step 2—create healthy competition. It will help make your simple game work brilliantly. Consider a basic relay game. If you tell the children to run from point A to point B, you will see their excitement wearing off quickly. Why? You have provided no challenge.

But if you say instead, “The first team to run from point A to point B before the other team earns a point!” you have made the relay game much more exciting. By saying that, you’ve hit two birds with one stone: you have provided instructions that are clear and straightforward, and you have created healthy competition. The result? More engagement, more fun.

So remember, keep your games and your instructions simple, make them sound fun, and inject some friendly competition. That way, you’ll keep your audience interested and more importantly, ensure they are having fun.

For more tips on how to become an amazing game leader, be sure to check out my next article. I’ll be discussing the step that can set you apart from other game leaders and catapult you into the stratosphere of the greats.


Want to know all seven tips on how to run successful kids games? See the complete list below.

Step 1: Make It Fun!

Step 2: Create Healthy Competition!

Step 3: Simple Is Better!

Step 4: One Rule Is Enough!

Step 5: No Questions!

Step 6: Become a Cheerleader!

Step 7: Kill It Before It Dies!