If you as a parent are throwing a party, you want to be sure to have the best birthday party games for kids that they will remember for years to come!
We’ve included tons of classic games, including ideas for how to make games fit your child’s party theme, along with suggestions for other cool games to try for easy entertainment at any boy or girl’s birthday party.
And don’t miss our must-know tips for planning the games in general, so they run smoothly!
Birthday Party Games for Kids
Every kid’s birthday party has to have games, so you want to be sure that you include the ones that everyone will love!
Read through the game ideas below and add your favorites to your party planning checklist to help narrow down your favorites.
These Backyard Games are perfect for kids’ parties, and they work well for adult birthday parties as well!
Classic Party Games for Kids + Ideas on how to make them fit a theme
Sometimes you don’t have to get too overly inventive to come up with the most enjoyable birthday party games for kids.
Incorporating classic kids’ games with a little twist surrounding your theme can make them fun and a bit more modern.
Duck, Duck, Goose
To play, have all players sit in a circle. One child walks around the outside of the circle and gently taps the head of each individual, saying “Duck, Duck” for anyone not chosen, and then “Goose” for the chosen guest.
That person then runs around the circle trying to chase the player who is “it” and can either tag them, or reach the open seat before them, which places the person in the middle until another person gets out.
You can also play without the middle penalty for younger kids.
This is an easy game to make fit a theme!
How about a fun game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” that instead uses “Mickey, Mickey, Minnie” for a Disney-themed party? This focuses on a classic game that every kid loves but has a more modern twist and one that focuses on the theme of your party. How fun!
Kids will love this, and the birthday boy or girl will think that it was created just for them!
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Oh the great classic party game of decades past. This fun activity has been incorporated as one of the best birthday party games for kids of all times and it couldn’t be easier to setup and run.
You can easily buy or DIY this game. You just need a picture or drawing of a donkey, and then tail shaped flags with double sided tape for each child.
The children are then blindfolded one by one (or asked to shut their eyes and spun around) and then try to see who can get the closest to the actual spot the tail should be.
Keep it as the classic version, which is tons of fun for the kids, or you can make it a little bit more specific or catered.
Party Themed Versions of Pin the Tail
This is the perfect party game for matching a theme, as the options are endless!
An altered version of “Pin the Tail on the Unicorn” is perfect for a princess-themed party or unicorn birthday party, and you can keep going with this as party games for kids’ birthdays can be all about customization.
You are the creative director of this masterpiece!
Here are some other ideas:
- Pin the Tail on the Dinosaur
- Pin the Tail on the Whale
- Pin the Fin on the Shark
- Pin the Mane on the Horse
- Pin the Carrot Nose on Olaf (Frozen Theme)
- Pin the Horn on the Unicorn
- Pin the Badge on the Sheriff
- Pin the Tiara on the Princess
- Pin the Trunk on the Elephant
- Or anything else you can think to pin on an animal, person, or object!
A game of hot potato can be fun for adults and kids alike. Rather than using an actual potato, incorporate an element or accessory of the theme.
“Pass the Tiara” works well for a princess-themed birthday party, or “Pass the Monkey” for fun inspired zoo party.
You can really have a lot of fun incorporating party games for kids’ birthdays that pull in the theme that you have created in every other part of the party.
The parachute is one of those childhood games that brings back the best memories, even for adults! You can easily buy a parachute off of Amazon, or create your own using a flat sheet or blanket.
Have everyone playing grip the edge of the sheet with both hands, and then together there are tons of games you can play by shaking and moving the “parachute” up and down.
Try adding beach balls or stuffed animals to the parachute for some real fun! Here is a great list of lots of parachute games to try at your child’s birthday party.
Egg and Spoon Race
Who doesn’t love a good Egg and Spoon race?
Wooden or large cooking spoons work great, as do serving spoons for older children.
You can play with a raw egg for a squishy good time, or hard boiled eggs that still break but with less mess.
Alternatively, you could change up the egg and spoon race and forgo the egg altogether to creat your own version. Use different objects to make it become a ball and cone race, beach ball and pizza platter race, or anything else you can try to balance!
The guests are sure to get a kick out of watching!
Have a Piñata
Check out these Awesome Pinatas for Kids Parties, and learn how to make your own special piñata!
Other Classic Games for Kids Parties:
Still want more standard party games? Have you thought of:
- Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt—create your own treasure hunt in the backyard and give clues or a map to help them find it.
- Musical Chairs—or try a standing version similar to a Musical Cake Walk. Or try a water version of musical chairs where the loser has to dump a cup of water on their head!
- Building an Obstacle Course
- Ring around the Rosie (for toddler’s birthday party)
- Bubble Station or Bubble Paint Race—mix food coloring in the bubble solution and have them color a picture hanging on the fence. First one to cover the picture wins!
For all of these games, be sure to have some upbeat music playing to help get the energy up!
Pop The Balloon
“Pop the Balloon” is an easy game that kids love to work on as it is something that allows them to make noise.
Have two kids stand back to back with a balloon between them. When you say “go,” then the kids keep pushing their backs together in hopes of popping the balloon.
The first team to pop their balloon is the winner—children have so much fun trying!
Note: Young children might be afraid of the popping sound, so warn parents before you start!
The Balloon Waddle is a funny game to watch, and to play!
Line the kids up for a relay or all at once along a line. Give each child a balloon to place between their knees, telling them to squeeze their legs together to hold it in place.
Next, instruct all of the players to waddle across the yard to the finish line (or around a cone and back for a relay), without popping or dropping their balloon. You can make them go back to the start, or just pick up and continue going if they do drop it.
Pass the Balloon (Over and Under)
This is a team challenge, and you can have everyone either on one time racing against the music or clock, or place teams against each other.
- Have members of the team stand in a line all facing the same direction.
- The first person in line starts with the balloon. Announce “Ready, Set, Go!”
- They pass the balloon over their head to the player behind them, who grabs the balloon.
- That child or adult then passes the balloon under their legs to the next person.
- Alternate over the head or under the legs so everyone gets a turn.
- You can end the game when the balloon reaches the end, or you can have the person at the end race to the front of the line to start again.
Chin Pass with Balloon
This is a silly party game for tweens or teens that always leaves them giggling.
Have one person start by hold a small balloon, an orange, or other object pinned under the chin to the neck. The other players are in a circle or line, and the next player tries to take the balloon or object from the first without it dropping or popping—no hands allowed!
Shaving Cream Balloon Pop
This is a great game for a water activity party where kids are already planning on getting wet as a hose makes for easy party cleanup!
- Hang up a line or string from two trees or posts, and tie balloons to the string, spaced out.
- Cover each balloon in shaving cream.
- Give each boy and girl a popsicle stick that they must use to scrap or “shave” the cream off of the balloon.
- First one to completely shave the balloon without popping it, wins!
Other Creative & Fun Party Games to Play at Kids Birthdays
Here are other cool games to play at parties:
- Toilet Paper Mummy—Have teams wrap one person up in toilet paper and decorate, or use up the entire roll before any other team.
- Wrap the Present—Played the same way as the Mummy game, but use wrapping paper instead!
- Eat the Donut from the String—this is delicious for all ages, but young kids might need an adult to hold the donut steady.
- Fishing for prizes—either in a kiddie pool or box, or throw the line over a chair or hidden area where an adult attaches a small prize or other treasure with a clothespin.
- Fishing for Duckies—(for the smallest players, just place rubber ducks with numbers or colors on the bottom in a small wading pool filled with water).
- Bean Bag Toss or Cornhole—No board? No Problem! Toss the bean bags or other objects into a bucket or basket.
- Freeze Dance
- Potato Sack Race—pillowcases work great for kids!
- Three Legged Race—use a bandana to tie a pair of participants’ legs together (the inside leg of each) and have them work together to cross the finish line.
- Broom Hockey Race—Use a broom to push a pumpkin across a line for Cinderella or princess themed party)
- Hide and Go Seek
Tips for Planning Fun Birthday Games for Kids
Involve the Whole Gang
To make the birthday party games for kids the most fun they can be, you should remember to come up with ideas that everyone present can play.
Consider if any of your guests have special needs or disabilities that might require a modification to the game. If conducting a relay race, consider letting a child go half way if they are younger or slower than the rest of the group, or having another kid partner up to push their wheelchair.
Other individuals might prefer or need to stay seated. They can still be involved in all of the fun! Simply move the activity to where they can remain seated or bring objects to them to help them be a part of the fun.
Keep in mind that some children and adults will have sensitivity to certain loud noises, textures, objects or might be uncomfortable performing in front of groups of people. Never force someone to participate or threaten that they will not earn a prize if they don’t.
Remember, they are there to have fun!
Everybody Wins in the End
Of course, with any of the party games, prizes are ALWAYS fun to win.
Be sure, however, that each and every kid leaves with a goodie bag, though, so nobody feels like they’ve left empty-handed!
Prep the Games Ahead of Time
As much as possible, organize, open, and prepare game materials for each game prior to the party starting. Give each game it’s own designated area (or a designated bag or spot to place items if all games take place in the same area).
Open any wrappers or remove any packaging that might be needed, and set up equipment that might be necessary.
You can hang up game posters, place markers on the floor, and other little steps to get the games ready without interfering with the rest of the party.
Play (and be mindful of) music during the party
Get those tunes cranking, especially during activities! But try to remember to turn down the volume when giving instructions.
That makes things much easier and saves your voice from having to yell over the music!
Adapting Outdoor Activities to Indoor Games at the Last Minute
If the weather cooperates, then you can have some really fun and messy party games for kids’ birthdays outdoors. You can still have some wonderful games and even cater them to the indoors if the need arises.
Here are some ideas to modify games that are typically played outside to an indoor version:
Water Balloon Toss: If the weather doesn’t cooperate for a water balloon toss outside, then cover balloons with shaving cream and have the group do this in an appropriate area of the house.
Relay Races: Kids love to pair up and run races, and you can add in obstacles and different paths for them. If the weather isn’t working with you, then you can put together a “hide and go seek” version of this but have the kids work as teams.
Or create a shorter Relay in the living room, using kitchen objects to hold, balance, or stack other items.
You can also use solo cups to play stacking cups/ Speed Stacks (an agility game lots of kids learn in their elementary to middle school gym classes) and have kids form a line to make a relay out of it!
Coming up with birthday party games for kids can be all about creativity and you as the parent using a little bit of imagination!
Everyone—from the littlest player to the oldest—will have a good time playing games as a group, and the birthday party is sure to be a hit!
Pin these games to your Birthday Party board on Pinterest so you remember them when it is time to party!
Other Party Ideas You’ll Love: