Planning a backyard party for your kids this summer? Here are some of the best outdoor party games for kids of all ages. You’ll find some of your favourite classic backyard party activities here along with some really fun and creative new ideas!
My kids’ birthdays are in summer and early fall, so when they were young, we always held their parties outside in the backyard. I loved planning the simple outdoor games and activities for those parties. They were never fancy, but they were a ton of fun and they made for some of the most memorable times for my kids and their friends.
Many of my readers have asked about outdoor party ideas for their kids, and I thought it would be fun to ask our Happy Hooligans Facebook Community for their favourite for outdoor party games.
Their suggestions were amazing! There was a great mix of timeless classic activities and a lot of creative new ones. I’m excited to share some of my followers’ favourites as well as some of my own personal favourites with you today.
If you’re planning an outdoor party for your kids this summer, or even a backyard BBQ with family, friends and neighbours, here are your must-try outdoor party game ideas.
Best Outdoor Party Games for Kids
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1. Find the Gummy Bears
For this hilariously fun and entirely messy game, you’ll need canned whipped cream (or Cool Whip), gummy bears, and a plastic plate for each participant. Give everyone a plate piled high with whipped cream with 3 gummy bears hidden inside. The first person to find all of their gummy bears wins. Oh, and did I mention that no hands are allowed?
2. Homemade Bubbles
Bubbles are always a hit, especially when they’re gigantic bubbles! This homemade recipe makes the biggest bubbles ever with just 5 kitchen ingredients.
3. Treasure Hunt
Create an outdoor treasure hunt by leaving clues around the yard. Party guests can break into teams and work together to find the clues. The first group that finds the treasure wins. Here are 30 clues to get you started!
4. Donut Eating Contest
Not your traditional donut-eating contest – this kid-friendly version involves hanging donuts from a string attached to the clothesline. Participants must try to eat the swinging donuts without using their hands. Our social media friends report that this game was a huge hit with the adults in attendance too!
5. Nerf War
Break out the Nerf guns (you can get them here) for a wild and fun outdoor game! Divide kids into teams, and create a “safe zone” for each side where they can reload and restock their darts. If you don’t want kids shooting at each other, check out these creative Nerf games they can play instead.
6. Jumbo Ring Toss
Hammer a thick wooden dowel from the craft store into the lawn and have kids try to toss hula hoops around the poles. If you’re having a small party of just three or four children, get hula hoops in as many colors as you can. That way each child can have his or her own set of colored hoops to toss.
Buy a jumbo ring toss here.
Limbo never goes out of style! If you don’t have a broomstick handy, use a pool noodle as the bar. The person who can get under the lowest limbo stick wins!
8. Water Balloon Toss
For those mid-summer days when playing in the water sounds like a great idea, try a water balloon toss! Kids take turns tossing the balloon back and forth as they move further away from one another. The last team with an un-popped balloon wins. Blow up 100 self-sealing water balloons in 60 seconds with this.
If you’d rather not use balloons, go for a homemade sponge-bomb toss.
9. Musical Patio Chairs
Break out the plastic patio chairs and the music, because this classic party game is heading outdoors! For an added twist, play it blindfolded. It’ll be a whole lot more challenging and fun.
1o. Miniature Golf
Set up a miniature golf course in your own backyard with golf tees and red plastic cups. Kids can use pool noodles to hit their golf balls into the cups. The player with the lowest score wins the game.
11. Swat the Fly
This one is a favourite among toddlers and preschoolers: Print off some pictures of flies. Glue them to paper plates, and attach long string to each plate. Give half the kids the plates, and the other half, pool noodles. The kids with the plates run around the yard, dragging their flies and the others chase them, trying to smack the flies with their noodles.
12. Scavenger Hunt
Similar to a treasure hunt, a scavenger hunt is fun too. For kids who are too young to read, draw the items that they’re to find. I used to often hide all of the loot bag goodies, and make those the items for the scavenger hunt. Each child would get an empty loot bag at the beginning of the hunt, and by the time they finished, their bag would be filled with treats.
13. Messy Art Table
Squirt shaving cream over an old coffee table. Add food colouring or kool-aid powder, and let kids make designs with their hands or with popsicle sticks. See it here.
14. “Caterpillar” Hunt
Another great one for the toddlers at the party: Cut 1-2 inch lengths of different coloured wool. Place them across plants in the garden, and around the yard. Count how many you’ve hidden before starting and give prizes to whoever finds the most. Kids can work in teams or individually.
15. Obstacle Course
All ages love an outdoor obstacle course, and the possibilities are endless here. A few terrific suggestions are:
Squirt Gun Painting
16. Relay Races
Remember having relay races when you were a kid? Sack races, 3 legged races and carrying an egg on a spoon from one end of the yard to the other are classics! For an added twist, throw in a hula-hooping leg of the race!
Or try a Rainbow Relay Race: Split kids into teams and give each child a paint brush dipped in a different colour of the rainbow. The kids take turns running to a piece of poster board, and swiping their colour in a rainbow arc. The fastest team to paint a rainbow in correct colour order wins!
All of these fun and simple party games kid (and parent!) pleasers that are sure to make your party memorable this summer.
Not sure where to go to find inexpensive party game supplies? Try the dollar store as they often have hula hoops, pool noodles, squirt guns, bubble blowers and lots of great trinkets for prizes in stock at the beginning of the summer season!
Fun Treats for a Summer Party
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.