Best Indoor and Outdoor Birthday Party Games for Kids

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Best Indoor and Outdoor Birthday Party Games for Kids by Yombu
Yombu Post Author Chanel Hoole

Written by (Author):  Chanel Hoole
Last updated:  November 13, 2023

A million dollar question like, ‘how do we keep all the children entertained at the party?’ should have a million dollar answer. That’s why when it comes to the Best Indoor and Outdoor Birthday Party Games for Kids, we know that one size does not necessarily fit all. We have loads of options for you on both fronts, because variety is the spice of the party life – and super helpful when you really don’t know which way to turn.

Indoor Birthday Party Games

Indoor party games are, basically, anything you can play inside four walls. Sometimes the weather doesn’t play along but you’ve got a bunch of energetic children on your hands and you need to keep them entertained. This is just one reason why having an arsenal of indoor party games like musical statues, pass the parcel and musical chairs on hand is great, plus having to tailor an activity to the indoors opens up creative and critical thinking.

Indoor Birthday Party Games Ideas

Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become all the party rage over the last couple of years. It’s a real-life adventure activity, where you have to decipher clues, crack codes and solve puzzles in order to successfully escape the locked room. Don’t worry, if you don’t manage to solve all the clues within the 60 minutes allotted time, they do let you out!

You can create this adventure at home too!

Things you need:

  • Your unique problem solving skills
  • An escape room in a box, if you go that route – find it here

Or a booking at an escape room center – check out this article on the best escape rooms in the US and find one near you

Here is some info on how to build your own escape game at home

How to play:

Upon entering the room, immediately start looking for clues, being aware of any patterns that emerge. Communicate with your team mates on what you find. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck on something if it’s taking too long. Move on to the next item.

Tips/safety reminders:

  • Don’t take anything for granted. Examine every rug, painting, box, and book shelf.
  • Solving a puzzle doesn’t necessarily lead anywhere but sometimes it does, so keep track of what’s been solved.
  • Work as a team – everyone has different skills.

Laser Maze

This ThinkFun board game encourages the development of STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) by using mirrors and beam-splitters to solve a laser maze pattern. Follow the challenge instructions, use a little logic and try to light up the maze target.

Things you need:

A Laser Maze board game – find it here

How to play:

Set up the challenge tokens on the board as per the instructions of the challenge card. However, they don’t tell you everything, and you will need to move some things around in order to create the laser pattern and hit the target.

Tips/safety reminders:

Logic games use deductive reasoning, which means that we use known facts to make logical conclusions. Games like Sudoku can help improve deductive reasoning that is needed for logic games.

Limbo

Classic limbo involves two people, usually of adult size, holding a stick or bar horizontally at shoulder height and participants dancing or shimmying underneath without touching it. If they do, they’re out. Every round the stick/bar gets lowered a bit to make it more challenging.

You can make this game more exciting for a kids party by using the following variations:

  • Water limbo – using a hose pip to squirt a stream of water in a line to act as the bar
  • Crabwalk limbo – start the bar lower than usual and have participants crab walk underneath
  • Freeze and Limbo – every time the music stops you freeze, no matter what position you’re in
  • Quiz limbo – ask the participant a question before they limbo. If they get it right, the bar stays the same height and if they get it wrong, the bar gets lowered

Things you need:

Broom stick/PVC pipe/hose pipe etc.

Music

How to play:

Pump the music and let the participants form a line behind the bar. One by one, they shimmy underneath. If they touch it with any part of their body, they’re out. They aren’t allowed to duck underneath.

Tips:

Just relax! Nobody is flexible when they’re stiff

Indoor and outdoor kids party games Limbo Yombu
Limbo kids party game

Simon Says

Simon Says is a classic kids party game that is perfect for kids as young as 3. You can tailor the instructions according to the age level.

Things you need:

Someone to be Simon

A group of kids who know how to follow instructions – or not

How to play:

The person dubbed Simon will call out instructions like (Simon Says) ‘shake like a leaf’ or ‘stand on one leg’ and the participants must perform the action. If Simon calls out the next action without preceding it with ‘Simon says’ and participants do the action anyway, they’re out.

Tips/safety reminders:

You can trick participants by getting them to watch you for the action and mixing your instruction with the wrong move. For example, you can say, ‘Simon says, touch your shoulder’ but you touch your stomach. Those watching may touch their stomach too because they were watching more than they were listening.

Another trick is to get them moving between two actions very quickly but then leave out ‘Simon says’ once they think they can predict the pattern.

Include a rich variety of movements so that things don’t become boring – touch, stand, sit, shake, wave, get into a position etc.

Simon Says kids party game Yombu
Simon Says kids party game
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Outdoor Party Games

Outdoor birthday party games are wonderful because they get to be played outside in the sunshine, on grass, or in a pool. Besides soaking up all the healthy Vitamin D, outdoor birthday party games reduce cabin fever and get the children into a space where they can run around freely. With all this extra room, having a large number of attendees needn’t be an overwhelm any longer and your child can definitely have their entire class over! Maybe.

Outdoor Birthday Party Games Ideas

Frisbee Toss

Sometimes simply throwing a frisbee is a great way to kill time, but it needn’t stop there! If your children enjoy a good game of frisbee, add some exciting variations to mix things up at a birthday party.

Things you need:

A frisbee – hard or foam

Bowling pins

Kanjam or buckets/trash cans

How to play:

Frisbee bowling – toss soft foam frisbees at bowling pins and try to knock down as many as possible

Ultimate Frisbee – like American Football with a Frisbee! See a tutorial here.

Play Kanjam – toss frisbees into or against your can. The more challenging the throw, the higher the point. Aim for a dinger or a dunk. If you don’t want to purchase Kanjam, then you can use any large bucket or trash can as your target.

Tips/safety reminders:

Don’t throw in a rush

Know how to hold a frisbee properly in order to throw accurately

It’s easier to catch with both hands

Ultimate Frisbee kids outdoor party game Yombu
Ultimate Frisbee kids party game

Water Gun Games

Water guns are extremely versatile and you can turn anything into a game when you’ve got a water gun in your hands. We’ve chosen some favorites for you.

Things you need:

Water guns – get them here

Bubbles

Glass bottles

Ping pong balls

How to play:

Shoot the ping pongs – place ping pong balls on top of glass bottles for the children to shoot off. You can start close and extend the distance as each round goes. Just be sure of the range of your water gun beforehand.

Bubble shooting – the safest skeet shooting ever. Blow bubbles in the air and have the children pop them with the water gun.

Watercolor fight – fill the water guns with water and watercolors. Then shoot everyone’s t-shirts full of color!

Tips/safety reminders:

Wear goggles if you opt for the watercolor fight, as well as t-shirts you won’t mind staining, in case not all the watercolor paint comes out completely. In which case you’ll have an awesome tie-dye t-shirt.

Water Gun outdoor kids party games Yombu
Water Gun kids party games

Wooden Block Stacking Game, i.e. Giant Jenga

Giant Jenga is a wonderful lawn game that, though simple, tests your patience and dexterity, plus is a lot more fun than it seems. It can keep the kids entertained for hours.

Things you need:

Giant Jenga – purchase it here

A large enough lawn/outdoor space that is flat enough to support the tower without it falling over

How to play:

Begin stacking by placing three blocks next to each other with the wide side face up. Then stack another three blocks on top, perpendicular to the first three. Continue building the layers until you’ve used all the blocks. The average tower has about 18 layers.

Then, take a block from any level and place it on top of the structure. Each round will make the structure higher and the base less stable. The aim is to be strategic in how you remove blocks so that you don’t cause the tower to fall over.

Tips/safety reminders:

Write instructions or questions on random blocks for the children to follow/answer to make things more fun!

Yard Maze

Unless you have the patience to grow your own maze by mowing the same pattern into the grass and letting the rest grow into wall, having a backyard maze might seem impossible. But there are options:

Rent an inflatable maze from Magic Jump Rentals

Build your own – check out this guide for building a haunted maze, which can be adapted to your theme. This one does take more time and effort, but the results are worth it!

Things you need:

An inflatable maze

Building materials and tools, according to the guide you choose

How to play:

Find your way through the maze to get out the other side.

Tips/safety reminders:

One way to find a route out is to keep your right hand along the wall and follow it consistently. This may make the route longer but will eventually get you out.

Have a maze master who knows the maze well, who can rescue anyone who gets stuck – but don’t make it so complicated that people get horribly lost!

When you have an idea of what makes for the Best Indoor and Outdoor Birthday Party Games for Kids, then you never need fear any party season. With the coziness of indoor games and the freedom and physical benefit of outdoor games, there is definitely something for every taste and occasion. We hope your party is a smashing success, and if you want a pro to help you keep all the children under control, consider hiring one of Yombu’s awesome Kids Party Entertainers.

FAQ’s:

What games are both indoor and outdoor?

Hide and seek, table tennis, badminton and basketball are games that can be played indoors and outdoors, though some may require a special venue.

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    1. Shanice Carr

      So many fun throwback games to play that I spent HOURS playing when I was a kid. Lots of parents accompany their children to birthday parties so this would also be a good way to make sure the parents can participate in the festivities. Would you be able to do a separate blog post on throw back party games?