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There are games that challenge your strategic thinking, memory, and problem-solving skills, and there is the ‘Cake walk’ game. This is one of the easiest games you might find… for real! And if you don’t take our word for it, just keep on reading and see for yourself. 

Find answers to questions such as ‘What is the ‘Cake walk’ game?’, ‘What supplies do I need to get it started?’, ‘What rules must I follow?’, and bonus – in the end, we offer you some variations of the game, to make things even more fun (yeah, that is possible!). 

What is the ‘Cake walk’ game?

You might also find it written as ‘Cakewalk’ or ‘Cake-walk’, but long story short, they’re all the same. The ‘Cake walk’ game is similar to ‘The musical chairs’. Basically, one of the players is randomly selected to win a prize. Now, can you guess what that might be? Nailed it: a (piece of) cake! 

Something you might want to take into account is that the tiny ones are really into this one. 

*Spam alert: Even though you haven’t asked for it, we’re well known for reading minds. 🧠

Here are some other fun games for your kids or students:

We’ve mentioned in the intro that playing the ‘Cake walk’ game is actually… a piece of cake. We’re backing our opinion with the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines the term ‘cake walk’ as ‘an easy task’ or ‘an easy contest to win’. It’s easy to learn, easy to play, and easy to win. Actually, the last part is more like a matter of chance.

The first time this game was played was in the early 1900s. John Betjeman, an English poet, described St. Giles’ Fair as follows: ‘It is about the biggest fair in England. The whole of St Giles’ … is thick with freak shows, roundabouts, cake-walks, the whip, and the witching waves’. 

However, you shouldn’t worry too much about the setting. This game can be played at school carnivals, funfairs, or fundraising events, but also during holiday parties, family picnics, or backyard gatherings.  

Materials and equipment

  • As you might have already guessed, when playing the ‘Cake walk’ game the prize consists of a sweet treat, for each round. So you will need some of those for your winners. 

*Note: It doesn’t necessarily have to be a cake. You could also go for cupcakes, candies, cookies, ice cream, and even toys. 

  • Floor markers with numbers for players to stand. You can buy the kit for the ‘Cake walk’ game, but you can also make it on your own.

You will need: 

  • Colorful pieces of paper
  • Sketch pens
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape – to put them into place.
  • Enough space to place the numbers on the ground or floor. This is one of the reasons why ‘Cake walk’ is a great group game for the outdoors – during campings, team buildings, picnics, and other open-air social gatherings. So you should keep in mind that it’s best to have the numbers spaced a few feet apart, to give the players ample room to move when the music starts.
  • Numbered ping pong balls. You put them in a jar, cap, or fishbowl, mix them up, and this is how you pick your winner. If you don’t have those at hand, you can also write the corresponding numbers on slips of paper, and put them in a container.  
  • A table with tablecloths where you can put the ticket box and the sweets (and stir up the competitive spirit)
  • A way to play music (a phone, a laptop, or a TV – any of them will do the trick. If you also have some speakers, even better!)
  • *Optional: consolation prizes. You could also come up with some sweets to comfort the ones who didn’t win the big prize. 

Players and purposes

The ‘Cake walk’ game is suitable for at least 10 players. You could make things work with less, but you know what they say: the more, the merrier. 

Players must walk in a circle, while music is played, aiming to halt the lucky number that will win them the mighty prize. The good thing about this activity is that literally, anyone can play it – kids, teens, adults, or grandparents. And when victory tastes so good, every game becomes more attractive. 

  1. Count the players you’ve got in one round.

2. Place the laminated numbers in a big circle on the ground (if you have the printable version of the game), or design the paper numbers as explained in the ‘Materials and equipment’ section. There is no need to write the numbers in a particular order.

3. Use some scotch tape to put them in place, so that players don’t peel them up when stepping on them. 

*Tip: If you’re in an outdoor setting, you could also use some chalk to draw the papers on the floor.

  1. Prepare the ping pong balls or the slips of paper. Depending on the number of players, you should write one number on one slip of paper/ping pong ball. Then, put them in a jar. 

5. Here comes the interesting part: set a table and display the prizes. You can even decorate it to make it more attractive. 

6. Prepare the music and run some tests to check if everything works fine.

Rules: How to make a ‘Cake walk’ game?

Now that you’re all set, you can start the game. 

1. Players must stand in a circle, on one of the floor numbers.

2. You may play the music.

3. Once it begins, the participants must walk around, stepping from one numbered circle to another, or walking in between them.

4. You can stop the music anytime, with no warning. When that happens, players must stop as well, standing on the number they are closest to. 

5. Now, you must draw a number and read it out loud. The player standing on that number is the winner and gets a cake! Hooray! If you choose to offer consolation prizes as well, this is the moment when the rest of players receive their treat as well.

6. If no one is standing on the number, you should draw another one, until you find a winner.

7. The ‘Cake walk’ keeps going until all the sweets are shared.

‘Cake walk’ game variations

  • If you plan to set up this game for a fundraising event, you could consider selling tickets in advance. The ticket price can be nominal and you might be surprised by how many people are willing to pay for some fun and something sweet!
  • You could change the game a bit, by allowing people to choose their prize from different types of sweets.
  • You can come up with variations of sweets and give numbers to them as well. This way, the winners won’t know what cake they might get.
  • Rather than placing numbers on the ground, you can place chairs in a circle and paste numbered cards on them. Then, you can ask the players to move in a circle around the chairs. When the music stops, they will have to sit in the chairs they are closest to.

What do you think of this one? Will you play it at your next get-together? 

PS. If you have any games that you’d like to learn more about, leave us a comment down below, and we’ll make sure to do the research for you & post it on eTeamBuilding!

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