Fun And Cheap Birthday-Party Games

Your child is having a birthday party this weekend. You have the balloons, paper plates and cups. You're picking up the cake from the bakery the day before. You even have the little 'goodie bags' with bubbles and candy. Now, all you need to do is find games for the party. We all know the 'usuals' like Pin The Tail On The Donkey, but what if your child wants something different? You need to come up with some game ideas that are fun but don't take very long or require you to buy a lot of extra stuff. Believe it or not, such games *do* exist, and I've come up with a few of them. Here are some fun and silly games for your kids' birthday party.

  • Blow up some small balloons and have everyone tie them to the backs of their shoes. The object is to stomp and pop everyone else's balloons while protecting your own. Once you lose both balloons, you're out. The last person standing with an un-popped balloon wins the game. All you need to buy here is the balloons and string. Play this one outside or in a big room, or you'll also have to buy new trinkets to replace the newly-broken ones!
  • As a cross between Pin The Tail On The Donkey and tag, appoint two or three kids to be the 'donkeys'. Have that person wear a streamer or bandana or something to use as a 'flag'. The object of the game is to steal the 'flag' from the donkey. Once the flag is stolen, that 'donkey' is either out or begins to chase the other 'donkeys', whichever you choose. Whichever child gets the flag first wins a prize, as does the donkey who goes the longest without losing their flag! You won't have to buy anything at all, since you can use cloths or other things you already have.
  • You could reverse Pin The Tail On The Donkey and give a prize to whoever misses the target by the most while still being on the poster board or section of wall the donkey is on. All you'll need to buy is the poster board to draw the donkey on, tape and paper to cut into 'tails'.
  • Find a marble or a small rubber ball. Take some cardboard tubes-such as those for paper towels or toilet paper-and cut them in half. Have the kids stand in a line and pass the rolling ball to each other using only the tubes. Depending on how many kids you have, a child is 'out' when he drops the ball. The last person left holding the ball wins. You probably already have the rolls, and the ball can be found in a candy machine for about fifty cents!

Now you should have some ideas for games your party guests can play that won't cost much (if anything) to start. There isn't a whole lot of clean-up involved either, which is even better! Have fun!


  1. I especially like the tie a balloon to the back of their shoes game and the ball in cardboard tubes game ideas. Those both seem like they would be wildly entertaining to kids. I didn't realize a birthday party could be so inexpensive. My son's 5th birthday is coming up soon and I'll be sure to try out those games.

  2. I've played the balloon game and it's really fun! It is *definitely* and 'outside' game, though.

  3. Very simple and inexpensive suggestions, thank you!!

  4. Don't forget those even more simple games like old-fashioned "Mother May I", "Red Light Green Light", "Simon Says", etc.

    Those may have been around forever, but they still work on most of the techie-kids now a days too.

  5. That's true Michele, some things work for every generation.
    I know this may be kind of involved, but making a homemade pinata can be a whole lot cheaper than buying one, as long as you substitute some of the supplies with paper scraps (newspapers, pieces of construction paper, etc.) you might have lying around.