Cheap Indoor and Outdoor Party Games for Kids(2)

Photo booth

Everyone loves to take silly pictures! To create a photo op, gather or buy two or three frames in various shapes and then remove the glass and mat from each. Thrift shops are great places for finding inexpensive frames. Spray paint the frames in bright colors if you wish. Hang the frames at the eye level of your guests.

Options for outdoor frame hanging: a tree branch or the cross bar of a swing set with the swings removed. Indoors, set up a nice background with a blanket or poster and buy cute props.

To take pictures, instruct guests to stand behind the frames or with a prop and snap away!

Cheap Indoor and Outdoor Party Games for Kids(2)

Goal kick

If you don’t have a goal net, a fun alternative is to create a goal or target on your fence. Using sidewalk chalk, draw goalposts on the fence at different heights. Mark each with a number which corresponds to the number of points that the goal is worth.

To play, each guest tries to hit the targets by kicking a rubber ball at the goal. Give them three chances, and add up the points earned from all three tries.

You could also make this more interesting by drawing different shapes as targets instead of goal posts. For younger children, throwing the ball at the targets might be easier.

Treasure dig

This game can be played using an existing sandbox, or if you don’t have one, fill a plastic bin with play sand. Before the guests arrive, “seed” the sand with fun toys or trinkets that go with the theme of your party. Example: small plastic dinosaurs, plastic jewelry, hot wheels cars, tiny bottles of nail polish etc. To play, give kids plastic shovels and let them dig for treasure! Hint: if you have enough treasure, guests could use this game to fill their goody bags.


A classic! If you’re playing this on the street, you already know that sidewalk chalk is the way to go. But if you’re in the backyard, you can get more creative by spray painting twelve-inch pavers and adding numbers to each. Set the numbered pavers up in a hopscotch pattern and let kids hop, skip and jump!

If you don’t have pavers handy, cut out large squares from brightly colored poster board and draw on numbers with a permanent marker. Punch holes in each corner of the squares and secure to the grass with garden staples.

Pass the bag

Fill a large garbage bag with a variety of clothing items such as aprons, men’s and women’s shoes, scarves, hats, socks, ties, shirts, skirts and more. To play, have guests form a circle and pass the bag around as music plays. When the music stops, whoever is holding the bag must take something out and put it on. No searching!

They must take the first thing their hand touches. Continue until the bag is empty and all the kids are dressed in ridiculous outfits. Take pictures of the funny results!

Eat the doughnut

The object of this game is to eat a dangling doughnut with no hands! To play: hang doughnuts on strings from a high place, such as a doorway or tree branch. This game can be played in two ways.

You could have the kids try to eat their donuts individually, one at a time, or if you have room, it could be played as a race to see who finishes their doughnut first. Have at least one doughnut per party-goer plus a few extra. Frosted chocolate donuts produce the messiest — and funniest — results. Have a package of moist towelettes handy for the aftermath!

Streamer fashion show

Give each guest a roll of paper party streamers (or even toilet paper!) and some clear tape. To play: tell the guests that they have 20 minutes to make an outfit for themselves. When everyone is finished, put on some music and let them “walk the runway.”

Ask each kid to name their creation (such as toga or mummy). Announce each model as they strut down the catwalk and strike a pose! Give prizes for the silliest, most creative, etc.