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50 Cool Activities & Birthday Party Games For Kids

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It’s your child’s birthday and you want to make it special. What can you do to make the day memorable? One of the best things you can do is have a fun-filled birthday party with games and activities that will keep the kids entertained.

These favourite birthday party games for kids and birthday party activities will keep everyone busy and happy!

Kids at birthday party holding balloons above their heads

The Best Activities & Birthday Party Games For Kids

A kids’ birthday party is never complete without a few fun games to entertain the kids, but why stop there! Not only will you find the best party games for kids, but also loads of fun birthday party activities for kids too.

But first, here are some tips for planning a perfect kids’ birthday party!

Tips For Planning Birthday Party Activities For Kids

Planning a kid’s birthday party can feel overwhelming, but with a little planning and these birthday party tips, you can easily create an unforgettable day for your child and all their friends.

Here are some quick tips for planning a children’s birthday party celebration:

  • Choose a location: Will you be hosting a party at home, in a park or at an entertainment venue?
  • Set a date and time: Once you have all the above information, you can set a date and time for the party.
  • Book venue & entertainment: If you are having the party elsewhere or want entertainment for the day, book these as early as possible.
  • Choose a theme: A fun children’s birthday party theme will help to set the tone for the whole event and make it more memorable.
  • Make a guest list: This is important so you can plan activities and games, food and make sure your venue is large enough to accommodate your guest list.
  • Send out invitations: Around 2 weeks before is a good time frame for kids’ parties.
  • Plan activities and games: Choose birthday party games for kids that are age-appropriate and will keep all the guests entertained.
  • Prepare food and drinks: Make sure to have enough food and drinks for everyone at the party.

And of course, enjoy the celebration!!

Free printable birthday party checklist

Outdoor Birthday Party Games 

If you are hosting a birthday party at home, there’s a good chance you will be entertaining kids in the backyard or in your patio area, so these games are great options for outdoor party fun.

They also work great for birthday parties held in parks. And some can be adapted for indoor play if you are faced with bad weather!

Relay Race

This is a classic party game that can be played with a large group of kids. It’s also great for burning off some extra energy! All you need is a straight stretch of yard.

How to play: Divide the kids into teams and line them up into even groups at either end of the track. The first child in each team runs to the finish line, tags the next child on their team, and then that child runs back to the starting line to tag the next child until everyone in the team has had a run. The winning team is the one that finishes first!

Scavenger Hunt

Birthday scavenger hunt printable

A scavenger hunt is perfect for kids of all ages and can easily be tailored to the location you are hosting the party. It can even be done indoors if needed.

How to play: Give each child a list of items to find. The first child to find all the items on their list wins! The items can be anything you might find around the yard, such as this nature scavenger hunt, or party related items instead, such as this birthday party scavenger hunt.

Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt is similar to a scavenger hunt, except the goal is to find the hidden treasure. This can be done inside or outside and is perfect for a pirate-themed birthday party with a treasure map if you want to go all out.

How to play: Hide a small prize or enough little prizes for each child somewhere in the yard (make sure it’s well hidden!) and give the kids a clue or a map to help them find the treasure. Another way to play is to just hide treats or small prizes all around and let the kids go find as many as they can, much like an Easter Egg hunt.

Water Balloon Toss

Boy trying to catch a water balloon without busting it

This is a great game for a hot day! All you need is a bucket of filled water balloons to get started.

How to play: Divide the kids into pairs and have them line up so each pair is facing one another. Start by standing close together and taking turns tossing the water balloon to their partner. If the child opposite them catches it, they take a big step back. If the balloon pops, that team is out! The last pair standing wins!

Sack Races

A sack race is a fun game that’s perfect for kids of all ages. All you need is a few sacks or pillowcases (one for each child) and some space to run.

How to play: Have the kids prepare by getting into their sacks at the start line then they must hop to the finish line as fast as they can. The first one over the line is the winner!

Musical Chairs

Kids playing musical chairs outdoors

This classic game can easily be played indoors (if you have enough space) or outdoors by setting up chairs in a circle on the grass.

How to play: Kids walk around the circle of chairs while music plays. When the music stops, they all race to sit in the nearest chair. Each round, one chair is removed so the child left without a chair is out until only one remain.

Obstacle Course

Young girl crawling under pool noodle tunnel

An obstacle course is a great way to keep kids entertained, especially if you have a large group. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be.

How to play: Set up a course using things you have around the house or yard, such as hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and more. Give the kids instructions on what order to follow the course and what to do at each obstacle and let them enjoy the fun!

3-Legged Race

This classic birthday party game is perfect for kids of all ages and is sure to get everyone laughing! All you need is some short lengths of rope or string for each pair.

How to play: Have kids pair up and tie one of each of their legs together so they essentially have 3 legs between them. The pairs then have to race to cross the finish line, with the first pair over the line dubbed the winners!

Piñata Smash

A little girl hitting a unicorn pinata at a birthday party

A piñata is always a hit with the kids knowing they are soon to score themselves some treats! All you need is a piñata (you can buy one or make your own), a stick or bat, a blindfold and some candy or small toys to stuff it with.

How to play: Hang the piñata from a tree branch or other high spot such as off your outdoor patio. Have the kids take turns being blindfolded and taking a swing at the piñata until it breaks open and the treats come raining down!

Egg & Spoon Race

This is a classic race that can be enjoyed by all ages. All you need is eggs (or ping pong balls if you don’t fancy a heap of smashed eggs on your lawn) and a spoon for each child.

How to play: Line the kids up at the start line and give each an egg on a spoon. They must then race to the finish line without dropping their egg. If the egg falls, they must return to the start (and get a new egg if needed) and begin again. The first to cross the finish line without dropping their egg wins!

Nerf Battle

Nerf battles are always a hit with the kids! You’ll need some Nerf guns (one for each child) and plenty of ammo.

How to play: You can either let kids go for a free for all Nerf War or set up targets around the yard and divide the kids into teams and have them score points for their team members by hitting targets. Plastic cups on a ledge or cut up pool noodles as targets work great for this!

Water Balloon Battle

Boy hit with water balloon while playing a game

Summer parties are always better with a water fight! All you need is a heap of water balloons and some enthusiastic kids.

You will want them pre-filled, so get one of the bunch of balloons sets so you can fill them up in bulk in one go!

How to play: Put water balloons in buckets around the yard and let the kids have a blast propelling them at each other until they are soaked!

Tip: Have an ’emu parade’ clean up session after your water fight by having kids all walk in a line and pick up any balloon pieces they find in their path. This will save you heaps of time on clean up later!

Tug Of War

Kids playing tug of war outside

This is a great game to play with a large group of kids. All you need is a rope and some willing participants!

How to play: Divide the kids into two teams and have them stand at opposite ends of the rope. On the signal, they must pull on the rope until one team has pulled the other team across the line

Limbo

This classic party game is always a hit with party guests of all ages and is sure to get everyone laughing! All you need is a long stick or broom and some music.

How to play: Have the kids take turns going under the limbo stick by leaning backwards while it’s held at different heights by two people. The object of the game is to go under the stick without touching it or falling backwards.

Water Squirter Battle

Kids having a water pistol fight

This fun birthday party activity brings the best of both water balloon and Nerf battles into one with enough water pistols for each child to soak each other!

How To Play: Have buckets of water around the yard for easy refilling and let the kids have a blast skirting each other!

Capture The Flag

This is a great game for larger groups and can be played with kids of all ages. It can be a great birthday party game for teens too! All you need is a large open space, two flags or bandanas and some enthusiastic participants!

How to play: The object of the game is to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to your own base. Each team must have a flag or bandana that they must protect. If a player is tagged by someone from the other team, they are sent to jail (a marked out area in their opponent teams area). To get out of jail, players must be freed by their teammates by tagging them. The first team to capture the other team’s flag wins!

Red Rover

This classic outdoor game is perfect for larger groups of kids and is just as fun at a party as it is on the school oval! All you need is an open space.

How to play: The teams stand on opposite sides of an open space holding hands with their teammates. Each team takes turns to call out “Red Rover, Red Rover, I call over…” and the name of the person they call. That chosen player must run towards the other team and attempt to break through the clasped hands of two of them. If they don’t make it, they join the opposing team. If they do make it, they get to return to their own team with one of the two people from the broken link.

What’s The Time Mr Wolf?

Kids playing outdoor games at a party

This is another perfect game for large groups of kids to play in an open space. One that will remind parents of their own youth too!

How to play: One player is chosen to be Mr Wolf and stands at one end of the playing area with their back to the other players who are lined up at the other end. The rest of the players call out “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” and Mr Wolf replies with a time e.g. “It’s four o’clock”. The players then take that many steps towards Mr Wolf. Once they get close enough, Mr Wolf can reply with “Dinner time” and turns around to chase the other kids. If they catch someone, they then take over as Mr Wolf.

Duck Duck Goose

This is an easy birthday party game that can be played with kids of all ages. All you need is an open space and a lot of energy! No props needed! This is a great game for younger children.

How to play: One player starts as the “goose” and walks around the circle of seated players tapping each one on the head whilst saying “duck”. They then randomly tap someone as goose and that play must get up and chase the goose. If the goose makes it to their empty space before they are tagged, the new player then becomes the goose. If they catch them in time, the player continues as goose for another round.

Junk In The Trunk

This hilarious Minute To Win It style of game is great for kids and teen birthday party games. You will need two empty tissue boxes with a hole through each side to thread a rope through. You will also need a heap of ping pong balls.

How to play: Players must tie the tissue boxes around their waists so that the tissue box sits against their bottom. Fill each tissue box with the same number of ping pong balls and have the kids their shake their hips to get all of the ping pong balls out. The first player to get all of their ping pong balls out is the winner!

Tip: if you don’t want to make your own, you can get the Twerk Pong game to use instead!

Stuck In The Mud

This is another active birthday party game that is perfect for kids of all ages as a fun alternative to tag. You will need an open space making it perfect for large backyards or parties at the park.

How to play: Players must spread out around the playing area. One player starts as “it” and rushes to tag other players. If they get tagged, they must stand with their hands on their head and feet wide apart and other players need to crawl through their legs to free them, without getting caught themselves.

Hanging Donuts

Hanging donuts game at a halloween kids party

If you want a birthday party game that is sure to get the kids laughing, then this one is for you! You will need some donuts (with the hole in the middle), string and somewhere to hang them. A clothesline is a great option or from the patio bars.

Make sure you hang them lower for young children or shorter kids so they aren’t at a disadvantage.

How to play: Hang the doughnuts from strings so they are around level with the kid’s faces and have each child stand in front of a doughnut with hands behind their backs. When you say GO, players begin eating their donut using just their mouths. No hands allowed! The first to finish the doughnut is the winner!

Hula Hoop Competition

Hula hoops are not just for kids! This birthday party game can be enjoyed by all ages and is a great way to get everyone up and moving. You will need as many hula hoops as you have players.

How to play: Players must do their best hula hoop moves to keep their hoop spinning. If it drops, they are out. The last person standing is the champ!

Indoor Birthday Party Games

These indoor party games are perfect for parties hosted at indoor party venues, for wet weather days or when you are simply planning an indoor celebration for your child.

These indoor games for parties are also great for classroom activities if you are looking for a fun break between lessons!

Balloon Stomp

For this hilarious balloon game, you will need lengths of string tied to balloons. And enough space to jump around.

How To Play: Each player has a balloon tied to their ankle on a length of string. The goal is to protect their balloon while attempting to stop on everyone else’s balloons. The last person with their balloon still inflated is the winner.

Musical Statues

Young kids dancing during a party game

When it comes to classic party games, this one can be enjoyed by all ages and is a great way to get everyone up and moving. You will need some music and space to move around.

How To Play: Start the music for players to dance around. When the music stops, players must freeze in their position. The last person to freeze is out each round until only one statue remains.

Simon Says

Simon Says this is a great game to play at parties! You will need a clear area and enough space for all of your guests.

How To Play: One player (or a parent) is Simon and the others are the followers. The Simon player gives commands to the followers such as ‘Simon says touch your toes’ and the players are to do the action. But if they just say ‘Touch your toes’ without saying ‘Simon says’ first then the followers must ignore the instruction. If anyone attempts to follow those instructions, they are out.

Pass The Parcel

Kids playing pass the parcel at a party

No matter what, pass the parcel is always a birthday party game favourite and kids love to unwrap layers of surprises.

What you will need is some small prizes or chocolates and candies and wrapping paper or newspaper. Start by wrapping the first prize and then you can either add prizes to every layer or just some of the layers.

How To Play: Kids sit in a circle on the floor and the music begins to play. As the music is playing, the parcel is passed around the circle to each child. When the music pauses, the child holding the parcel can unwrap one layer and claim any prizes in their layer. The game continues until there are no layers left and the last prize is claimed.

Keepy Uppy

Little girl hitting yellow balloon up in the air

This game is perfect for hosting a Bluey birthday party and is a great option for any kids who love the popular Australian children’s program. All you need is a balloon (or a few balloons if you want to make it extra challenging.

How To Play: Players must not let the balloon touch the ground, moving as fast as they can to prevent it from dropping by hitting it back up into the air. There isn’t really a winner for this game, but it’s a lot of fun for kids of all ages!

Hot Potato

This is an easy birthday party game for children. All you need for this simple game is a small, soft ball or an actual potato and some music. Or you can get the Hot Potato game with built-in music too.

How To Play: Kids sit in a circle on the floor and pass the potato around as fast as they can while the music is playing. When the music stops, the child holding the potato is out. The game continues until there is only one child remaining who is declared the winner.

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

This simple birthday party game requires a few simple materials. A blindfold and a donkey poster with tails that can be pinned (or taped) on. You can get cheap pin the tail kits from most dollar stores or party supply stores!

How to play: Hang the donkey poster on a wall or door. Each child takes turns being blindfolded and trying to pin the tail in the correct spot. The child who gets closest to the correct spot is the winner!

Tip: It helps to have different coloured tails or to name the tails so you remember who’s pin is which.

Minute To Win It Games

These games are great for kids birthday parties as they are quick, easy to set up and often use items you might already have at home. They are perfect for keeping kids entertained and can be played both indoors and outdoors.

Each Minute To Win It game has different rules of play, and you will need a timer to keep the rounds to one minute each.

Here are a few fun Minute To Win It party game ideas:

Hide & Seek

Who doesn’t love a game of hide and seek! A great option for indoors on rainy days or for the backyard if you have plenty of safe hiding places.

How To Play: One player is ‘It’ and counts to 50 (or whatever number you choose) with their eyes closed while the other players hide. Once the time is up, they try to find all of the hidden players. The first person to be found is ‘It’ ‘ for the next round.

Escape Room Challenge

Create your own escape room challenge with the party guests and challenge them to complete the puzzles and clues until they can solve the mystery and ‘escape’.

This makes for a fun teen party game too since the challenges tend to be targeted towards older kids and above.

How To Play: Use a free online escape room challenge or create your own by setting up clues and activities for the kids to solve.

Charades

A group of kids playing charades at an indoor party venue

Charades is great fun for older children, tweens and teens for a party game since they are a little better at working out the silent clues. Best of all, you don’t need any props at all for this one!

How To Play: One player thinks of a movie, TV show, book or song etc and they act it out with clues as they are not allowed to speak. The other players have to guess what it is. The player who guesses correctly gets to go next.

Heads Down, Thumbs Up

This is a classic classroom game we always played on a Friday afternoon in the 5 minutes before the bell rang and it makes for a fun party game too. You don’t need any props.

How To Play: 3-4 players are picked to be up for that round. All remaining players put their heads down on the table (or floor) with their eyes shut and thumbs up. The players who are up go around and choose a person by tagging their thumb. That player then puts their thumb down so they can’t be tagged again. When they have each tagged a person, all the players who were tagged have to try and guess who tagged them. If they get it correct, they take the place of the tagger for the next round. If they don’t, that person remains up for another round.

Pictionary

Put their drawing skills to the test! You’ll need some paper and pens or pencils for this one. Or better still, a large blackboard or whiteboard that can easily be seen by the group of kids.

How To Play: One player thinks of a word or phrase and draws a picture to represent it without writing any words. The other players have to guess what it is. The first person to guess correctly gets to go next.

Sardines

Two kids hiding during a game

This no-prop party game is a twist on the classic kid’s game of hide and seek.

How To Play: One player is ‘It’ and goes and hides somewhere in the house or backyard. All the other players then have to go and find them. Once they find the person who is ‘It’, they quietly join them in their hiding spot instead of calling out like in hide and seek. By the time the last person finds them, all the other players will be crammed into the hiding spot like sardines. The last person is then ‘It’ for the next round.

Balloon Bust

You’ll need a few water balloons for this one. You can play it with normal balloons or for a funny outdoor twist, use water balloons instead. So many laughs with this game!

How To Play: Each player takes a balloon and places it on the floor or a chair and must try and bust it by sitting on it. No hands allowed. The first person to burst their balloon wins!

You might also want to check out these Halloween party games and Christmas party game ideas.

Kids’ Activities For Birthday Parties

While games are always a winning choice for entertaining kids at birthday parties, having an activity can also be a great way to keep the children busy and happy for the duration of the birthday party.

I love to have some type of make and take activity at kids’ birthday parties since it gives kids the opportunity to do something creative, plus they get to take home the item they made too. A fantastic alternative to lolly goodie bags!

Here are some great ideas for birthday party activities for kids:

  • Make a fairy garden
  • Colouring in station
  • Playdough table
  • Paint a canvas
  • Tie-dye a shirt or socks
  • Jewellery making
  • Party hat decorating
  • Superhero mask decorating
  • Cupcake decorating
  • Cookie decorating
  • Bubbles
  • Fossil dig

For more fun options, check out these kids’ birthday party entertainment ideas and balloon party games for kids!

Ultimate Party Planner

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The ultimate birthday party planner

Make your party planning easier with the ultimate printable party planner and event planner bundle. Over 40 printable pages to plan every part of your next celebration for adults or kids parties!

You will have no trouble keeping kids entertained with these easy and fun games to play at birthday parties and exciting kids activities for birthday parties too.

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Fun birthday party games for kids