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20 Creative Children’s Birthday Party Games
Gearing up for your child’s birthday party isn’t complete without planning a few games. They are a great way to get the little ones to interact, while providing lots of entertainment. Here are some creative ideas to get you started.
- Bubble Wrap Hopscotch: Pull out your saved Bubble Wrap to create a hopscotch board. Kids love popping those bubbles. Cut Bubble Wrap into 10 squares. Use a marker and white paper to create numbers from 1 to 10. Place the numbers under the squares and tape to secure. Let the kids get to hopping.
- Air Balloon: Kids of all ages love balloons. Blow up a balloon for each child. Instruct them to keep it bouncing in the air. Challenge them to see who can keep it afloat the longest without hitting the ground. For more fun, add multiple balloons.
- Animal Moves: Gallop like a horse, run like a tiger and hop like a kangaroo. Call out an animal name and everyone mimics its well-known action. Let kids take turns calling out animal names. Who knows what they’ll come up with! Kids love acting out their favorite animals. Genius idea: Cutting a foam “noodle” into pieces to use as a prop will help create bumblebee stingers and unicorn horns.
- Back-to-Back Balloon Pop: Group the children into pairs and line them up back-to-back, holding a balloon in between their backs. On your command, have the children attempt to squeeze and pop their balloons. The pair that pops their balloon first is the winner. You don’t have to make it a competition —let the kids all try until their balloons pop.
- Blind Makeover: Pair kids up and give them a few cosmetics such as blush, powder and lipstick. Blindfold one player and have the blindfolded person apply makeup to the other’s face. Switch roles, so everyone gets a makeover. Make sure to have baby wipes or make-up removal wipes on hand.
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- Blind Obstacle Course: Set up an indoor obstacle course using your sofa cushions, sheets, tables, chairs and other household items. One player is blindfolded and must try to make it through by listening to directions from the other players. When they make it to the end, then the next child gets a turn.
- Blindman’s Bluff: Every child needs to experience this still-delightful game from way back. Blindfold one child and spin them around three times. The other children move around making noises while the blindfolded child tries to catch them. When the blindfolded child catches another child, he must guess who it is. If the guess is correct, the caught child takes over as the blindfolded player. You’ll need to prepare a safe place for this game, with a limited area and no obstacles the blindfolded player could trip or get hurt on.
- Hop and Pop: Have an inflated balloon ready for everyone and tie it to the ankle of each child. Children try to burst each other’s balloons by stomping or pinching the balloon while guarding their own balloon. Once a balloon pops that player is out. The winner is the one left with the only unpopped balloon.
- Jump the River: Take two sticks and place them parallel on the ground. The sticks represent the edges of an imaginary river. Each child takes a turn jumping across the river. After the whole group completes a first round of jumps, move the sticks slightly farther apart, so the river gets wider. If you land in the river, you’re out.
- Jungle Knots: Guests will try and untangle themselves out of one big knot of hands. Instruct your guests to stand in a circle facing each other. Everyone extends their right hand and takes hold of someone else’s hand. Then, do the same with their left hands. The object of the game is to see if they can untangle the knot by stepping over, ducking or turning around. Whatever happens, they can’t let go of their hands.
- Marshmallow Skyscrapers: Gather children in a circle on the floor or around a table. Provide them a bowl of toothpicks and another of mini marshmallows. Set a timer to 15 minutes to see who can construct the tallest marshmallow tower.
- Photo Booth: Everyone loves to take silly photos. Create a backdrop for your photo booth by using a solid colored sheet, piece of fabric or wrapping paper. Secure to the wall with painter’s tape. Place a few chairs or stools in front of your backdrop. Have props available for guests to wear such as funny hats, sunglasses, feather boas, etc. Set up a camera on a tripod and get snap happy!
- Sardines: A new twist on the traditional hide and seek game. All children except one count to 20 together while the odd one out goes into hiding. Then, the children hunt for the hiding child. Whoever finds the person, quickly and quietly joins him in his hiding spot. These two hiders remain there until another child finds them and joins them. The game continues until the last child discovers the hiding place.
- Snatch: Place a variety of objects on a table. Allow the party guests to stare at the display for one minute. Ask one child to close her eyes and turn around. Take away one object and hide it. The first child will open her eyes and guess which item was removed. The player has three guesses, then the game continues until everyone has a turn to make a guess.
- Spider Web Game: Ahead of time, roll up black yarn into a golf ball-sized ball for each child. Tie the end of the ball around each child’s waist and give the child the rest of the ball to hold. Have the children stand in a circle. Taking turns, each child tosses the ball of yarn to someone else across from him. This child wraps the yarn once around his waist. The game continues until everyone is out of yarn. Then they must get themselves out of the spider web they have made.
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- Sticky Hands: This game is similar to tag, but with a twist. Someone is chosen to be the Sticky Hands. All the other children run off and the Sticky Hands has to try and catch one of them. Once caught, that person is stuck to the Sticky Hands by joining hands and together they have to run and catch the other children. The last child left free is the winner.
- Tell Me A Story: This is a great icebreaker to start while guests are arriving. One person starts off a story with four words. The next person adds four words and so on. This will get the creative juices flowing, and you never know where creativity will go.
- The Line Up Game: Separate everyone into teams. One person is the caller and is not on a team. She calls out, “Everyone line up” and fills in the blank with a statement like “in order of age,” “in first name in alphabetical order” or “according to your birthdays.” You will have to come up with a series of statements before your guest arrivals. This is a perfect game to allow the kids to get to know each other.
- What’s in the Sock? Fill one sock with household items like a spoon, roll of tape, toothbrush, coin, doll’s shoe, paper clip, etc. Tie up the sock tight, so no one can peek inside. Let each child feel through the sock to determine what each item is. Players write down their guesses. The person who has the most correct guesses wins the game.
- Wax Museum: Kids can pretend they are dinosaurs until a museum guard stops them in their tracks. One person is the museum guard while everyone else pretends to be dinosaurs in a museum exhibit. The museum guard closes his eyes and turns away while the dinosaurs come to life. As soon as the guard turns around the dinosaurs freeze. If the guard spots anyone moving, that person is out. The game continues until there is one person remaining.
Birthday parties can be fun, but they can also be stressful. Remember to pick games based on ages of the children and keep directions simple. You’ll have a party to remember.
Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.