Get inspired with these new and classic ideas for DIY birthday party games and activities for kids. I’ve included both indoor and outdoor varieties.
Are you planning a birthday party for your child? It can be both exciting and a lot of work!
While the cake and decor are important, the games and activities you choose can truly make the party memorable!
The goal is to keep the kids entertained, make the party fun, and create beautiful memories with friends.
Below are over 35 ideas to keep kids engaged throughout the day, from classic party games to new spins on old favorites. Enjoy!
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This traditional game can be adjusted to fit any children’s party.
Create a DIY list of items for the kids to find around your home, yard, or park, then provide clues to help kids find them.
The first team to locate all of the things wins.
You can also purchase a scavenger hunt game or a cute printable checklist for each player online. (affiliate links)
This is a terrific way to keep kids active. They can work together in teams to find all the items.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
For an alternative method for the scavenger hunt, use what’s already in nature for your items!
For example, include birds, feathers, and mushrooms on your list.
Then, simply download and print one of many adorably illustrated checklists available on Etsy.com for your scavenger hunt.
This activity would fit well with a camping-themed party!
A Nature Walk
If you want to be outside, consider a nature walk! A hike is a beautiful way to explore the outdoors and teach kids about the environment.
Plan a simple course that takes you through various habitats, and have the kids explore and search for plants, insects, and animals along the way.
Arts and Crafts
Another fun idea is to set up a craft station where the kids can create an art project.
Provide materials like clay, paper, glue, scissors, and markers, and let their imaginations run wild.
Buy an artwork kit or create your own Have them sign their art and they can take it home.
If the weather is on your side, introduce a water activity to your party! It’s sure to be a hit.
Water games can be a fantastic backyard party strategy to keep kids entertained and cool in the summer heat if you can access a pool.
Set up a water balloon toss, volleyball with a beach ball, water gun fight, or slip and slide. Be sure to supervise the kids to ensure their safety.
Water Gun Tag
Give each guest a water gun and have them try to tag each other with water. The player who tags the most people before getting tagged wins.
Toss the Water Balloon
Here’s an easy and always exciting DIY game that works best for outdoor play.
Divide the kids into pairs and give each team a water balloon.
They must stand apart and toss the balloon back and forth without breaking it. After each successful toss, have the teams take a step back.
The pair that throws the balloon the farthest distance without it breaking wins.
Gather everyone around the campfire for some spooky stories. This is a classic outdoor activity that kids of all ages will love.
Get a fun camping photo background image or set up a cozy campsite inside or out.
Then, have the kids tell their stories and award a prize for the scariest or funniest one.
Set up a movie screen outdoors and watch a kid-friendly movie under the stars.
This is a great way to wind down after a day of activities and an entertaining way to end the party.
Include popcorn and candy favor boxes for each guest and a box office sign displaying the night’s movie.
Here’s a fantastic list of outdoor games and relay contests.
Relay Races and Obstacle Courses Team & Target Sports Games
Need a great idea for getting kids active? Plan a relay race! Set up an obstacle course with cones, hula hoops, and other objects.
Then, put together a series of races, including running around cones, crawling under a sheet, jumping over logs, or carrying a pail of water.
Divide your guests into teams and have them race through the course. The crew with the best time wins.
This is an excellent way to encourage teamwork, collaboration, and sportsmanship.
A sack race is a similar idea and a great backyard game.
Assign each youngster a potato sack or burlap bag, or purchase a colorful set of game sacks on Amazon. (affiliate link).
Have them race to the finish line by jumping down the course by hopping from inside the bag. The first kid to cross the finish line wins.
Another fun party game is to pair up the kids and have them tie one of their legs together. The teams then hop on their other leg to the finish line. The first duo to cross the finish line gets first place.
Tug of War Contest
Separate the children into two groups for this classic party game. Have each team pull on opposite ends of a thick rope. The team that pulls the other across the center line wins. These easy old-fashioned, fun yard games will help make your party successful and add much outdoor fun!
Hula Hoop Relay Contest
Split the kids into teams and give each group a hula hoop.
The object of the game is to pass the hula hoop down the line without letting go of each other’s hands. The first squad to do it wins.
Ring Toss Contests
A ring toss is a game where rings are tossed around a peg. It is popular at carnivals.
The players attempt to swing the ring onto the target to score. The first participant to get to five points is the victor.
Cornhole and Bean Bag Contests
Corn toss, bean bag, bean toss, soft horseshoes, and Indiana horseshoes are basically the same game. They are all games that consist of tossing objects at a target.
Corn hole gets its name because it is a game in which small bags filled with dried corn are thrown at a target on an inclined wood platform with a hole at one end.
Whichever you prefer, you can make a DIY version or purchase a set.
Set up a toss target with different point values and have the kids toss bean bags at it. The youth with the most points at the end wins.
These games would be a wonderful addition to a backyard carnival party.
A tossing golf game that includes balls on a string with a ladder-type frame of rungs. Here’s a handsome weather-resistant ladder golf set. (affiliate link)
A team wins the game when they reach 21 points before their competitors.
Shooting for the highest rung is the fastest way to win a ladder toss.
The highest rung is worth three points, the middle is two, and the lowest is one point.
Laser Tag Light Games
This game is perfect if you have a lot of space and energetic kids!
When you set up the battleground, your little partygoers will enjoy action-packed, adrenaline-pumping tag with their very own laser light guns.
So pick your teams (or go solo), strap on your gear, and prepare for action. Run, hide, roll, take aim, and eliminate your opponents to win the game.
Capture the Flag
This classic outdoor party game is a favorite among children of all ages and is perfect for summer parties.
First, divide the kids into two teams and give each group a flag. Next, set up a flag at each team’s base.
The objective is to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to your base without getting tagged by an opponent. The first team to capture the other team’s flag wins.
Red Light, Green Light
This is a classic childhood outdoor game idea, but still loved by all!
Select one child to be “it” and have them stand at one end of the yard. The other kids line up at the other end. When the selected “it” child calls out “green light,” the children run towards him.
When he calls out “red light,” they have to stop. The kids who don’t stop are automatically out.
The first child to tag the “it” child wins the game.
Here’s a bunch of classic and well-loved hometown childhood games that are perennial favorites.
This easy and classic game is great for both kids and adults.
Set up the Twister mat and spin the spinner to determine which body part goes on which color.
The last person standing wins. The outdoor version of Twister adds another layer of fun!
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
This traditional game has been played at birthday parties throughout the ages.
Hang up a picture of a donkey without a tail and give each guest a paper tail with their name.
Then, blindfold each child and spin them around a few times before letting them try to pin the Tail on the donkey.
The youngster who gets closest to the correct spot wins.
Jumbo-sized Jenga is a fun backyard game for all!
First, play the game by stacking large wooden blocks in a tower. Then, each player takes turns removing a block and placing it on the stack without it falling over.
The last person to successfully place a block on the tower without it falling over wins.
For this game, choose one child to be “Simon” and have them give commands like “Simon says touch your toes.”
The other children must only follow orders that start with “Simon says.”
Anyone who follows a word without “Simon says” is out of the game. The last person standing wins.
Everyone loves a simple game of Charades.
To play it, first, write down different words or phrases on pieces of paper. Then, have the children act them out while the others guess what they are.
Duck, Duck, Goose
Here’s another classic you’ve probably played as a child!
For Duck, Duck, Goose game, you have all kids sit in a circle. Select one person to be the “it .”
That child walks around the ring and taps each kid on the head, saying “duck.”
If they tap and say “goose,” that individual stands up and chases the person around the circle.
When the tapper gets back to the empty spot without being tagged, the person who was the “goose” becomes the new tapper. If the “it” person is tagged, they must start over again.
For the freeze dance, all you only need are players and music!
Play the music and have the kids dance to it. When the music stops, everyone has to freeze in position.
The last individual to freeze is out. Repeat until there is only one person left. That child is the winner.
Photo Booths with Props
Create a photo booth area with props for guests to take pictures.
First, make or purchase a fun photo backdrop. Next, provide a variety of props and signs for the kids to pose with.
In addition, you can include dress-up options with hats, wigs, giant sunglasses, mustaches, and other costume accessories. Finally, create signs with personalized words and fun phrases.
The kids will have a blast posing with the props and making funny faces.
This makes for amusing and memorable pictures that the kids can enjoy and share.
For the creative crew, a painting project will be perfect!
Painting is a fun and creative activity that can be an excellent addition to a kid’s birthday party.
There are many different ways to plan this craft. One idea is to create a painting station where kids can use watercolors, acrylics, or finger paints.
In addition, you can provide various colors, brushes, and paper or canvas for the kids to paint on.
Another idea for a painting activity is to have a themed project, such as a unicorn, camping, superhero, or a pretty picnic party.
Then, you can provide wooden stencils or templates for the kids to use that fit the theme.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a mess-free painting activity.
Try using paint pens or markers instead of traditional paints.
If you think the kids will enjoy being more physically active, here are ideas that involve physical agility and some strategy too.
Limbo is a fun and active lawn game that takes coordination. All the kids will love it.
The game involves seeing how low players bend backward while passing under a horizontal bar without touching it.
After each round, you slowly lower the bar, making the game more challenging and exciting.
The last child standing wins the game!
Eyeballs of Madness Lawn Game
Another game set great for the backyard includes Eyeballs of Madness. It’s similar to horseshoes but involves strategy.
It combines the casual fun of outdoor games with “brain game” engagement, especially appealing to those who like strategy board games.
Croquet is a traditional lawn game that’s great for friends and family gatherings or parties.
The game involves hitting wooden balls with mallets through a sequence of hoops, and the goal is to be the first player to hit the finishing stake.
Anyone can play; it’s an easy game that requires little skill. It’s a compelling way to get all the kids of different sports levels up and playing together.
Include these games when you celebrate a Fourth of July gathering with friends!
Football Target Sports Game
This football toss game set is the perfect way to bring some fun to any party with enthusiastic kids who enjoy sports.
Bring a twist to your classic cornhole game with this hoops game set.
Score points by throwing the football through the holes in the scoring target. The first player to 21 wins!
Safe Darts is a fun game that can be a great complement to a birthday party.
This magnetic dart board is a safe indoor/outdoor game option. The magnets are powerful, holding darts in place without worrying about hurting a person, pets, or walls.
Darts involve throwing small magnetic safe darts at a board with numbered sections.
The objective is to score as many points as possible. Each player takes turns throwing three darts at the board, and the points they score are tallied up to determine the winner.
Darts are a great way to encourage sportsmanship and teamwork.
Popdarts is a new spin on the game of darts!
Each game consists of multiple rounds of tossing darts at a surface target and trying to outscore your opponents. The first team to reach 21 points wins.
Popdarts stick best to smooth surfaces like countertops, refrigerators, windows, etc. The compact sets can be played indoors or outdoors.
More Party Ideas
Below are more ways to celebrate!
Backyard Carnival Party
Fancy Picnic Ideas
Favorite Things Party
Lunch Party for your Girlfriends
Birthday Lunch Party
Patriotic Outdoor Dinner Party
Raclette Dinner Ideas
I hope you’ve enjoyed the party games inspiration!
Whether you’re planning an indoor or outdoor birthday party, there are plenty of fun and exciting game ideas to choose from.
These different birthday party game ideas will surely be a winner with kids of all ages.
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