Kids can lose interest in something really quickly, so keeping them engaged is a challenge in itself.
Sometimes it’s about quality over quantity, but with some kids, it’s all about quantity and variety. We have many kids games for a birthday party, some of which you may have seen or played before, and others that are unique and will definitely get you excited to give them a try!
Most Entertaining Kids Games for a Birthday Party
Let’s start with some basic kids games for a birthday party at home or outside that have a long historical presence in kids’ bday parties that have proven to be engaging and fun.
These will then lead up to mind-blowing ideas that you will be eager to try for your next party, so stay until the end!
20 Fun Birthday Party Games for Kids
1. Pin the Badge On…
We’ve all played games similar to “pin the tail on the donkey”, but you can now make this traditional game 10x more fun by adhering it to your party theme!
If you have a princess theme, you can make it “pin the crown on the princess”, or “pin the cowboy hat on the cowboy” for little boy parties. You can even think about adding multiple characters to the game so the kids can try more than once.
Whoever gets the closest pin can either win a prize, choose the next game, and/or pick their partner for a future round. It’s easy to prepare for this game or you can create your own.
2. Fun Ring Toss – With Prizes!
A ring toss game is easy to set up. Pick items such as bottles and cones and purchase any ring-shaped accessories such as hair ties, bracelets, and anything else you can think of to be tossed.
Make sure the rings fit over the bottles and set them up at various levels of difficulty by placing them further away from the kids.
The kids can win general prizes or you can place smaller prizes next to each bottle or cone, so the kids know what they win if they toss the ring onto that particular one.
3. Party-Themed Treasure Hunt Birthday Games for Kids
Again, a treasure or scavenger hunt can also be in keeping with your party theme. For example, if you have a pirate-theme party, you can make all of the “treasure” items pirate-related.
Use a treasure map as the guide that has the list of items to find, and hide fun things such as a wooden peg leg, a toy parrot, gold coins, and anything else you can think of.
Another fun party theme you can consider is Minnie Mouse, other old-school Disney characters that is a fun retro experience for the kids and a nice throwback for the adults!
4. Musical Chairs, Couches, Spots, and Cushions
Ah, good ol’ musical chairs, a game that does not need much or any preparation and is definitely fun and will get everyone up and joining in.
You can use the traditional chairs, or use small couches, seat cushions, or use nothing at all and just mark the spot of each kid in a circle.
One supervisor or adult will play appropriate songs that either fit the theme of the party, or kids can request their favorites.
Make sure there is one less seat than the number of kids. The participants will circle the seats and when the music stops, they have to scramble to sit in one.
The one child left standing will be out, and you will remove one more chair and continue with the game until there is one winner.
5. Duck, Duck, Goose with a Spin
Duck, duck, goose is a fun game many parents may be familiar with as well. Kids sit in a circle and one kid will go around tapping each kid on the head lightly saying “duck”, until they choose one kid and say “goose”.
Then the kid and the “it” person will run in opposite directions around the circle and try to sit in the empty space first.
It’s quite similar to musical chairs, and you can also make this game extra fun by using different party terms. For example, if you have a My Little Pony theme, then you tell the kids to say “pony” instead of “duck” and say “mare” instead of “goose”.
6. Mega Jenga
Jenga is a game people of all ages can enjoy, and that includes your kids! The twist here is we are suggesting mega Jenga, which is a very large life-sized version.
This game can get everyone moving, just be sure to get out of the way when the tower topples over!
Split the kids into 2 teams and have team members take turns to remove each slab. The team that makes the tower tumble loses and the winners on the other team will get a prize!
7. Twister with a Twist
You can, of course, choose to purchase the traditional Twister game from the store where you put your hands and feet on different colors.
You can put a twist on this game by using theme-based characters instead. It might require you to make your own, but it is an interesting change that will create a memorable experience for everyone!
8. Special Hot Potato
The original version of the game involves tossing a ball or bean bag (not an actual potato) back and forth between kids sitting in a circle, while a song is playing in the background.
Whoever ends up with the ball when the song stops loses. The circle will shrink as players are eliminated and the last person standing (or sitting) is the winner!
You can get the kids to sing their favorite songs instead because it ups the ante. There may be some kids who don’t know the lyrics and are unaware of when the song will stop.
If you choose to play the song on speakers, you can add a level of difficulty by choosing when to stop the song so the kids don’t know what’s coming!
9. Funny Go, Go, Go, Stop
Go, go, go, stop is a game that has one person with their backs to all the other players. The “it” person will cover their eyes with their backs turn and say “go, go, go…..” and when they stay “stop!” and turn around, everyone needs to freeze in place.
People who are still moving or lose their balance, etc., will be out. The goal of the game is for one player to tag the “it” person to win.
Why do we call it “funny” go, go, go stop? Because the players will need to freeze in funny positions. This can make it more difficult to hold their place because it prompts the kids to laugh at each other. Fun times all around!
10. Hide and Seek Tag
To really get the kids up and moving, we merged hide and seek with tag. Everyone hides while the “it” person or people, depending on how large your party is, counts to at least 30.
The hiders can run and find other hiding places at any time if they see the seekers advancing.
The seekers will need to not only find the hiders but tag them as well. The game can get more interesting if the tagged hiders will also become seekers until there is only one hider left.
11. Seaweed Tag
This is another traditional game that we thought we’d throw in here for good measure because it’s definitely held up its “fun factor” through the decades.
This game involves players on one side trying to get to another. It’s helpful if there is a perimeter laid out so no one runs too far out of the way.
The “it” person stands in the middle and tries to tag as many people as possible when they try to rush to the other side.
Whoever is tagged stays in place but can now help the “it” person by reaching out their arms and tagging whoever passes close to them.
12. Pass the Item Relay Race
This is a very fun game that requires the participants to be split into groups of 2 to 5 at the very most, with at least 4 players in each group.
For safety and ease, we would suggest using a balloon, or maybe eggs on a spoon. You will have to come up with creative ways for the members to pass the item to one another without using their hands and without dropping it on the floor.
The last person will then have to run and drop the item within a bucket or basket. It’s a relay race because it all needs to be done as quickly as possible and the team with the most items in their bucket or basket wins!
13. Big Bases Kickball
Kickball takes the rules of baseball but uses a soccer ball instead. Big bases kickball just replaces the bases (1,2,3 and 4), with big bean bags.
The kids are required to leap or hop onto these big bases, which takes extra effort to get off and start running to the next base when their team member is up to bat.
Watching each other struggle to get on and off the bases will bring sounds of laughter to the game.
14. Medic Dodge-pillows
Instead of dodgeball, which can cause injury, let’s exchange the balls for pillows or cushions to create dodge-pillows!
Medic dodge-pillows will prolong the game and keep the kids occupied for longer because each team will have a medic. The medic’s job is to physically pull the players who have been hit off of the field.
The player will “recover” on the sidelines for 10 seconds (or whatever time you set) before entering the game again.
The winning team is the one with the most players left standing after a certain length of time.
15. Number Ball
Maybe one of our favorites due to its simplicity and fun level is – number ball. Everyone is in the circle is assigned a number.
If your circle exceeds 10 people, we would suggest splitting the group into 2 or more circles. The “it” person, who also has a number within the circle will toss the ball into the air and call out a number.
The person with that number will rush forward to catch the ball while the others run away within the laid-out perimeter.
If the person whose number is called out doesn’t catch the ball, then they are out. If they do catch it, their job is to try to throw and tag someone with it.
If they manage to do that, the person they tag is out. If they miss, then they are out.
16. Tug-of-War (with protection)
You can also ply traditional tug-of-war, which is a classic party game but secure all the kids with protection. The protection could be protective gear, or even large bean bags laid out to cushion their fall.
17. Charades or Pictionary
If you don’t always want the kids running around, charades is a great game to play for them to wind down. Pick a few categories and write down relevant characters or terms and toss them into a hat.
Charades and Pictionary follow the same rules except the latter requires the kids’ artistic skills. The kids need to draw what they mean in Pictionary while Charades requires them to act it out.
You can also attempt to combine the two for more fun!
18. Heads Up 7-Up
Heads-up 7-Up usually requires desks, which is why it’s such a fun classroom game to play, but you can also do it with kids laying face down.
The kids are split into two groups. One group will need to get in position and stick their thumbs up and wait for the opposite team to tag their thumbs.
Once they are tagged, they will put their thumbs down so the other team knows someone has already tagged them.
When the tagging team has all chosen someone, the team that had their faces down will look up and guess who tagged them. If they guess right, the tagger will be out. If they guess wrong, then they are out.
19. Three-Legged Potato Sack Race
Yes, this is another hybrid game that combines a three-legged race with a potato sack race. For this game, you would secure the left leg of one kid to the right leg of another and have both kids step into a potato sack.
Whoever crosses the finish line wins!
20. The Floor is Lava Obstacle Course with Monsters
We saved the best and perhaps the most complex game to set up for last. We wanted to close out our list with a bang to thank you for staying with us until the end.
We’ve all played some rendition of “the floor is lava” as kids, and it’s such a popular concept that it is now a show on Netflix!
Bring the traditional elements of this game to your kids’ next bday party. Set up an obstacle race with bouncy houses, tube tunnels, bean bags, and anything you can think of (maybe hire a party company that has the equipment).
Parents will have to be the lava monsters because we assume most kids would want to try the course rather than be the monsters.
Kids who fall off or are tagged by monsters will become lava monsters themselves. The winner or winners are whoever is left!
You can always opt for traditional games – with a twist! There is nothing wrong with relying on old-school tried and true games such as tag or hide and seek.
They serve as a great foundation to build on and to add fun elements of your own to make them into something new.
Try a few of our games or try them all! Whatever you decide to try will definitely increase the fun level and elevate a regular kid party to the party of the year!