Outdoor Birthday Party Games for Kids

The outdoor birthday party games you find below are all what I consider summer birthday party ideas, because they are all easiest played outdoor. But of course you can play them all in the winter, spring and fall, it just take a little consideration about the clothes the guests are going to wear.

What all these party games have in common is that you have to have more space for playing them than you normally have indoor, unless of course you live in a huge house, or have access to some kind of common room.

These kids outdoor games can be played with only kids, with your guidance, but I have often been at birthday parties where a lot of the guests were family members and parents to friends of the birthday child, and I think those games have been outstanding the most funny I have experienced!
The adults loved to be allowed to play again, and the children loved to play with their parents and uncles and friends, all the adults they know and love.

Also I remember from my own childhood, the fun it was when my older family members took part in the birthday party games and were childish and silly and a lot more fun than when they were sitting and talking all the time.

Fun Outdoor Birthday Party Games:


Topple Tins:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 2 – 10
You need: 10 – 12 empty cans, you can upgrade the game with paper bands on the cans and make the kids make drawings on them.
5 balls:  tennis balls, or soft balls. You can even use a ball made of a pair of socks, when the kids are very young.

Stack the cans with 5 or 4 at the bottom and then 4/3 on top of them, then 3/2 and so on.

You can make the kids try a test toss to see what the distance between the cans and the thrower shall be, then make a line on the ground.
The kid who shall toss the ball shall stand behind that line.

Each kid has 5 attempts to topple the tins. You can give points after how many tins the kid manages to topple, maybe the bottom tins give more points, or you can just give points when there is one tin toppled over.

outdoor birthday party games


Demolish the Tower:

Age: 6 years and up
Number of participants:4 – 12
You need: a soccer ball, lots of empty paint buckets

This outdoor party game has some things in common with the one above, but this one shall certainly only be played outdoor!

You stack lots of old empty paint buckets, make them into a high tower.
One person, often the birthday child to start with, is now the Watcher of the Tower. The other kids (and maybe grown up as well) shall play the ball like when they play soccer, and try to kick the ball to demolish the tower, while the Watcher of the Tower shall defend it.

The player who manage to demolish the tower so that all the buckets are toppled over will become the next Watcher of the Tower.

This  outdoor birthday party game makes a lot of noise, and most boys just love it!


Follow the leader:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 4 – 12
You need: –

All the birthday guest, or at least all the kids, make a row. The birthday child starts being the leader.

The leader goes forward and all the other children follow. Now the leader leads the row like a snake through the field or garden, while he or she does something like lifting a hand, shouting something several times, wiggle his bum, turns and goes backwards.
The rest of the kids shall do the same.
After a while you shout: Change the leader! and the leader runs to the back of the row, and the next leader takes over.

There is no competition here, it’s all just for the fun of it.


Tag, You’re it:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 4 – 16
You need: –

This game is also called Tig, or just Tag. We all know the basic rules: One person is “it”, and runs to touch another person in the game, shouting “You’re it”, and then this person is “it”.

I think most parents and brothers and sisters have played this game from when the children have learned to run, but I have recommended the age to be 5 years and up because I find that first from this age do most kids have an understanding of the rules.

You can play this game with a lot of variations: the person who has been tagged stand frozen, but can be freed by another player tagging her/him and saying “You’re free”.

This outdoor birthday game can be a little wild, so I will recommend that it is played on grass or sand if possible.


Duel with Apples:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 4 – 12
You need: two spoons with two apples, two swords or sticks

Two kids shall be dueling with cooking spoons or some kind of rounded sticks or swords.

The difficult thing is that the contestants in the other hand have a spoon with an apple, and  the duel is actually not about hitting each other, but about hitting the opponents spoon and make the apple fall down.

Each child then of course has to defend his or hers apple.

When a child looses the apple, the next two opponents take over. You can play this just for the fun of it, or let the winners duel against each other and have a winner in the end.

duel with apples for birhtdayAC

Cross the River:

Age: 6 years and up
Number of participants: 2 – 12
You need: 4 thick books (to throw away, like old phone books) or 4 pieces of wood like cutting boards

The kids play this game 2 and 2, sometimes 3 if needed and if you have enough phone books).

You define the river with two ropes, or by making lines on the ground, maybe with chalk. The river should be approx 7 feet.
Each player gets two books or cutting boards, and shall now cross the river by walking on the “stones” in the river.

Each player places the stones and must only place ONE foot on each stone.
After finding the balance on the first “stone”, the kids shall take the other one and place it in front of him or her, so they again can take a step to cross the river.
If the player falls in the river, he/she shall start over again or is out of the game.


All in a Heap:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 6 and up
You need: –

You name a leader of the game, preferable the first time the birthday child.

Now, when you shout “All in a Heap” the rest of the children shall entagle with each other, extricate themselves in as many ways as possible, until you shout “stop!”.

The leader of the game shall now clean up the heap without touching, only by telling the others what to do.
Like “Susan, lift your left leg away from Bob’s right arm” – the kids shall do exactly what the leader says, even if it doesn’t help untangling the heap. And those kids who are not mentioned shall do nothing.

Change the leader for each round of the game.


Read light, Green light:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 5 and up
You need: –

This is a really funny game, also for teenagers, and it can be played almost everywhere.

One player is the “stoplight” and stand face away from the other players. They all stand behind a line, maybe 15 feet away from the “stoplight”.

The game starts when the “stoplight” shouts GREEN LIGHT. All the other players run towards the “stoplight” who shouts “RED LIGHT” and turns around.
Whoever is seen moving is called by name and has to go back to start again.

When one player manage to come up to the “stoplight” and touch “it”, this player is now the next “stoplight”.

This summer birthday party game becomes nerve-racking when the players get so advanced they can end up standing with a hand few inches from the “stoplight”.


Feed the Monster:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 2 – 10
You need: 1 big piece of cardboard, acrylic ink or other colors, string, 5 balls 

On the cardboard paint a monster, a lion or a dragon. The important thing is to paint the animal with a big open mouth.
Now you cut the mouth, and hang the cardboard with string in a tree or a football goal or something similar.

The players line up 6 – 13 feet away from the monster, depending on the age of the children.
Now all the players gets 5 attempts to shoot a ball through the mouth of the monster.

You can play it just for the fun of it, or give points for successful attempts to feed the monster.


Duck, duck, Goose:

Age: 2 years and up
Number of participants: 9 and up
You need: –

One player walks around a circle created by all the other participants sitting down, facing inwards.

He or she walks around the circle tapping each of the sitting participants lightly on the head while saying “duck”, “duck” as many times as he or she likes.
At some point he/she says “goose” instead of “duck”, and the person named goose gets up, runs after the “tagger” and try to reach the “tagger”.

The intent of the “tagger” is to run to the place where the “goose” was sitting. If the “tagger” succeed, the “goose” now becomes the “tagger”.

If the “tagger” is tagged by the “goose” before sitting down on the empty seat, then the “goose” can sit down and the “tagger” continues.
You can make this party game a bit wilder with the rule, that if the “goose” manage to tag the “tagger”, then the “goose”  shall run the opposite way round the circle to get to the empty seat, and the only chance the “tagger” has is to run after the “goose” and try to tag again – and so on 🙂

Kids’ Outdoor Party Games with Water:

To play kids games including water is always a success, but for a birthday it will be such a good idea to tell the guests before, because they might very well need bathing suits and/or extra clothes. After all one of the fun thing about games with water is that you can get wet!

Stafet with water balloons:

Age: 6 years and up
Number of participants: 6 and more
You need: 3 water balloons for each team (and some extra because some of them might break before start)

The guests are divided into teams of 3-5 people, and the game field shall be marked by lines or something clearly visible.

Each team has 3 water balloons, and when the game starts, the team shall transport their water balloons from start to the end of the field.
They can do it in any way they want, but
1. When a player has the water balloon, they are not allowed to go anywhere
2. The water balloons shall be intact when they reach the end of the field.

So the players can throw the water balloons, from one end of the field to the other (if they dare) or they can throw the balloons from one player to the other.
The team who gets their water balloons to the end of the field first and has more whole balloons than the other team, wins the game.

Fill the bucket:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 2 and more
You need: 1 spoon and a bucket (or some other container) for each guest, a couple of large buckets with water.

You mark a race field approx 26 – 34 feet.
At the start line you place some buckets with water.
Each player gets a spoon (all the spoons have to be alike) and when you shout “Start” each player fill their spoon with water from the bucket and runs or walks to the other end of the game field, where they drop the water from their spoon into their own personal container.
Now they run back as soon as they have dropped the water, fill the spoon again, and so on until you shout “Stop” or until the first player has filled hers or his container, if it is a small one.

The player with most water in their bucket/container has won.

Stafet with water:

Age: 5 years and up
Number of participants: 6 and more
You need: a bucket with water for each team, preferably a plastic bucket,  and a measuring jug

This is one of the kids’ outdoor games where the players can become really wet, especially if the guests are boys and older than 7 years, so be sure the guest have change clothes with them.

You mark a race field.
The guests are divided into teams with 3 – 6 in each team.
Each team is given a bucket filled with water, and when you start the game, the first in the team shall cross the game field to the end and back, hand over the bucket to the next player and so on, until all players in the team has crossed the game field with the bucket.
If each team consist of only 3 people, you might want them to cross the field twice each person.

In the end the team that finish first gets two points, and then each team gets two points for each deciliter  or half liter water they have left in the bucket.

Snow Games to Play on a Birthday:

Then again, there are a lot of things you can do if there is snow when you are celebrating your child’s birthday.

Building a snowman is maybe the first thing you do when it snows, and it is so much fun!

building a snowman

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