Parents

6 cheap ways to entertain kids at a birthday party

Try these easy, inexpensive games to keep your birthday guests busy and entertained at the party.

group of kids having fun at a birthday a party

Photo: Erik Putz

The invitations have been sent, and it won’t be long before your child’s birthday party! How will you keep them entertained for two hours? That’s the age-old question—and one of the main reasons why some parents host birthday parties at venues like trampoline parks and movie theatres! But if keeping the kids busy is your job, and you need ideas, we’re here to help. Here are six fun, wholesome birthday party games that don’t cost much (or anything), and are sure to win the kids over.

1. Freeze dance

Play music and have kids dance around. When the music stops, they have to freeze. Even if it’s not your style, choose a popular pop song the kids are sure to know. A familiar tune make the game that much more fun.

2. Simon Says

Go old school with this classic. Let the birthday kid be the leader (“Simon”) first if they’d like to. Consider a small prize for the winner.

3. Face painting

You could hire a pro, but most kids aren’t too picky, especially two-, three- and four-year-olds. Ask a friend to be in charge of the face painting—just have them watch a few YouTube tutorials first.

4. Balloon pit

Fill a room with dozens of balloons, close the door and let the kids have a blast! Guests can also take a balloon or two with them, as part of their loot bag.

5. Scavenger hunt

Create and hand out lists of things that can be found outside—leaf, stick, stone, pine cone—and send the crew out to hunt.

6. Take it outside

If weather permits and you can secure a spot, head to the park. Bring Frisbees and balls. Or, tell guests it’s a Bring Your Own Wheels party. Meet at the schoolyard or park with scooters, bikes and trikes.

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