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22 BEST OUTDOOR AND INDOOR PARTY GAMES FOR KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTIES

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Looking for the best outdoor and indoor kids party games to make sure your child’s birthday party is super fun? 

I’ve put together a big list of 22 games that will delight kids from toddlers upwards. I’ve divided the list into outdoor party games and indoor party games.

22 BEST OUTDOOR AND INDOOR PARTY GAMES FOR KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTIES

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22 OF THE BEST KIDS PARTY GAMES FOR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR PARTIES

If you’re planning to throw a kids birthday party without hiring a party entertainer it’s a good idea to have a few party games ready to entertain the party guests.

To make it easier for you to put together a party game play list I’ve put together my own list of the best indoor party games and the best outdoor party games that will delight and entertain kids of all ages.

I’ve broken the list down into the best indoor party games and the best outdoor party games.

If you’re in the UK you will likely know from bitter experience that you just can’t count on the weather for outdoor parties, so it’s a good idea to plan accordingly.

I’ve included a mix of traditional and classic party games as well as newer games. The one thing I can guarantee is that they are all fun kids party games.

I’ve aimed for games that are easy to set up, don’t require you to buy expensive props and have rules that are simple to follow.

PARTY GAMES FOR 5 YEAR OLDS AND TODDLERS, TWEENS, TEENS AND MORE!

If you’re looking for age-suitable party games, you will find you can easily adapt all of the games on the list for kids as young as toddlers up to tweens and teens.

You can also easily adapt most of the games for the amount of kids joining in the party fun and of course you can always select games that complement the party theme.

If you are looking for inspiration for a party theme, take a look at my big list of 99 kids party theme ideas.

And take a peek at my kids party planning tips if you would like some general tips on how to plan and host a kids party without ending up in a stressed out heap on the day of the party!

Right, let’s get on and take a look at that list of the best kids party games…

INDOOR PARTY GAMES FOR KIDS 

Given the joys of the weather in the UK, it’s often a safer bet to host your child’s birthday party indoors. 

Luckily there are plenty of kids indoor party games suited to hosting a birthday party in your home or an indoor party venue. I’ve made sure the list is full of easy to play fun-filled games, these are literally the best indoor party games for kids that I know. 

These games are perfect for kids’ birthday parties, but will also work for Christmas parties, school class parties and some could even be adapted for Halloween party games. 

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1. BALLOON STOMP

I’m starting this list of indoor games with the loudest game of all… balloon stomp! But it is SO much fun and kids love it because they are so often told to make less noise not more!

How to play:

Put sweets (ideally sweets in wrappers) inside balloons before blowing the balloons up. You can store all the blown up balloons in big bin bags to keep them under control until the game begins. 

Gather all the party guests together, then free the balloons and challenge the kids to pop them all to find the hidden treasure inside.

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2. PASS THE PARCEL 

Now is this the ultimate classic kids birthday party game or is this the ultimate classic kids party game?!!

How to play: 

So the traditional way of playing pass the parcel is to have one parcel and one big prize underneath all the layers. All the kids sit in a circle, pass the parcel to music, then when the music stops, the child holding the parcel gets to unwrap a layer. The game continues until the winner reveals the central prize. 

I suggest you adapt and change things up for today’s generation of kids, who are used to a more instant way of life. 

There are two ways you can do this. The first is to include a small gift – even just a sweet – between each layer of the parcel. 

The second is to have more than one parcel going round. You can decide how many parcels based on the number of kids. I’d say that for ten kids, two parcels works just fine. 

3. PASS THE BALLOON/BALL

Although pass the parcel is an absolute classic party game, it can be somewhat frustrating when toddlers and really young kids are playing, because getting the wrapping off can take ages. 

How to play:

The clever alternative to using a parcel is to use a ball or balloon to pass round to music instead. When the music stops the child holding the ball / balloon wins a prize. Just be careful to make sure every child gets a turn of holding the ball / balloon. 

4. SLEEPING LIONS

Sleeping lions is the ultimate parent-pleasing party game!! It’s also a great game to use towards the end of a party to bring about a little calm. Plus it is a super easy kids party game. What’s not to love?!

How to play:

Ask all the kids to lie on the floor and be as still as possible. Give out prizes to every child who manages to stay still for the duration of the game.  

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5. MUSICAL CHAIRS

Now musical chairs is another absolute classic kids party game. I can still remember the adrenaline rush of racing for the last free chair!

How to play:

You’ll need your kids’ party music playlist to hand again. Set up a line of chairs back to back with enough chairs for every child. Play some fun party music as the children move round the chairs.

When the music stops each child must find a chair to sit down on. Once you’ve done a couple of rounds you need to remove either one or two chairs, which means that one or two kids will find they have no chair to sit on and must leave the game. 

Give the kids who are out of the game a small prize. The last child left is the overall winner. 

If you don’t have enough chairs you can do a variation of this game using cushions. 

6. MUSICAL STATUES

Musical statues is another super fun classic party game, one that gets all the kids moving and burning off energy. It’s a great game for getting the party games started. 

How to play:

You’ll need a fun music playlist and something to play the music on for this game. Start the game by getting everyone up and dancing to the music. 

When you stop the music everyone has to stand as still as possible – like statues!

You can play this game one of two ways… either the first child to stop and stand still gets a small prize and then moves aside. 

Or, with older kids, where they enjoy the competitive element, you can play it so that anyone who doesn’t manage to stand as still as a statue has to leave the game. This version of the game has an overall winner, so you’ll need a prize. 

7. DUCK DUCK GOOSE

This is a good game of concentration for kids, but it’s also a lot of fun. 

How to play:

Get all the kids sitting in a circle. 

Get all the kids to sit in a circle. One child stands up and walks around the outside of the circle saying ‘duck, duck, goose’ over and over until they pat someone on the head as they say ‘goose’.

When a child has been ‘goosed’ they have to jump up and run after the child who ‘goosed’ them, to try and catch them. 

If the child being chased manages to run round the circle and take the seat of the ‘goosed’ child, then the child who was ‘goosed’ starts the next round of the game. 

If not, then the original child goes again. There is no need to have a prize for this game, the fun is in the taking part!

8. SIMON SAYS 

This is a great game for giving your fellow parents a laugh… as well as hopefully giving the kids a laugh too. 

How to play:

‘Simon’ – or whatever name beginning with ‘S’ you fancy using, is the instruction giver and the kids must obey what Simon says… but only if the instruction is given with ‘Simon says…’ at the start of it. 

If the instruction DOESN’T have ‘Simon says…’ at the start of it, the kids must not obey. 

Confused? Well, here’s an example:

For example,

‘Simon says wiggle your bottom’

The kids all wiggle their bottoms.

‘Touch your nose’

The kids should stay doing the previous activity and NOT touch their noses. 

Any kids that get it wrong get given a sticker or small prize and are asked to watch from the sidelines. The game can continue until there is a single winner or until everyone has had enough!

9. PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY 

Now this game doesn’t have to involve a donkey, you can adapt it to any animal that has a tail.

How to play: 

To play the classic version of pin the tail on the donkey you need to draw a donkey on a large piece of paper. Then you need to draw a tail on a piece of card and cut the tail out. Add a big blob of Blutak to the back of the tail. 

You’ll need a scarf or eye mask to blindfold the kids. Each child is blindfolded and takes their turn to pin the tail on where they think it should go on the donkey. You can keep a track of the attempts by circling and writing the name of the child where they pinned the tail. 

The child who gets closest to where the tail should go wins a prize. 

Terrible at drawing or just don’t have the time? Pop over to my Pin the Tail Printables roundup post for five lovely printables you can use if you’re short on time or drawing skills. 

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10. THE CHOCOLATE EATING GAME

My biggest challenge with the chocolate eating game is to not eat the game supplies before the game starts. This game is great for slightly older kids and is really for smaller groups of kids. 

How to play:

You will need a large bar of chocolate, a plate, a knife and fork, a die, a scarf, a hat and gloves. 

Ask the children to sit around the plate of chocolate. Each child has to roll the 

Get the children to sit around a plate with a large bar of chocolate on it. Each child takes their turn to roll a die until someone rolls a six.

The child who rolls a six has to put on the hat, scarf and gloves and start to cut and eat the chocolate using the knife and fork.

The rest of the kids continue rolling the die until another six is rolled. Once a six is rolled the child must stop eating the chocolate, take off the hat, scarf and gloves and hand them over to the child whose turn it is now. 

The game ends when the chocolate bar has been entirely eaten. 

11. KIM’S GAME

Kim’s Game is a game of memory and can be made more or less hilarious based on what props you use for the kids to memorise. 

Interesting fact… It’s called ‘Kim’s Game’ because it comes from the Rudyard Kipling novel Kim, in which Kim the hero of the novel plays the game during his training as a spy. 

How to play: 

You will need to have a small selection of random items, a kitchen tray and a tea towel. Plus a pen and paper for each child. 

Once all the items are on the tray, cover them with the tea towel. Gather all the kids, remove the tea towel and let them look at them for around 30 seconds.

Then cover the items with the tea towel. Each child has to write down what they remember as being on the tray. The child with the most correct items listed is the winner. 

You can play just a single round of this game or you can change up the items on the tray and play several rounds. 

OUTDOOR PARTY GAMES FOR KIDS 

If you are brave enough to plan an outdoor kids birthday party, you are going to need this list of the best outdoor party games for kids. 

The brilliant thing about hosting a party outdoors is that the games can be more expansive and messy, which can mean even more fun. 

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1. WATER BALLOON TOSS

This list of brilliant outdoor party games kicks off with a few water games, because what kid doesn’t love mucking around with water in the sun?! 

How to play:

Divide the kids up into teams of two. Give each duo a water filled balloon. Each duo has to take turns tossing the balloon back and forth as they move further away from each other. 

The last duo with an unpopped balloon wins. 

Now, I had no idea there was such a thing as self-sealing water balloons. But it turns out that they are a thing and you can grab yourself a pack of them on Amazon if you fancy saving yourself some time and effort on the day. 

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2. BUBBLE CATCH 

This is a gentle game and can be quite magical to watch younger children play. 

How to play:

Give each child a pair of socks to wear on their hands. Gather the children around you, then blow bubbles for the kids to try and catch on their outstretched, sock-covered hands. 

You can up the ante for older kids by having them stand in a circle and try and pass a single bubble around the circle before it pops. 

There doesn’t need to be a prize for the first version of this game, but perhaps you could give a prize for the older kids’ version. 

3. GRANDMOTHER’S FOOTSTEPS

This is an absolute classic of a kids party game and I also remember whiling away many a primary school breaktime playing Grandmother’s Footsteps. 

How to play:

You can either be ‘Grandmother’ or each party guest can take a turn. 

‘Grandmother’ stands with their back to everyone at one end of the garden / outdoor space. 

All the other kids line up at the other end of the garden / outdoor space or a suitable distance away from ‘Grandmother’. 

The kids start to move towards ‘Grandmother’. ‘Grandmother’ can turn around at any time. Any child caught moving or wobbling by ‘Grandmother’ when she turns around has to go back to the game start line. 

The winner is the first child to reach ‘Grandmother’ without her catching them out. 

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4. THE DONUT CHALLENGE

Possibly the yummiest kids party game on the planet… but also one of the messiest, hence suggesting that it is best played outdoors. 

How to play:

You will need ring donuts, a ball of string and a washing line for this game. 

Tie string through each donut ring and leave a length of string. Then tie the string to the washing line. 

Hang the washing line across the garden / outdoor space or you could always ask a couple of adults to hold each end of the line for the duration of the game. 

Each child must keep their hands clasped behind their backs as they try to eat as much donut as they can without the donut falling off the string.

It’s always wise to have some spare ring donuts to hand in case of any almost instant disasters that result in a child not being able to eat their donut. 

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5. GUMMY BEAR CREAM PIE CHALLENGE

Whilst I’m on the subject of sweet and messy games, I need to mention the Gummy Bear hunt. It sounds innocent enough, but actually it’s a totally messy, gooey, game that often induces much hilarity. 

How to play:

You will need some paper plates, whipped cream and enough gummy bears for each party guest to have around ten gummy bears to find. 

Scatter the gummy bears on the plates, then squirt cream over them to create the cream pies. 

Sit the kids around a table or kneeling on the ground. They must keep their hands clasped behind their dive into the cream pies with their mouths to find all the gummy bears. 

The first child to retrieve all ten gummy bears wins a prize. 

The end of this game is clearly a great birthday party photo opportunity!

6. BALLOON RELAY RACE

The balloon relay race is a simple but effective outdoor kids party game that works well with small teams of kids. 

How to play:

Create the relay race course by placing a container with balloons at one end of the track. 

There will need to be the same amount of balloons in each container and there will need to be a container for each team. 

A child from each team has to run from a starting point to their team’s basket and grab a balloon. 

The child then has to pop the balloon by sitting on it. Once the balloon has popped they run back to their team and the next child sets off.

The first team to pop all their balloons wins.

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7. EGG AND SPOON RACE

This is a totally traditional kids party game. 

How to play:

You will need to hard boil some eggs and have a set of dessert spoons for the kids to use. 

Get the kids to line up at one end of the room/garden and give each child a spoon and an egg to balance on it.

The children race to the finish line balancing their egg on their spoon. Each time they drop the egg they have to go back to the start and start again.

The winner is the first to make it across the finish line with the egg on their spoon. 

8. TREASURE HUNT

Now you can make your treasure hunt game as easy or as hard as you like based on the age of the kids who will be playing it. 

How to play:

Create a set of clues on cards that will lead to the prize treasure. 

Hide the clues around the garden / outdoor space. 

Depending on the number of children and the age of them, kids can either work independently or in small groups to find all the clues and work out where the treasure is. 

Each clue leads to the hiding place of the next clue. 

Needless to say, the first child or group to find the treasure wins the game!

If you are hosting a party for preschoolers you can adapt the treasure hunt to be a scavenger hunt, where instead of using clues to find treasure the kids simply have to find all the things on a scavenger list. 

9. TUG OF WAR TOPPLE

Whilst tug-of-war is very much a traditional outdoor party game, this turbo charged up version is very much a modern take on it. 

How to play:

You will need a rope, a bandana to mark the centre point of the rope, a couple of crates or boxes to stand on. You might want a few safety mats as a precaution?

If you don’t have a rope to hand, Amazon has a tug-of-war kit, yep, they actually do!

Two kids at a time take their turn to each stand on a crate at each end of the rope. Place the crates between 6-12 feet apart. 

The two players then have to pull or relax the rope to attempt to topple their opponent off of their crate. 

You can play round after round with the winner each round staying to take on the next opponent until you crown an overall winner. 

10. LIMBO

Every time I’ve been involved in a game of limbo it has ended up with everyone collapsing into giggles. 

How to play:

You can either use a broomstick or a pool noodle for the limbo bar. You could also make use of the tug-of-war rope.

Everyone takes a turn going under the limbo, then the limbo bar gets lowered. Everytime someone doesn’t make it they have to sit out. 

Play until there is a super flexible winner to crown. 

11. MARCO POLO

Marco Polo is a great game for kids parties with big guest lists. 

How to play:

First up, you need to make sure the outdoor area the game is played in is free from tripping hazards. 

You will need a scarf or something to use as a blindfold. 

A child is chosen to be ‘Marco’. As ‘Marco’ they are blindfolded. Everyone else playing the game is ‘Polo’. 

‘Marco’ has to find their way to a ‘Polo’ by shouting ‘Marco’ and in response the rest of the kids shout ‘polo’. ‘Marco’ then follows the sound to where they think a ‘Polo’ is. The ‘Polo’ kids have to avoid being found by ‘Marco’. 

Once a ‘Polo’ has been found they become the new ‘Marco’. 

WANT MORE KIDS PARTY TIPS AND IDEAS?

I really hope this big list of the 22 best kids party games has given you some inspiration and helped you to plan your child’s birthday party. These really are the very best party games for kids.

I’ve got a growing list of kids party posts that you might want to take a look at ahead of planning and hosting the next party for your child.

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