One of the most fun things about party planning is deciding which games and activities to include. Whether youâ€™re hosting a small get-together at home or putting on a neighborhood celebration, the right games can transform the atmosphere. This is especially true when your guest list includes lots of little ones. Make your youngest guests feel right at home and take your event to the next level with these fun party games for kids. Expect classic games but with a new twist, and plenty of ideas on how to style these games around your party. Thereâ€™s something for children of all ages â€” and plenty for those who are â€śkids at heart.â€ť
1. Treasure Hunt
Thereâ€™s nothing more exciting than a treasure hunt for kids. Set your clues, hide the prize, and watch as youngsters guess their way towards its location. Whether you go for the traditional hidden treasure and pirates theme or create something unique, itâ€™s a great way to get everyone involved.
First, decide on a theme. Thereâ€™s lots of space here to let your imagination run wild. Lead your adventurers on a quest to find a dragonâ€™s hidden gold, or send them on a journey to uncover a mysterious magic box. Whatâ€™s great about treasure hunts is that theyâ€™re easy to tailor to your party guestsâ€™ ages, abilities, and interests. Plus, you can start the game early by hiding your first clue within your digital invitations.
2. Duck Duck Goose
Duck duck goose is one of the most-loved birthday party games for kids. Ask your little guests to sit in a circle facing inwards, then assign one of them to be â€śit.â€ť They then run around and call each guest they pass a â€śduckâ€ť until one is a â€śgoose.â€ť The goose then chases the person who is â€śitâ€ť as they try to take their place in the circle. The process then repeats until the fun stops.
This is a fun game for younger kids, but itâ€™s also one that adults can join. For a more creative twist, customize it and swap â€śduckâ€ť and â€śgooseâ€ť for words that fit your party theme â€” like â€śknightâ€ť and â€śdragonâ€ť, or â€śfairyâ€ť and â€śunicorn.â€ť
3. Pin the Tail on the Donkey (With a Twist)
This is one kidsâ€™ party game that isnâ€™t going away anytime soon. Pin the tail on the donkey is a party classic thatâ€™s both simple and challenging at the same time. Break from tradition and transform the traditional donkey into a unicorn and ask guests to pin the horn. Or, you can pin the tail on the lion for a safari-themed birthdayÂ bash. Either way, you canâ€™t go wrong with this familiar favorite.
4. Musical Chairs
We bet this is one of those party games you remember from childhood. Encourage your younger guests to dance away, then challenge them to find a seat when the music stops â€” if they donâ€™t, itâ€™s game over. Remove chairs as the rounds go by, so thereâ€™s always one fewer chair than dancers. The last person left is the winner.
Musical chairs is a fun way to get your guests moving and expend some energy. Itâ€™s a great game to play while youâ€™re waiting for food to be ready or before you all wind down for cake time. Add a disco ball, gold fringe curtains, and plenty of showstopping tunes for the perfect musical game.
5. Pass the Parcel
Before the party starts, find a small gift and wrap it in layers of paper, with pieces of candy hidden in the layers between. Gather your party guests and ask them to sit in one big circle. Starting with one person, pass the parcel around the circle until the music stops. Whoever is holding the parcel at that moment gets to unwrap a layer and keep the candy. Keep passing the parcel until there are no more layers left, and the winner ends up with a prize to keep.
For a more eco-friendly take on this classic game, swap the paper layers with reusable fabric instead. Guests can then enjoy the sweet treat and take home the fabric that they can use as a cape for a small toy figurine or a flag for a castle.
6. Simon Says
Simon Says is the ultimate copycat party game for kids. Assign one person to be â€śSimon.â€ť Theyâ€™ll then give instructions that the others should follow â€” but only if they follow the words â€śSimon says.â€ť Fun instructions include â€śtouch your toes,â€ť laugh,â€ť and â€śdance on the spot.â€ť
Have some fun with this and use it as an easy way to get your youngest guests moving and enjoying themselves. Call â€śgame overâ€ť for anyone who does the wrong action and keep going until you have one person left.
7. Tug of War
If you have enough space indoors or youâ€™re throwing an outdoor party, this is a great way to get your party guests laughing and engaging in a little competitive fun.
Make the tug of war easy for a younger crowd, or ramp up the difficulty for older kids. You could even invite grown-ups to join in, or make it a family versus family team game. Keep it simple or theme your tug of war to match your party decor by dyeing the rope or asking your guests to wear funny hats. Donâ€™t be afraid of a pun or two either â€” who doesnâ€™t love a â€śtug of rawrâ€ť for a dino-themed party?
8. Ring Toss
Get everyone lined up to play a few rounds of ring toss in this easy outdoor party gameÂ for kids. Challenge your guests to throw hoops onto stakes to win points. At the end of the game, the player or team with the most points wins.
Ring toss is one of those games that is super easy to fit into your party theme. Swap the usual stakes for flamingos, or style them up as mountains, swords, or the masts of a boat.
9. Egg and Spoon Race
Bring back a classic party game with a sweet and simple egg and spoon race. Gather a crowd and ask your guests to team up or go it solo to see who can make it to the finish line with their egg intact.
If youâ€™re worried about a mess, swap real eggs for plastic or playdough versions. Amp up the fun factor by making the eggs and spoons comically large, or swap the egg for something thatâ€™s tied to your party theme. Reimagine this with a pretend diamond for a princess party, or a wheel for a car-themed celebration. If the birthday kid is a Lego fan, combine this with a mini engineering challenge to see who can build the best spoon from building blocks.
10. Musical Statues
This oneâ€™s great for all those kids who love to get up and dance. Fill the dancefloor and challenge your party guests to a game of musical statues. Play some music and ask your guests to freeze when the music stops. Anyone left dancing (or giggling!) is out of the game. Keep going until thereâ€™s only one person left standing.
Musical statues is one of those effortless games that will always have a home at kidsâ€™ parties. Itâ€™s easy to set up, so you can make it work with only the most basic of equipment. All you need is a music player and space for people to dance.
Find another use for your blindfold with a spirited game of piĂ±ata. Line up your party guests and watch as they take it in turns to hit the piĂ±ata, hoping to break it and claim the candy that falls down.
This is a party activity thatâ€™s fun for any age, so it works for young kids, big kids, and the young at heart. (Just make sure you have adult supervision at all times.)Â Find or make a piĂ±ata that matches your party theme perfectly, and fill it with candy or small treats that everyone can enjoy.
12. Hot Potato
Break out your music player and treat your party guests to a game of hot potato. For this game, youâ€™ll need a beanbag or small throwable toy, which guests will throw or pass between themselves while the music plays. When it stops, the person left holding the â€śhot potatoâ€ť is eliminated. Keep the game going until thereâ€™s one winner left.
While potatoes are a little heavy to throw, thereâ€™s nothing stopping you from giving it a fresh twist. For summer parties, swap the beanbag or ball for a water balloon and add an extra layer of fun to the mix. This is an activity that works best in a circle, so consider pairing it with a game of pass the parcel or duck duck goose while your guests are seated.
13. Three-Legged Race
Recreate the field day experience by bringing the three-legged race to your next outdoor get-together. This is a lot of fun for guests of all ages, so donâ€™t feel like you have to limit it to kids only.
Pair up your party guests and use a rope or material to bind two of their legs together. The first pair over the finish line is crowned the winner. Itâ€™s tricky to run while youâ€™re stuck to another person, so younger kids might find this challenging. Keep up the encouragement with a lively and supportive crowd, and a fun prize for the winning team.
14. Scavenger Hunt
Engage all your party guests with a fun, themed scavenger hunt. Create a checklist of items guests need to find (or locations to visit) before collecting a prize.
Scavenger hunts make for great party games for kids because theyâ€™re so versatile. Challenge your guests to find acorns, flowers, and garlands at a fairy-themed kids birthday party. Hide toy animals around your backyard and get your guests to round them up for a zoo- or safari-themed celebration. For neighborhood BBQsÂ and get-togethers, you can even ask friends and families to group together and explore the wider area as they search for clues.
15. Obstacle Course
Last but not least, weâ€™re rounding out this list with one of the most exciting party games for kids. If you have plenty of space, an obstacle course is a surefire way to bring out the smiles.
Hire in an obstacle course from an events supplier, or get creative and make a DIY version. Mix hurdles with water challenges, and add in plenty of balloons and inflatables to make the course even more fun. Thereâ€™s a lot of room here to create something memorable for your guests, and you can even reuse your homemade obstacles for future parties.
Party Games for Kids That Everyone Can Enjoy
The best birthday parties are full of fun and laughter, and games play a big role in making sure everyone has a good time. Create the kind of party you and your guests will love â€” whether itâ€™s an outdoor fiesta with a piĂ±ata and obstacle course or a relaxed garden party with a magical treasure hunt. With these fun party games, you canâ€™t go wrong. For more inspiration, donâ€™t miss this list of creative birthday party ideasÂ that will wow your guests at any age.