Got a bunch of kids on your hands but don’t want to shell out for a lavish birthday party? These classic birthday party games will keep ’em occupied!
Hosting a birthday party can be so stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve put our heads together and picked our all-time favourite, top 9 birthday party games to keep little ones entertained. Many of these are simple enough that kids as young as 2 or 3 can grasp the rules, and we guarantee you’ll all be cracking up at one point or another. You can always check YouTube or Pinterest for all manner of variations on these games, but we’ve laid out the basics. Just add cupcakes and punch, and you’re good to go!
Blow Wind Blow
Sit everyone in a circle and appoint someone to remain standing and call out “Blow wind blow!” to which the rest have to reply, “Blow what?”.
Then the one standing has to make a conditional statement like “those wearing glasses” or “everyone wearing pink” and everyone who fits in that category has to stand up and switch seats (giving the initial person standing a chance to steal a seat as well). There will be one person left standing and the process repeats. Kids have to be creative in coming up with the conditions, and work on their quick reaction times!
This is the classic game where one person silently acts out a clue for a partner or teammates. For little kids, it can have a theme like “Animals”, or try something like “Disney movies” for slightly older kids.
Before playing, first print off a page of animal pictures or Disney movies. Cut out each individual animal/movie, fold each in half, and put them in a bucket. Begin the game by having the first child choose a piece of paper. The child then needs to act out the animal or Disney movie silently, and all other children need to try to guess what it is. Once guessed, choose another child who has not had a turn.
Duck, Duck, Goose
This is such a fun one for kids from about age 3 onwards. Sit everyone around in a circle and have one person be “It” and go around the circle tapping people on the head or shoulder one-by-one, and with each tap say “Duck”. At random, choose someone and say “Goose!” The person who’s been tapped has to chase the person who’s “It” around the circle. If the person who’s “It” gets back to their place in the circle, then the “Goose” becomes “It”. If the Goose catches them, they stay “It”.
Kids as young as 2 LOVE this one. Start with two lines of chairs set up for as many kids as there are at the party. Play music and encourage them to slowly walk around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone has to find a seat. Remove one chair, then play the music again, so that when it next stops, someone won’t be able to grab a seat. That person is then “out”. One by one, keep eliminating seats until you’re left with a winner.
Pass the Parcel
Wrap a little gift in multiple layers of paper. Kids sit down in a circle and pass a present around while music is playing. When the music stops, whoever has the present in their hands removes one layer of wrapping. Whoever unwraps the last layer gets to keep the gift!
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Print out a picture of a donkey (or any other animal) and give kids a “tail” attached to a loop of tape. Then blindfold them, spin them around, and watch them attempt to stick the “tail” onto the proper place on the donkey. Kids find the erroneous placements hilarious!
Relays are a super fun way to boost teamwork and get kids hyped up (we’d definitely suggest doing them outside). You can either set teams up in two lines facing each other or have single lines and send kids out and back around cones or some other obstacle. Some of my favourite objects to use are an egg on a spoon (kids have to very carefully pass them off to each other) or filled-up water balloons that are prone to pop.
Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt
In a scavenger hunt, prepare a list of things to collect and split the kids into teams to go and find them. The race is to find everything on the list. This game can be done inside or outside, making use of things lying around the house like LEGO, socks, marbles and pens, or nature hunts looking for a big leaf, brown leaf and a smooth leaf.
In a treasure hunt, kids usually compete as individuals and look for fun little objects hidden around (such as an Easter Egg hunt), including toys, candy, or anything else in keeping with your party theme.
What’s on the Tray?
For this memory game lay out five to 10 different items (more for older kids) on a tray; for example, a fork, brush, car toy, pencil, hat, banana. Give each child a pencil and paper. Let them look at the tray for a minute, then cover it with a tea towel and get the kids to write down what was on the tray; the one with the most right answers is the winner.