No birthday party can be complete without birthday party games. It is important for the host to think of activities for children which will entertain them and make them a part of the celebration. This is why the best parenting blog in India has researched and brought for you, not one, not two but 40 party game ideas that are sure to make your child’s birthday party a superhit among his/her friends.
What’s more, we have thought of activities for every age so it doesn’t matter whether you are looking for party activities for your baby’s first birthday or your tween’s birthday, we have birthday games for everyone.
Choosing the perfect birthday party ideas and party games will depend on a few things:
What’s the theme of your party? Depending upon whether you have a princess theme, pirate theme or something else, you need to think of the games and party activities accordingly.
The age of the guests If you have guests of roughly the same age group then the birthday activities can be planned easily, however, if there are kids of different ages then you need to plan activities that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Location of the party You need to think up the activities according to where your party is – indoors or outdoors and also whether you have a large space or a small space available for activities.
Materials required From craft items to music the kind of materials required for the party games are varied. So it would pay for you to think and plan out the activities, this will also help you in creating your shopping lists accordingly.
Time for the activities Most birthday parties should be under three hours and out of that time you can have probably an hour or so for party games and activities. Plan 2-3 activities of 15-20 minutes each and that would ensure that kids enjoy themselves to the hilt and there is no boredom whatsoever.
40 Kids Birthday Party Activities and Games for all ages
1st Birthday party games
It is most likely a party where you will have guests of all ages because this one is for the parents. You can have a mix of activities for children as well as parents.
Bubbles Every kid loves bubbles. Get a bubble maker machine or get the older kids to blow the bubbles with wands. Superfun!
Sensory Activities Create sensory bags or boxes with things like rice, leaves, small pebbles, sand, cotton balls pasta and lots more. Click here to see.
Dance party This one is simple, just put on some lilting music (think kiddie songs and rhymes) and let the little ones have a blast.
Cardboard Boxes Aren’t we always saying that the kids are not interested in the toys but in the boxes that they came in. So give them a few cardboard boxes, big and small to explore. Keep paint, crayons, stickers etc at hand to let them decorate the boxes.
Storytime Make a circle and have the adults or older children read out some classics to the kids. Here are some books that are loved by one year olds.
Baby photo guessing game You can also include the adults in the first birthday party celebrations. Ask them to get a childhood picture of them and then display all the pictures and ask the guests to guess which childhood picture belongs to whom.
First Birthday time capsule First birthdays are special and definitely need to be treasured. Ask guests and relatives to write letters to the birthday baby about the time they have spent, their hopes and dreams for the future etc., a copy of baby’s footprints and handprints, pictures of the baby’s first year etc can be stored in a waterproof, bug proof and airtight tin. Bury it and you can ask your child to open it in 5, 10 or 18 years. It will be a beautiful surprise for them.
Dad’s Magic Show Search for some Do-It-Yourself magic tricks on the internet and get dad to put on a simple and cute magic show for the kids.
2 years to 4 years
You can’t yet have structured and organised games but lots of fun activities for this age.
Finger Painting Make with this simple recipe and let the tots go to town with painting. You need to be prepared with art aprons and lots of newspapers to avoid messes.
Ball Pit You can create a ball pool in your home, all you need is an inflatable pool and plastic balls.
Play Dough is another idea which will provide lots of entertainment. Here is a recipe to make colourful playdough with simple raw materials.
Obstacle Course Use pillows, plastic cones, boxes, hula hoops etc for the toddlers to tackle. You can create this activity indoors or outdoors and can be enjoyed by all kids.
Create a Coloring Wall Toddlers love to write on walls but never get the chance to do that freely. Create a colouring wall for them using large sheets of paper and painters’ tape. Let them loose on the wall with crayons. For a theme party use a pencil to draw objects according to the theme for kids to colour.
Sticker Fun Get lots of colourful stickers according to your theme and let the kids stick them on card paper or a huge paper sheet taped to the wall.
Simon Says The classic game of Simon says “put finger on your chin”, “touch your toes” etc. Make it silly by adding stuff like “wag your tail” “jump like a frog” etc. If the command is not preceded by “Simon says”, anyone obeying it will be “OUT”.
Sand Pit: Just like a ball pool, use an inflatable pool, fill it with sand. Give them cups, bowls etc to play with the sand.
4 years to 6 years
Face painting Use face paints and paint the faces of the kids according to your theme. Will work great for themes like butterflies, fairies, animals etc.
Decorate your cupcakes Bake some simple vanilla cupcakes and place lots of toppings like sprinkles, candy, frosting, liquorice, fruits etc. Each kid can decorate their own cupcake and once done can either eat it or take it home.
Freeze Dance or Musical Statue Put on music and when the DJ stops the music everyone has to freeze. Birthday boy or girl can move around trying to make the statues laugh or move without touching them. Anyone who moves is out.
Water play games Kids this age love playing with water so you can set up a water table or give them water balloons or even water guns for a play fight.
Ready, Set and Race You can have a variety of races for toddlers. Simple race, relay races, lemon and spoon race, frog race, sack race etc.
Pin the tail on ____ games Create a cutout according to the theme and blindfolded kids have to attach a part of the cutout at the correct place. If you are tired of the donkey and the tail, you can go for Rapunzel and her braided hair, puppy and its nose, flowers and ladybird, pirate and the eye patch etc.
Pinata and let the kids beat it. Once it pops kids will love all the candies and small gifts inside the pinata.
Fishing Game In an inflatable put a variety of small & light prizes like Snack packets, sticker sheets, colouring sheets, hair bands, candy etc and fix a big paper clip on each of the prizes. Now give long rods with magnets attached to the kids who can now fish out their prizes from the pool. Keep a bigger prize for the child who fishes out a maximum number of prizes.
6 years to 8 years
DIY kit activity There are so many DIY kits in the market like jewellery kits, mould and paint sets, origami sets etc. Get a craft kit for all of them and let them make wonderful keepsakes.
Science Experiments Set up some safe and interesting science experiments for the cute scientists and let them play and learn at the same time. Check out these.
Tug of War Another classic outdoor activity, this will be a perfect precursor to snack time and get the kids hungry.
Mummy Wrap Pair kids in teams of two and give them toilet paper rolls. Set a timer for 5 minutes and one partner of each team has to mummify the other partner in that time. The first team to complete the task and create an acceptable mummy wins.
Chinese Whispers Write funny phrases on paper chits and put them in a bowl. Get kids to sit in a circle, one kid picks a chit and has to whisper the phrase to the kid next to them and so on. The person at the end says the phrase out loud and if it is wrong, you retrace it to the child who got it wrong.
Straws and Candies Scatter lots of small candies like gems and M&Ms on a tray. Give straws and small bowls to all the kids. With the help of the straw, the kids have to suck the candy to the bowl. The kid with the maximum number of candy at the end wins!
Spin the nail polish A great game for young girls, but different colour nail polishes in a circle and clear nail polish in the centre. Each girl has to spin the clear nail polish and when the bottle stops the girl has to colour one of her nails in that colour. Once all the girls have all their nails coloured the game is over.
Pass the parcel Prepare the parcel beforehand and ensure that the final present is wrapped in many layers, each layer with a small surprise attached. Sit all the kids in a circle and when the music starts they pass the parcel around until the music stops. Whoever is holding the parcel at this point opens a layer and the music begins again. This goes on till the last layer and the child who removes this wins the present.
8 years and above
Who knows the Birthday star Prepare a questionnaire with all the questions about the birthday star. Like their favourite colour, favourite sport, least favourite food, favourite song etc. The guest who answers the most questions correctly wins.
Memory Games Sit all the kids in a circle with note pads. Place a tray with all 10-15 objects at the centre and let the kids look at them to memorize the items. After 2 minutes cover the tray with a cloth and ask them to write down as many objects as possible on the notepad.
Charades Whether movies or famous people silent charades are a hit with all the kids.
Hanging Doughnut game Hang doughnuts on strings and kids have to eat them off except they can’t use their hands. The first kid to finish the doughnut wins.
Minute to win it games The famous TV show has lots of games to be played in under a minute. Check out and find ones that can be attempted by the kids at your party.
Truth or Dare An all-time party favourite, this game is a lot of fun for tweens. Here is some fun to start you off.
Who am I? Tape paper slips with a name of an object or a personality at the back of each kid. The kids have to go around and ask questions from the other kids which will give them clues about who they are. The kid who guesses correctly first wins.
Treasure hunt Design a treasure hunt with clues to follow around the house and at the end of the search find the prize.
We are hoping to use lots of these birthday games for Sam’s birthday next month. Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Help out other parents by writing them down in the comments.