Nothing beats spending the day running around, laughing, and playing games with your friends! But if you throw cake and presents into the mix, you could be looking at something that just might! Birthday parties!
With so many birthday games for kids to choose from, it’s not always easy to decide what the itinerary is going to look like. It’s not every day that kids get to celebrate their friends’ birthdays, so it’s crucial to pick the right games to make sure that they have a day they’ll remember long after it’s over.
15 Best Indoor Birthday Party Games
Kids Birthday party games can be played both indoors and outdoors. These are some of the best indoor birthday party games for kids that you can arrange at a birthday party!
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When it comes to games to play at kids birthday party, there’s nothing quite like Opposites. This game promises to keep them on their toes as they battle to stay in the game!
What you need: This game doesn’t require anything except a smile on your face and the mood to have some fun!
How to play: Like Simon Says, this requires someone to instruct the participants to do something. However, instead of doing that thing that they’ve been instructed to perform, they must figure out its opposite and do that instead! If the participants have been instructed to jump, they can consider squatting down!
Related Reading: Best Indoor and Outdoor Team Building Activities for Kids
2. Bubble Wrap Races
Bubble wrap races are sure to keep kids on their toes! Literally! While it can be played outdoors too, it works better on a hard and flat surface.
What you need: A large piece of bubble wrap that’s around 2 meters long is ideal. The longer the bubble wrap, the more nerve-wracking the game can be!
How to play: Kids have to take turns walking across the bubble wrap without popping any! Some kids might try to get on their toes, while others may slow down their pace and move forward at a snail’s pace.
3. Simon Says
When it comes to birthday games for kids, Simon Says remains a true classic!
What you need: Like Opposite, it offers a barebones approach to having fun that doesn’t require anything!
How to play: One player can start the game by instructing the others to perform an action. Most of the instructions will be preceded with the words ‘Simon Says,’ however, there may be some that are not. Any player that performs an action that isn’t preceded with the words ‘Simon Says’ is disqualified!
When we talk about birthday party games for kids that speak for themselves, Bingo comes to mind!
What you need: A pre-made set is the quickest and easiest way to get a game of Bingo started!
How to play: After handing out selection cards, all you have to do is start calling out numbers. The players can go about crossing off numbers that have been called out from their cards. The first player to cross out all numbers wins!
If there’s one birthday pastime that’s hard to go wrong with, it’s karaoke!
What you need: A karaoke machine for kids works best.
How to play: Karaoke is a popular party activity that’s light on rules. All the kids can take turns singing to the music of their favorite songs!
6. Pin the Tail on the Donkey
A popular party favorite even amongst adults, pin the tail should prove fun at birthday parties for kids!
What you need: A ready-made Pin the Tail on the Donkey kit should be easy to find! Here’s one that we like!
How to play: All the players can line up in front of the donkey poster to take a turn. After putting on a blindfold, the player should be spun around a few times before being positioned in front of the poster and handed a tail to pin onto the poster. The player that pins the tail closest to where it’s supposed to be wins the game!
7. Musical Statue
There’s nothing like dancing when it comes to getting a party started! Birthday parties are no exception!
What you need: Some great songs and any kind of loudspeaker system or television to play them on.
How to play: The rules are straightforward. When the music stops, so should you! Any player that isn’t able to freeze and become a statue the second the music stops is out of the game!
Related Reading: Children’s Songs When You Want to Dance With Your Kids
If there are two things that all kids love, it’s candy and swinging a baseball bat with a blindfold on!
What you need: A pinata stuffed with candies or other goodies and some string.
How to play: After you’ve decided on a safe, spacious area where kids can comfortably swing a bat, use a string to hang up the piñata. Bring out the bat, and let the kids take turns swinging away!
9. Balloon Stomp
You might want to plug your ears for this one! Balloon stomping is just as fun as it sounds!
What you need: All you need are some balloons, candies, and ribbons!
How to play: Start by stuffing balloons with small candies. After blowing up all the balloons, attach a ribbon to the end of each balloon. All the players can tie a balloon around their ankles. When you give the signal, the kids should go around trying to stomp on each other’s balloons. The last kid with an unburst balloon wins!
Birthday party games for kids don’t usually require flexibility. That’s hardly the case with limbo!
What you need: A long string, meter-long ruler, or measuring tape should do the job.
How to play: Two kids can start by holding the chosen limbo ‘stick’ horizontally at a comfortable height, while others can line up and start taking a shot! Each time everyone’s had a go, the stick can be lowered to ensure that it stays challenging. It shouldn’t take long before kids start falling over backward!
11. Laser Maze
What do you get when you combine streamers, some tape, and a hallway? Lazer Maze!
What you need: Any kind of streamers or ribbon and some painter’s tape should suffice.
How to play: Use painter’s tape to hold streamers to create a fun laser maze for kids to climb through. Kids can try and traverse through the streamers without touching them! To introduce an element of competition, you can time the kids to see who’s able to make it across in the least amount of time!
12. Pass the Parcel
When it comes to games for birthday party for kids, pass the parcel is one worth considering!
What you need: A small prize or goodie, newspaper, wrapping paper, and music.
How to play: Once you’ve figured out a small prize or a goodie that you know your child and their friends would love, all you have to do is wrap the prize or goodie up in lots and lots of layers of newspaper and wrapping paper. Gather the kids around in a circle, and put on some music! Every time the music plays, the kids must pass the parcel around. Every time the music stops, the kid that’s holding the parcel can take a layer of the parcel.
13. Spin the Microphone
There’s nothing like a game of spin the microphone to bring out the superstar in everyone!
What you need: A microphone works best, or you can make a prop microphone yourself.
How to play: Gather all the players in a circle and sit down. Place the microphone in the middle of the circle and give it a good spin. The person that the microphone (or prop mic) is facing wins a chance to perform a song that they like in front of everyone! Keep spinning until everyone gets a turn!
14. Indoor Bowling
Just because you’re in the mood for bowling doesn’t mean you have to take a trip down to the closest bowling alley! You can have the same fun at home!
What you need: Ten empty water bottles and a softball are all you need. If you don’t have a softball, feel free to use another kind that’s similarly sized.
How to play: Arrange the empty bottles into a triangle, or a 1:2:3:4 layout, at the end of a hallway. It would help to set them up in front of a wall, so they don’t roll around every time they’re knocked down. And that’s all there is to it! Let the players take turns with the ball and see how it reigns supreme!
15. Mummy Wrap
Even though this is a great game for Halloween, it can be fun on birthdays, too!
What you need: You should need about one roll of toilet paper for every player participating.
How to play: This game can be played both individually and in teams of two. Once you hit the timer, the player or team that’s able to wrap themselves up like a mummy first wins!
Related Reading: Best Dance Songs for Kids to Get Them Grooving
15 Best Outdoor Birthday Party Games
If you’re thinking about moving the fun outdoors, here are the best outdoor birthday party games you can rely on to keep the party going!
1. Treasure Hunt
If you want to take the party outdoors, there’s nothing better than a game of treasure hunt! This is a game that can go on forever, so beware!
What you need: All you need are an assortment of candies, small goodies, and some wrapping paper. You can wrap up an assortment of candies and goodies with some wrapping paper and hide them across your backyard, front porch, and other outdoor areas.
How to play: After gathering up all the kids, you can ask them to take turns pulling out a piece of paper from a bowl. This piece of paper should contain clues about where the treasures are located!
2. Three-legged Race
When it comes to fun games for kids birthday party, a three-legged race is hard to beat! Simple but wildly fun, this birthday classic combines teamwork with a bit of exercise.
What you need: To play this, you need something that can be used to tie each pair’s legs together. A piece of cloth should do, but a small rope or shoelace would work best!
How to play: After dividing all the participants into teams of two, ask each pair to tie one of their legs to the leg of their teammate. You might have to give them a hand in case they help. Once everyone’s ready, they can line up at a starting point and start moving forward at the count of three!
3. Tug of War
Most birthday party games for kids don’t usually require the kind of grit and teamwork that is needed to win a game of tug of war, making it one of the most exciting birthday party games for kids!
What you need: A rope that’s about 20 feet long is all you need for a game of tug of war.
How to play: After dividing all the participants into two teams, instruct the teams to line up on opposite ends of the rope. The team that’s able to pull the other side across the designated middle line wins!
4. Marco Polo
A classic water game, Marco Polo can just as easily be played on land!
What you need: All you need for a game of Marco Polo is a piece of cloth that can be used as a blindfold.
How to play: Kids can take turns being ‘it’. The person that’s ‘it’ has to put on the blindfold and say ‘Marco’ while the other players have to reply ‘Polo!’ the player with the blindfold must then rely on their reply to tag someone, who can then be the next person that’s ‘it’!
5. Egg and Spoon Race
If you’re looking to raise the stakes, not many party games for kids can do that quite like an egg and spoon race!
What you need: Spoons and unboiled eggs. You get the idea!
How to play: After fixing a starting and ending point, ask the players to line up by the starting point. With a spoon in each hand and an unboiled egg on their spoon, the kids should start racing forward on a count of three! The players aren’t allowed to use their hands to keep the egg from falling off the spoon. The first player to make it to the endpoint without dropping their egg wins!
6. Capture the Flag
If you’re looking for games for birthday parties for kids that offer team-based fun, then you can’t go wrong with Capture the Flag!
What you need: A flag, bandana, or just about any soft object should do!
How to play: Divide the kids into two teams. After you’ve divided the play area into sides, the kids can get into position and start crossing into the other teams’ territory to try and recover the ‘flag’! If they get tagged in the process, they’ll have to stay in ‘jail’ until someone comes and rescues them! The team that’s captured the flag the most number of times wins!
7. Musical Chairs
Birthday party games for kids usually don’t get as competitive or exciting as a game of musical chairs!
What you need: All you need are some chairs, speakers, and of course, some music!
How to play: Arrange the chairs in a straight line so that every alternate chair is facing the same side. In other words, the first, third, and fifth chairs should face the same direction, while the second, fourth, and sixth chairs should face the other direction. Every time you stop the music, any player that hasn’t been able to secure a seat is disqualified!
Related Reading: Best ABC Song for Kids That Will Make Them Dance & Enjoy
8. Sack Race
It’s hard to think of a sillier competitive party game than a sack race!
What you need: Depending on the number of players, you’ll need burlap sacks. Large pillowcases work fine, too.
How to play: The players can line up at the starting line and step into their sacks (or pillowcases). At the count of three, they can start hopping along toward the finish line. First to the finish line wins!
9. Wheelbarrow Races
If you’ve ever used a wheelbarrow, you already know where we’re going with this!
What you need: No, you’re not going to need an actual wheelbarrow for this game!
How to play: Divide all the participants into pairs. While one person should put their hands on the ground, the other person should pick them up by their legs. And voila! All the pairs can assemble in this position at the starting line. They can start at the count of three, and the first person to the finish line wins!
10. Water Balloon Toss
If you’re looking for a birthday party game that takes the fun outdoors, your search ends with a game of water balloon toss!
What you need: All you need for this game are some balloons and water.
How to play: Fill up some balloons with water and tie them up so that the water inside doesn’t leak. All the players shall stand in a circle and start tossing the ball along. Let’s see how long it takes before the balloon bursts! And when it does, bring out another and keep the fun going!
11. Hula Hoop Contest
Hula hoops might sound like harmless fun, but they can be a challenging test of endurance! Sprinkled with a lot of fun, of course!
What you need: All you need for this game are some hula hoops.
How to play: After handing out hula hoops to all the players, instruct everyone to keep a safe distance from one another. Once they’re ready to start, let the fun begin! The player that can last the longest wins!
12. Balloon Challenge
While this game works indoors, a light breeze should help make it more fun!
What you need: The same number of balloons as the number of kids participating.
How to play: After everyone’s received their balloon, with one arm behind their back, they should keep bouncing it in the air! The last person to drop their balloon on the ground wins!
13. Hide and Seek
An old-fashioned game of hide and seek is all it takes to turn up the fun!
What you need: A good hiding spot!
How to play: One player should count to a hundred while everyone else scrambles off to hide. The person that’s caught first becomes the seeker in the next round! You can also establish ground rules about off-limits areas to keep the game safe and exciting!
14. Hot Potato
If you’re looking to raise the stakes, count on a game of hot potato!
What you need: You can use an actual potato or just about anything of similar size.
How to play: Let some music play! The kids, seated in a circle, should start passing down the hot potato as the music continues. Whoever has the potato when the music is randomly stopped is out of the game! You can keep playing and pausing the music until there’s only one player left!
15. Bobbing for Apples
While bobbing for apples remains a Halloween staple, it makes a great birthday game, too!
What you need: A large bowl filled to the brim with water and lots of apples!
How to play: Have the kids take turns trying to pull out an apple from the bowl with nothing but their mouth! Bobbing for apples can feel frustrating when you’re not able to make proper contact with an apple, but it’s always fun!
Related Reading: Best Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages
Let’s Get Playing!
Whether it’s a game of tug of war out in the backyard, or an indoor game like bowling, birthday parties are a playground for exciting, competitive, and fun games. With these 30 games to choose from, you’re not going to run out of games anytime soon!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do these games require adult supervision?
While some games like limbo, sack race, and three-legged race may require supervision because of the slight likelihood of kids falling and getting hurt, most other games should not require adult supervision.
How should I pick and prepare for these games before my child’s birthday?
Ask your child about the games their friends enjoy! That should give you a good idea of what to incorporate. You can include a good balance of both indoor and outdoor games to keep the party fun!