Birthday Party Games: 17 Ideas That Fit Every Theme!

Birthday Party GamesYou think that coming up with birthday party games is no easy affair?

Well, we agree with you!

Coming up with engaging, novel, yet fun birthday game ideas seem like a tough job, but we can make it easy for you. We have here a list of interesting games/activities for you to choose from. However, before you get on to reading them, here are a few tips to help you in choosing the most suitable birthday party games for your child’s day.

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Points to ponder when choosing birthday party games:

  • Keep in mind the average age of children attending the party. It’s best to have games that are easier to play for most of the crowd than difficult games that only a few kids would enjoy.
  • Keeping the theme in mind is great, but if you have a mind-blowing game, you can let go of the theme! For kids, fun is more important than sticking to the theme.
  • All kids go to school. Let’s not involve them in too many intellectual/educational games at a birthday party. They’ll rather have a little lighthearted enjoyment than a lot of intellectual boredom.
  • Long-drawn games do not interest any child. If your birthday party games go on for too long, even if they’re very interesting, children will get bored. They have short interest spans, remember?
  • Lastly, don’t make your games very gender specific. A few boys attending that Cinderella party of yours should have something interesting to do other than braid a doll or decorate a castle. Agree?

17 birthday party games for your child’s most special day

1. Mickey Mouse game

Ever watched an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Well, if your child knows about Mickey Mouse and/or Mickey Mouse is his/her birthday party theme, then these two birthday party games are just right!

How to play?

  • Distribute plain Mickey Mouse masks to every child attending the party.
  • Get them to colour the masks using crayons, sketch-pens, or other colouring material.
  • Once the masks are decorated, move to the next game.

The next game is about mimicry and drama. You can play these games back to back or let children eat a snack in between.

  • Kids are to wear the masks that they’ve created.
  • After wearing the masks, they need to walk across the room and introduce themselves like Mickey Mouse does before every episode (Ahey everybody! I’m Mickey Mouse...)
  • The sound and tone of Mickey’s voice is unique and children love to ape that.

These games are full of enjoyment and action especially if you want to witness budding mimickers at play!

2. Pop the balloons

Birthday parties are no fun without balloons, right? Make your child’s birthday more enjoyable by involving every kid and adult with birthday party games. Try this oldest game in the book.

How to play?

  • This game can be played by all the guests attending the party. Kids can form one group and adults can form another.
  • Children love to see their parents play a kiddie game. So be assured that this game will lead to a lot of enjoyment.
  • Use strings to tie balloons on each player’s leg. The balloon should be tied closer to the ankle.
  • Play the music and let the players dance. Stop the music and ask them to try and pop the balloon of the person standing next to them by stomping on the balloon. Whosever balloon pops is out of the game.
  • Play music after every round so that there’s dancing and enjoyment between the competition.
  • The one person/child whose balloon remains wins!

Sounds like a lot of popping fun, no?

3. Pirate treasure game

This game works well for a pirate-themed party, but can also be played for any other theme since such treasure hunt-related birthday party games are not too restricted to themes.

How to play?

  • Make a cardboard treasure chest and fill it up with treasures. Pencils, erasers, streamers, ribbons, small toys, chocolates, toffees, and so on, constitute treasure for children.
  • Line up the kids in a straight line, around five metres away from the treasure chest and count to three.
  • Kids need to race up to the chest and fill their pockets with as many treasures as possible.
  • Any kind of physical contact like pushing or nudging each other is not allowed.
  • The treasure is then counted and one with the most, wins.
  • Every child gets to keep the treasures that he/she has won.

Get started on procuring a lot of treasure for the chest now!

4. Decorate your car

Living with a budding car enthusiast? So am I!

If Disney’s Cars is your birthday party theme or your child just wants any car-themed birthday party, then this game will work wonderfully for you.

How to play?

  • Get posters/charts of a few unique-looking cars. Hopefully, you have these decorating your venue for your cars-themed birthday party.
  • Provide car-shaped cutouts to each kid participating in this game.
  • Also provide paints, crayons, colour pencils, and so on for them to use.
  • Kids need to replicate the look of any car that they’ve seen on the poster/chart.
  • The closest replication, wins!

Vrooom! Fun, here we come.

5. Fun with magic wand

Birthday party games for a Harry Potter theme aren’t that easy to come up with, except if you have our help! The fun with the magic wand game is sure to please all those little magicians out there. Plus, the same game can be tweaked to fit a princess, Cinderella, fairy godmother, or fairy-themed birthday party as well.

Isn’t that just wow?

How to play?

  • Get a few medium-sized sticks (half-a-metre approximately). Many craft/decoration stores sell such sticks.
  • Get some decoration materials to decorate these stick-wands. Pinks, purples, flowers, blues, silver, golden, glitter, browns, magic stars, and magic stickers for both boys and girls to choose from.
  • Get the kids at your party to decorate a wand each. This will be their wand throughout the party and they can do any role-play that they want with them — princesses, fairies and  little magicians or Harry Potter are among the favourite few!

There’s more:

  • You can use a wand to get the kids to play the statue game as well.
  • Get them to dance on some fun music and flash the wand saying abracadabra when the music stops midway. The magic words mean that they have to stand still like statues.
  • All movers and shakers are out till one remains.

So gear up for some magical fun!

6. Gold doubloons fun

Jake and The Neverland Pirates is your theme? It was my son’s fifth birthday party theme too and the the following is one of the birthday party games that we played:

How to play?

  • Hide gold doubloons all over the room and get kids to find them.
  • The gold doubloons are round chocolates coated with golden foil paper.

What fun to hunt for treasure and eat it too. No?

7. Passing the parcel

How can you miss this one when it comes to selecting birthday party games? We’ve played it, our parents have played it, and perhaps even their parents must have played passing the parcel at a birthday party!

How to play?

  • Select a pillow, cushion, soft toy, gift box, or ball to pass around as a parcel.
  • Make the kids sit in a circle.
  • When the music plays, the parcel needs to be passed from one kid to another.
  • Music stops abruptly and the kid who has the parcel in his/her hands is out. But first, he/she has to sing a song, dance, or entertain the group.

Amidst giggles, music, and exchange of parcels, play this game at your child’s birthday party!

8. Musical chairs

Birthday Party GamesWhat is a birthday party without this game? Even adults can join in the fun with this one.

How to play?

  • Arrange the chairs in a circle with their backs facing inwards. The numbers of chairs is one less than the number of players.
  • Players have to walk along the chairs when the music plays. When the music stops abruptly, the players have to grab a seat for themselves.
  • The one player who is unable to find a seat is out.
  • The next round begins by removing one chair from the circle so that in every round the number of chairs are one less than the number of players.

It’s an age-old game, but is still amazingly engaging!

9. Huddle in a corner

Don’t kids just love to huddle in corners and speak in hushed tones? Why not use this habit of theirs in a birthday party game?

How to play?

  • Children move around in a circles all over the room.
  • Music plays in the background.
  • As soon as the music stops, they have to huddle in a corner and divide themselves into a number that you call out. You should announce numbers randomly and not after assessing the number of kids — that makes the game fair.
  • All extras who don’t fit into a group are out.

Eventually, everyone gets a chocolate each for participation!

10. Decorate your wings

This one fits the princess as well as the fairy-themed birthday party. For the boys attending the same party, you can have them decorate a few superhero masks.

How to play?

  • Get cut-outs of wings to distribute among the kids.
  • Provide glitter and other decoration material for them to decorate the wings.
  • Once done, attach elastic strips onto the wings so that the little fairies/princesses can wear them.
  • The boys can decorate superhero masks and wear them afterward.

It’s an easy birthday party game that guarantees complete participation. Could we ask for more?

11. Carry the marbles with a spoon

Who said birthday party games cannot be developmental? This one is a game that ensures improved body balance and focus for kids. Sounds promising, no?

How to play?

  • Keep a large bowl full of marbles at one end of the room and an empty bowl of the same size at the other end.
  • While holding a spoon in their mouth, kids have to carry marbles on the spoon from one bowl to the other.
  • The child to carry the most number of marbles wins.

For toddlers too young to balance or understand the competitive aspect of the game, just carrying the marbles from one end to another speaks fun!

12. Dinosaur age

Who said birthday party games need to be only about running around? Get kids interested in archaeology through this very fun and informative game. This is one amazing sit-down game that each kid will love to play.

How to play?

  • Buy mini dinosaur toys and plastic bones.
  • On strips of paper, print or note interesting dinosaur facts. Fold these strips and hide them under playing sand (garden or beach sand) that you have stored in a large flat container. Don’t forget the toy dinosaurs and bones!
  • You can also use a ready-made sandpit.
  • Kids have to find the hidden dinosaur facts and bones under the sand.
  • Every time they find any one of these hidden surprises, they get applauded by the audience. What more? In each round of play, they learn a new fun fact about the dinosaurs.

Not to forget the treat that everyone gets after washing their hands! Worth all the sandy effort, yes?

13. Solve those puzzles

Most kids enjoy solving puzzles — especially jigsaw puzzles. They have even more fun when they have company to solve the puzzles at a birthday party! These puzzles need not be too brainy or tough since we’re looking only at wholehearted participation, right?

How to play?

  • Get hold of several large-sized puzzles of Doraemon, Mickey, and/or other cartoon characters.
  • Divide kids into age-specific groups.
  • Distribute a puzzle per group and assign a time limit to solve the puzzles.
  • The first group to win gets a special prize and every participant of every group gets chocolates.

Brain teasing time, right?

14. Hello Kitty birthday party games

Here we have two variants of Hello Kitty-themed games that you can play at your little one’s birthday party. These can be played even if Hello Kitty is not your primary theme.

How to play?

Pin the flower
  • Hang a Hello Kitty cut-out on the wall with the bow of the kitty missing.
  • Use a separate bow cut-out to play the game
  • Kids have to close their eyes and stick the bow on Hello Kitty’s head.
  • The one who is hits the closest mark, wins!

This one is a Hello Kitty version of the famous pin the donkey’s tail game. So, enjoy it!

Paint the kitty
  • Just like for the previous game, you need Hello Kitty cut-outs for this one as well. However, these will be plain, smaller in size, and complete versions of Hello Kitty (with bows and all).
  • Hand out the cut-outs to children and provide paint and other decoration material.
  • Children need to paint and decorate the cut-outs as per their liking and then carry these home.

A great addition to the takeaway present too!

15. Superhero/Supergirl catch-me-if-you can game

Is your child’s birthday party theme based on superheroes/supergirls? If yes, then this is the perfect game for you. Plus, it makes your child feel very special!

How to play?

  • The birthday boy/girl dresses up as a superhero/supergirl.
  • On a count of three, he/she plays the catch-me-if-you-can game and chases his/her friends around the party.
  • Lots of giggles and fun follows and the last child remaining to get caught is the winner.

You will need an open space to play this one. Also, ensure that there is no dangerous obstacle in that space for your superstar!

16. Birthday party bowling alley

Is your child into bowling? If not, this is one of those birthday party games that can teach a new sport to children. I’m sure all of you will want to try it.

How to play?

  • Create your own bowling alley! Cut plastic sheets into vertical strips measuring 2 feet in width and around 5 feet in length. Stick these strips on the floor to replicate a bowling alley.
  • At one end of the strip place bowling pins and the other end will have medium-sized throwing balls. You can use authentic kiddie-sized bowling balls as well.
  • Kids have to roll the ball along the plastic strip to make the pins fall. Scores are based on the numbers of bowling pins that fall at every turn.
  • Bowling sets are also readily available in most toy stores and you can use them to get the pins and the ball.

It’s a little bit of preparatory effort but guaranteed fun for your child’s birthday party!

17. Dress-up fun

The following are a set of birthday party games that involve impromptu costumes and dressing-up. A unique twist to the usual pretend games that we play with kids. These games can be used for a dress-up-themed birthday party as well.

How to play?

Dress like a monster
  • Let their imagination run wild when you provide kids with monster masks, fake beards/moustaches, face paint, paper capes, glitter, and then ask them to dress like monsters.
  • Ensure that you assist children wherever they need help.
  • This is not a competition-based game, but just a fun way of passing time at a party.
  • The most imaginative monster gets to walk around the entire venue to showcase his/her creativity.
  • All the monsters dance on their favourite number after the dress up.

You might want to dim the lights for a near-spooky effect too!

Dress like a bird/animal
  • If your kids are too young for a monster scare, you may want to use the dress-up fun game for dressing up as animals or birds by making just a few changes.
  • Provide feathers, charts to make wings, glue, colours, paper beaks, paper tails, and other stationery for them to use.
  • Ensure that your help the kids out.
  • Once they are dressed, they need to ape the bird/animal they’re dressed as and if possible, also make the bird/animal sound.

Take my word and try this game. It’s the most fun you will ever have!

Dress like mom/dad

Well, this dress-up is an amazing idea for your child’s birthday party!

  • Provide scarves (to be used as saris or dupattas) and bow ties to children along with sunglasses, moustaches, mamma’s hair accessories, and so on.
  • Kids need to use these items to dress up like mamma or papa.
  • Once done, they can enact how mamma/papa talk or behave. When kids act your eccentricities out, it leads to roars of laughter and excitement!

They will love these dress-up games and these will become their most favorite among all the birthday party games that they’ve ever played.

To trust me, try them!

To conclude: Short birthday party games checklist to help you plan the big day!

  • Party theme (if any). Check!
  • The duration of the party (approximately)? Check!
  • Have enough number of games to last the party. Check!
  • The games are age appropriate? Check!
  • Have all the items I need for each game. Check!
  • Have prepared the area for the party beforehand. Check!
  • Bought enough gifts to hand out after the games? Check!
  • Decided upon a host who would conduct these games in case I’m busy with other vital things at the party. Check!
  • Have updated the standby host with my ideas. Check!
  • Have planned enough fun, thrill, and excitement for my child! Double check!

Hope you have a fantastic birthday party!

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What are your favourite birthday party games? Any memories from childhood? Share with us now!

Image Credits: Beth ScuphamEden, Janine and Jim

Mother to a five-year-old, Amrita Minocha is essentially a teacher. She teaches GRE/GMAT/IELTS verbal courses, English as a second language (TESOL), and Yoga! An MBA in HR, she enjoys juggling between diverse roles. A hardcore bookworm who aims to pen a book someday, she currently writes GRE verbal samples, activity books for kids, and actively blogs on the Flintobox blog.

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