Imagine this: it’s the day before your kid’s birthday. You’re rushing to get everything set up. You’re ticking off all the things that need to be taken care of one by one - food, music, return gifts, cake, decorations.
Then suddenly you realise, horrified, that you completely forgot about one of the most important parts of a kid’s birthday party - the games!
Well, never fear! We’ve got your back.
To help you avoid this disaster, we’ve come up with a list of the most fun games to play at a kids birthday party.
They’re easy to arrange for, oodles of fun and will keep the young ‘uns occupied for hours!
Just remember to keep the following things in mind to ensure everyone is included in the fun:
- Ensure that the games are age-appropriate! It’s best to choose games that people of all ages can play.
- Themed parties are awesome - and adapting the games to the theme can be really fun!
- Try to have a lot of light-hearted games, rather than anything too serious.
- Keep the games short, as kids are balls of energy with limited attention spans!
- And finally, have a plan in mind about the flow of the party - which game comes after which, for example. It’ll help the party move along smoothly.
And we’re off! Here are some easy-to-set-up and fun-to-play games for your child’s birthday.
These are the ones that we’re all familiar with, and have played at least once. This is just a refresher course, in case you forgot all about them!
1. Musical Chairs
Ah yes, the one I always lost as a child.
In this game, there needs to be one less chair than the total number of kids. The chairs are placed facing outwards.
Then the whole group of kids walks or runs around it as music plays.
As soon as the music stops, each must choose a chair and sit down immediately, and whoever is left standing is removed.
This continues until the last child standing becomes the winner!
2. Mummy Wrap
This one’s great if you happen to have a lot of spare toilet paper lying around.
The kids work in teams of two, against a timer.
As the timer counts down, one of the kids must entirely wrap the other one in toilet paper, like a mummy.
Once the timer stops, whoever has done the best job wins.
3. Passing the Parcel
Another mainstay of childhood parties.
Put on some music and have the children sit in a group and pass a pillow, or some similar object, to each other as fast as possible.
As long as the music is playing, they have to pass it on, until the music stops. At that point, whoever is holding the parcel is out.
For some added embarrassment, as is a beloved parent’s right, ask the person to perform something for the crowd!
4. Simon Says
A fantastic game to play when you’re short on resources!
The kids stand in a group, and an instructor asks them to perform an activity. The kids must perform the activity only, and only if the instructor prefaces his command with ‘Simon Says,’ for example, “Simon says hop on one leg.”
If someone does an action when the command was given without first saying ‘Simon Says,’ they’re out.
The kids could even take turns being ‘Simon’ the instructor!
The Athletic Ones:
These are for when you have a lot of outdoor space - and a bunch of very high-energy children.
1. Spoon Race
This one’s a test of how fast you can run and of how coordinated you are.
The basic concept is that the kids must race each other with a spoon in their mouth that holds a marble, an egg, a ping-pong ball or some such smooth roundish object that could fall off if they’re not careful.
To make it more exciting, you could put tables at the start and finish lines.
Keep several bowls full of the marbles, or whatever is being used, on the table at the starting point. Put some empty bowls on the one at the end.
The kids must transfer the marbles from the first bowl to the second, and whoever transfers the most, wins.
2. Three-Legged Race
This is the game you turn to for the most hilarious photos.
Divide the kids into teams of two. Have them stand next to each other, and tie the legs that are side by side, together.
This effectively gives them ‘three’ legs, and they can now only move together, or fall.
Once the race starts, whoever reaches the finish line first, wins.
It’s a lesson in teamwork!
Who doesn’t remember the joy of shouting, ‘Tag, you’re It’?
The kids must choose one person among them to be It, the ‘monster’. The person runs towards the other kids, who have to run away.
If they get caught, either the kid who was caught becomes the new ‘It’, or they can team up to catch other kids together, until only one is left.
Another variation is the ‘Chain’, in which the ‘monsters’ link arms and run together to catch the other kids!
4. Water Soaker Chases
Got plenty of outdoor space, and a place for the kids to change and dry off quickly? Why not have a water soaker chase?
Get a water soaker gun for each kid, divide the group up into two teams and off you go!
You could put in challenges such as capture the flag, in which each team must capture an object that the other team is guarding.
You could even color the water with safe, non-toxic colors to let the kids really paint the town red!
5. Obstacle Course
Some outside space, and a lot of household of objects - that’s all you need for this one.
Create an obstacle course with box forts, limbo poles, trampolines, exercise cones, and perhaps even a plastic tunnel or two if you have any.
The objective is to get through the course as fast as possible without tripping over anything or toppling something over.
Quite the workout!
The Crafty Ones:
Does your kid love crafting? Why not craft them the perfect birthday game? Here are some really cool ideas to get you started.
1. Paper Boat Race
Remember the paper boats we used to make as kids out of sheets of paper from our notebooks? Now’s the time to relive those childhood memories.
Make one paper boat for each child - perhaps even together with your kid.
On the day of the party, hand the boats to the kids, along with a straw.
2. Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Another party classic - this one is fun to make because the donkey and its tail can be decorated in any way you want and, in fact, doesn’t even have to be a donkey at all!
All you have to do is put up a picture of an animal (or maybe a mythical beast - who’s stopping you from putting up a dragon?) without a tail.
Hand each child a tail, blindfold them and have them line up in front of the picture.
Whoever pins the tail the closest to the correct spot, wins.
3. Scavenger Hunt
The idea for this game is that you give the kids a clue or a puzzle to solve at the beginning.
They go on to discover more clues as they solve the puzzles step by step, until finally, they get to the big prize - such as a sack of chocolates.
To make it more fun, you can assign a theme - a pirate-themed scavenger hunt, for example, sounds like a kid’s dream come true.
The ‘clues’ can be written, or photographs, or drawings. You can even sketch out a treasure island map that shows details of the quest. A big ‘X’ could mark the spot where the prize is, but they can only get there by solving the puzzles first.
This is another one that’s great fun to make with your child.
Using balloons of various shapes and sizes, you can first make a model of the shape you want - a man, a unicorn, whatever you wish.
Use a brush to put multiple layers of glue and paper on the model, and wait until the layers dry and harden. Once that’s done, pop the balloons with a pin, leaving the hollow structure behind.
You can now paint them to really finish the look. Crepe papers can be used for decoration.
Fill the inside with candies, seal the bottom with another layer of papier mache, and hang it up with a strong string or rope.
Then get the kids some light but strong bats and let each of them have a swing at the pinata! Whoever manages to burst it, wins - and hopefully shares all the candies.
5. Bowling Alley
It’s actually really simple to create a bowling alley at home, with everyday objects.
You can use tape to create bowling lanes of whatever length and width you wish, and cover them with plastic to make them smooth.
Just remember, it has to be wide enough to accommodate your ‘ball’, and long enough to make hitting the ‘pins’ a challenge.
Make ‘pins’ out of bottles of the same size, colorfully decorated and weighed down inside with sand or marbles.
Place them at the end of the lane, and use any medium-sized ball that rolls well.
As in real bowling, whoever can make the greatest number of bottles fall with the least number of strikes, wins.
The kids must blow into the straw to push the boats forward in a big tub of water. The first person to reach the other side wins.
6. Mini Golf Course
Have you seen the mini golf courses with windmills, miniature hills and valleys, little bridges, winding lanes and countryside scenery?
How cool would it be if you created something similar for your kid’s birthday!
All you would really need is cardboard, scissors, tape and lots of paint.
Once you’ve made the features of your mini golf course out of cardboard and painted them, you can arrange them out in an outdoor space.
Ping-pong balls and kid-sized plastic golf clubs at the ready - the kid who gets their ball through to the end of the course with the least number of tries wins!
The Task-based ones
And finally, some for the adventurous spirits who love thrills!
1. Minute to Win it
Remember the TV show with this name? It’s the same idea.
The kids must complete a set of challenges, each in under a minute. Every time they do, there’s a prize.
We suggest loads of games involving everyone’s favorite party item - food!
There could be eating competitions with hands behind the person’s back, straw to suck up candies into and transfer to another bowl, and so on.
You could even do it as a relay, with the kids divided into teams.
2. Balloon Charades
Mix up the classic game of charades with some extra fun.
As in classic charades, write down names of movies, books, TV shows or songs on chits of paper. Put them into balloons before blowing up the balloons.
At the party, put on some music and ask the kids to keep the balloon off the ground for as long as the music is playing. As soon as the music stops, ask the last person holding the balloon to pop it.
They then have to act out whatever is written on the paper, as in charades.
3. Entermission Sydney
And for the grand finale, we have Entermission Sydney! We’re a virtual reality escape room venue and we have some incredible games in store for you, your child and all their friends.
We offer birthday party packages with snacks and an ice-cream cake. And we’ve got many exciting missions that you can check out here.
You can go through the looking glass in Alice, walk through the heart of a nuclear plant in Chernobyl, trek in a tropical rainforest in Jungle Quest, or do battle with a very clever supervillain in Mad Mind.
And if you want to go old-school, we’ve got the arcade games and Nintendo Switches, too!
What’s more, the kids will be in a safe and supervised environment that is filled with fun challenges.
What could be a better way to celebrate your favourite person’s birthday?
Games are vital to the success of a children’s party. They help keep the kids entertained, and allow the parents some breathing space! But never fear - with all our tips, you can’t go wrong. Here’s wishing you a great party!