Fun Outdoor Party Games for
Kids Birthday Parties
Below is a list of 12 outdoor party games and activities for kids that you can easily implement at your child's birthday party. Outdoor party games are perfect for a backyard party or party at a local park. We also have put together a separate list for indoor party games, classic party games, and party ice-breakers. Try some of these fun outdoor game ideas at your kid's upcoming birthday party:
1. Scavenger Hunt
Tracking down clues is a fun way to kick off a party, and can bring the group together. Before the party, set out clues and riddles leading to the grand prize. If you’d like, leave multiple sets of clues and divide the party into groups, each following a different path in a race to the prize. Children will love tearing around the house and yard, solving riddles, and working together. For younger children, you can hide pictures related to your theme and let them hunt for them (with or without clues). Another fun option is to provide a list of objects to find, and the first one finished gets the prize.
2. Bubble Wrap Games
There’s something so pleasing about the sound of bubble wrap popping that entices kids and adults alike. At your next party, try incorporating bubble wrap into your games for popping fun. In Bubble Wrap Hopscotch, you draw a hopscotch board (or cut out one of cardboard), then place squares of bubble wrap over the board. Have children take turns taking their shoes off and hopping down the board, enjoying the feeling and sounds of the bubble wrap popping underneath them.
Another fun bubble wrap game is to lay out long sheets of bubble wrap and challenge the children to race across it without popping the bubbles. Time the children and deduct points for each bubble popped.
3. Racing—with Commentary
Kids love to race, but to really add to the fun enlist an adult to provide a running commentary. First decide on a race course. It can be straight running, an obstacle course, collecting colored items, or any other race you can think of. Hand the adult a microphone (or hairbrush), and let the games begin. As the kids start running, the adult should begin describing the action, making sure to include lots of hilarious details and jokes. Watch the kids fall apart laughing as they try to complete the race.
4. Blob Tag
Tag is a classic childhood game that can be played by any size group. A fun variation for larger groups is Blob Tag, making it perfect for a backyard birthday party or party at a park. Just as in regular Tag, one child is “it” and has to try to tag the other children. However, in Blob Tag, once a child is tagged, they join hands with the “it” child and become a “blob” working together to continue tagging the others. Once there are 4 children in the blob, they can divide up, making sure there are always at least 2 per blob. Blobs must keep holding hands, forcing the blob to work as a team. The last child to remain untagged starts the next round as “it.”
5. Reverse Hide and Seek
Traditional Hide and Seek has one child seeking while all the others hide. For a fun twist, reverse it by having just one child hide while the rest try to find him. As each kid finds their hidden friend, they join him, adding to the challenge of staying hidden (and quiet!). The last child to find the group gets to be the first hider in the next round, so everyone gets in on the fun. For this game, make sure you have some large hiding spaces available for best results.
6. Knock ‘em Down
There’s something very satisfying about knocking things over. There are many ways to play this game: traditional bowling with pins and a ball, a carnival-style bottle toss, or stack up some empty cardboard boxes and see who can knock them down with just one ball. You can attach point values to the pins or bottles for some friendly competition, or just let the kids have fun setting up crazy layouts for the others to knock over.
7. Digging for Treasures
This game is great for younger children, but with great prizes, it can appeal to all ages. Bury small treasures in a sandbox, give the kids shovels and sifters, and let them dig. For older children, make it into a competition by seeing who can be first to assemble a dino, string a necklace with found beads and gems, or collect coins equaling $1 (or fifty cents, whatever works). Encourage children to work together, trading assets until each child has completed the task for more cooperative play.
8. Obstacle Course
Set the kids off to the races with a fun obstacle course. Set out cones to dodge, a balance beam to walk, balls to kick into a goal, and cups of water to use to fill a bucket. Have the children run individually or on relay teams. You can customize your course to the age and skill level of the guests, making a more challenging course for older kids including climbing, jumping, and throwing. This would be a great time to incorporate an egg relay or water balloon toss, which always bring laughs.
9. Ball Toss
Add some arcade-style fun to your backyard party by setting up a ball toss game. Set out buckets, each with a different point value—higher point value buckets go further away. Children get 5 balls to toss into the buckets, and tally their points as they go. Award tickets based on how many points they earn. At the end of the game, have children redeem their tickets for fun trinkets and party favors.
10. Balloon Stomp
Instead of just using balloons for decorations, incorporate them into your party games. In Balloon Stomp, the goal is to pop everyone else’s balloon without getting yours popped. Tie a balloon onto each child’s ankle with a piece of string or yarn. It should be about 16-18 inches long, so the children won’t trip. Set them running trying to pop all the other balloons, but also trying to keep their own safe. The child with the last unpopped balloon wins a prize.
11. Flashlight Tag
Flashlight Tag is a fun game for older children to play at an after-dark party. First, you need to establish safe zones within the yard that everyone must stay inside, and designate a goal point. The child chosen as “it” is given a flashlight, closes his eyes and counts to 100, while the other children hide. Once time is up, the “it” child uses the flashlight to try to find the other children, who are attempting to make their way to the goal. Anyone tagged by the beam of the flashlight is out, and the game ends when everyone is tagged or at the goal. A new “it” can then be chosen for another round of fun.
12. 1-2-3 Red light
1-2-3 Red light is a fun kids’ game to play outdoors. One child stands across the yard from the other children, and turns their back shouting “1-2-3” while the other children run towards them. When they turn back around, they shout “red light!” and the other children must freeze in place. Anyone caught moving gets sent back to the starting line. The winner is the child who crosses the finish line first.