Kids' Birthday Party Games: Human Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe Becomes a Team Effort With This Twist on the Game

Tic tac toe game

Looking for a fun party game for a large group of kids? The classic game of Tic Tac Toe has simple rules that almost any age group can follow but is limited to two players at a time when played on paper. Turn it into a group game that becomes even more fun when you use a life-sized game grid and instead of Xs and Os, the actual party guests become the game markers.

How to Play Human Tic Tac Toe

You will need at least 10 people to play this game (adults can join the fun if there aren’t enough kids at the party). You’ll also need long pieces of rope, hose or tape to create the board. To distinguish between the human Xs and Os, you'll also need five shirts, hats, or pinnies of one color and five shirts, hats, or pinnies of another color

Tip: Almost anything can be used to distinguish the players if you don’t have that many shirts, hats, or pinnies. You could even choose items that fit the party’s theme. For example, if you’re hosting a zoo party, have five players wear plastic zebra masks and the other five wear plastic lion masks. For a cowboy party, one team can wear red bandannas and the other team can wear blue ones. The kids could then keep the zoo masks or bandanas as party favors.

  1. Make a giant Tic Tac Toe board using the rope or hose on your lawn or floor. You could also use tape ​or chalk to mark off the squares on the floor, or lawn-safe spray paint (look for the kind that rinses off) to mark off the grid in the yard. 
  2. Flip a coin to determine which team starts the game.
  3. The first team then places its first “marker” (i.e., one of the five party guests that’s on that team) in the square of its choice. (The player stands in the chosen square.)
  4. Then, the second team places one of its markers in their chosen spot on the board.
  5. The teams take turns until one gets three markers in a row or the round ends in a tie. 
  6. Play several rounds of the game, keeping track of how many times each team won, and then award a prize to the group that racks up the most wins.

If you have more than 10 players, you can rotate the participants in each round, making sure everyone gets a turn to play. 

This game can be played not only at kids' birthday parties, but also at family reunions, where whole families can compete against one another, or among students as a fun classroom or school festival activity.