Birthday party games can make the difference between a dull, forgettable party and an iconic, memorable one.
Parties with lots of fun activities are always a blast. But when no one knows what to do or where to go and no one is breaking the ice, let’s face it – that party is kind of a drag!
Don’t let that happen to you at the next party you plan. Plan plenty of exciting party games and have a few extra up your sleeve. That way, you’ll always be prepared to have a rollicking good time with your guests.
Below, we present over seventy of our all-time favorite birthday party games and activities. All ages are welcome here, come on down and find inspiration!
- 10 Best Party Games
- Birthday Party Games for Adults
- Birthday Party Games for Kids
10 Best Birthday Party Games of All Time
Why not start with the best? The ten party game ideas listed below are time-tested classics that are quirky and original enough to get your guests intrigued, involved, and perhaps just a little bit competitive.
1. Murder Mystery Games
It’s a classic for a reason! Everybody loves… um, murder? Well, you know what we mean. A good old murder mystery is so much fun to put your heads together and solve.
Bonus points for the best dressed character and be sure to give an award to the puzzle solving mastermind!
2. Guess My Name / Catchphrase
This is a great party game where you guess a word or phrase using clues provided by a member of your team. You can buy the game, or DIY it.
To make your own version, come up with names, phrases, or objects that are relevant to the birthday celebrant. This can be people in the room, or favorite movie or book characters, or anything related to their hobbies or sports.
Write these on paper scraps and place into a bowl, then split everyone into two teams. One person from the team names off things that represent the pulled word (without saying the word) until the rest of their team guesses it.
Allow 2 minutes per team and see how many they can guess. Whoever guesses the most wins!
3. Escape Room (at home)
Escape rooms are really in right now, and for good reason: they make you work together as a team to win. Plus, your noggin will get a good workout, so it’s a win-win! But they can be expensive to take ALL of your friends to.
Enter in these fabulously themed at-home editions! With one of these escape room party games, you can turn your birthday party into a thrilling test of wits!
Here’s a weird (but weirdly fun) party game. Everyone sits around in a circle with their head down. On the count of three everyone opens their eyes and looks at one person in the circle. If you make eye contact, you’re both out.
Once the “lookers” have been weeded out, heads down and repeat again. The last person in (or the last two, if starting with an even number of people) wins. Click here for the printable instructions!
5. Printable Party Games – Sparkle Edition
These fun little downloadables are perfect for a girly girl’s birthday, or a pretty-in-pink bridal shower due to their sparkly flair! Of course, no one ever said boys don’t like pink too, so look to these for a fun addition to break the ice at any birthday party.
6. Pool Volleyball
If you’ve got a backyard pool and a volleyball net (and a ball) you’re halfway there already! Keep your guests cooled off with some fun in the sun.
Non-sports enthusiasts can still be a part of the game. Constructively, bystanders can keep score and cheer for their favorite team! Not-so-constructively, they can throw pool noodles and other distractions at participants, make side wagers, or have a drinking game.
Be sure to provide plenty of sunscreen, towels, and beverages.
7. Human Foosball
We can definitely see this game being a huge hit at a Youth Group party or any boy’s birthday! Pre-teens especially will love goofing off to this fun version of foosball, where THEY are the stars and players.
The toughest part will be constructing the fence. Consider scouring the free ads for pallets, or using stakes and chicken wire. Add some ropes, then all you’ll need is a big backyard or park and plenty of willing participants!
8. Toilet Paper Mummy
Split everyone into teams with the same number of participants. One person gets to be the mummy, and the rest of the team races to wrap them in toilet paper. Silly, but super fun to play and even more entertaining to watch!
The rules are simple: 1) the whole body has to be covered, and 2) whoever uses up all their toilet paper rolls first wins! Give each team at least 2 rolls for best results. Go here for printable instructions.
- Blindfold Mummy Wrap. Team members wear a blindfold and the mummy will have to tell them what parts need to be wrapped.
- One-Arm Mummy Wrap. Each teammate has one hand tied behind their back or in a pocket.
- Relay Race. The mummy starts across the room from two other team members. One member runs, wraps an entire roll, then brings the tube back to the other player. The 2nd player then races and wraps the toilet paper back onto the roll. First team back to the starting line (without ripping any TP!) wins.
9. Murder in the Dark
This printable party game has eye-catching and perfectly themed graphics that convey just the right mood. After all, everyone wants to be the detective who solves the mystery, or the villain mastermind who crafts an unsolvable crime… right? Or is that just me…
The darker the room, the better the experience for this one! It makes it harder to solve the murder, and it gives the right bit of creepiness to the whole party. Click here for printable instructions!
10. Jumbo Games
Supersize the fun with these jumbo games! Great for an outdoor party, the oversized yard games keep everyone laughing and hooting and hollering.
Here are some of our favorite jumbo party games:
Birthday Party Games for Adults
We’ll get to some fun and creative ideas for kids below, but we’re going to start with the grownups. Enjoy these party games for the older crowd.
11. Yard Pong
Beer pong is so passe! Crank up the fun a notch with this durable yard pong game set. It’s totally perfect for the beach or the lawn and you can tailor the rules and prizes however you like.
12. 5 Second Rule
Are you a quick thinker? You’d better be if you want to win at this hilarious game! The gist is simple: You have five seconds to name 3 things in the specified category. For instance, name 3 Olympic host cities, or 3 bald celebrities,
13. Human Bingo Ice Breaker Game
Get to know one another better and make each other laugh while doing so with this fun human bingo game. It’s easy enough to play, but luck had better be on your side to win. Unless of course, you know the party goers better than they know themselves!
14. Wheel of Winning Virtual Game
Wheel of Fortune fans, rejoice! There’s now a virtual game that all of your friends can play together. Bonus points if you dress like Vanna White. Just kidding! But not really. We want to see that.
15. Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever never fails to crack everyone up with madcap questions and even crazier answers! Get to know your friends like never before. Or should we say, like never had you ever before?
The Classic Edition is ages 17 and up due to some blue humor, but they also have a Family Edition that is appropriate for all ages.
16. Go Fish with Goldfish
Here’s a silly one to get everyone laughing. Place two contestants side by side at a table, with a jar, a straw, and a pile of goldfish crackers in front of them.
Set a timer for a minute, and see who can get the most goldfish into their jar using only the straw and suction power.
Yes, sure, this can be a kids game too. But you’ve never lived until you’ve seen a group of adults competing to get goldfish into a cup using only their breath and a straw.
17. The Hygge Game
What’s Hygge? Well, it’s a Danish word that basically translates to a feeling of contentment. What’s more Hygge than spending time with the people that you love and who love you?! This game will bring out all the feels. A nice alternative for an adult party that doesn’t want to get too competitive.
18. Who Am I Memory Game
Each attendee gets a 3×5 card. On it, they write out a memory that they have of the birthday person. Have the host read out each one, and the birthday guy or gal has to guess who wrote the memory.
19. Drink If…
This printable game is a fun way to really get to know not just the birthday person, but all of their friends! Just you know, take a sip at a time not a shot, or this party will be over way too fast.
20. Guess Those Prices
Like Price is Right, but at home! Pick an era and put your knowledge of useless trivia to the test.
Here are some great eras to play:
21. Game of Phones
It’s a digital scavenger hunt! All you need is a smartphone to play. A totally fun game to play that’s easy to understand and fun to participate in.
22. Sticker Stalker
This one is a bit of a secretive and sneaky game! Simply purchase a package of stickers, then choose 2-3 people to not tell about the game (these are your targets).
Hand the stickers in covert fashion to everyone else. Everyone must try to place their sticker onto the target without really being noticed by them. Whoever can place the most stickers before one of the targets realizes what’s going on, wins!
Who doesn’t love a fun round of Spoons? We bet this one will be a huge hit because it’s the party game we all kind of forget about, but everyone loves! This version is a bit spicier, because it’s combined with a drinking game, so have your alcoholic beverage of choice at hand.
24. What’s On Your Phone? Party Game
You’ll get to know each other, and what’s on each other’s phones with this fun downloadable game! With fun categories like A Selfie Taken Today, an Alarm set Before 8 am, and A Risque Text, in no time at all you’ll be laughing and pointing at one another, all in good fun.
25. Slap Cup (AKA: Cups on the Floor)
Like Beer Pong, but more fast paced (and messier!). Not only do you need to get that ping pong ball in a good ol’ red solo cup, but you have to do it first. This hilarious game is best played outdoors unless you enjoy mopping up beer from your kitchen floor!
26. Post It Note Game
Write down celebrities, historical figures, or each other’s names onto post-it notes and randomly pass them out. Each person must place the note on their forehead without looking at it.
Throughout the party, others may ask the person questions that may hint at who’s name it is on their post it note. First person to figure it out wins! The last person … well, they might just have to wear their new name all night!
27. Virtual Trivia
This Family Feud-style virtual game is so fun to play with your friends from around the globe! The themes and questions are 100% customizable, making it even more fun and enjoyable.
All you need is PowerPoint to get started. If you’re the game host, play a round or two to get to know it better to avoid everyone learning all at once.
28. Saran Wrap Ball
Start off with a totally great prize (as big or as tiny as you like) that you wrap ever so tightly in Saran Wrap. Roll the dice. Whenever doubles are rolled, move the bundle to the next person. Whoever FINALLY gets to the prize gets to keep the gift.
This printable download makes it easy to pass out the rules to everyone.
See here for more printable Christmas games!
29. Truth or Drink
Will you tell the embarrassing truth, or choose to take a drink instead? This fun boxed game will be a huge hit at your adult party. Things are about to get weird, y’all!
30. The Game of Things
This game is one of our favorites. You will likely laugh until the tears come with this fun board game. There’s no right or wrong answer (Trivial Pursuit haters, rejoice). There’s just whether or not you know your friends!
Birthday Party Games for Kids
Now we’ll dive in to kid-friendly party games, from toddlers up to teens. Everyone can get in on the fun with these great ideas!
Birthday Party Games for Toddlers
Toddlers and little tykes need simple games with orderly rules and a straightforward objective. You’ll probably recognize many of these from your own childhood, but you might also be in for a few surprises as well!
31. Duck Duck Goose
Teaching youngsters this classic game is almost more fun than playing it yourself! The Littles will love the sprightly, time-tested game that has them exercising their running and sitting skills. A great way to get the wiggles out after all that cake and ice cream!
32. Rainbow Scavenger Hunt
Such a fun way to learn and practice their colors! This rainbow scavenger hunt will have them searching for items in hues of the rainbow. Even little ones who can’t read can recognize the colors and help to check them off the cards once found.
33. Simon Says
We all have fun memories of Simon Says, don’t we? Teach your wild ones how to play this old fashioned game and you’ll have everyone in stitches in no time.
Reminder: Do easy instructions, like “Simon says touch your nose,” “Simon says spin in a circle,” or “Simon says hop like a bunny,” are best for toddlers. And don’t forget to occasionally “forget” to say Simon Says!
34. Keep the Balloon Up
This just might be the easiest and cheapest birthday party game on this list. Get a pack of $1 party balloons, and blow them up (no helium, just your breath!). Have the kids try to keep the balloon from touching the ground. That’s the whole game.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a Balloon World Cup for this game. So who knows, you could be training a future world champion! Think of the scholarships and endorsement opportunities…
35. Finger Painting
Big containers of Tempera paint, poster boards or canvas, and a backyard are all you need for this fun activity! Well, and some smocks, aprons, or oversized t-shirts to avoid paint on their clothes.
However you set it up, the kids will get some much-needed art therapy. Plus they get to take home their marvelous creations!
36. Follow the Leader
That’s you! The leader, that is. Or you can all take turns. Up and down the stairs, over the box, under the table – get those wiggly wiggles out!
Play some music in the background for some extra fun. And don’t be afraid to throw in some dance moves!
37. Hot & Cold
Hide prizes around the house or in the backyard. Say “hot” or “cold” to let them know if they’re getting close to the prize – or not!
38. Bubble Popping Fun
Nothing is more fun than watching a toddler with bubbles! Unless it’s a dog with bubbles – should you invite everyone’s dogs over as well? Well, that’s up to you. We just know the Littles love chasing and popping some magical bubbles, especially when they come with an adorable octopus blowing machine!
39. Animal Bean Bag Toss Game
Like Corn Hole, but for the rugrats! They’ll love trying to toss their sandbags into the holes with this clever game. Best played outside in case of bad aim!
40. Slime Making Time
Birthday Party Games for 5 Year Olds (5 & up)
At around the age of five the party games can get a little more involved. Races, guessing games, coordination and “run around” games and pretend play are all featured activities in the game ideas below.
41. Sensory Box Guessing Game
There was one of these at the zoo where I used to take my kids and they were more fascinated with it than they were with the lions, tigers, and bears! (Oh my!) Jamie Reimer from Hands On As We Grow made this fun DIY version that will have kids wide-eyed and guessing wildly about what could possibly be inside.
Some ideas are kiwi fruits, bouncy balls, football, cotton balls, shoelaces, ice, grass, rocks, sand, marshmallows… the possibilities are endless!
42. Hide ‘n Seek
Embrace the inner child and play a rousing round of Hide ‘n Seek! Toddlers make this even more fun with their silly ideas of hiding places (like right out in the open). Giggles will give them away soon enough, but pretend you can’t find them when they’re right under your nose for the best time ever.
43. Parachute Game Ideas
These fun rainbow hued parachutes are beloved by preschool and dance teachers everywhere! There are all sorts of fun games to be had with a parachute, from lifting up and flying high, to dancing underneath, to stretching and practicing Yoga on their individual triangles. Click here for more ideas!
44. Dress Up Fashion Show
Everyone’s a winner here. Have fun dressing up, getting your makeup and hair done, then hitting the runway. And when we say everyone, we mean everyone, so Dads – get ready for a make-over to steal the show!
45. Potato Sack Race
You don’t need potato sacks if you’re fresh out – you can use pillowcases from the dollar store or these colorful party hopper bags! Kids and grown ups alike will be in stitches by the finish line.
46. Red Light Green Light
Before you know it, they’ll be teenagers driving, so start those traffic light rules early with a great game of Red Light, Green Light! All you need is lots of room that provides soft places to fall.
What kid doesn’t go ga-ga over a great piñata?! We’ve never met one. Stuff your piñata with an assortment of delightful prizes and the kiddos can whack away! The prizes don’t have to be only candy – after all, parents will appreciate some other, non-sugary tokens like chapstick, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and tiny toys.
48. Musical Chairs
Set up chairs in a big circle and start the musical playlist! Once you hit Pause, everyone scrambles to find a chair. Try to keep it fair by being strategic about when you stop the music so no one feels too left out if they aren’t the most nimble of the bunch.
49. Water Gun Fight
For hot summer days, there’s nothing better than a water gun fight! Kids will love getting soaking wet (especially if Mom and Dad join in). Have the guests BYOWG (Bring Your Own Water Guns), or supply them with your own collection.
50. Pin the Tail
On the Donkey, of course! Or on the giraffe… the mouse… a favorite cartoon character. Whatever will float their boat!
Here are some fun Pin the Tail ideas:
Birthday Party Games for 10 Year Olds (10 & up)
The ages of ten and up are perfect for party games. They’re young enough to be into it without pretending to be too cool (yes, we see you teenagers, you’re up next), yet the 10 & up crowd is old enough to follow more detailed instructions and complete activities that involve strategy and teamwork.
51. Capture the Flag
This classic game is super easy to DIY. Just get two flags or towels, divide up into teams, and let the kids have fun.
If you want something more sophisticated, try the glow in the dark laser flashlight tag version! The birthday party crowd will love being allowed to stay up later than normal, until it’s good and dark, for this ultimate party game.
Or, if you want to get more thrilling and pulse-pounding, do capture the flag with Nerf, paintball, or airsoft.
Everyone loves a good game of limbo! Just beware of that little youngster who has already had five years of gymnastics training – hey, who invited her?!! Just kidding. This classic game will have them bending and folding like a cheese omelet – a great way to work off all those party treats!
53. Water Balloon Fight
If your party is during the hot dog days of summer, they’ll love having an old-fashioned water balloon fight! The part the adults dread? Filling up all those balloons! Never fear, some genius out there invented some handy-dandy easy-fill balloons that will literally have you jumping up and down in joy.
Everything you need to play a fantastic game of Bingo, right at your fingertips! The kids will love spotting the numbers and honing their competitive edges with this fun game.
This is best played at night & with loud music to make it harder to see/hear! We used to play this at night when I was a kid – such fun memories.
It’s a little like Hide and Go Seek, but in reverse. One person hides somewhere in the house/yard (they have ten minutes, or however long you decide ahead of time, to find a hiding place). After time is up everyone goes out to find them. If you find the person, you squeeze into their hiding place and hide with them! The last person to find everyone starts as the first person to hide the next round.
56. Ring Toss
Practice those motor skills with a rousing game of ring toss! Have prizes for the Best Aim, the Most Difficult Shot, and maybe even the Worst Player Ever (10 year olds still tend have a fabulous sense of humor).
57. Yard Twister
Spray paint the yard like a Twister board and have some outdoor fun! This is a good way to get some squirmies out, all while having a blast.
58. Party Charades
The classic game that’s great for kids, and even the adults won’t mind joining in. This version won’t have obscure references that “kids these days” don’t understand, making it perfect for a birthday party.
For once, they won’t be told to stop “acting out” and “being dramatic.” It’s the name of the game!
59. America Ninjas Obstacle Course
This American Ninja Obstacle Course is going to be a blast in the yard! Kids will love testing their balance, strength, endurance, and fears, and the adults will love cheering them on!
60. Minute to Win It Games
Create a competition with a series of mini-games that are over in a single minute. You can buy a set of over 200 one-minute challenges, or create your own at home.
Here are our favorite ideas:
- Puddle Jumper. Set up a row of cups filled to the top with water. Each person has a minute to blow it across each cup all the way to the end. Add extra challenge: if your ball falls off, you start over.
- Cup Stacker. See who can stack the most cups in a minute without them falling over.
- Ping Pong Eggs. Bounce the ping pong balls into the egg cartons. whichever team fills up their carton the most in a minute wins
- Chopsticks & Kisses. See if any of the kids have chopstick skills! How many Hersey’s Kisses can you place into a jar in one minute, using only chopsticks?
- TP Puller. Unroll toilet paper in a straight line on a smooth surface, like a linoleum floor. Place a mildly heavy object, like a cup filled with water or Lego bricks, on the end. Repeat for each contestant. Players roll up the TP, slowly pulling the object towards themselves. Whoever gets the object closest (without tipping or spilling!) wins the game.
- Potato Roll. Roll a potato (or onion) across the floor using only your nose.
- Junk in the Trunk. Duct-tape an old tissue box onto each player’s back, and fill with 6 ping-pong balls. Whoever has the least ping-pong balls left at the end of a minute (without using hands) wins. LOTS of spazzy fun, this one!
Birthday Party Games for Teenagers
Teens… what can you do with them that doesn’t involve letting them sit on the couch, munching on Doritos with their eyes glued to their phones? Actually, it turns out there are lots of party activities that teenagers love. Read on for some of our favorites.
61. Laser Tag
They may act angsty and mopey sometimes, but a good game of laser tag will make them feel young at heart again! This one is sophisticated enough for even the pickiest of players and won’t feel “babyish.” Boys and girls alike will love playing this in the dark cul-de-sac!
62. Girl Talk
It’s the harmless, giggle-inducing game that all girlfriends love to play with another! Like Truth or Dare but more silly and innocent, this game has been around for ages for good reason: it’s just so fun!
Are you sneaky? Devious even? Then you’ll love pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes with this fun game, Werewolf! All the kids will crack up and strategize with this unusual and totally cool game.
Check out this version that you can carry around to every party!
64. Four-Legged Race
“Go outside and play!!” All of us parents have uttered those dreaded words, but when you supply them with all the things needed to have an old-fashioned four-legged race, they’ll be scrambling to beat you to the back door!
Did you know – many teens are secretly great artists! Put their skills to good use with a classic round of Pictionary. They’ll love expanding on inside jokes and poking good natured fun at each other, markers and paper in hand!
Back before anyone invented iPads, smartphones, and the interweb, we had a good old game we liked to call Mash. If you know, you know… and it’s time the next generation knows, too!
67. Two Truths & A Lie
It’s a simple game, but a clever and intriguing “get to know you” activity. One person says three things about themselves: Two of them are true, and one is a lie. The rest of the group has to guess which one is the lie.
68. Would You Rather
It may be silly and simple, but you’ll be surprised at what you learn about one another, with this fun game of Would You Rather? Questions to ponder… what would you rather?
69. Video Game Trucks
Play your most favorite games, new and older vintage, with your own (well, for a day anyway) video game truck! Guests will love trying to beat their top score in a climate-controlled environment. Vendors like this are popping up everywhere, so check your local area to see what’s available.
70. Colorful Rainbow Printable Game Set
Fill it in, just like Mad-Libs, with these colorful rainbow printables! Everyone will be chuckling in no time with this ridiculous and clever birthday party game.
71. Exploding Kittens
This ridiculous and unique game was an instant classic when it was first introduced. Teens love the over-the-top drawings and sketches on this card game, and it quickly appeals to the goofy side our mostly-serious teenagers can still tap into.
An equally silly and even easier-to-play game is Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. Take turns laying a card down and saying the next word in the sequence of “Taco… cat… goat…” etc. If the card matches the word you said, everyone slaps the pile. With the goal of getting rid of all your cards, the last hand on the pile gets the whole thing.
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