Birthday Party Games & Activities

Kid’s Birthday Party Games & Activities

A kid’s birthday party can be nothing short of an amazing fun-filled event! There are so many options when it comes to themes, activities, and games, that it can seem a bit overwhelming when planning a child’s birthday party. However, with the right frame of mind and an embrace on creativity, this can be a party planning experience that you’ll fall in love with.

The biggest hurdle that tends to come along with planning a child’s birthday is the activities! No matter what age, kids need to be involved, interacting, and as far away from the possibility of boredom. First, we’ll start with the basic games that can work indoors or outdoors and in any setting or theme for a party. No matter what activities you decide on doing, remember this rule of thumb: for children of all ages, you should keep the party under three hours. With this in mind, you will have about an hour or so of time for activities and games. To keep boredom at bay, plan for two to three activities for the kids that last around fifteen minutes each.

Find Your Match

A great activity that works both inside or out and is a great way to start off the party is an icebreaker type game. One of the most popular forms of this activity that can be played by all ages is the “Find Your Match” game. All you need is paper and safety pins! (Alternatively you can use Sticky Tape). On the slips of paper, write down famous pairings that kids will instantly know (i.e. Charlie Brown and Snoopy or Mickey Mouse and Pluto). Pin these pieces of paper to the back of each child’s shirt and have them walk around to the other children asking questions to help them figure out whose name they have. Not only does this have the kids interacting immediately with everyone, but also serves as a fun competition to find a new friend that is a match! Other games that work for all ages and indoor or outdoor spaces are charades, finger painting, treasure hunts, and balloon decorating with scented, toxic-free markers.

Free Printable “Find Your Match” Game

FREE Printable Matching Game

Free Printable “Find Your Match” Game

Outdoor Activities

If the weather is nice and you have a great outdoor space, then there are tons of options for birthday party activities here (and less stress of a mess!). A piñata game full of candy and laughs is a popular event and gets every child involved. You can find all sorts of Pinata at Field games such as sack races, horseshoe toss, and the timeless egg toss are also great ideas for activities that are interactive and time-friendly. For warmer days outside, water-themed games are a great way to not only keep the kids entertained, but also to keep them cool. Water balloons, a dunking station, or water gun game (eg. where children aim a target using the water gun) are perfect for these kind of activities. Tug of war or even a DIY obstacle course are high energy ways to keep the kids occupied and having a blast.

How to play timeless egg toss

This is an alternative to ‘Hot Potato’ game except you’ll be using eggs! This can be a bit messy so it would be ideal to have this game played outside. Kid’s divide into pairs and stand a few feet apart. An egg is given to each pair which they toss back and forth to their partner.
After everyone is done, players move a step back and repeat the tossing. If an egg falls or breaks, the pair is out of the game. The tossing and moving a step back is repeated until there is only one pair standing with an egg intact. You could reward them with a little trophy.

Water balloon game ideas

Some of my favorite water balloon games are throwing Contest, where kids are given water balloons to see how far they can throw. You can mark the spot with a little flag or a cone. Another one is the water balloon toss game. Instead of the classic Egg toss game, kids could use the water balloons. It is certainly a less messier way to play this entertaining game.

Disney Frozen Drum Pull-String Pinata Mario Kart Wii Mario and Luigi 18 Pull-String Pinatasack races Tug Of War Rope

Indoor Activities

If your party is indoors, there is still plenty of room for awesome activities. Create a coloring wall with just a big sheet of paper and painters tape! This activity is unique in itself as coloring on the walls is definitely not something the kids get to do every day! Pin the tail on the donkey or any similar type game is also an easy up-on-the-wall activity that makes for a lot of giggles. DIY kits for the kids are perhaps the best birthday activity you can do inside the home. These kits include DIY creations such as jewelry, pottery, origami, moldings, or paint-by-numbers. The really wonderful thing about DIY kit activities is that they keep the kids constantly using their imaginations, so not only do you avoid boredom, but you keep the brain working!

What’s amazing about all these activities and game ideas mentioned is that they work for kids of all ages and both genders. If you’re throwing an all-girl or all-boy birthday party, every single one of the suggested activities only need a slight tweak to be made gender-specific. The ice breaker game can be made up of matches consisting of Disney princesses for girls, while the outdoor piñata game can be made for boys with a piñata in the shape of a ninja turtle. DIY kits for girls can be bracelet making, cookie decorating, or paper doll creations, while pin the tail on the donkey can become pin the mask on Batman and Robin for the boys.

Another party game for indoor or outdoor party is a game using every kids favorite stickers! Everyone gets a sheet of stickers when they first come and the goal is for them to get rid of all of them by putting them on other guests secretly and whoever gets rid of all their stickers first wins. Another fun idea would be to set up a race for the kids to use chopsticks to move a marble from one bowl to another as fast as they can

Decorations set the tone for a child’s birthday party, but it is the activities that will create lasting memories for the kids and the adults alike for years to come.

Teenager’s Party Games & Activities

Planning a teenager’s birthday party can be a bit of a difficult task for any adult. The ages between thirteen and nineteen can be a challenging period—especially when it comes to the age-old teenager moodiness! Never fear, this kind of challenge can totally be won and your teenager will love you all the more for it. It can be a fun experience figuring out the balance it requires to create a memorable birthday party for your teenager without coming across as the “overbearing” adult. Let’s first look at some basic activities that will work for teenagers of all ages and genders.

Icebreaker Games

If you’re having a simple, low-key birthday party for your teenager at home, icebreaker games are a great way to not only get the party started, but to keep the party going smoothly and quite effortlessly until it’s over. Some really fun ideas for icebreaker games include the Beach Ball Game, Have You Ever Musical Chairs, or Song Lyrics Match-Up.

The Beach Ball icebreaker game consists of a large beach ball with short questions written in permanent marker all over it. Party guests get into a circle and throw the beach ball from one person to another. When someone catches the beach ball, they must answer the question that their right thumb is touching.

For the Have you Ever Musical Chairs icebreaker game, place chairs in a circle with enough chairs for everyone minus one. One person must stand in the middle of the chair circle and as a “Have you ever…?” question. If anyone answers yes to the question, they must get up and quickly scramble to another person’s chair. Obviously one person will be left without a chair, and that person becomes the next questioner.

Finally, for the Song Lyrics Match-Up icebreaker game, find song lyrics to popular songs that your teenagers will definitely know and write down several lyrics from these songs. Cut the lines in half and place them in a bowl for the guests to randomly pick, and they must go find their match-up song lyric! Great icebreaker games for a happy-go-lucky and “entertains itself” successful birthday party.

Games for Boys or Girls

If you have a specific theme or gender that you’re focusing on for your teen birthday party, go with the season. For summertime parties, outdoor games like cornhole and scavenger hunts work wonderfully for boys, while activities like Make Your Own Music Video and Twister make fun ideas for girls. In the colder months, staying indoors is more appealing, so great activities for girls Canvas Painting and Fingernail Designing Kits. Boys would enjoy video game tournaments and two-minute activity stations with games like Battleship for the ultimate challenge. Themes also work wonders for both genders while indoors, like a pajama slumber party for girls complete with their favorite chick clicks and a likewise a stay over party for boys, complete with their own brand of action movies and video games.

free kids scavenger hunt party games

If you want to get out of the house with your teenager for their birthday party, then the best spot would be a place like Dave and Busters, in which the guests get to eat and play arcade games in a social environment. This takes clean up and cooking off of you and provides hours of activities for all ages and both genders of teens. Other out-and-about ideas for your teenager’s birthday party include a casual restaurant, bowling alley, skating rink, the mall, or the local aquatic center. All of these options offer an affordable solution in an extremely sociable environment, allowing for a wide array of activities at your fingertips that your teens are sure to enjoy. At any of these outside venues, there is still possibility to incorporate your icebreaker games and whatever theme you might choose for your teenager’s birthday party—whether it be pirates, cars, boy bands, or a Sweet Sixteen extravaganza!

Regardless of what activities or setting you choose, you can give yourself a giant pat on the back for giving your teen an awesome birthday party that they will remember forever.

Adult Birthday Party Games & Activities

Adult birthday parties can be one of the most fun events we attend. Unlike younger-geared birthday parties, when it’s an all-adult affair, there can definitely be more room for options of activities, themes, and even the length of the party.

Ice Breaker Activities

As with any other age group, it’s always a good idea to start the event off with an icebreaker-type activity to help your guests relax and begin to mingle. Some great options for icebreaker games are Ask Me, Trust Walk, and The Best. Ask Me is a game that consists of you giving your guests nametags as they arrive that say “Ask Me About…”. Each nametag is different and can say a variety of things, such as “…my first kiss” or “…the craziest thing I’ve ever seen”. Guests will ask other guests the questions that are on his or her nametag and this allows your guests to get to know each other right off the bat! Trust Walk involves two guests randomly placed together, with one being blindfolded and the other giving verbal directions to lead them to a chose object or out of the room. The Best is a particularly fun icebreaker activity in which you put a collection of slips of paper with things written on them like “Longest Thumbs” “Best Crabwalk” and “Highest Jump”. Draw the slips of paper out of a container at random and each guests performs what is on the slip of paper to determine who does it best!

No matter what your chosen theme, there are tons of options for indoor and outdoor activities for an adult birthday party that are wonderfully versatile for all guest personalities across the board. Keep in mind, for most adult birthday parties, you will want to stick to 1-2 activities (not including the icebreaker game you choose) after your guests have filled up on food. A series of activities that are super popular currently and work for either indoor or outdoor parties, are the “Minute to Win It” themed games. For less than 15$, you can buy a pre-packed “Minute to Win It” kit full of activities for your guests, or you can create a kit yourself. There are plenty of items you can find at local sports store, $1 store, local craft shops and Amazon as well. Check out the youtube video below to get creative ideas on what to put in a DIY “Minute to Win It” kit for your adult birthday party!  They are a little long but you can fast forward and only view the games you are interested in. There are 40 minute to win it games in this video –

You can go to and search for Minute to Win it BluePrint to get instructions how to play each fun games.

Minute to Win It by TTCdirecktor via Youtube 

 Now, let’s take our adult birthday party outside first. When outdoors, no matter if it’s cold or warm temperatures, there are several activities that your guests will enjoy at your adult birthday party. The classic and timeless activity of roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories around a fire is always a sure win to show your guests a good time. Another classic outdoor game is Cornhole, in which bean-filled sacks are thrown into holes drilled into a long board from a certain distance. If you are looking for low-cost options activities, a Women vs. Men Scavenger Hunt is an exciting and competitive way to entertain your guests. Scavenger hunts involve two or more teams, each with a list of tasks the team members need to accomplish during a set time.  Other games that are highly engaging and full of laughter are hula hoop contests, limbo, and ladder golf.

Free Printable Scavenger Hunt Game for a mall / department store / shopping centers

Free Printable Scavenger Hunt Game for a mall / department store / shopping center

Indoor games can be just as interactive and full of energy, and one of the most popular activities is a Murder Mystery. What’s really great about this activity is that you can be as subtle or elaborate as you want and there are so many directions you can take this activity for your guests. You can even center your adult birthday party’s theme around this Murder Mystery game! The basic idea of the Murder Mystery is exactly how it sounds—involve your guests in figuring out who is guilty of this fictional crime! You can incorporate other smaller games within the Murder Mystery activity, such as cards, scavenger hunts, or even charades.

For a more low-key indoor activity, charades is always a good go-to adult party game. Zoom-In is also another hilarious game in which extremely zoomed-in snapshot photos are shown to your guests and they have to guess what the photo actually is. Identity Crisis is another extremely fun game in which you put a celebrity’s name on a piece of paper and tape it to the guest’s forehead/hat/headband so that he or she cannot see the name. Then, the guest asks the other guests questions to try and figure out just whose name is on the paper, like “Am I a singer”, “Am I married”, or “Do I have long hair?” You also can’t go wrong, of course, with classic games such as Twister or Jenga!

With the right games and activities, your adult birthday party will be one to certainly remember for a long time to come.

Birthday Party Ideas for Kids