10 Fun Outdoor Party Games for Kids

Birthday parties and large family gatherings usually have a lot of kids at them. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find great outside activities that can accommodate more than a handful of children. \

This article discusses some different games your kids can play at large parties at home. All the games in this article can be played with as little as two kids up to basically an unlimited number of children.

Better yet, all of the games in this article can be played with kids of almost all ages—so long as they are old enough to follow directions. Some of these games take a little bit of preparation on the part of parents and some of the games take no preparation at all! 

With such a wide variety of games to cover, we better get started! Below are ten great games that are sure to be a treat at any type of party with children attending.

  • All of these games can be played outside.
  • Adults can join in to play too.
  • No large equipment is required for any of the games.

Tables of Contents

  • Pin the Tail on the Donkey
  • Water Balloon Toss
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Pop the Balloon
  • Balloon Volleyball
  • Telephone
  • Mystery Bag
  • Relay Race
  • Capture the Flag
  • Charades
Excited kids about to plays some fun outdoor party games

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Possibly the most classic party game of all time is Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Most parents had probably played this game at parties when they were young. 

To play this game, all you need is a picture of a donkey and several cut out donkey tails (one for each player). The tails should be sticky (use tape) so that it sticks to the donkey picture easily. 

When it’s time to play, the first player should be blindfolded. To mix them up a little, spin the child around a few times. Then, the child tries to stick the tail to the donkey picture. The next player does this as well and this continues until everyone has had a turn. The winner is the person who put the tail closest to the correct spot.

This game can also be altered to fit a party theme. For example, if a child is having a dinosaur themed party, the game could instead be Pin the Tail on the T-Rex or another dinosaur. The same rules would apply, but you would simply use a different picture and tails.

Water Balloon Toss

The Water Balloon Toss party game is great for summer birthday parties. This game can work with any number of children, but it will work best with an even number of children. 

To play, have children pair off. Line up the children in even rows and have the pairs stand across from each other. One child from each pair starts out with a water balloon. Next, they throw the balloon to their partner. If their partner catches the balloon, they take a step back. If they miss the balloon and it pops, they sit down. The last pair with a balloon intact wins!

Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt is perfect for pirate-themed birthday parties. There are so many ways to play this, but the most common way is to set up clues in advance that lead to a final treasure, which could be a prize or just about anything else. This game can be played with children in groups, pairs, or working by themselves to solve clues to find the treasure.

If you are playing with children who might not be able to read clues yet, another fun way to play would be to make a map with clues or a pathway drawn out. This way could also be fun even for children who can read.

Another way to work around the problem of some children not being able to read is to have adults at specific points who can give out clues vocally. This way, children can hear the clues without needing to read. As a bonus, this also means that parents wouldn’t need to write up clues or make a map.

Pop the Balloon

Pop the Balloon is an easy game that any number of children of any age can play both outside and inside. As a bonus, it takes very little preparation to play. To play, each child gets a balloon on a string. Ideally, the balloons will NOT be filled with helium, so they lay on the ground.

Before the game starts, each child needs to tie the balloon’s string to their leg or shoe. Once everyone has the balloon set up, the game begins. Players need to try to pop other player’s balloons while protecting their own at the same time. When your balloon is popped, you’re out! The person with the last un-popped balloon wins.

Balloon Volleyball

Next up is Balloon Volleyball, and the name of the game goes a long way to explaining how it works. Like regular volleyball, the children should be divided up into two teams. There should be one team on each side of the volleyball net. If you’re playing outside, a laundry line will make for a great net. If you do not have a laundry line, even lining up a jump rope on the ground or drawing a line with chalk can work—having a dividing line is what matters most.

To play, simply act as though you are playing volleyball! The players need to bop the balloon to the other side. If the balloon hits the ground, the team on the opposite side gets a point. The first team to a predetermined amount of points wins.

Telephone

Telephone is a classic game that can be played inside and outside. To play, the players (any number of children) line up. An adult whispers a phrase to the first child in line. Then the child whispers what they heard. This continues until the last person in line gets the message. When they hear it, they say loud enough, for everyone to hear, what they heard. Then the original phrase is told. The funny part comes when the players see how different the two phrases are!

Mystery Bag

Mystery Bag is a fun guessing game that anyone can play with any number of people. However, the game takes a little bit of preparation beforehand. To play, an object is put in a paper bag. The players then take turns trying to guess what the object inside the bag is. They can touch and shake the bag, but they cannot look into it or reach their hand inside the bag! If they guess the item right, they win whatever is in the bag!

An alternative way to play this game is to have the birthday boy or girl guess what their present is before they open it. They can call on the person who gave the gift to give clues as to what it is. Of course, the kid can keep the present whether they guess right or not!

Relay Race

A great team-based party game for kids is a relay race. This game can be done with almost any large group of kids, so long as they are old enough to follow directions. Divide the children up into equal teams (it doesn’t matter how many children are on each team, so long as there are at least two members of the team).

To play relay race, there should be some sort of racecourse set up. This could be as simple as running from one end of the street to the other, running around the house, or something similar. When the race starts, the first player runs their lap. When they get back to the beginning, they need to tag in the next player to run. Whichever team has all players complete the race first wins.

kids outside games at parties
Kids love playing a relay race on sunny day

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a classic gym class game that can work well at parties too. To play, divide the children up into two equal teams. Each team gets a flag (or a specific object) to guard. Put a dividing line in the middle of whatever area you are playing in. Each team needs to try to keep their flag in this area.

During the game, players from each team need to try to steal the other team’s flag. There can be additional rules added, such as if you get touched by someone on their side, you’re out or have to go back to your side. Whatever house rules you apply, the game ends when one team gets the other team’s flag over to their side.

Charades

Charades is another classic game that children and adults of all ages can play. The players can be divided up into teams or not, depending on how you want to play. If you use teams, then the team who guesses the most charades correctly wins. If you do not use teams, then the single person who guesses the most charades right wins.

To play, it is usually easiest to have a bunch of various charades written down on paper and put in a hat to randomly pick from. However, you can also avoid prep by just letting people pick whatever they want without needing to make papers to pick from.

All of these games are great for birthday parties and other family gatherings. Many of these games have the bonus of being easy to play with large groups of people of nearly all ages. Which of these party games will you try next? 

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