Guide: Best Indoor & Outdoor Party Games for Kids

Indoor and Outdoor Party Games for Kids
Whether planning your kid’s birthday party, or a get together with family and friends, there’s no better way to entertain the little ones than playing party games. Throwing games for the little partygoers, however, is usually not as easy as it seems. A wrong choice of a game can ruin the kids’ mood and make them harder to manage. A good, well-planned set of games meanwhile is a sure hit to give kids loads of fun.

Party games at home need not be fancy to be successful as long as it’s well-thought off, creative and suits the right age of party guests like toddlers or older children. It’s sure to create fun memories that your kids and their friends can cherish.

Party games for kids

Things to consider in choosing party games for kids

Thinking of games to do in your kid’s birthday or a family BBQ gathering requires initial planning and research. Are you thinking of an indoor or outdoor party? What is the age range of the kids invited? Is it mostly little girls or boys? One game may not suit all your partygoers so before deciding on the games to play, here are some considerations to think about first:

  • Unless you’re celebrating the party in the summer or sunshine is always abundant in your area, always consider having a good stock of indoor games ready for your kid’s party.
  • To ensure that nobody is left out in the party, know the profile of your little partygoers. Choose games that the average child attending your kid’s party can play. Opt for party games that all children can play.
  • It’s okay to stray from the chosen theme of the party for the choice of game. As long as kids will enjoy it, go for it!
  • Whatever game you choose for your kid’s party, the general rule is to keep it short. Kids’ attention span is always short so longer games will make them bored and uninterested.
  • Indoor or outdoor games at a kid’s party are always meant to be fun. So avoid making kids play intellectual games that require them to solve equations or problems. Don’t drag the spirit of the party. Kids have enough of them at school already.
  • Choose games that all kids can play. Avoid gender-specific party games so no one gets left out. Leave dress-up games or “basketball out. Opt for more gender-neutral games.
  • Games are meant for fun, but if you can inject useful values that you want your little one and their friends to learn, why not? Teach them the value of teamwork or patience by introducing group games.
  • Plan ahead. If you think managing your child is a lot of work, imagine 10-15 of them all at once? Think of who can help you facilitate the games or what to do to avoid chaos.

Choosing the best party game that can entertain the little ones for a long time can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many games to choose from. If you are still having a difficult time trying to decide, here are some of our top picks for kids’ party games that will surely be a hit to your little partygoers.

Indoor Party Games for Kids

Planning Indoor Party Games for Kids is the safest way if the weather is a bit unpredictable. While the backyard space or any other outdoor area will provide bigger space for games, you can always adapt the mechanics of the game to a smaller space and save all your efforts and preparations from being drenched in the rain or blown by very strong winds. Check the weather predictions beforehand to make sure.

Indoor Kids Party Games For Small Groups

Pin the tail on the Donkey

Your animal drawing need not be a donkey, the idea is to put the tail correctly where it should be while blindfolded. This game is suited for small kids and even pre-teens. Be creative in choosing the animal to make it more fun or adapt the image to the age of the target players.

  • Participants: Ideal for small groups of up to 10 kids
  • Age: 4+
  • How much space is needed: this game doesn’t need that much space; as long as there is enough room to post the donkey and so kids won’t bump on each other
  • To play: Put up a picture of an animal without a tail. Ask the kids to line-up within a distance, depending on the space that you have. Put a blindfold in every child and guide them to the direction of the picture. Ask them to pin the tail on the picture. Once all the kids are done with their turn, pick the pin closest to the donkey tail and declare that as the winner.
You will need:
– at least one blindfold
– picture or drawing of a donkey or any other animal without a tail
– cut out donkey tail
– adhesives for sticking the tail into the donkey
– pen for marking

Follow the leader Party game

The rule of the game is simple – everybody should follow what the leader says and do. By that, including saying “leader says” before carrying out what the leader does. This game teaches kids obedience and picking up instructions.

  • Participants: Suitable for small groups of up to 10 kids
  • Age: 7+
  • How much space is needed: This game doesn’t need that much space and can be done indoors or outdoors; as long as there is enough room for players to move around without being too close to each other.
  • To play: First, select a game leader. Ask everybody to follow what the leader says. The leader should start every challenge with “Leader says” which could be acting silly and funny things. The child who starts following the command without the phrase “Leader says” will be out.
You will need:
– a designated facilitator or game leader to start the game.
– prizes if necessary

Musical Statues

This game will make sure that everybody in the group joins and no one is left behind.

  • Participants: Suitable for up to 10 kids; could be more for bigger kids.
  • Age: 3+
  • How much space is needed: Depending on the number of participants, but will require enough space for everyone to move and dance around.
  • To play: The same concept as the musical chairs but this one does not require seats. Just play music and ask the kids to freeze or stand still as statues when the music stops. Whoever is caught moving (even batting the eyelashes) is out!
You will need:
– a DVD or any similar music player loaded with dance music or children’s songs
– prizes for the game

Balloon Bursts

This game is sure to be lots of noise and fun for kids but is surprisingly simple to play.

  • Participants: Ideal for up to 10 kids
  • Age: 6+
  • How much space is needed: Depending on the number of players; this game requires a big space to accommodate all the kids and the balloons.
  • To play: Write different challenges on small pieces of paper and put it inside each balloon before inflating. Play some music and ask the kids to bounce the balloon in the air while the music is playing. When the music stops, the person with the balloon will pop it and do the challenge indicated inside. Be creative with your challenges and have fun.
You will need:
– pieces of paper to be inserted inside the balloons
– balloons (set aside 2-4 pcs. per child)
– little prizes and one grand prize

Musical chairs

This game is a party favorite for both kids and adults alike. It is easy to organize, fun and ideal for small party venues.

  • Participants: Up to 10 kids
  • Age: 3+
  • How much space is needed: This game could be accommodated in a small space, as long as there is enough space to put all chairs/cushions and kids can move around.
  • To play: Fix the chairs in a way that it creates a circle but facing outward. Count the number of participants and make sure that the number of seats will be one less than the number of players. Play some music while kids go around the chairs. Stop the music once in a while to see each kid sit on one chair. The kid without a seat will be out. Keep removing one chair until only one kid is left.
You will need:
– a DVD or any other music player with dancing music and children’s favorites
– a cushion or chair for each player
– Some little prizes

Indoor Kids Party Games For Big Groups

Passing the parcel

This game is commonly played by younger age-group, although it is better to involved kids who already understand basic instructions on how to play. The game although simple needs supervision when younger kids play as some may appear reluctant to pass the parcel. You also need to ensure that the music stops in a way that everyone gets a turn and the birthday child doesn’’t win the grand prize.

  • Participants: 10 kids up
  • Age: 5+
  • How much space is needed: This game don’t need very big space as long as kids can sit or stand together, enough to pass the parcel to each other.
  • To play: Instruct the kids to sit or stand in a circular position and provide something to pass around. The objective is to pass the parcel as soon as you can to the person to avoid holding the parcel when the music stops. Whoever has the parcel when the music stops will be out. Another variation is that children pass around the parcel with many layers, when the music stops, the kid holding the parcel opens one layer and takes the treat inside. The grand prize will be opened by the final player.
You will need:
– You will need a present wrapped in at least as many layers of gift wrap as there are children at the party.
– A small chocolate bar or candy for each layer when dealing with small kids
– DVD or any music player to play the songs

Passing marble/lemon with a spoon

This game is often played in big parties as it can be played in teams and in many varieties to suit the guests.

  • Participants: Ideal for at least 10 kids per group
  • Age: 6+
  • How much space is needed: Passing games usually require a bigger space compared to other games to allow each player to move freely and quickly without bumping into each other.
  • To play: Place two tables some distance away and put some bowls with marbles on it on one table. The other table should only have empty bowls. The goal is to have the children transfer the marbles to the empty bowl holding the spoon in their mouth without touching. The kids will have to balance the marbles on the spoon and pass from one table to the other. The group who’s able to transfer the most marbles wins.
You will need:
– spoon or marbles depending on the variation (depends on the number of players)
– spoon for each player
– empty bowls to receive the marbles/lemons
– bowls filled with marble/lemons
– two tables

Donut Eating Contest

The main objective of this party game is to eat hanging doughnuts using only the mouth and no hands!

  • Participants: 10 kids up
  • Age: 5+
  • How much space is needed: Big space is needed for this game to allow players to move around without hurting each other.
  • To play: Just hang some doughnuts on strings from a high elevation. You may opt to do this as a race to see which team finishes all the doughnuts first. Try using chocolate -coated donuts. In this game, the messier, the better and funnier!
You will need:
– ring donuts (allocate one for each player)
– string to tie the donuts
– somewhere to hang the donuts (washing line, etc)

Sleeping Lions

This has the same concept as the musical statues or other freeze games. It’s interesting how little kids enjoy this game so much and very easy to play. The main purpose of this game is usually to calm down the kids after very exciting and physically tiring activities.

  • Participants: This game can be played with any number of kids, but is ideal for more than 5 kids.
  • Age: 3+
  • How much space is needed: Depending on the number of kids participating, this game could be adjusted to fit a small or medium space.
  • To play: This has the same concept as the musical statues, except that in this game, the little kids will be lying on the floor and trying not to move when the music stops playing. Whoever is caught doing some movement will be out. The prize will be awarded to the “lion” who sleeps the longest to encourage the kids to stay still longer.
You will need:
– mat
– prizes
– DVD player or music

Bring Me!

This game is that impromptu game when you suddenly run out of games to play.

  • Participants: All guests can participate; but for kids, more than 10 is ideal.
  • Age: 6+
  • How much space is needed: Depending on the number of guests or participants; this game doesn’t require a very big space. Could be played while guests are seated.
  • To play: The party host just needs to gather everyone and start the game by saying “Bring me …” He may ask the audience to bring him an apple, or blue slippers, or a coin. Pretty much anything within reach. Each guest who brings something wins a price.
You will need:
– a game master who will think of the ‘things’ that he/she will ask for during the game
– prizes for each kid who successfully brings something to the game master

Outdoor Party Games for Kids

When it’s summer and the sun is up, there’s no better way to have fun than organize some outdoor activities. Either you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or an outdoor party for the kids, here are some outdoor party game ideas that could make your gathering more fun and memorable:

Outdoor Child Party Games For Small Groups

Three-legged race

This game involves two participants competing in a race while one leg of each player is tied together. The objective is for the partners to run together without falling over, and beat the other contestants to the finish line.

  • Participants: Less than 10 pairs of adults and partner kids is ideal.
  • Age: 10+
  • How much space is needed: This game requires a lot of space outdoors. It can be really fun to play and watch.
  • To play: Divide the guests into pairs. Tie the pair’s inside legs together and ask them to race to the finish line. Whoever reaches the finish line first will win. This can be played by a kid and one parent.
You will need:
– foot loops (rope, strong string or long pieces of fabric)
– marker to mark the finish line
– prizes as necessary

Obstacle Relay

This game also never goes out of style and is often played in parties in many different variations whether by kids or adults alike.

  • Participants: Two groups with 5 members each is ideal.
  • Age: 8+
  • How much space is needed: This requires a big space, much like when playing three-legged race so organizers can set up the ‘obstacles’ properly and players will have enough space to move around quickly without bumping into each other.
  • To play: Set up different obstacles within a course like stepping into empty tires and doing the Hoola hoops or dribbling a ball several times. Depending on the number of players you have and space, you may extend the relay longer or shorter. Suit the difficulty of the obstacles to the age of the kids joining.
You will need:
– depending on the types of ‘obstacles’ you want the players to play; you may need to set up different materials for each variation.
– for tire obstacles, you will need empty tires; for hula hoops, you need hula hoops; same with ball for dribbling, etc.

Homemade Bubbles Kids Party game

Okay, this may not seem like a party game, but it is, and it is fun!

  • Participants: Up to 10 kids at the same time is ideal.
  • Age: 5+
  • How much space is needed: This game requires enough space for the kids to run around while making the bubbles.
  • To play: Make some bubbles at home and put them in individual containers that kids can enjoy chasing in the backyard. This can be really wet and messy so be prepared to change kids clothes after the activity too.
You will need:
-bubble hoops for each kid
– homemade bubble mixtures

Find the gummy bears

This game could be messy, but really fun for both kids and adults if they want.

  • Participants: up to 5 kids is ideal
  • Age: 5+
  • How much space is needed: This game does not require that much space. A long table that could fit all the kid participants will be suitable. Outdoor setting is preferred as this game can be really messy.
  • To play: Give each participant a plate with a pile of whipped cream with some hidden gummy bears inside and ask them to find all the gummy bears inside. And by the way, find the gummies without using the hands. Go figure!
You will need:
– paper plates
– whipped cream
– gummy bears
– a lot of table napkin for wiping after

Treasure hunt

This game is perfect for very young kids. It is always played when little kids start feeling restless by the end of the party. Bonus is, each child who plays will find their own goodies to take home after.

  • Participants: Up to 10 kids is ideal and easier to manage.
  • Age: 4+
  • How much space is needed: Space in the yard or garden is appropriate. Make sure that all dangerous things are kept out.
  • To play: Create an outdoor treasure hunt by leaving clues around the yard. Hide the ‘treasures’ carefully. Make sure that some of the goodies are very easy to see and at eye level for little kids. Candies, lollies, and chocolates should be easier to find. Gather the little kids together, give each child a loot bag and an indication of what sort of treasure they may find, and tell them where to start hunting!If needed, designate some bigger kids to help the little kids find treasures so everybody is sure to find something by the end of the game.
You will need:
-little treasures (toy soldiers, animals, little dolls) that could be hidden the yard Y
– plastic wrapped sweets (candy, lollipops, and chocolates)
– pieces of other small toy characters (lego pieces, toys from fast food)
– other party gifts (bracelets, tooters)

Outdoor Kids Games For Big Groups


Limbo never goes out of style and is always played in party games because it is simple and very fun.

  • Participants: At least 5-10 kids.
  • Age: 4+
  • How much space is needed: Depending on the number of participants;kids should be able to move enough while performing the game.
  • To play: Use a broomstick or any tube as a bar. Ask the kids to line up and cross the bar while doing the limbo. Whoever can go the lowest wins.
You will need:
– a long stick or broom
– prizes

Water balloon toss

For those mid-summer days when playing in the water sounds like a great idea, try a water balloon toss!

  • Participants: Up to 10 kids
  • Age: 5+
  • How much space is needed: Depending on the number of participants; this game tend to be wet and messy so open space is advised.
  • To play: Ask the kids to take turns bouncing the water-filled balloon back and forth as they move away from one another. The last team with an intact balloon after several tossing will win.
You will need:
– one towel between two people
– water
– water balloons

Catch the dragon’s tail

As the name of the game suggests, the idea is for each group to catch the “tail” of the other group.

  • Participants: You will need a large group of children – at least 10 for this game, but the more the merrier since the “tail” will be longer.
  • Age: 3+
  • How much space is needed: This game, which has traditional Chinese origin, is best for playing in the playground or a yard with a big space.
  • To play: Ask the kids to line-up and hold the waist of the person in front. Put a bandana in the pocket of the last kid in the line. The head of the line leads his line as they try to chase the “tail” or the bandana on the pocket of the last in line without anyone breaking the line. Once the bandana is taken, the tail now becomes the head and vise versa. This is good for playing in large groups.
You will need:
– facilitators or game masters to help monitor the “dragon”
– prizes if necessary depending on the rules

Escape the monster

  • Participants: Less than 10 kids is recommended.
  • Age: 3+
  • How much space is needed: This game is ideal for playing in a big, open space so the facilitators can easily see all the kids. The floor should also not be slippery to prevent the falls when the kids start running around.
  • To play: You need to assign a “monster” for the game. The point of the game is to run away so the monster won’t catch you. Whoever gets caught becomes the next monster until every kid has been tagged and turned into monsters too.
You will need:
– facilitators or game masters to help monitor that every kid don’t go too far away from the play area
– prizes if necessary depending on the rules

Potato sack race

This game is commonly played in parties both for kids and adults. Sack races involve a lot of physical work but are also a lot of fun.

  • Participants: Depending on the area, but at least 5 kids is ideal.
  • Age: 6+
  • How much space is needed: Sack races are often advised to take place in an open space, with flat surface.
  • To play: Ask each child to hop on inside an old-fashioned sack or giant pillowcases and have each kid hop while inside the bag until they cross the finish line. Whoever reaches the finish line first will win.
You will need:
– burlap sacks or huge pillow cases (depending on the size of players)
– marker or cone
– prizes

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