Awesome decorations and birthday cakes on fine dessert tables will delight young party guests…for a little while…but great kids’ party games will get everyone involved in playing together, laughing, and really having fun.
This collection of 50 fun party game ideas lists a variety of activities for ages ranging from young kids to young adults. Some are strictly for outside, some for inside, but all are for good times.Since you can’t predict group dynamics, be sure to have more activities planned than you think you’ll have time for—keep the party energy stoked.
Party Games for Kids
1. SCAVENGER HUNT
Who doesn’t enjoy a good hunt and discover contest? The idea for this outdoor game comes with a free printable, which makes it easy fun for mom, too! From Spaceships and Laser Beams
2. RELAY RACE
What a fun game! Kids won’t mind if they win or lose with this one because there is a built-in reward for everyone. From Tikkido
3. PARTNERS IN PEN
Guests work in pairs, back-to-back. Each team is given a paper bag with household items/toys. One team member draws what the other is describing to him, but the name of the item and what it is used for cannot be spoken. If the partner draws/figures out what the item is, the team makes a point. The team with the most points wins.
4. OBSTACLE COURSE
Everyone is familiar with an obstacle course but the balloon table, wagon slalom and newspaper walk are novel ideas. Include these activities when you want to create lots of party ballyhoo. From Martha Stewart
5. ELEPHANT MARCH
This game means you have get to wear pantyhose on your head…weighted with a tennis or baseball. While you’re in this elephant-like disguise, you knock over target bottles with your new trunk. Good for laughs! From Wesleyan Kids
6. BALLOON BUST
Pre-party, fill each balloon with a small prize or candy. Blow them up and tie them off. Each young guest chooses a balloon. The goal is to make the balloon break so they can retrieve the prize—but they can only break the balloon by sitting on it. From Baby Center
7. CAMERA GAME
Set a timer on an inexpensive point and shoot camera. The camera gets passed around the circle while each guest briefly holds the camera in a selfie pose. When the flash goes off you get some fun photos. Re-set the timer and begin again.
8. PUNCH BOX
Kids love surprises. Making a punch box assures that everyone gets to grab a prize. From Suburble
9. CUP STACKING
Go it alone or make it teamwork. Everyone holds their breath on this one!
10. CAN KNOCK DOWN
Decorate (or not!) empty cans for an economical stack ‘em, knock ‘em down game. From Spaceships and Laser Beams
11. SNOWMAN SLAM
Styrofoam cups and socks get a party-worthy make-over for game time. From Growing a Jeweled Rose
12. BALLOON CATCH
Balloons should always be invited to the party! There are so many things to do with them—like this simple and joyous balloon catch. From Vanilla Joy
13. TREASURE DIG
Exciting at any party, but pirate, puppy and dinosaur digs practically beg for this activity. From Project Nursery
14. STRIP THE PRESENT
Pre-party, a gift is wrapped and re-wrapped in layers of newsprint, foil, wax paper, plastic, paper, etc. All guests sit in a circle. Each one removes one layer of wrapping and passes the present on. The guest who removes the last wrap keeps the gift. From Party 411
15. RING TOSS
Construction cones and a ring and you’ve got a game. You can also ring tall cans or stakes in the ground. From Spaceships and Laser Beams
16. GLOWING RING TOSS
Make this popular game even more of a thrill by using glow-ring necklaces. From Sugar Bee Crafts
17. MUSICAL HEARTS
Kinda like musical chairs—without the chairs—and played with lots of hearts. Silly fun for a range of ages. From Teach Mama
18. GUESS THE NUMBER IN THE JAR
Put a number of objects (LEGO pieces, beans, pennies, etc.) in a jar and let kids guess how many. From Craft That Party
19. BALLOON POP
Enjoy colorful stompin’ and rompin’ while everyone tries to break each other’s balloons. From Three Jewels in My Crown
The goal of this game is for guests to do the opposite of what they’re told. You say, “stick out your right foot” and they stick out their left. You say, “look up” and they look down. However, if they do what you say, they’re out of the game. Last one left wins…little rebel!
21. WATER BALLOON PINATA
Definitely a hot-weather, outdoor game, but oh, the giggles!
22. FISHING GAME
There are lots of variations on kidlet-friendly fishing. Use cardstock fish with paper clips on their mouths so they can be caught with a magnet on a stick pole or make hooks with wire.
23. AIRPLANE TOSS
A runway, hoola-hoop and toy airplanes make a great, themed party game. From Catch My Party
This is a game of observation. Everyone wears a party hat. Throughout the party, they all get taken off while no one is looking. You don’t want to be the last one still wearing the hat.
25. TOE GRAB
Play this game with or without water, but have one container filled with marbles and one empty container. See how many marbles kids can pick up and move from one container to the other, using just their toes.
26. LEGO SPOON RACE
LEGO pieces, spoons, and kids that like to race are a winning combination. From Little Family Fun
27. WACKY DICE
With a roll of the over-sized cardboard dice, party guests discover if they must “walk like a dinosaur” or “slither like a snake” or whatever motion is written on the cube. Great fun, especially for the younger crowd. From Kara’s Party Ideas
28. WHO/WHAT AM I?
Each guest has a name of a person, animal or object taped to their forehead or back. Each person gets to ask 20 questions of various guests to figure out who he is. From eHow
29. FEATHER BLOW
Each guest is given a feather. The idea of the game is to see who can keep it up in the air the longest by only blowing. From Party 411
30. WHO IS IT
One blindfolded guest is led to the middle of the circle of guests. When the host shouts, “GO!” the center player must reach out and grab someone from the circle, asking, “Who is it?” That guest answers in a disguised voice. If the center player can guess who it is, the discovered person becomes the blindfolded player in the middle.
31. FOX AND HEN GAME
Kids sit in a circle. Have two bean bags (or actual toy animals) to represent the fox and the hen. Give one of each item to kids on opposite sides of the circle. Pass the fox and hen around the circle, seeing if the fox can catch up with the hen. From Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids
32. FACE COOKIE
A wafer cookie is placed on the forehead. The object is to get it into your own mouth, only using your face scrunches to move it there. From Hative
33. BALLOON WADDLE RELAY
Kids must run to the finish line with a balloon between their knees. Drop or pop the balloon=start over. From Parents
34. BREAKFAST SCRAMBLE
Cut cardboard cereal box fronts into puzzle squares. Guests must put them together within a specified time. From Invite and Delight
35. BEAN BAG TOSS
Here’s a stylish variation of the popular bean bag toss game. From Chica and Jo
36. THE LAP GAME
Use a circle of chairs. Each guest sits in one. The host asks a series of questions. If your answer is “yes”, move one seat to the left. If you cannot answer yes, stay seated. Get ready to share your seat! The first person that makes it back to their original chair wins. From Promoting Direct Sales
37. LAUGHING GAME
All guests are seated in a circle. Go around the circle, with each one saying, “Ha”, “Ho” or “Hee”. Anyone who laughs is out, so the last one left in the circle wins. From Party Current
38. STRING TREASURE HUNT
Wind colored strings all over the party venue—inside and out, around furniture, etc. Use a variety of colored strings for the number of teams you have. Teams must wind up their string to get to their treasure at the hunt’s end. From University of Illinois Extension
39. DICE GAME
Each guest is given a craft stick to hold in their mouth. They must stack six dice on top of each other on the end of the stick and hold them for three seconds. It’s more difficult than it sounds! From Hative
A family favorite for many, Spoons is simple enough for almost any age to play. All you need is a deck of cards and one less spoon than the number of players. Wild and crazy fun! From #Not Consumed
41. NOODLING AROUND
Using an uncooked spaghetti noodle in the mouth—and no hands—each contestant must pick up six pieces of penne. From Kory and Tina Family Blog
42. POOL NOODLE TARGET
Joined pool noodles make great targets for all sorts of balls, discs, etc. Assign points to different colored targets. From Parents
43. SOCK ‘EM
Have at least six times the number of socks as party guests. Put them in a basket. Kids sit in a circle. They must try to put as many sock layers on as possible within a specified time period. The one with the most socks on wins. Repeat! From Baby Center
44. SLEEPING LIONS (or Bunnies)
Need a quiet down game? This is it. Everyone must lie on their belly, being as still and quiet as possible. If they really stay quiet for five minutes, they receive stickers for a prize.
45. PING PONG BLOW
From Party Current
All that’s needed is a table and several ping pong balls. And maybe breath mints! Two teams kneel, with hands behind their backs, as they attempt to blow their opponents balls off the table.
46. FLASHLIGHT TREASURE HUNT
Flashlights + the dark of night=excitement! Hide glow-in-the dark items (stars, bugs, etc.) and let teams of kids discover the treasures. From Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids
47. HOLE IN MY BUCKET
Each team has a bucket with holes in the bottom and a container of water, plus an intact bucket that sets several feet away.
At “Go!” team members must fill the hole-y bucket with water, balance it on their head, run to the intact bucket, empty their water into it and run back to their team mates who repeat the race. The team with the most water in the intact bucket wins. From Hen or Stag
48. BUBBLE GUM
Each guest gets a paper plate with a piece of fresh bubble gum buried in whipped cream. Using only their mouths, guests must find their bubble gum and be the first to blow a bubble.
49. BLINDMAN’S SWAG
This game is played in pairs. One member of the team wears a blindfold—no peeking! There is some desirable prize that the blindfolded member needs to get to. The team member who can see guides him/her to the prize, but only using words. First team to grab the swag, wins.
50. BOUNCING BASKETBALL
Start with colored ping-pong balls and a trash can. Party guests circle the trash can and see who can bounce the most balls into the can. From Play. Party. Plan.
How many games for a kids party?
For a one hour party, you want to have at least 5 games planned to fill the time between cake and gifts.
Don’t miss more great party game ideas for kids:
- Lego Party Games and Activities
- DIY Board Games Kids Will Love
- Circus Birthday Party Games and Activities.