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7 Fun kids' party games

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Planning your child's party on a budget

It's party time! So how do you make your child's party a success without busting your budget? We've got seven fun (and inexpensive!) ideas to keep your kid's party going strong all day long. Let the games begin...
1

Backyard scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunt

Following the theme of your kid's birthday party (whether it's fairies or dinosaurs), hide small themed trinkets or non-melting, wrapped candies in the backyard. Depending on your party and childs' ages, either give them a list of clues to reveal the hidden treasures or hide them in places they can spot without clues.

You need: Small themed trinkets or non-melting, wrapped candies, a list of clues (optional)

2

Treat time

Kids making cookies

If you have a budding baker, don't just serve treats at your party — let the party guests have a hand in making them! Little kids love to roll dough, cut shapes with cookie cutters (metal ones are not recommended for little partygoers) and — of course — decorate.

Mom, you handle the baking, natch. Let each child bag up a few to take home. Crispy rice treats are another great treat for shaping and decorating sans baking.

You need: Dough, cookie cutters, bags for kids to take some home

3

Freeze dance

Freeze dance

In our experience, nothing gets kids laughing (and moving!) like a game of freeze dance. Pump up the volume, and let your party people shake their groove thing until the music stops. The children still boogying after the music stops are "out" for that round.

Repeat until only one child remains — the winner! Dole out prizes for the winner, as well as the silliest dancer, the best dancer, etc.

You need: Music, small prizes

4

Create a mural

Kids painting a mural

Prep your backyard for art time with a large roll of white paper, canvas or simply an old plain sheet — as well as washable paint, brushes and shaped sponges. Following the theme of your party, have the children decorate the mural with a painting of their own and birthday wishes for your child. Once dry, hang the masterpiece in your child's room as a memento.

You need: Roll of white paper, canvas or simply an old plain sheet as well as washable paint, brushes and shaped sponges

5

It's a puzzler

Floor puzzle

Get a giant floor puzzle (or make your own) matching your kid's birthday party theme and let kids work together to complete the picture. Set up teams to work on specific areas of the puzzle or put a few large puzzles out.

You need: A giant floor puzzle

6

Obstacle course race

Kid going through an obstacle course

Using outdoor play things like hula hoops, foam pool noodles, etc., create an age-appropriate obstacle course for your kids and conduct your own Olympics. You can also rent an inflatable obstacle course for your party from companies that supply bounce houses. Instruct your partygoers through a series of challenges — and don't forget gold medals for the closing ceremonies.

You need: Hula hoops, foam pool noodles, etc. to create an age-appropriate obstacle course,medals

7

Station, station number...

Art station - Birthday party games

Set up small "stations" that partygoers can rotate through as the party rocks on. Some ideas — art table, small puzzle, Lego table and bracelet or necklace making (supply large beads, pre-cut lanyards and some examples). Encourage kids to split up into small groups and make the rounds. Parents can work the room and supervise.

You need: Supplies for small stations such as a small puzzle, Lego table, art table and bracelet/necklace making (supply large beads, pre-cut lanyards and some examples)

Image credit: Amy Vowles

More about kids' parties

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Summer birthday party ideas
Cheap birthday party ideas for children

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