18 Fun Indoor Games for Kids’ Birthday Parties

super sleuths game magnifying glasses
Photo: Johnny Miller

Plan a super fun birthday party with these inventive indoor games. Our easy (and inexpensive) ideas call for just a few household supplies and a little creativity. Keep the kids entertained with relay races, colorful foam, and finger painting till the party's end.

01 of 18

DIY Dress Up

diy dress up animal masks
Jennifer Causey

This fun kid's party game is fun for all kids! Instead of classic dress-up, give each child an animal mask and encourage them to act like their animal. Order a set of animal masks ($8 for 12, Oriental Trading Co.) online, or create your own!

02 of 18

Memory Game

boys playing memory game cards
Alexandra Grablewski

Perfect for small parties, this two-person game will have the kids putting their memory to the test! Create a challenging game of memory with just colored paper and photographs. You'll need 20 photos total (10 different photos, with a double of each), patterned paper, scissors, and crafts glue ($2, Target).

Cut each photo into a square, and glue patterned paper to the back of each.

To play, scramble the photos and place them all face down. Have each child pick them up one at a time until they find the matches!

03 of 18

Paper Toss

boy and girl playing paper toss game
Priscilla Gragg

Shoot and score! No need to head outside to toss around a few balls. Crumpled up paper makes a fun tossing game that won't destroy your house! Simply set up a tall basket (a plastic laundry bin works well) and give each child balls made from colorful paper ($4, Target). The child that makes the most baskets wins!

04 of 18

DIY Checkers

diy checkers boy girl game table
Adam Albright

This DIY checkerboard starts with buffalo-check fleece. To make a standard 8x8-square board, trim fabric ½-inch beyond the 8x8 grid and blanket-stitch the edges. Each player will need 12 game pieces—here we used cut rounds of wood.

05 of 18

Super Sleuths

super sleuths game magnifying glasses
Johnny Miller

A box of magnifying glasses is all you need for this fun indoor learning activity. During the party, gift each child their own miniature magnifying glass ($3 for 12, Oriental Trading Co.). Set out trays of fun things to look at like flowers, leaves, and art. Let each child take a look and share their thoughts.

06 of 18

Toppling Tower

toppling box tower kids game
Dana Gallagher

This game is a balancing act! Cover 15–20 empty boxes with colorful wrapping paper. To play, have the kids alternate stacking the boxes one on top of the other. The player who topples the tower is out! Play until only one winner remains.

07 of 18

Ice Cream Cone Relay

kids playing ice cream cone relay
Julie Bidwell

Top off an ice cream social with an indoor relay race. Divide the players into two teams and have them each form a line. Give each player an empty ice cream cone. Ready, set, go! Have each team pass a small foam ball to one another. If the ball drops, the team must start over. First team to pass the scoop down the line wins!

08 of 18

Rainbow Foam

girl playing with tub of rainbow foam
Sabrina Helas

Go ahead, let the kids get a little messy! This fluffy foam is colorful, bright, and perfect for kids. To make, place 2 tablespoons clear dish detergent ($4, Target), 1 tablespoon nontoxic tempera paint, and ¼ cup water in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend the ingredients for 1–2 minutes until stiff peaks form. For playtime, place the foam in a large plastic bin and let the kids dive in!

09 of 18

Indoor Art

girl decorating letter sequins pom-poms
Laura Moss

Keep the paint outside and opt for less-mess art projects! Here, each child is decorating a letter to match their name. Set out glue and fun embellishments like pom-poms, sequins, and washable markers ($4, Target). Let each little guest take their work of art home.

10 of 18

Indoor Hopscotch

girl playing hopscotch indoors mat
William Geddes

Beat the rainy day blues with a game of indoor hopscotch! Create the game with paper and patterned washi tape ($3, Target). Simply tape off nine rectangles, and fill each with a fun pattern. Be sure to securely attach the paper to the floor using tape.

11 of 18

Indoor Photo Booth

indoor photo booth kids large props
Priscilla Gragg

Say cheese! You can make a fun indoor photo booth with paper. To create, place cut paper clouds on a solid blue surface or hanging cloth. Create props from paper like these card stock balloons and camera. Have the kids strike a post and capture the fun of party time!

12 of 18

Pom-Pom Race

family blowing straws pom-pom race
Dana Gallagher

It's off to the races! On a long table, tape off a finish line. Divide players into two teams, and give each child a paper straw and a pom-pom. To play, set the pom-poms in a row and go! Each child will have to "blow" their pom-pom across the finish line.

13 of 18

Alphabet Find

child playing alphabet game
Ed Judice

Engage young kids in a game of letters! For this game, create an open display by gluing colorful letters in open boxes. You'll need one for each letter of the alphabet. Next, choose small objects that correspond with each letter. For example, "S" for shell, "B" for ball, and "K" for key. Challenge each child to choose the object that matches the letter!

14 of 18

Finger Painting Table

finger painting on paper covering table
Alexandra Grablewski

It's OK to get messy in the name of art! Cover a table with white paper and various colors of washable finger paints ($8, Target). Have the kids create works of art using only their fingerprints, or get the stamp pads out!

15 of 18

Household Costumes

kids wearing costumes from household items
Sabrina Helas

It's time to get creative with costumes! Set out a box filled with clean household supplies like rubber gloves, funnels, cardboard, and wooden spoons. Challenge each child to create a fun costume using only these found supplies.

16 of 18

Star Bright Painting

painting colorful stars with straws
Gretchen Easton

No need for fancy paintbrushes—a drinking straw is all you need! To create, cut a straw into five strips, 2–3 inches long each. Fan out the pieces, and dip in paint to create a festive star pattern.

17 of 18

Paint Can Toss

kids tossing balls into decorated paint cans
Greg Scheidemann

Keep those empty paint cans and put them to good use! It's time for a game of bean bag toss! Cover each can in colorful paper (we added big-eyed owls to ours), and label each one from 1 to 5. Have kids stand close at first and slowly back up as they try to toss bean bags in each.

18 of 18

Geography Test

kid playing geography test game blindfolded
Andy Lyons

Time for a pop quiz—how well do you know your geography? How about blindfolded? To play this game, give older kids a country and have them find it on a large world map with a pushpin. For an even greater challenge, blindfold them first! Be sure to watch closely as they hold the pin.

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