Birthday Party Games

Kids Birthday Party Games

Use these free games with our Birthday Party Themes for your child's birthday!

Birthday party games are one of the most important parts of the party. While cake, ice cream, and presents are loads of fun; if you don't have a way to entertain the guests the party can quickly turn into a yawn-fest. Even worse would be ensuing chaos when a group of children that has consumed sugary cake and ice cream is left to their own devices for entertainment.

The following games include everyone, they are simple to get together with a minimum of supplies, and they all will ensure lots of laughs from the guests. Parties should be fun, and these games help make that fun happen.

When choosing birthday party games, you'll need to tailor each one to the age group of the children attending. We've included ages that each is appropriate for along with variations for older or younger children. Forget pin the tail on the donkey, choose a few games and get to having some real birthday fun!

Apple Bobbing

Ballet Lesson

Battle at Sea

Birthday Party Games

Boomer Whitz

Button Button


Creature Charades

Creature Mummy Race

Creepers and Slammers

Dough Boy or Girl

Dump Truck Relay

Elephant Tug of War

Find the Dinosaur Egg

Fire House Scavenger Hunt

Flamingo Contest

Frog Detective

Fruit Basket

Guess the Utensil

Hot Pizza

Magical Cake Hunt

Mama Cat Game

Marco Polo

Mouse Hunt

Over and Out

Pirate Charades

Princess Trivia

Sand Bucket Toss

Sharks Out of Water

Spa Relay Race

The Cat Game

The Clothes Horse

The Princess and the Frog

Toss It

Unicorn Mane Races


You're Extinct

Outdoor Games for Boys

Outdoor Games for Girls

Outdoor Games for Boys or Girls







Outdoor Games for Boys or Girls

Bubble Fun

Things you’ll need:

Brightly-Colored, Coated Electrical Wire (found at most hardware stores)
Wire Cutters
A Hula Hoop (cloth-covered, preferably)
A baby pool
Store-Bought Bubbles

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Buy the electrical wire.  Test several in the store to see which one bends the easiest while still keeping it’s shape.

Step 2:  When you get home, make bubble wands with the wire, at least one for each guest.  Make them in different shapes, squares, triangles, circles, etc.  Be sure to leave extra to be used as a handle, and be sure there are no sharp edges.

Step 3:  ON the day of the party, fill the baby pool one inch deep with the bubbles.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Give each guest a bubble wand.

Step 2:  Let the guests dip the bubble wands into the baby pool and make lots of different size and shape bubbles.

Step 3:  Use the hula hoop to make a giant bubble cone.  If you can find a willing guest, have them stand inside the bubble.

Step 4:  The wands can double as party favors when the party is over.



Ice Cream Cone Relay

Things you’ll need:

One sugar cone for each child
2 buckets of water
2 glasses that are the same size


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Divide the guests into two even teams.

Step 2:  At the back of each line, place a bucket full of water.

Step 3:  At the head of each line, place an empty glass.

Step 4:  Give each child a cone.

Step 5:  The last child in line must fill his/her cone from the bucket, and then pour the water into the cone of the child in front of them.  Each child pours their water into the cone in front of them until the water gets to the head of the line.

Step 6:  The first child in line pours his/her water into the glass.

Step 7:  The team that fills their glass first, wins.



Water Balloon Toss

Things you’ll need:

At least one water balloon for every two children more is better.


Before the guests arrive;

Step 1:  Fill the balloons with water; store them in a big bucket or plastic tub in case of breakage.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Split the guests up into pairs.

Step 2:  Have the children form two lines, with the pairs facing each other. Space them about 2’-3’ apart.

Step 3:  Give one child in each pair a water balloon.

Step 4:  Shout ‘Toss!’  The children should start tossing the balloons back and forth.  Each time a successful catch is made, that child must take one step backwards.

Step 5:  When a team’s water balloon breaks, they’re out.

Step 6:  The last team with an unbroken balloon wins.



Animal Safari

Things you’ll need:
Small, inexpensive plastic animals, at least two or three for each guest.
Goody bags, one for each guest

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Hide all the animals in the yard.  It’s probably best to keep the children in the back yard, so they can be supervised.  Be sure to keep track of where you hide them, so none get left behind.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Give each guest an empty goody bag.

Step 2:  Explain that they are going on safari, and they can keep any animals the find.  You may want to put a limit on how many each child can find, to be sure all the children get some animals.

Step 3:  The game is over when all the animals have been found.


Caterpillar Races

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Mark a start and finish line, about 30’-60’ apart.  Spray paint works well.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Split the guests into two even teams.

Step 2:  Line the children up in two straight lines.  Have each child put their hands on the waist of the child in front of them.

Step 3:  When you yell ‘Wiggle!’ each team should run, staying connected towards the finish line.

Step 4:  If they become unconnected before they reach the finish line, they must go back to the starring line and begin again.

Step 5:  The first team to reach the finish line still connected wins.


Outdoor Games for Boys


Bail out the Boat

Things you’ll need:

Two large buckets that are the same size
Two smaller buckets that are the same size
Large plastic cups, you need at least one for each guest, more is better

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Fill the large buckets with water.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Split the guests into two even teams.

Step 2:  Line them up in front of the two smaller buckets, leaving about two feet between children.

Step 3:  Put a full bucket of water and half the cups at the back of each line.

Step 4:  When you say ‘The boat is sinking!’  The last guest in each line fills a cup with water from the bucket and passes it to the next person in line.

Step 5:  The full cup is passed to the head of the line, and the first child dumps it into the empty bucket.

Step 6:  The children should keep passing full cups of water up the line, so there are several going at once.

Step 7:  The team that fills their bucket to the top first, wins!



Ball, Squirt, Score!

Things you’ll need:

2 Strong Pump-Action Water Guns or Hoses with Pistol-Type Nozzles
2 Beach Balls
4 Goal Markers, Such as garbage cans, lawn chairs or cones

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Set up two goals using the cans, chairs or cones.

Step 2:  If you’ve got squirt guns, get them filled.  If you’ve got hoses, get the nozzles put on.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Choose two children to play first.

Step 2:  Have each child stand in front of their goal, at opposite ends of the yard.

Step 3:  Give them the water guns or hoses, and put a beach ball by their feet.

Step 4:  When you yell ‘Fire!’ they have to use the guns or hoses to get their ball across the other child’s goal line, while blocking their opponent’s ball from crossing their goal.

Step 5:  The child that gets their ball across the opposing goal line is the winner.

Step 6:  You can have the next child play the winner, or select two new children to play the next round.


Knights and Dragons

Before the guest arrive:

Step 1:  Make two lines in the grass that are about 20 feet apart.  This is your moat.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Choose one child to be the dragon.  All the other boys are knights.

Step 2:  Have the dragon stand in the middle of the moat.  The knights should stand behind one of the two lines.  Be sure to have all the knights behind the same line.

Step 3:  To begin play, the dragon yells. ‘Try and cross!’  All the knights must try and run past the dragon to the other side, without being tagged.

Step 4:  Any knight that is tagged becomes part of the dragon’s tail, and must hold hands with the dragon, or any other captured knights.  Once part of the tail, the captured knights must help to tag the knights that are still free.

Step 5:  The knight that is caught last is the winner, and gets to be the dragon in the next round.



Pop Goes the Planet

Things you’ll need:

One balloon for each guest
Two magnifying glasses

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Tape several balloons to a fence or wall outside.  They should be about 1-2 inches apart, and should be in the sun at the time of the party.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Give two children each a magnifying glass. 

Step 2:  Show them how to position the magnifying glass to catch the sun’s rays, which will warm a spot on the balloon, and make them pop.

Step 3:  A bright spot will appear on the balloons right before they pop.

Step 4:  The first person to pop his balloon wins.  Give the winner a small prize, and let another child play.  Continue to play until each child has had a chance to pop a balloon.



Three Musketeers Race

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Mark two lines on the ground, about 20 feet apart.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Divide the guests into teams of three.

Step 2:  Have the members of each team line up on the starting line with their backs to each other, in a triangle, with their elbows locked.

Step 3:  Once all the teams are ready, yell ‘One for all and all for one!’

Step 4:  The teams have to run to the second line, turn around, and run back; keeping their arms linked the entire time.

Step 5:  If a team comes unlinked, they must go back to the starting line and start over.

Step 6:  The first team who gets to the second line and back wins.






Outdoor Games for Girls

Flowerpot Toss

Things you’ll need:

Three empty flowerpots
Plastic toys or stuffed animals in bug shapes.
Green construction paper
Sidewalk chalk

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Cut a leaf large enough for a child to stand on with both feet out of the construction paper.

Step 2:  Using the sidewalk chalk, draw a flower shape on the driveway, with three stems.  Each stem should be a different length. 

Step 3:  Put the flowerpots at the top of each stem, to be the flower.

Step 4:  Put the paper leaf at the bottom of the longest stem.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Have each child take a turn throwing the bugs into the flowerpots while standing on the leaf.

Step 2:  Award points for each hit, one point for the closest pot, two for the next closest, and three for the furthest pot. The child with the most points at the end wins.



Pixie Dust Relay

Things you’ll need:

A Bag of Pixie Sticks Candy , each guest will need at least one
Two plastic spoons
Two large bowls

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Make two start and finish lines.  They should be about 20 feet apart.

Step 2:  Put the bowls on the finish lines.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Divide the guests into two even teams, and line them up at the start lines.

Step 2:  Give each child a Pixie stick, but tell htem NOT to open them.

Step 3: Give the first guest in each line a spoon.

Step 4:  When you shout, ‘Faith, trust and Pixie Dust!’  the first child in each line should open their Pixie sticks, pour out the candy onto their spoon, run to the bowl and dump the candy in.  Then they need to run back, and hand the spoon to the next child in line.

Step 5:  If any guest drops their spoon, give them a new Pixie sitck and send them back to the start line to begin again.

Step 6:  A team wins when every team member has dumped their Pixie stick into the bowl.



Wicked Queen Freeze Tag


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Choose one guest to be the Wicked Queen, or “it.”  All the other guests are princesses.

Step 2:  When the Wicked Queen says “Off with their heads!” all the other guests run away to avoid being tagged.

Step 3:  If a princess is tagged, she must freeze in the position she was in when she was tagged.  She stays frozen until another princess touches her.

Step 4:  The game is over when the Wicked Queen has frozen everyone.  Or, you can set a time limit, 3-5 minutes is a good range.

Step 5:  In the next round, the first person that was frozen is the Wicked Queen.



Hula Hoop Contest

Things you’ll need:

One hula hoop for each guest
Fast, upbeat music

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Give each guest a hula hoop.

Step 2:  Start the music and tell the children that the idea is to keep the hoop moving as long as possible.

Step 3:  If the girls are especially good at the hula, you can shout out silly directions, like stand on one leg, finger on your nose, cover your eyes, etc. to make it more interesting.

Step 3:  The child that hulas the longest wins.



Seashell Hunt

Things you’ll need:

An Assortment of Seashells
A Sand Box or large container
Clean Sand
Small Prizes
Sand Pails

Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Fill the sandbox or container with the sand.

Step 2:  Bury all the shells in the sand.

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Give each guest a pail.

Step 2:  Split the guests into pairs.

Step 3: Give each pair ten seconds to dig in the sand to find as many shells as they can.

Step 4: Once every pair has had a chance to dig for shells, let the girls trade their shells for prizes, or keep the shells, if they prefer.




Mama Cat Game

When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Have the children sit in a circle.

Step 2:  Choose the birthday girl to be the Mama cat.  Send her into another room.

Step 3:  While the mama cat is out of the room, select three other girls to be her kittens.

Step 4:  Have all the girls cover their mouths, and call the mama cat back into the room.

Step 5:  While keeping their mouths covered, the three kittens should start saying ‘Meow, meow.’

Step 6:  The mama cat must figure out who her kittens are.  Once all three have been found, select another child to be the mama cat, and continue.


Guess the Utensil


Things you’ll need:

Pieces of paper
Pen or pencil
A large bowl


Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Write the names of lots of different cooking utensils on the pieces of paper.  Some suggestions:

Potato masher
Wooden spoon
Cheese grater
Measuring spoons
Egg slicer

Step 2:  Put all the papers into the large bowl.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Have each child pick a piece of paper.  If the child doesn’t recognize the utensil they’ve picked, take them into the kitchen and show it to them, and explain what it’s used for.

Step 2:  The child has 30 seconds to give the other children clues that will help them guess the utensil.  They can use words, motions or drawings to help them.

Step 3:  The first guest to guess correctly is next to describe a utensil.   If no one guesses correctly, put the utensil out for the children to see and touch.


Princess Trivia


What you’ll need:

A list of trivia questions about popular princesses
Several small prizes


Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Make up a list of questions about popular princesses that most of the girls are likely to be able to answer.  Some suggestions:

Who lived with seven dwarves?  Snow White

Who had to be home at the stroke of midnight?  Cinderella

Who had a fish for a best friend?  Ariel

Who lived with a talking teapot?  Belle


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Explain that you’re going to ask questions about some of their favorite princesses.  When they know the answer, they should raise their hand.

Step 2:  Start reading the questions.  When they give a correct answer, award a small prize.  Try and call on each girl at least once, so everyone gets a prize.


Magical Cake Hunt


Things you’ll need:

Index cards
Pen or pencil
A cake


Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Write clues on the index cards.  Start them out at the cake table, and work backwards.  The clue at each location should lead them to the next clue.  In other words, the clue they find at the kitchen sink should lead them to the next clue, at the living room couch, and so on.  The final clue should direct them to the cake table.

Step 2:  Keep the cake hidden close to the cake table


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Tell the guests that the wicked queen has stolen the birthday cake, and they must find it!  Explain that she has left a trail of clues for them to follow.  Read the first clue out loud, and send them on their way. 

Step 2:  When the guests are a clue or two away from the cake, put it back on the cake table. 

Step 3:  When they find the cake, sing happy birthday, and serve.



Frog Detective


Things you’ll need:

A package of index cards
Pen or pencil


Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Count out enough index cards so that there is one for each guest.  On one card, write the letter D, on another, write the letter F.  On all the others, write the letter X.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Tell the children to sit in a circle.

Step 2:  Give each child an index card.  Tell then to look at their cards, but not to show anyone else what it says.

Step 3:  The child with the D is the detective, and sits in the center of the circle.  The child with the F is the frog, and they should keep it a secret for now.

Step 4:  When the game starts, the Frog can eat the flies by sticking his tongue out quickly when the detective isn’t looking.  Any fly who sees him stick his tongue out must fall over “dead” 

Step 5:  The detective has to try and figure out who is the frog by watching carefully and trying to catch him sticking his tongue out.

Step 6:  If the frog eats all the flies but one, he wins the game.  If the detective guesses who the frog is before that, he wins.

Step 7:  Play several rounds, so different children get a chance to be the frog and the detective.


Fire House Scavenger Hunt


Things you’ll need:

Several pictures of fire.  Either hand drawn, cut from magazines, or printed off of the computer.
Bags, half the number of guests


Before the guests arrive:

 Step 1:  Cut out all the pictures.  Two per guest is generally a good number to have.

Step 2:  Hide the pictures all around the house.  Keep the ages of your guests in mind while doing the hiding.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Split the guests up into teams of two. 

Step 2:  Show the children a picture of a fire, and tell them that there are several “fires” all around the house.  Explain that each team is a pair of firefighters, who must find and put out as many fires as they can in three minutes.

Step 3:  Give each team a bag to put the fires into.

Step 4:  Ring a bell, or yell ‘FIRE!’ to indicate that it’s time to start putting out fires.

Step 5:  When the three minutes are up, call all the teams back.  The team with the most fires in their bag wins.


Creature Mummy Race


Things you’ll need:

Four rolls of toilet paper


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Explain to the children that in order to pass their Defense Against the Dark Arts final, they must turn a Boggart into a mummy!  The team that wins will be awarded five house points.

Step 2:  Split the children into four even teams, one representing each Hogwarts house. 

Step 3:  Have each team pick on member to be the Boggart.

Step 4:  Give each team a roll of toilet paper.

Step 5:  To start the game, yell ‘Riddikulus!’  That is the signal for the children to start wrapping their Boggart in the toilet paper.

Step 6:  The team that finishes first, wins.


Creature Charades


Things you’ll need:

A Pen or pencil
Slips of paper
A hat or bowl


Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Write the name of something scary on each slip of paper.  Some suggestions:

Whomping willow
Death Eaters
Professor Snape

Step 2:  Put all the pieces of paper in the hat or bowl.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Tell the children that a Boggart is a creature that becomes whatever a person fears most.  Tell them you have a hat/bowl full of Boggarts that are going to try and scare them!

Step 2:  Explain that the only way to make the Boggart go away is to yell out the name of the scary things, and then the magic word, ‘Riddikulus!’

Step 3:  Have each child select a piece of paper.  Tell them that they have to act out what’s on the paper, without talking.  The other children should try and guess what the scary thing/person is.

Step 4:  When someone guesses correctly, the Boggart “vanishes”, or goes back to their seat.  Then the next Boggart has a turn trying to frighten the guests.

Step 5:  You might want to give each Boggart a small prize when their turn is completed.


Ballet Lesson


Things you’ll need:

An older dance student willing to perform and teach at your party


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Gather the guests to watch the older dance student perform a short routine.

Step 2:  Once the performance is over, have the student teach the girls a few basic steps, and have them practice together.

Step 3:  If the girls are inclined, have them put on an impromptu show for you and any other adults in the house.


Who’s That Kitty?

Things you’ll need:

Pictures of famous cats, some suggestions:
The Cat in the Hat
Hello Kitty
The Pink Panther
The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland
Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes
Chester Cheetah

You could also include pictures of lion, tigers, etc.  Make sure the children will be able to recognize all the cats you’ve chosen


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Split the guests into two even teams.

Step 2:  Hold up the pictures of the cats, and let the children guess at their identity.

Step 3:  The team that correctly identifies the most cats wins.


Unicorn Mane Races

Things you’ll need:

Two pictures of unicorns
Masking tape
Lots of different colored streamers


Before the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Cut a 1’-2’ streamer for each guest, and attach a piece of looped tape to the end.

Step 2:  Choose a space with about 20’-30’ of running space.

Step 3:  Using the masking tape, make a starting line 15’-25’ away from a wall. 

Step 4:  Hang the unicorn pictures on the wall.


When the guests arrive:

Step 1:  Split the guests into two even teams.

Step 2:  Tell the guests that the idea is to attach all the streamers to the picture, to make the unicorn’s lovely mane. 

Step 3:  Line the guests up, single file, and give each one a streamer.

Step 4:  When you yell ‘GO!’ the first guest in line should run as fast as they can, attach the streamer, and then run back to their team.  The next child in line should then go, play should continue until one team attaches all their streamers. 

Step 5:  The team that finishes first, wins.