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The Best Birthday Party Games for Kids | How to Make Your Party POP!

The best birthday party games for kids can either be the icing on the cake of a great gathering or make it slowly slide off like poorly applied fondant. Whether you’re putting on a party for a toddler or an older child, you want party games kids will love, not get bored with after a few seconds. Games and playing are good for the brain, after all!

In this fun party games ideas guide, we’ve come up with 24 games for kid’s party to ensure the kids have a blast!  We’ve got your old classic party games for kids, as well as few unique party games for kids that might help take your next children’s party to the next level!

So if you want your kid’s party to POP – here are some of our very best tips for fun party games for kids. 

The Best Birthday Party Games for Kids

Ahhh, children’s party games used to be so simple, didn’t they? Pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, and everyone went home with a bag of sugar strapped to their faces.

With the rise of things like Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, however, it now seems like today’s parties are all in competition with each other. Who can have the most complicated cake? Who can spend the most money on decorations?

As a parent, sometimes you need to choose where you want to spend your energy. Studies have shown that kids are (wait for it) KIDS. Kids can create fun from ANYWHERE – so there really is no need for costly and complicated birthday games for kids.  As long as the kids are with their friends, they’ll have fun no matter what!

With that in mind, here is a list of simple and easy kids party games that won’t only not break the bank but, more importantly, won’t break your sanity in the process.

RELATED: Best Birthday Party Venues in Brisbane for Kids

Traditional party games for kids

Traditional party games for kids are often the best as they require little thinking from you and all the kids know and love them.

Consider which of these party games for girls and boys are suitable, keeping in mind the age and developmental stages of the children involved. Some of these birthday games to play will be difficult for children who have difficulty with emotional regulation and concepts like sharing and taking turns, particularly if you’re hosting a party for small children.  When it comes to toddler party games, games where everyone wins a prize tends to best.  Keep this in mind when organising.

For these birthday celebration games, it’s best to purchase a range of little trinkets for prizes in advance.  Anything will do really, but if you need some ideas here are a few things we think make great little prizes:

  1. Pass The Parcel

One of the most popular kid’s party games would have to pass the parcel.  This popular party game for kids requires a little prep from you – organising small gifts (see above) and wrapping and then, of course, some and music.

One of the great things about pass the parcel is that’s perfect if you’re looking for indoor party games for kids or outdoor birthday party games for kids.  Also, both young children and older children enjoy it. 

If this is one of the party games for small children you decide to play, you may need to help little ones with the concept of passing on and understanding that everyone has to take a turn.

  1. What’s The Time, Mr Wolf?

This is a counting and strategy game which is great if you’re looking for birthday party games for 5 year olds or a little older.

To play the game, one child is the ‘wolf’ and stands away from the others with her, or his back turned. The other children shout “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?” and the Wolf answers with a time (for example – 3 o’clock). The children advance forward and shout again until the wolf eventually says “It’s dinner time!” and chases the others. The child who is caught then becomes the wolf.

This is probably best as if you’re looking for outdoor party games for kids.  Also if you’re super keen, you could even grab a wolf mask for the child who plays the “wolf”.

  1. Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Pin the tail on the donkey is certainly one of those classic party games for toddlers to play or even older children still love it too.

You can buy these packages very cheaply from any store or online. Children are blindfolded and take turns ‘pinning’ (use blu tack) the tail on the poster to see who can get closest to the tail.

These days there are plenty of different versions of this game where you can pin the something or rather on … well, whatever you can think of.  Here are some other options to consider:

  1. Musical Statues

When it comes to fun games for kid’s party – musical statues is certainly one of them.  All you need are some tunes!

Traditional kids party games like musical statutes are great as they require no preparation whatsoever.  All you need is some music.  Turn the music on and let the kids dance then pause it to see who can freeze. If kids move when they’re supposed to be frozen, then they are ‘out’.

  1. Follow The Leader

Another one of the easy party games for kids that require no preparation – follow the leader.  Plus this is a game often played at kindy or childcare so it’s great if you’re looking for toddler party games and activities too as most kids will be more than familiar with it.

  1. Limbo

The limbo is another one of the games to play at kids birthday party that usually gets everyone involved.  Gosh, I’ve even seen a few parents get involved!

This is best for slightly older kids who have a bit more dexterity and control. Mind you it doesn’t take long for the little ones get the hang of it either.

  1. Musical Chairs

Musical chairs is perhaps one of the best party games for kids ever!!!  Or is that just me who loves it???

You know this one – just put some chairs in a circle and play the music. Children rush to find a chair when the music stops. Take a chair away each time until the final two have to battle to get the winner’s seat.

  1. Egg and Spoon Race

An oldie but still one of the good birthday party games, particularly if you’re looking for garden party games for kids.  All you need to do is boil some eggs (I don’t recommend you use eggs that aren’t boiled, or you’ll have a big mess to clean up!) and get the kids to balance them on a spoon.  The winner is the child who crosses the finish line first.

If you have lots of kids and little space, do the games in heats.  This is great for the kids to cheer each other on from the sidelines too.

  1. Unstructured Play

Who’da thunk it? Get out some age-appropriate toys and let their imaginations run wild. We love this range of outdoor GIANT GAMES – click here.

Toddler Games

balloon games for kids

You should be able to find some birthday party games for small kids in the above list, but if you want some specific toddler birthday party games, then we’ve got you covered in this section.

  1. Pass the Ball

Pass the parcel is one of the great party games for small kids, but who has seen little ones hold the parcel a little longer then they should or start ripping into before the music has stopped?  Well to prevent those issues consider playing pass the ball.

In pass the ball, the kids pass the ball around, and when the music stops, the child with the ball leaves the circle and gets a small prize.  The game continues until there is only one child left with the ball and that child receives the main prize.

You could even purchase a super cool ball, like a toddler soccer ball and that be the prize.

  1. Duck Duck Goose

When it comes to little kid party games, all kids love Duck Duck Goose.  This game is played with all the kids sitting in a circle, and one child walks around the outside tapping the others on the head one at a time saying “duck, duck, duck”.  Then they randomly say “goose” as they tap a child on the head, then that child must get up immediately and chase the other child around the circle.  If the head tapper gets back to the spot without getting caught, the person left standing becomes the new goose.  If the person gets caught, however, they continue tapping the children on the head.

There is no real winner in this game, so be sure to have a little prize for all the children.

  1. Bubbles & Balloons

Birthday party games for little kids, don’t have to be complex – even letting them play with some bubbles from a bubble machine will keep them busy for a while.  There are so many different bubble machines out there, check them out here

Or try one from this huge list of these balloon games for kids – so simple!

Just make sure you have plenty of bubble solution & balloons on hand, so you don’t run out!

  1. Treasure Hunt

You want party games for little kids to be as fair as possible, so everyone has a fair chance of winning.  Unfortunately, as fun as treasure hunts are for little ones, sometimes they can work out unfair for little kids.  Some kids might end up with a stack of trinkets or lollies, while another child might end up with none.

A good way to make a game of treasure hunt more even is to give each child a colour to go looking for.  That way, you can already pre-plan how many items each child will find.

Also if you don’t want to find lollies, but are happy for them to “win” lollies – hide coloured dots of paper or different coloured marbles and have them trade them in for the sweets.

Themed birthday games for kids party        

It’s super popular these days to have a theme to the party, so if you’re looking for theme games for kids, then check out these great kids party games.

  1. Star Wars Birthday Party Games for Kids

Looking for some Star Wars birthday party games for kids?  Have the children decorate pool noodles and make their very own lightsabers.  Also before the party, fill up a Star Wars Pinata and let the children try and knock it down with their newly made lightsabers.

  1. Superhero Party Games for Kids

We all know superheroes have to face difficult situations to save the day, so when it comes to superhero party games for kids, why not set up an obstacle course and the winner who is ever completes the course in the shortest time.

The good thing about this game is you can make it has hard or easy as you like depending upon the age of the children or how much space you have.  Set up hula hoops, pop a stack of balloons, climb over a pile of cushions and weave in and out of cones.  You’re only limited to your imagination.

  1. Circus Party Games for Kids

When it comes to circus party games for kids, there are so many different things you can do.  Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Clown Pants: Buy a pair of baggy clown pants, or any old large pair of pants – and get an adult to wear them with a pair of suspenders.  The “Clown” then holds open their pants, and each child takes it in turns of throwing as many balls in the clown pants in a set period.  The winner is the child who gets the most amount of balls in.
  • Circus Photo Booth: While not a circus party game, a circus-themed photo booth will have the little party guests entertained for ages. Either print out or purchase a circus backdrop and add props like a top hat, red bow tie, clown wig, red nose, and lion dress ups and watch the kids pose for funny photos.
  1. LEGO Party Games for Kids

LEGO® activities in Brisbane

There are endless ideas when it comes to LEGO party games for kids, but if you need some inspiration, here are a few fun, easy birthday party games to get you started:

  • LEGO Cars: Provide each child with the same number of LEGO bricks, including four wheels and get each child to make a car in a set amount of time. The winner can be either whoever designs the best car, or you can then go on to have LEGO car races with the winner being whoever’s car goes the furthest.
  • LEGO Towers: You can do this one in groups or individually. Provide each child with a bucket of bricks and in a set amount of time, get them to build a tower as tall as they can.  The winner is whoever can build the tallest tower without it tumbling over of course.
  • Cover a LEGO Baseplate. Provide each child with a LEGO baseplate and a bunch of bricks.  The winner is the first person to completely cover their baseplate with bricks.

For all of the above LEGO block party games for kids, make sure you have a good amount of LEGO bricks to use.  Small LEGO sets and minifigures make great prizes too.

  1. Ninja Birthday Party Games for Kids

Kids Ninja courses brisbane

Do you have a little one obsessed with everything ninja?  Well here are a few of our tips for ninja birthday party games for kids:

  • Blind Ninja: One child is blindfolded like a ninja and needs to tap the other children.  To help find the other children, the ninja claps once, and the other children must clap in response.  Once a child has been tapped, they are out of the game.  The winner is the last child standing.
  • Ninja Says: Like Simon Says, but this is Ninja Saya. Have an adult or child come to the front and make ninja-inspired moves, ensuring they say “ninja says” before the move.  The other children must copy the moves, but only when “ninja says”.  If Ninja doesn’t say and a child moves, that child is out of the game.  The winner is the last child standing.
  • Kung Fu Fighting: Like musical statues, but instead of dancing all the kids make their best kung fu moves.  When the music stops, all ninjas must freeze.  Any ninjas who moves when the music stops is out of the game.  The winner is the last child standing.

For the ninja party games for kids to be even more fun – get all the guests to come dressed as ninjas.

We LOVE the ninja warrior course at Urban Xtreme – they do great parties too!

  1. Pirate Party Games for Kids

Lots of little kids love pirates these days, so it’s no surprise when they request a pirate themed party.  If you need some pirate party games for kids, these will get you started.

  • Walk the Plank: For simple pirate games for kid’s party – get them to walk the plank.  Create the plank by laying a plank of wood on top of some bricks.  Get each child to take turns trying to get from one end to the other without falling off.  Each child who walks the plank without falling off gets a small prize.  For young children, hold their hands to ensure everyone gets a prize.
  • Treasure Hunt: A good old fashion treasure hunt is a great pirate inspired game.  Hide some gold chocolate coins for the loot.
  • Cannon Ball Battle: A good old water balloon fight is great for a little kid’s party, especially on a hot summer’s day.  Fill up some water balloons and watch the kids have a blast as they get drenched.  Get balloons specifically designed for water, like this Zuru Bunch O Balloons set which allows you to fill 100 water balloons in like 60 seconds!

Party Games for Older Kids

cheap party venues brisbane

Party games for older kids tend to last a little longer and be a little more strategy focused.  Although quite often they are quite happy to play some of the fun birthday games already mentioned above too.

Like mentioned above, its best to purchase a few little trinkets to give out as prizes in advance.  The good thing about older children is they tend to understand that there is only a prize for the winner of the game.

A few suggestions for small prizes for older kids include:

  1. Chocolate Game

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one before – eating chocolate with a knife and fork!

Have the children sit in a circle and in the middles place a large unwrapped block of chocolate on a board with a knife, fork, hat, scarf, pair of gloves and a die. The die is passed around the circle and whoever rolls a six has to quickly put on the hat, scarf and gloves and try to eat the bar of chocolate with a knife and fork. Meanwhile, the rest of the kids continue taking it in turns of rolling the die until another six is thrown, and the next child then takes over.

The winner is the person who finishes the chocolate bar.

For cheap party games, the chocolate game is great because although you need to get is a block of chocolate – everything else you most likely have at home. 

  1. Doughnut Games

If you want even more fun games for children’s party that involve food – here’s one with doughnuts.  This one gets the kids to eat a suspended doughnut without using their hands.  If a child uses their hands, they are out of the game.  The winner is the child who finishes their doughnut first without using their hands.

  1. Memory Tray Game

If you’re after cheap kid’s party games, this one is great as it just requires stuff you already have around the home. 

The memory tray game is a fairly simple game to play.  Grab 15-20 items from the birthday child’s room and place them on a tray.

Give each of the birthday guests a pen and paper and have them sit in a circle around the tray with the items on it.  Give them around 1 minute to try and memorise what’s on the tray.  Then take the items away and give the kids around 5 minutes to write down as many items as they can remember.  The child who can remember the most items is the winner.

  1. Dancing and Singing Games

childrens party games singing

We’ve got a whole article about dancing and singing activities that you can use as party games for boys and girls. Some of these musical party games for kids require a little setup and preparation (and, dare we say it, earplugs for the adults) but the kids are bound to have hours of fun with little to no intervention required from grown-ups. Check it out.

  1. Arty Party

Provide construction paper and ask children to create a mural. Give them pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glue and plastic cups and ask them to create monsters or whatever other thing your child might be interested in at the time.  You can change the art supplies up depending on the kid’s interest. 

Children’s fun party games

Hopefully, this has taken some of the pressure off. There is just no need to over-plan a party for kids. They’ll be so excited just to be playing together that any fun birthday party games you play on top of that will be a bonus. Give yourself a break and let the kids make their own fun!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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