Birthday parties are always more fun for guests if they get to have some fun along with their cake and ice cream. If you wish, make small prizes available for the winners. Our selections of fun birthday party games provide entertainment for children of every age as well as adults.
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Birthday Party Games for Kids
It is easy to make sure your child has the very best birthday by including some birthday party games for kids to make it special and fun. Our selection of birthday games and activities for birthday parties contains proven winners.
Prize Walk Birthday Party Game
You may be familiar with a cake walk (a popular carnival game), where winners win cakes or baked treats. In this kid-friendly version, instead of winning a cake, kids win prizes. Write the numbers 1 to 30 on squares and tape them to the ground in a circle. Fill a basket with small slips of paper upon which you have written corresponding numbers. Have each child choose a number upon which to stand. Begin playing music while each child walks around the circle. When the music stops, the children stop on one of the numbered squares. If their number is chosen from the basket, they win a prize. You can continue the game until everyone wins a prize.
Bubble Wrap Races
For this game, you will need a large roll of bubble wrap. Lay out a 5-foot piece of it in the yard or in an open space. The object of the game is for each child to cross the bubble wrap barefoot without popping any of the bubbles. You can make this game more competitive by lining up teams to race across to the other side. The team which crosses without popping any bubbles (or making the least pops) wins!
A kid’s birthday party favorite, kids bop a balloon in the air to music. When the music stops, whoever was the last to touch the balloon must pop it and complete a challenge that is on a slip of paper inside. Prepare before the party by writing challenges on paper and inserting them into the balloons before they are inflated. Make sure you have enough balloons to continue the game for as long as you wish. Make challenges fun, such as:
- Try to lick your elbow.
- Sing a song with a mouthful of crackers.
- Try to touch your nose with your tongue.
- Make an animal noise (bark like a dog, moo like a cow, cluck like a chicken, etc.).
- Tell a funny joke.
Guess How Many
This game works well when party guests are arriving. Fill a jar with many small items and have each child write down how many items they think are in the jar, along with their name, on a slip of paper. The child who guesses closest to the actual number wins. You can choose colorful candy or small toys, or items that match your party theme, such as:
- Lego Party – Guess the number of Legos in the jar.
- Pirate Party – Guess the number of gold coins in the chest.
- Princess Party – Guess the pearls in the jewel box.
- Dinosaur – Guess the eggs (jelly beans) in the jar.
- Sports – Guess the baseball cards in the box.
- Garden Party – Guess the numbers of beans or large seeds in the jar.
Pin the ____ on the ___
The old favorite “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” takes on a clever twist when you base the game on the theme of the kid’s birthday party. Some creative ideas include:
- Circus Birthday Party – Pin the Nose on the Clown
- Pirate Birthday Party – Pin the ‘X’ on the Treasure Map
- Disney Birthday Party – Pin the Bow on Mickey Mouse (or Minnie)
- Ninja Turtle Party – Pin the Pepperoni on the Pizza
- Winter Birthday Party – Pin the Nose on the Snowman
A game that works well for very young children, party-goers take turns searching for a hidden button hidden by an adult somewhere in a room. Children sit in a circle on the floor. The birthday child leaves the room and while they are gone, the button is hidden. When the child returns, the search is on for the button. The other children use the words “Hot!” and “Cold!” to tell the searcher when they are close to the button. After the button is found, another child takes a turn. Play continues until all children have had a turn.
Sock ‘Em Birthday Party Game
You will need six times as many socks as party guests and a selection of kid songs from iTunes. Have the kids sit in a circle and place a large pile of socks in the middle of the circle. Start the music and have the kids begin trying to put on as many socks as possible, one over the other. When the music stops, the guest with the most socks on is the winner. Play repeatedly as long as the kids are having fun.
A game that works well at the start or the end of the party to keep guests entertain, this game involves creating a coloring wall using large sheets of butcher paper and painters’ tape. Provide markers, paints, or colored pencils and let the guests create a mural or draw characters and objects related to the birthday party theme.
Ice Breaker Game
Although this game involves some advanced preparation, the fun provided makes it well worth it! Gather a collection of empty milk cartons or similar containers and, the day before the party, fill them halfway with colored water, and stick them in the freezer. Before the ice is completely set, drop a collection of small plastic toys or party favors into the containers and fill them the rest of the way with colored water. At the party, give each child a colored brick, and a heavy object to chip away at the ice until they find their very own buried treasure! Considering the level of danger involved, play this game with older children or teens.
Birthday Party Games for Adults
Pick songs and dances familiar to the guests at the birthday party dependent upon their ages and taste in music. Have two or three guests serve as judges. You can either have couples pair up for the dance contest or judge individuals. This birthday party game is guaranteed to bring back memories.
“How low can you go?” Choose some lively music, and lower the bar as guests dance under. A broomstick works well as a limbo bar. Remind players they must face forward and lean as far back as they can. Whoever manages to go the lowest is the winner.
Fortune Telling Birthday Game
Have the guests guess what the birthday person will be doing in ten years. Encourage guests to have some fun with their predictions. If you wish and if the group knows each other well, you can write the name of guests on slips of paper and have them predict the future of whoever’s name they draw.
Act It Out
Start by giving each player two to three slips of paper. Instruct them to write down funny things they would like the other guests to perform. Place the slips of paper in a bag, basket, or bowl. Guests pick a slip of paper and act out whatever is on the piece of paper. As the host of the party, put in a few slips yourself, such as:
- Pretend to be a snail
- Dance on one leg while flapping your arms
- Pretend to be a cat and clean yourself.
- Pretend to be a dog begging for a treat.
Crocodile Race Birthday Game
Break your birthday party guests into two lines of 4-10 players, each team lined up behind a designated leader. Each player places their hands on either the hips or shoulders of the person in front of them. Then everyone crouches down by bending down into their heels, almost like they are sitting on each other’s laps, creating a “crocodile.” When the host says, “Go!” the “crocodiles” race against each other to a designated finish line. The goal is for each team to run fast enough to win, but not so fast that their crocodile comes apart. The first team to cross the line without breaking their crocodile wins the race.
Birthday Hot Seat Game
Before the birthday party, have the person whose birthday party it is jot down a list of about 100 questions about themselves. This game spotlights the birthday party guests, putting them on the hot seat to see just how well they know your birthday star.
Have the guests form a circle and put a chair in the middle. One by one have birthday guests sit on this “hot seat.” The birthday guy or gal fires as many questions as they can in 30 seconds. Keep score of how many answers each guest gets right. Give a prize to the guest who gets the most questions right. This adult birthday party game is fun and fast-paced, especially when the questions are funny.
Hidden Messages Birthday Game
Adult birthday party games that involve anything hidden always provide fun for guests. In this game, guests have a hidden message they must insert into party conversation.
Before the party starts, write out silly messages or statements on individual index cards. As guests arrive at the party, give each a card and instruct them to keep their message secret from everyone. The goal is to work their phrase into conversations without anyone recognizing their hidden message. Some suggestions for silly phrases are:
- I love turtles.
- Was that a spider?
- I am going cliff climbing Saturday.
- I am thinking of moving to a Caribbean Island.
- Do you think I should buy an airplane?
#1 Have guests race to say their phrase first without detection. Note the time they say their phrase on the back of their notecard. Whoever is the last person successful is the loser.
#2 Guests try to slip their message into the conversation without detection. If they succeed, they are a winner.
Have a Birthday Roast
If your birthday guest of honor has a good sense of humor, a birthday party roast can create some awesome fun and memories. Set up a “podium” and a microphone to create a realistic setting. Seat the person whose birthday it is next to the podium so some of the speakers can talk directly to them and everyone can watch facial expressions. It works best to have a few preselected people with prepared questions begin the roast and then ask for volunteers. Encourage the telling of embarrassing anecdotes, past adventures, and any other story as long as it is not mean spirited.
If you think your guests might have a hard time thinking up memories, create a list of fun ideas and let each guest choose one. You can actually send roast ideas along with birthday party invitations. Make sure you emphasize the need to add humor. Here are some ideas for your birthday party roast:
- I knew that ________ was a true friend when . . .
- I wish I had a picture of the time that. . .
- The first time I met __________ . . .
- Top 10 things that we are all glad ___________ grew out of.
- Top 5 Reasons Why I’m Surprised that _______ made it to (age of recipient)!”
- You know you’re older then dirt when . . .
- Funny headstone epitaphs
- Mock obituary
It does not matter what time of the year your birthday occurs, or what age you are, birthday party games are always fun for you and your guests. Our selection provides some birthday party games that are short and take very little preparation as well as longer games upon which you can base your entire party. Choose a themed party game, an old favorite, or one that gets your guests up and moving. Whichever game you choose, we guarantee that you and your guests will have a birthday party experience that creates memories that last for years.
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.