Do you remember the excitement you felt before your birthday party when you were young? As a parent, you want your child to have that same anticipation on their birthday. But planning a birthday party can quickly become overwhelming. To help you throw a great party, we’ve put together this list of fun games for young children. Besides being fun, each game promotes the whole-child approach by strengthening children’s physical, social, and emotional skills. Include a few of these games to make your child’s next birthday party memorable and enjoyable.

Children, sitting in a row of chairs, playing a game at a birthday party.

Simon Says

Simon Says is a classic children’s game. It doesn’t require any props or equipment; you can play it almost anywhere.

How to play: Designate one child to be Simon, or have a parent take this role if the children are younger. Simon then instructs the children to follow certain commands by starting them with the phrase, “Simon says.” For example, they may say, “Simon says jump up and down three times.” If Simon doesn’t say “Simon says,” the players don’t follow the command. If a child does the action anyway, they’re out of the game. It’s a fun, active game that helps children learn how to process verbal instructions quickly.

Musical Chairs

This game is an oldie but a goodie. To play, make sure you have enough chairs for all the children attending the party, minus one. And have music ready to play during the game.

How to play: Set up the chairs in a circle and instruct the children to walk until they hear the music stop, then quickly sit in the nearest chair. The child left standing is out. Remove a chair before the next round and keep playing until only one child is sitting in the last chair. That child is the winner. This fun party game not only gets children active but also promotes cognitive development as they process the music to determine when to stop walking.

Would You Rather

The Would You Rather game can get kids smiling and laughing in no time. Before the party, compile a list of “would you rather” questions to ask the children. Search online for questions, such as “Would you rather kiss a frog or hug a snake?”

How to play: Gather everyone and explain the game’s concept. Then ask the questions, giving each child a chance to answer. You might have the kids raise their hands to speak or go around in a circle to share. This engaging game encourages children to think creatively and explain their thought processes logically. Plus, it’s just plain fun.

Treasure Hunt

Who doesn’t love the thrill of a treasure hunt? In this game, children solve a simple clue or follow a map to find the hidden treasure. Have some treasure to hide, such as treats, small tokens, or goodie bags.

How to play: Choose a hiding spot and place the prize there before the game. Then give the children a clue or map to the treasure. When they solve the clue, they find the treasure. For younger children, you might let them search for the treasure without clues. Kids will enjoy finding the treasure while using cognitive skills to interpret clues.

Capture the Flag

For a simple game that provides plenty of entertainment, play Capture the Flag. You’ll need a flag for each team, though any type of fabric, such as a bandana, can work.

How to play: Divide the children into teams and designate a base for each team’s flag. Instruct the children to protect their flag while trying to catch the opposing team’s flag. If a child tags a player from another team, that player is out. The first team to capture the other flag wins. This classic game encourages kids to work together while challenging them to figure out how to capture the other team’s flag.

Balloon Tennis

Balloon tennis can provide easy entertainment for a young child’s birthday party. Make sure you have the necessary items, including enough paper plates for each child, popsicle sticks, tape, crayons or markers, and balloons.

How to play: Let each child decorate a paper plate and tape it to a popsicle stick. Then pair the kids up and give them a balloon. The kids can use their “rackets” to hit the balloon back and forth. When their balloon touches the ground, that team is out. The final team to keep their balloon in the air wins. This game allows kids to use their imagination and creativity to design their paper plates and then use their fine motor skills to hit the balloon.

What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?

This game is a great option if you’re hosting an outdoor party with plenty of space. You don’t need any special items to play.

How to play: Choose one child or parent to be Mr. Wolf and tell them to stand at one end while the other children line up at the other. Collectively, the children say, “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” Mr. Wolf replies with a time, such as “3 o’clock.” The children then take that many steps forward. As the kids get closer, Mr. Wolf can say “dinner time” and then chase the group of children. If Mr. Wolf tags someone, they become the next Mr. Wolf. It’s a fun game that allows children to be active while practicing numbers.

Explore the Whole-Child Approach at Crème de la Crème

As you plan your child’s next birthday party, consider incorporating some of these fun games. Not only do they provide entertainment, but they can also support your young child’s growth and development. That’s the same approach we take at Crème de la Crème. We strongly believe that children learn best in fun and challenging environments. Along with our comprehensive curriculum, Crème de la Crème’s whole-child approach can facilitate your child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. Learn more about our curriculum or contact us today for more information.

Children Sitting on Chairs inside the Classroom by Pavel Danilyuk is licensed with Pexels License