21 Kids Birthday Party Ideas for an At-Home Celebration

bug-themed party favor tags
Photo: Carson Downing

These kid-tested activities are easy to prepare and sure to be a hit at the party. We're sharing fun ideas for DIY party games and hands-on activities. These birthday party ideas are perfect for kids of all ages!

01 of 21

DIY Sidewalk Paint

sidewalk paint cupcake tin dark hands painting
Courtesy of Alice + Lois

This fun kids' activity sounds messy, but it's really not! Mix up batches of homemade sidewalk paint (you only need three ingredients!) in colors that match the party theme, then set the kids loose with tins of paint and inexpensive foam brushes. Because it's made from cornstarch, water, and food coloring, the painted designs will wash right off the driveway or sidewalk when the party is over.

02 of 21

Balancing Act

kids playing party game with presents
Ryan Liebe

This quick and easy party game for kids puts their balancing skills to the test! Wrap light boxes in fun wrapping paper ($4, Target) and give each child their own. Have them walk slowly in a circle while balancing the boxes on their heads. Gradually speed up the pace and see who can balance them the longest!

03 of 21

Fun Photobooth

Parents Magazine girl dog rainbow
Ari Michelson

Capture fun party memories with a DIY photo booth. Pool noodles and oversize balls are all you need to strike a pose! Set up the props against a plain wall and let the kiddos choose their own! Fun ideas include sunglasses, pom-poms, and these rainbow shirts. Simply cut colored pool noodles into strips and glue them to poster board in a rainbow shape. Add a ribbon to hang.

04 of 21

Play Croquet

croquet mallets leaning against white bench with croquet balls on ground
Marty Baldwin

This backyard activity is perfect for older kids. Gather the group and teach everyone how to play croquet, then let kids each choose a mallet from a croquet set. Most croquet sets come with six or eight mallets, so this is a fun game for smaller groups.

05 of 21

Party Limbo

kids playing limbo
Anthony Masterson

How low can you go? A broom or stick is all you need to set up this fun party activity. Limbo, the classic party game, is perfect for kids. Simply lower the broom with each turn and see which child can go the lowest!

06 of 21


girl with pink dye
Allison Cottrill

Let's tie-dye! Collect each child's shirt size before the party begins, and provide each child with a white cotton tee and a pair of rubber gloves before handing out bottles of dye from a tie dye kit ($10, Target). This activity has the potential to be messy, so plan to do this one outside.

07 of 21

Party Painting

close-up kids painting small canvas
Laura Moss

This fun party activity for kids puts their artistic skills on display. Cover a long table with plain paper and set out colorful art supplies like paint, markers, crayons, and more! Give each child a small canvas ($10 for an 8-pack, Target) and let them create their own masterpiece.

Editor's Tip: Choose washable paint for easy cleanup!

08 of 21

Outdoor Can Toss

outdoor can toss
David Roth

Don't throw out those used tin cans! A quick coat of acrylic craft paint transforms them into a fun yard game. Simply stack them in a pyramid and let each birthday guess take a toss. They won't take much to knock down, a beanbag should do the trick.

09 of 21

DIY Slime

bug-themed party favor tags
Carson Downing

A slime-making station will be the hit of your next birthday party. Perfect for inside or out, set up a long table with all the supplies it takes to make homemade slime. Give each kid a glass jar and our free printable tags, and you've got a fun party activity that doubles as a take-home gift.

10 of 21

DIY Sidewalk Chalk

ice pop sidewalk chalk four assorted chalk circles pavement
Courtesy of Alice and Lois

Sure, you could entertain a group of kids with regular sidewalk chalk—but for a special occasion, try making your own! Make our DIY sidewalk chalk in shapes and colors that match the party theme for a fun outdoor activity.

11 of 21

Sweet Swimmers

boy holding bag of gummy fish
Alexandra Grablewski

Create a party activity that doubles as a sweet party favor. Set up a bowl of gummy fish candy and give each child a net for "catching." Have them fish for sweets and package them up in a clear bag to take home.

12 of 21

Classic Games

three board games
Adam Albright

Create DIY game boards, and you've got a fun indoor party activity. Made with simple materials and decorated to fit your theme, these handmade games are fun for kids of all ages. Set them up on a long table for an afternoon of competitive play!

13 of 21

DIY Party Crowns

child making party crown
Christie Spencer

Construction paper and confetti are all you need to create colorful birthday party crowns. Get our free template and set out all of the supplies each child will need to create their own party hats. Fun embellishments include sequins, tissue paper, beads, and pom-poms.

14 of 21

Handmade Flower Crowns

cupcake liner flower crown craft
Adam Albright

Perfect for a floral-theme birthday party, these DIY flower crowns are the prettiest party favor we've ever seen. Set up a do-it-yourself station during the party and let each guest create their own. You'll need faux flowers, twine, and glue.

15 of 21

Inspector Party Game

young kids playing with magnifying glasses
Johnny Miller

Let the little ones play detective with a fun party game. Give each child a magnifying glass and set out clues to solve a party mystery or complete a scavenger hunt. Have each clue lead to another until the mystery is solved or the item is found!

16 of 21

Fun Frog Masks

cupcake-liner frog mask craft
Adam Albright

Set up a crafting station at your next indoor birthday party. Let each kid create their own take-home animal mask. It's assembled from inexpensive supplies like colorful muffin tin liners ($3, Walmart) and is perfect for that party-time photo booth.

17 of 21

Hop to It

kids playing birthday party game
Johnny Miller

Squares of colorful paper and some tape are all it takes to create this fun DIY birthday party game. Set up a winding path of cut paper and let the kiddos jump from square to square. If anyone steps on the floor, they're out!

18 of 21

Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe

kids playing disc tic-tac-toe outdoors
Kinzie Riehm

A shower curtain, tape, and colorful flying disks are all it takes to create this fun birthday party game. Use tape to mark the squares of a tic-tac-toe board. Have players take turns throwing their flying disks onto the board.

19 of 21

Bottle Toss

diy outdoor kids game
David Roth

Hold on to those used bleach bottles—they're the start of a fun kids party game. Cut the bottom off a cleaned bottle and remove the label. Decorate with paint or colorful washi tape ($7 for 10 rolls, Walmart) and use them to play catch!

20 of 21

Birthday Present Stack

kids game stacked presents
Dana Gallagher

Who can stack the highest? This easy game for kids is a total balancing act. Have kids stack alternating boxes wrapped in colorful paper. The player who topples the tower loses. Use boxes in a variety of sizes to make the game challenging.

21 of 21

Cone Relay Race

indoor kids ice cream cone party game
Julie Bidwell

This indoor relay race is all about speed and teamwork! Give each child an empty ice cream cone and have them pass a small ball. The first team to get the ball to every player without dropping it wins.

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