Running a kids birthday party is no mean feat! And if you are running it yourself and trying to keep costs down, you know you need good party games to keep the kids engaged and enthralled! Here we have rounded up some great birthday party games for children of all ages that will work for different party types, making your birthday party a hit without having to spend much extra money on supplies….
The party games that do require supplies can be common objects found around the house or in your wardrobe or picked up cheaply at the supermarket.
Also don’t be afraid to improvise if you have a similar object or you can still play that game with a slight variation. Guests don’t know what the game originally should be; as long as it works and is fun. Just use these party games as inspiration and make them work for you!
These birthday party games are great for all ages and you can often add variations to make them work for adults or even younger children. They’d be great for family birthday parties too.
1. Treasure hunt
A treasure hunt is a winning game for any birthday party and can adapted to be age and space appropriate. If you have a huge field to do it round, great, but equally if you want to do it just around the lounge it can work as well.
Depending on the age of the child you can give them written clues or picture clues. You can divide the party guests into teams and an adult can help each team. You can do riddles to fit the theme of your party or can set picture challenges. For younger children they can simply be told to go and find as many objects of a certain theme that you have hidden around the area. Or a good variation for younger children is to hide toys around the space which e ach has a piece of paper with a letter on it. They have to find all the toys and collect the letters to be able to spell out the word that gives them their prize.
A lovely version for outside involves the children working together to solve the clues and the end clue revealing a treasure box full of snacks and drinks.
No matter the age, setting or level you pitch it at a Treasure hunt goes down well at any party!
2. ‘Fruit’ basket (or ‘Dinosaur’ basket or ‘whatever your theme’ is basket!)
Have as many pieces of paper as there are guests, minus one. Then tape each piece of paper to the floor so they are around in a big circle and have each party guest stand on a piece of paper. The party child can stand in the middle of the circle (not on a piece of paper)
Have 4 group names; you can work these within your theme. If your party is a dinosaur theme you can have each group be a different dinosaur, or Disney character or colour, or you can rely on the old standby and give each group a fruit name like apple, banana, pear and grape. O around the circle alternately giving each child one of the 4 names.
Once everyone knows their group name, the player in the middle calls out one of the group names. Each member of that group must now move to a different place marker, while the person in the middle seeks to steal a place. The player left without a place in the outer circle stands in the middle and play resumes.
The ace in the hole is if the person in the middle calls out ‘fruit basket’ (if you are using a non-fruity theme you may select a different phrase such as ‘Dinosaur Roar’!). This means that all players must change places. Let the mayhem begin!
Children will love being dinosaurs or princesses. The older crowd will like the fast-paced nature of the game. Bottom line no matter if you are a fruit basket or a hoard of African mammals your party goers will love this game.
3. Dress up relay race
Fill two suitcases or boxes with dress up clothes (hats, scarves, jackets, skirts, gloves, boots, and so on – they must be able to fit all players) and place them at one end of the room / birthday party space. Divide the players into two teams and have the team form two lines at the opposite end of the space to the suitcases.
At the word go, the first player from each team runs to one of the suitcases or boxes and dons all the clothes in it over the clothes he’s already wearing. Decide ahead of time whether buttons, zippers, and so on must be fastened. When a player is completely dressed, he then quickly removes all the dress-up clothes, puts them back in the suitcase or box, and runs to the end of his team’s line.
The next player then takes a turn and so on until everyone on the team has had a turn. The first team to finish wins.
4. Pass the bag
This is a variation on the above relay race dress up.
Fill a large rubbish bag with a variety of clothing items such as aprons, men’s and women’s shoes, scarves, hats, socks, ties, shirts and skirts. To play, have guests form a circle and pass the bag around as music plays. When the music stops, whoever is holding the bag must take something out and put it on. No searching! They must take the first thing their hand touches. Continue until the bag is empty and all the kids are dressed in ridiculous outfits. Take pictures of the funny results!
5. River crossing
All the children stand in a line, with two sheets of paper. They are supposed to reach the other end of the room, without stepping on the ground. Each child must first step on one sheet, then on the other and pick up the previous sheet and place it in front of him or her. In this way, the children reach the finish line. The child who reaches first is the winner!
6. Animal capture
This is ideally played in a large space, outdoors. Divide the kids evenly into two teams. Explain the layout of the field (or back garden or living room!). There should be a safe zone for each team on either end of the field. You could define the safe zones with a rope or hose. Have the teams sit on two straight lines near the middle of the field but at least 10 feet apart from each other.
Choose one team to go first. Team A huddles up in their safe zone and quietly decides on an animal to imitate. They then return to the starting line, and on the count of three, everyone on Team A silently acts out the animal they chose. For example, if they decided to be monkeys, they might hop up and down and scratch their armpits.
Meanwhile, Team B is watching from their starting line. Team B members raise their hand if they have a guess as to what animal is being acted out by the other team. An adult calls on one child with his or her hand up and asks them to guess. If the child guesses correctly, that gives the green light for Team B to charge across the field and try to tag the players from Team A.
If Team A players make it to their safe zone without being tagged, they stay on Team A. But if they get tagged, they become a member of Team B.
Now, it’s Team B’s turn to huddle up and decide on an animal to mimic. Repeat the steps for as long as the kids are having fun. There’s no end or winner. If an entire team ends up being tagged, start over with even teams.
7. Guess How Many……
This game works well when party guests are arriving. Fill a jar with many small items and have each child write down how many items they think are in the jar, along with their name, on a slip of paper. The child who guesses closest to the actual number wins. You can choose colourful sweets or small toys, or items that match your party theme.
“How low can you go?” Choose some lively music, and lower the bar as guests dance under. A broomstick works well as a limbo bar. Remind players they must face forward and lean as far back as they can. Whoever manages to go the lowest is the winner.
9. Please, Mr. dinosaur may I cross the mountain? (also known as Please Mr Crocodile!)
All of the players (except one who is chosen as ‘Mr Dinosaur’) stand side by side at one side of the yard or room, facing the other side. Mr Dinosaur stands in the middle of the yard or room.
The players chant, “Please Mr Dinosaur may we cross the mountain? If not, why not, what’s your favourite colour?”
Mr Dinosaur calls out one colour name and any of the players wearing that colour are safe to cross past Mr Dinosaur to the other side of the field /room. For example, if Mr Dinosaur calls, “Blue,” anyone wearing blue is safe to cross.
Once the safe players are across to the other side of the space, the players not wearing the selected colour must try to run across to the other side of the
yard/room without being caught by Mr Dinosaur.
The player that is caught becomes the next Mr Dinosaur and the game starts again.
10. Lego relay
Build some simple Lego models, make the same amount as the number of teams you will have. Create a box for each team with the blocks needed for the demonstration model plus some extras. Place the boxes halfway along the room and the demonstration models at the end. The first child in each relay team must run and get the first piece (usually the base plate) to start the model. They must then look at the model at which is the next brick needed, so they must run back and tell the next child in the team which brick they should get next and the next child goes and finds that brick and builds the next piece of the model. And they continue until the first team finishes the model correctly.
Divide the children into two teams. Have two batches of identical cups/plant pots (at least one per child, so if 30 children in total need at least 30 cups/pots) and place them around the space with one batch turned right way and the other batch turned upside down. The children are given 90 seconds during which Team A must turn all the right side cups upside down and Team B must turn all the upside down cups right side! At the end of the 90 seconds, the team which has managed to have the most cups/pots there way wins! Its complete mayhem and loads of fun!
12. Dodgeball with beach balls
And to finish a simple game with a simple twist. Dodgeball done with beach balls is not only fun, it is significantly safer and great to do with younger kids.
Whatever theme and games you decide on for your birthday party have loads of fun! And if you want help with delivering the themed entertainment contact us now. We’d love to come and deliver birthday party entertained that will delight your child and their friends!