25+ Birthday Party Games for Kids of All Ages
A celebration isn't complete without one of these exciting birthday party games for kids. They're mighty fun for little players.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Turn your favorite outdoor games into an Olympic competition! Divide the group into three teams and watch the games unfold. Once the last game is played, hand out these gold, silver and bronze medals to each winning team. Or, make your own DIY medals using cardboard, shiny foil and string. Cut the cardboard into circles, wrap and attach the foil around the cardboard and punch a hole into the top of the cardboard circle to tie the string through. Get really crafty and add a construction paper number on top of the foil.
Potato Sack Race
On your marks, get set, race! Start off the game by lining up the little racers in their sacks and blow the whistle. Whoever hops across the finish line first, wins. If you don’t have potato sacks on hand, the littles can hop around in used pillowcases or drawstring laundry bags instead.
Blast the tunes and play a game of how-low-can-you-go limbo. Lower the limbo stick lower and lower until the last player is shimmying under the limbo stick. A limbo stick can be made of anything—PVC pipes, a pool noodle or even a broom (as long as it has some flair!). Add some DIY birthday magic to it by wrapping the stick with streamers, colorful wrapping paper and ribbon. We love this game for pool parties.
Twister with a creative twist! Pour paint onto the Twister mat and have the kids play a color-filled round of this classic birthday game. For extra fun, have the kiddos wear white shirts so they’ll have a custom paint-splattered souvenir to take home. Just make sure you’re playing this one outside because spoiler alert: things are about to get real messy.
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars: birthday party game edition. Pair or group the kiddos into teams and have them create their own choreography to the song of their choice. When it’s showtime, have a panel of judges rate the dancers with number cards. The winning team gets to teach the rest of the group their showstopping dance.
Red rover, red rover, the kids will love this party game when they come over. To play, have the kids line up and link arms in two separate lines. Then, each line will alternate saying the riddle, “Red rover, red rover, let __ come over!” where they will choose one kid from the opposing line to run over and try to break their chain. If the kid can’t break their linked arms, they’ll join their team. If successful, their team wins!
Bingo is the perfect game to wind the kids down after a day of shenanigans. Add a custom touch by printing off empty bingo cards so you can personalize the game with questions that pertain to the birthday kid. Whoever gets the first bingo, gets first dibs on a slice of birthday cake (well, after the birthday girl or boy gets theirs, of course).
Hide written clues around the house or backyard to the lead the little ones to the buried treasure. You can be as cryptic or direct as you’d like. In the last envelope, leave a key to open up the treasure chest. Make sure to fill the treasure chest with kid-approved goodies like mini candy bars, gold coins, keychains and temporary tattoos. Complete the day with a treasure chest birthday cake.
Tight on budget and on time? Add a few rounds of hide-and-seek to your kid’s party game agenda. Turn things up a notch by playing a round of hide-and-seek tag. If a player is found, the finder will have to tag them to be it next.
Think of bucket toss as a mini (and kid-friendly) version of cornhole. Line up sand pails and have the kids take turns tossing bean bags into the pails. As there are no official rules for bucket toss, have players toss until they’ve gotten all of their bean bags into a bucket or make it a relay race with two separate teams. We like this as an adult party game, too.
A game where every kid loves the ending. Blindfold each little one and see who can crack open the piñata using a bat or a broomstick. Once it breaks, watch as the kiddos dive to grab fistfuls of their favorite candies and toys. Plus, piñatas are perfect for incorporating your party theme. Here’s how to make a piñata at home! (If you’re throwing a pizza party, you’ve got to check out these mini pizza-shaped piñatas.)
Tug of War
This. Is. War! Two teams will battle it out by pulling their side of the rope with all of their might. Whichever team pulls the other to their knees, reigns as the tug of war champions.
Challenge the little ones to an obstacle course. To make your own DIY obstacle course, gather your kid’s favorite outdoor toys (think: slides, hula hoops and jump rope) and arrange them around your backyard. Then, time each kid and see who comes out on top as the quickest player. Or better yet, set up two courses for a live-action race.
A game of charades will bring out the kiddo’s best acting skills. After hearing the little ones yell out their guesses, you may want to join for a game, too. This charades set even comes with three levels of clues so all ages can enjoy this game.
Water Balloon Toss
For a game of water balloon toss, pair up the guests and have them toss a water balloon to each other. For every toss, have the players take a step back. Play until there’s only one team remaining with their balloon intact. Have extra water balloons on hand in case there are a few accidents before the game begins. Trust me, even “big kids” drop their water balloons. It’s one of our favorite outdoor games for summer.
Truth or Dare
This classic party game is perfect for winding the kids down after a day of fun (and perfect for sleepovers!). For spooky parties, make one of the dares to try a slice of brainy cake.
Toilet Paper Fashion Show
Let the little ones show off their fashion design skills with a toilet paper fashion show. Using only a roll of toilet paper, kiddos can wrap, drape and stylize their perfect toilet paper dress. Then, have each model strut their stuff down the runway. It’s a must-have princess party game!
This exciting kid’s party game will get the kiddos up on their feet! Pump up the jams and have them walk around a circle of chairs. Pause the music and the little ones will scramble to find an available chair so they’re not out of the game. Play until there are only two players left to duel to become the musical chair champion. Throw in an extra challenge by asking the kiddos to walk in reverse, hop and skip to the next available seat.
Racing to the finish line is a little bit harder with a third leg in tow. To start a three-legged race, first, tie a bandana or fabric around each partner’s legs. Then, the pair will have to work together to run towards the finish line—without falling down, of course. Make things tricky by having the players run backward, crawl on their hands and feet or skip to the finish line.
Gather the kids in a circle for this fast-paced game. Similar to musical chairs, play the birthday kiddo’s favorite tunes and have them toss the “potato” around the circle. Once the music stops, the little one holding the potato is out. Play it until there’s only one player standing. If it’s a steamy summer day, trade in a hot potato for a water balloon instead.
Let’s see how well your little ones listen. Assign one player as “Simon” who chooses everyone’s next move. Players need to pay close attention, though, because they only follow what Simon says. If a player follows a command that isn’t worded with “Simon says _”, they’re out! Whoever makes it to the very last round is Simon next.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Pin the tail on the donkey (or pin the tail on the unicorn if you’re throwing a unicorn party) will get the little ones giggling. Blindfold the littles and see who can get closest to pinning the tail on the correct spot. If that’s too simple, spin them a few times before they take their aim.
Egg and Spoon Race
Who doesn’t love a good relay race? Hand out hard-boiled eggs or golf balls and spoons to each kid. Then, have them gather at the starting line. Once you blow the whistle, the little ones need to make it to the finish line while keeping their egg balanced on their spoon. The catch here is that if their egg falls off their spoon, they’ve got to go back to the starting line and restart. Whoever makes it to the finish line first, wins!
Break out the glitter at your kid’s spa birthday party. It’s time for a makeover like you’ve never seen before. The challenge? Each mini makeup artist is blindfolded. There’s bound to be some laughs once they take a look in the mirror. Have makeup wipes handy for easy removal (so they can give each other a real makeover afterward).
Marco? Polo! Kids love this updated version of hide-and-seek. One player is chosen as “It.” Blindfolded or with eyes closed, they’ll call out “Marco.” The other partygoers will say “Polo” as “It” tries to catch one of them. When someone is tagged, they become “It,” and the fun continues! It can be played in the pool to cool down on a hot day or on land. To keep the game fair, set a time limit on how long one person can be “It.”
Wealan Pollard/Getty Images
What’s in the Bag?
Who knew a paper bag could be so much fun?! Fill a non-transparent bag with fun goodies that partygoers can keep afterwards, like toy cars, pieces of candy and even some repurposed birthday party decorations. Let each kiddo reach into the bag and blindly choose an object, feeling it and guessing what it might be. If they get it right when they pull it out, they get to keep it! The difficulty of this guessing game can be customized based on the age of the players. Celebrating a first birthday? Check out our best birthday ideas for younger guests of honor.
Irina Shatilova/Getty Images
Capture the Flag
Pair off the kiddos onto two teams and divide the yard or room in half, with each side marked with a flag for “home base.” Each team’s goal is to protect their flag and steal the other team’s, successfully bringing their opponent’s flag back to their base. Caught sneaking into enemy territory? If an intrepid player gets tagged, they get sent to jail—and need their teammates to plan a jailbreak in order to get free! For a nighttime party, play capture the flag with a glow-in-the-dark set.
Cross the Lava
A volcano has erupted, and now the ground is lava! In small teams, the young adventurers must get from one zone to another—without touching the floor. If you want to protect your furniture, give each team a few sheets of lava-proof kraft paper as they work together to get to safety. To really set the mood, decorate the party area with paper flames. Here’s even more party decoration inspiration.
Minute to Win It
Play to beat the clock with a variety of quick games that use items from around the house. Some popular ones include placing a cookie on each player’s forehead and challenging them to get it into their mouths and eat it — without using their hands! Test juggling skills by giving the tykes two or three balloons each that they have to keep in the air until the timer runs out. Or be nosy: task players to roll a potato from one side of the room to the other, using only their noses.