Hot Potato Game for Kids: How to Play?

How to Play the Hot Potato Game with Kids

The hot potato game is simple and is played by children of all ages, but even adults enjoy it, too. This game is also played at adult parties. In this game, an object is passed from one person to another while the music continues to play. The object can be anything that can be passed easily, like a softball, a potato itself, or a soft toy.

The player sits or stands in a circle, and the potato is passed as swiftly as possible from person to person. The catch is that the person having the potato when the music stops will be out of the game and leave the circle. The game continues with the remaining players in the circle and continues till the last person left in the circle. The last person is the winner of the hot potato game.

What is a Hot Potato Game?

What is a Hot Potato Game? .jpg

Hot Potato is a popular and exciting party game that involves players passing an imaginary “hot potato” around a circle or among participants while music plays. The objective is to avoid being caught holding the “hot potato” when the music suddenly stops. As the music plays, participants quickly pass the imaginary potato from one person to the next, and the pace often increases to intensify the thrill.

When the music abruptly halts, the person holding the “hot potato” at that moment is out of the game. The rounds continue until only one player remains, and they are declared the winner. Hot Potato is a simple yet entertaining game that fosters quick reflexes, laughter, and friendly competition, making it a popular choice for gatherings, children’s parties, and team-building activities.

What Kind of Game is a Hot Potato Game?

What Kind of Game is a Hot Potato Game?

The hot potato game is a fun and easy-to-prepare classic party game. It is fun for kids, attracts them, and gets them involved. It is also a fun game to play with your kids at home or in a class group game.

In this game, kids pretend to hold a hot potato in their hand and pass it on as soon as possible so as to save their hands from burning. This is a simple and light-hearted game that people of all ages can play. It has no complex rules and no rocket science; just pass the object and save yourself.

Type of Hot Potato Game & How to Play These Games?

Hot potato games are fun to play with your loved ones, and you can also make variations in the traditional hot potato game. Here are some variations in the hot potato game.

1. Hot Potato Soup Game

Hot Potato Soup Game

This game has little variation from the traditional hot potato game. In this game, a circle is formed around a hula hoop in the middle of the ground, then start the music, pass the ball, and continue dancing. The objective remains the same: players must quickly pass the “hot potato” around the circle, trying to avoid being the one holding it when the music stops.

And when the music stops, the person holding the ball will have to enter inside the hula hoop. The person holding the “hot potato” has to perform a fun and often hilarious action or say something entertaining before resuming the game.

These actions could include telling a joke, singing a snippet of a song, or performing a goofy dance. The game continues, and all your friends will end up entering the hula hoop; the one left outside will be the winner.

2. Hot Potato Seed Game

Hot Potato Seed Game

To play this enjoyable game, children sit or stand in a circle. To play this game, you will need some potatoes and a timer. The potatoes are all in the hand of one guy, and as the timer starts, he has to pass all the potatoes to the next guy, and all the potatoes should be in a basket before the buzzer sounds. The one left with a potato in the circle will be out of the circle.

The game promotes cognitive skills, memory, and quick thinking while encouraging social interaction and cooperative play. Hot Potato Seed is enjoyable and a fantastic way to engage young minds in a fun and educational activity, making it a wonderful choice for preschools, playdates, and children’s gatherings.

3. Hot Potato Counting Game

Hot Potato Counting Game

In this game, all youngsters are required to sit in a circle, and the ball is passed to each other randomly and the person receiving the ball will have to speak the next number that comes. For example, if the previous player said “1,” the next player would say “2,” and so on. The one who speaks the wrong number goes out of the circle, and ultimately, the last one in the circle will win the game.

The goal is to keep the counting going smoothly and quickly as the game becomes more challenging with the increasing pace of the music. Hot Potato Counting fosters basic math skills and encourages focus, concentration, and cooperation among children. It’s an ideal activity for classrooms, playgroups, or any setting where learning and fun come together.

4. Pass the Parcel


In this game, a gift is packed with several layers of wrapping paper. Children are to sit in a circle and pass the parcel. The song plays for each child individually, and till the music plays, the child with the gift has to open the parcel. The music is played for very little time. As the music stops, the parcel is to be passed to the next child in the circle, and then the music plays for him, and he tries to unwrap the parcel.

The child who completely unwraps the gift will receive the gift. Pass the Parcel is a thrilling and joyful game, especially for children’s parties, as it combines the fun of passing and unwrapping surprises, adding an extra layer of excitement to any celebration.

5. A Potato and a Tomato Game

A Potato and a Tomato Game

In this game, children sit in a circle, and a potato and a tomato are passed simultaneously but in opposite directions. Music is played at the times when the potato and tomato are being passed.

As the music stops, the child holding the potato and tomato will have to pass them in opposite directions. If the child passes it in the same previous direction when the music stops, the child who did so will be out of the circle, and the music continues again.

Each time the music stops, the person holding the potato and tomato has to come up with a brief, imaginative story involving the two characters before resuming the game. The stories could range from humorous adventures to heartwarming escapades, allowing everyone to showcase their creativity and improvisational skills.

The Potato and Tomato game adds a creative twist to the classic hot potato concept and fosters storytelling and imaginative thinking.

What are the Unique Songs of this Game?

What are the Unique Songs of this Game?

Mostly upbeat and energetic songs are played to make the game more fun and engaging. No specified songs are played in a hot potato game; any song that can fit with the passing game and the children also enjoy passing the object swiftly and fastly should be played. The song aims to keep players involved, and the game continues further without any boredom. The tempo of the song should encourage the players to move and pass the object as quickly as possible.

Here are some songs that fit with the fast tempo of this game.

  • Shut up and dance by WALK THE MOON
  • Dance monkey by TONES AND I
  • Waka Waka by SHAKIRA
  • Can’t stop the feeling by JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
  • Move your feet by JUNIOR SENIOR
  • Jump in the line by HARRY BELAFONTE
  • Hot and cold by KATY PERRY
  • Pass the Dutchie by MUSICAL YOUTH
  • Hot potato by the WIGGLES

The aim of choosing a song is not only to play the game but also to keep everyone involved, and the players get motivated to continue the game with the same tempo.

Therefore, songs with fast tempos are mostly preferred because they encourage and bring enthusiasm among the players, making them more enjoyable.

What are the Benefits of The Hot Potato Game?

Every game has some benefits, especially when played in a group. Similarly, the hot potato game has so many benefits that your child and his friends can see. We have mentioned a few of them.

  • Hot Potato is a group activity that encourages interaction and cooperation among players, promoting social bonding and communication skills.
  • The game requires participants to pass the “hot potato” quickly, which enhances their hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
  • When played in teams, the game fosters teamwork and collaboration as participants work together to avoid being the one left holding the “hot potato.”
  • The game’s lighthearted nature and unpredictable music stops often result in laughter and amusement, boosting mood and creating a positive atmosphere.
  • As the music stops unexpectedly, players must think fast and react promptly, enhancing their decision-making and problem-solving abilities.
  • Hot Potato’s fast-paced nature and focus on enjoyment can serve as a stress reliever and break from daily routines.
  • Variations like Hot Potato Counting or Hot Potato Seed can be educational, helping children with counting, memory, and creativity.
  • Hot Potato can be adapted to accommodate various age groups and physical abilities, making it an inclusive game for everyone to enjoy.


Kids’ games are very unique and fun to play. Moreover, every game has some goal to infuse some qualities in the kids. Thus, the hot potato game is unique as it has many benefits other than team building and increasing cognitive abilities.

Also, in kindergarten or primary schools, kids are new to the school environment, and games are a fun way of teaching them new things. The hot potato game includes music and so many other things, such as singing, dancing, and other activities.

Also, it has variations in its types, so that helps the kids to learn other things as well. If you plan to have a kid’s gathering or house party, we recommend you make your kids play this game. Make sure they have fun while playing this game.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Players Can Participate in The Hot Potato Game?

The number of players in Hot Potato can vary depending on the size of the circle. The game can be played with a small group of 5-10 participants or in larger gatherings with dozens of players.

Are There Any Safety Considerations when Playing Hot Potato?

When playing with an actual object, such as a bean bag, ensure it is soft and safe for participants to handle. Also, be mindful of the space to avoid collisions when passing the “hot potato.” Adult supervision is recommended to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience if children are involved.

Is Hot Potato Suitable for Parties and Events?

Absolutely! Hot Potato is a fantastic game for parties, events, family gatherings, and even team-building activities. It is easy to set up, inclusive, and brings lots of laughter and excitement to any occasion.

Can Hot Potato Be Played in Teams?

Yes, Hot Potato can be played in teams, which adds a team-building element to the game. Participants in each team pass the “hot potato” among themselves, and the last team standing wins.

What Kind of Music Is Suitable for Hot Potato?

Any upbeat and energetic music works well for Hot Potato. It can be nursery rhymes, children’s songs, or fun party tunes. The key is to have music that can stop and start abruptly to add excitement to the game.

Jenna Wilson

Jenna Wilson holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas and has been a pivotal part of our content team since 2019. Her background includes over eight years in educational program management, where she designed numerous indoor activities and learning modules for children. Jenna's unique approach to combining education with fun has made her content popular. When not writing, Jenna is an enthusiastic amateur astronomer and often volunteers at local community centers, leading creative workshops for children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *