Classic Birthday Party Games
Here you will find a selection of classic party games for kids birthday parties. These classic party games are perfect for birthday parties and can be easily adjusted or modified to fit your party theme. For even more party games browse through our party ice-breaker ideas, indoor party games or outdoor party games categories to find fun kids activities for your kid’s upcoming birthday party.
1. Pin the Tail on the Donkey
In this classic kids' game, children line up to be blindfolded, are spun around, and then try to place the tail on the donkey, often with hilarious results. This game is easy to customize to any birthday party theme — pin the horn on the dino, the beak on the bird, the cloud on the rainbow, or whatever else you can come up with. You can change up the game by dividing the group into teams, and allowing each team to guide their blindfolded child to the goal by shouting out suggestions. Whoever gets the closest gets a prize!
2. Musical Chairs
In Musical Chairs, children need to listen closely and act fast to stay in the game. To start, set up chairs in a row or circle. You need one fewer chair than you have players. When the music starts, the children start marching around the chairs. When the music stops, each child must find a chair to sit on. Whoever is left without a chair is out. Remove one chair and start again until only one winner is left.
For a themed variation, or if you don’t have enough chairs, you can play with squares or shapes cut out of construction paper instead. You can use dinosaur footprints, snowflakes, or anything that matches your kids’ party theme. Another fun variation is Musical Dress-up game.
3. Hot Potato
Hot Potato is a faced-paced, high-stress game of throwing and catching. The children sit in a circle, throwing a small object (a tennis ball or beanbag work well) between each other while music is playing. When the music stops, the person holding the object has the “hot potato” and is out. The game continues until only one child is left. For a themed twist, pass the “poison apple” at a princess party, or kryptonite at a superhero party. This is sometimes played while singing “The Magic Ball” song and passing it around in a circle. For a fun twist, play Pass the Parcel instead, so each child gets a gift along the way.
4. Simon Says
Following instructions can be hilarious fun. In Simon Says, one child is designated the leader, Simon. Simon calls out instructions for the group to follow, such as “Simon says hop on one foot.” The catch is, if they don’t say “Simon says” at the start of the statement, anyone who does that action is out! The last child standing is the winner and gets to be the next Simon. To go with your party theme, change up “Simon” to be your child’s favorite character—a princess, Mickey Mouse, or whoever they love.
5. Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek is a fun game for groups, making it great for kids parties. One child is chosen as “it” and must close their eyes and count to 100 while the other children scatter and hide. Once time is up, “it” goes looking for all the other children, tagging them as they find them. Once everyone is found, the game is over and a new “it” is chosen.
There are a lot of variations of Hide and Seek to choose from, such as Reverse Hide and Seek. Other fun options include adding a “home base” for hiders to try to reach before being found, or having children join in the hunt once they’re found. However you play, make sure everyone knows the rules and stays within the pre-chosen area when they hide.
Tag is a classic childhood game that can lead to hours of fun. One child is chosen as “it” and must chase the other children until they are close enough to touch someone. Whoever is touched then becomes “it,” making this a fast-paced game. If you don’t pay attention, you may not know who is “it” until you get tagged yourself! It can be helpful to provide a rest area where children are free to catch their breath and a sip of water without fear of getting tagged.
Blob Tag game and other types change the rules slightly. In Freeze Tag, when another player is tagged, they become “frozen” and must stand still. Another free player can tag them again to unfreeze them and allow them to rejoin the game. The game ends when all the players are frozen.