35 Minute to
Win It Games
Kids love bubbles. Blow bubbles and see if they can pop the bubbles before they hit the floor. Then see who can catch bubbles on their wand. If you have older children attending the party see who can blow the biggest or smallest bubble. Give away bubbles as party favors - print out large labels with your child's picture and "Thank you for sharing my ___ birthday!" See our huge list of fun games to play with bubbles which includes homemade bubble recipes.
Write children's names on the back of large pieces of poster board and let guests use markers, paints and/or crayons to color all over the paper.
Tape the paper to the top of a table, or if it is nice outside make a easel by taping the poster board to a fence.
Print out color sheets that coordinate with your party theme (there are free color sheets available on the internet) and let guests have fun coloring together.
2, 3 and 4 year olds love to dance. Play music and let them freestyle dance at the birthday party.
Duck Duck Goose Game
Children sit next to each other in a large a circle on the floor. The first child (patter) starts by walking around the outside of the big circle and patting the head of each child. Every time they pat a head they call out "duck". Then they choose one person to be the goose and yell "GOOSE!" when they pat their head. The “patter” then runs clockwise around the circle and tries to sit down in the place of the goose before the goose tags them. If the goose tags the patter then the goose sits back down and the patter starts again. If the goose doesn’t tag the patter then the goose becomes the patter and the game starts again.
Game Variation: Use your birthday party theme with this game: Buzz, Buzz, Sting for a Bug Party; Tick, Tick, Tock for a Pirate Party
Duck Pond Grab Game
Birthday party guests pick rubber ducks out of a wading pool - they win a prize according to the number on the bottom of the duck. Write the numbers 1 - 4 (repeat numbers according to how many ducks you have) on the bottom of the ducks and place in pool. In back of the pool have 5 baskets with different prizes and number the baskets 1 through 4. Guests pick up a duck to see what number is on the bottom then win the prize that corresponds to that number. If the birthday party guest picks up a duck with a number 4 on the bottom, they get a prize from the number 4 basket. It’s a simple game, but children love it! Tip: Instead of ducks use floating objects that relate to your birthday party theme. The more ducks the better - give them away as favors after the birthday party.
Fox and Hen Game
Have children sit on the floor in a large circle. Give two bean bags to two children that are opposite each other in the circle. Name the first bean bag the "Hen" and the second the "Fox". Children pass the bean bags around the circle to see if the fox can catch the hen.
Children love this simple game and it is fun to play at a birthday party. Have children stand in a circle. The leader begins the song and have everyone join in. Leader puts their right arm in the circle and sings "You put your right arm in ... you take your right arm out ... you put your right arm in and you shake it all about .. you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around and that's what it's all about! While singing the song put your right arm in the circle, take your right arm out, put your right arm in and then shake it up and then down, then have your index fingers point to the sky while turning in a circle, clap the last line of the song ... That's what it's all about!
Have 2 older kids or adults hold the Limbo pole (use a broomstick, feather boa or rope) about 3 feet from the ground. Line up the kids and play some fast paced music. One at a time the kids will try and go under the Limbo stick without touching it. If they touch it then they can be out for that round or for younger kids let them stay in an keep playing. After everyone goes under the Limbo stick lower it a few inches.
Mystery Fish Game
Kids get prizes from mystery fish! A fun game that keeps the kids wondering who is in the water giving out the prizes! You will need lots of small prizes to give away because kids like to play this game over and over.
Make a fishing pole from a stick or bamboo pole by tying string to one end and a clothespin to the other end. The water needs to be big enough for the "fish" not to be seen - an appliance or large cardboard box will work ... or simply place a blue tablecloth over a table and have the fish sit under it.
Kids will throw their line over into the water and the "fish" attach a prize to their line.
Kids turning 2, 3 and 4 love parades. Make your own birthday party parade by giving children musical instruments - drums, shakers, horns, etc. and have them follow you around the house or yard playing their "birthday song". Or have the children follow you with streamers or ribbons and have a dance parade. If the children all have doll strollers or wagons let them parade with their dolls and stuffed animals.
Pin the tail on the Donkey Games
This game can be easily changed to fit your party theme. Make it original and special by using a character or object from the birthday theme such as pinning a nose on a clown, a tutu on a ballerina, etc. Place a drawing or large poster of the donkey or a character on the wall. Make objects (such as clown noses or tiaras) that the kids will try and stick onto the poster. Make a large outline on the poster of where the target is so you will know who got the closest to the target. Line up the kids and one by one blindfold them and give them their object with tape on the back. Tell them to try and get their object as close as possible to where they think the target is on the poster. The player who tapes their object the closest to the target wins!
Prize Walk Birthday Game
A fun party game and also a fun way for the kids to learn their numbers. It is played similar to a cake walk ... instead of giving cakes as prizes you give out small prizes or candy. You could also give out cupcakes. You will need to write the numbers one through twelve on colorful paper and tape them to the floor in a circle. Explain to the kids that while the music plays they will walk around the numbers on the circle and when they hear the music stop they will stop on the the number they are standing on. When the music stops roll two dice. The number on the dice is the number on the floor that wins a prize.
Ring around the rosy
Children stand in a circle holding hands and walk around in a circle while they sing "Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all ... fall ... down!" After singing "all fall down", children fall to the ground. Then repeat!
Give children large sticks of chalk and let them draw on the sidewalk, porch are fun for all ages! Use our sidewalk chalk games and activities idea page for inspiration! Over 30 fun ways to use sidewalk chalk.
Sock Bean Bag Toss
You will need several new socks in bright colors filled with beans and then tied with a knot to close them. Make a target board to match your theme by decorating a large box. Cut 4 or 5 circular holes in the box as targets.
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