Other than "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," do you have any idea what your child would like to play at his next birthday party? Here are game ideas that are fun, interactive, and a sure way to include even the most shy child at the next party.

Duck Duck Goose

Sit in a circle and the chosen "Goose" goes around the circle, saying, "Duck, duck," while touching the heads of the kids. Until they pick a goose. That "Goose" has to run around the circle and catch the person who tagged him before the tagger gets seated.


Have two people hold a stick, like a broomstick, and have the kids walk under it, with their heads leaning back. After everyone has gone, the stick gets lowered. It continues until there is a winner. This can be played with fun music.

Musical Chairs

There are just enough chairs for every child, minus one. As the music plays, the kids walk around the chairs. When the music stops, they have to find a chair. The one without, is out, and a chair goes with him, until there is one winner.

Hot Potato

The potato is passed around from child to child as the music plays. When the music stops, the child stuck with the potato is out.

Simon Says

One child is Simon. He barks out orders. The children only obey when he says, "Simon says." Those that obey without the command are out.

Mr. Fox

One child is on one wall. All the other children are on the other wall. They all ask in unison, "What time is it, Mr. Fox?" The fox replies with a time between one o'clock and twelve. The children then walk towards him with the number he called out. Finally, when they get close enough to the fox, he calls out, "Lunchtime!" and chases the kids until he catches the next Mr. Fox.

Egg Race

The children have to race each other while carrying a boiled egg on the end of a spoon. Whoever reaches the finish line first, without dropping the egg, wins.

Sack Race

Have empty potato sacks, or pillow cases, and have the children race across the room, two by two.


Have the kids split into two groups and grab hands. They have to run an obstacle course. At the end, whichever team was able to hang on to the most members wins.

Obstacle Course

Set up a fun obstacle course around the house. Get creative using everyday items, like throw pillows, laundry baskets, tunnels made of chairs, and a pit of stuffed animals. Set the course by telling the children what they have to do through each station and time them, one by one. The child with the fastest time wins.

Frozen T-Shirt

Fold up and freeze t-shirts overnight. Then hand them out and tell the children, whoever unfolds and wears the t-shirt first, wins.

Spending a Penny

Two groups form in two lines. Two cups are placed ahead of each line. The kids are given a penny between their knees and have to walk over to the cup and drop it in. Whichever team gets the most pennies in, wins.


Have two children eat a long piece of licorice as fast as they can. Whoever is fastest, wins. Bonus: Have them do it without using their hands.

Some of these games are designed for younger kids, and some are for older. Make sure to stock up on inexpensive prizes from the dollar store to keep the party jumping. Remember, the more games you do, the less trouble the kids will get into...typically.

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