Fun Ideas for
Birthday Party Games

Birthday Party Games.
It can be so much fun planning the games for your Birthday Party. Whatever type of party you are having, from a family get together, to a party full of college friends, birthday games always seem to go down well.

Think about how many people will be at your party and what the age range will be. If you have a large crowd, you may wish to plan several games to run at the same time and split people into groups. This is a good way to get people to mix at a party. Each group can move around the games, and you can plan food and cake in between.

Birthday Party Game Ideas

Charades

McGarrity's Cat

Pass the Parcel with Forfeits

Wink Murder

Sardines

Picture It

Sculpt It

One Thing You Didn't Know About Me

Guess The Object

Knobbly Knees

Shopping List

Charades
This birthday party game can be as informal as you like. The purpose of the game is for someone to 'perform' a title from a book, play, song or film using only gestures. The people watching this performance have to try and guess the title from these gestures.

How to play
The charades fall into set categories- the usual ones are a movie, a play, a book, a song, a TV show and a well known saying.

To prepare before the party starts, get copies of recent TV guides and cut out titles of TV shows and movies. Another idea is to cut out titles from book catalogues, or to find titles of books, plays, movies and sayings on the internet. You need a pile of random titles that you can place into a container for use at the party.

If you are short of time, you may prefer just to leave it up to party guests to think of their own titles as they play.

To play this classic birthday party game, split the party guests into teams- this adds excitement and a little competition. It also helps to get the party people mixing well.
Here are two versions of Charades, although there are many variations.

  1. Version 1: The person who is performing the charade chooses a slip of paper from the container, which has a title falling into one of the categories.This person will use gestures to signal this title to the teams. Once the title has been guessed correctly, a player from the other team comes up a takes a title out of the container, and begins their starring role! The first team to guess the title gets the point. The team with the most points at the end wins.
  2. Version 2: One person from each team is selected and one picks a slip of paper from the container, which they both look at. Each person goes back to their own team and uses gestures to signal this title to their own team only. Again, the team that guesses correctly first gets the point. Another actor is selected from each team, they go and select one of the slips from the containers and the next round of the game begins.

You can make the game more difficult by putting a time restriction on the performances.

Play the game as you will best enjoy it, and add your own variations to make it unique to you.

Gestures
  1. The performer tells the teams what type of title it is:
    • For a book use your hands as if opening up a book
    • For a play, use hands to signal the shape of theatre curtains
    • For a song, gesture as is singing aloud
    • For a TV programme, draw an imaginary television
    • For a film, turn the handle of an imaginary old fashioned movie camera
  2. The performer then holds up fingers signalling the number of words in the title, for example, three fingers = three words
  3. The teams shout out their responses and when a response is correct the performer points to the correct person and points to their own nose
  4. For a word that is almost correct, the performer points to the person and nods, then may make other gestures to help the teams guess the correct word (moving hands apart to indicate a longer word, or plural; hands together to indicate a shorter word, or singular)
  5. If a word can be broken into syllabuls to make it easier to perform, then the performer holds the appropriate number of fingers against their arm to signify the number of syllabulls (eg. 2 syllabuls = 2 fingers). To act out this syllable, place the appropriate number of fingers on arm again, eg. 2 fingers for second syllable.
  6. If the word is a short word like 'a' or 'of' the performer can use their fingers to signify the short length of the word
  7. For the word 'the' the performer can use his fingers to form a 'T' sign
  8. For 'sounds like' the performer pulls their earlobe
  9. 'The whole thing'- if the title is short, or easier to act out as a whole; wave two arms about in a circle

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McGarrity's Cat This birthday party game is based on words and the alphabet. To play, guests sit in circle. You go around the circle, establishing a beat (such as slap, slap, clap, clap, or slap, clap, click, click), and have to think of words in the sequence of the alphabet to describe McGarrity's cat. For example, the group playing begin to clap their hands. In time with this rhythm, the first person says a word describing the cat beginning with the letter A, such as, "McGarrity's cat is an adorable cat", the second person, keeping to the rhythm, says something about the cat beginning with the letter B, such as "McGarrity's cat is a beautiful cat", the third person continues, "McGarrity's cat is a contented cat"..and so it goes on through the alphabet. If someone breaks the rhythm, or can't think of a word in sequence, then they are out. The game begins again from a, but no words previously used can be chosen again.

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Pass the Parcel with Forfeits
This is an adult version of the childrens favourite birthday party game. Wrap an interesting present in lots of layers of newspaper. Between some of the layers put a slip of paper containing a forfeit. Whoever takes of the layer of paper and reveals a forfeit has to carry out this forfeit before the game recommences.

Ideas for Forfeits:
Forfeits should be ridiculous, but not offensive. Make them silly and enjoyable and you'll have nothing but laughter.

  • Go to the person opposite, take off one of their shoes, put it on and hop around the party circle before returning the shoe and to your place.
  • Pop a plate on your head (make sure it's unbreakable!) and walk around the circle. If you drop it you have to start again.
  • Pop on a blind fold, turn the person around and- then push them toward the circle. They have to kiss the first person they get to on the cheek (if you know each other well!)
  • Say 'she sells sea shells on the sea shore' ten times
  • Say 'she sells sea shells on the sea shore' backwards
  • Put an egg in one of your shoes and walk around the circle without breaking it (make sure you have clean up wipes at the ready!)
  • Name five things that make people blush
  • Have a bowl of something ikky (like cold spagetti sauce, or chopped up jello) that's hidden under a cloth. The person has to close their eyes and put their hand under the cloth and guess what it is (again have some clean up wipes at the ready!)
  • Eat a dry cracker, blow up a balloon, then sit on it to pop it ( good as a competition game to, for instance in an obstacle course race)

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Wink Murder
This is a classic birthday party game. Cut up strips of paper, writing 'person' on all but one. On this one write murderer. Pop these strips into a container and let your party guests pick out a strip of paper from the container. The birthday party game becomes part of the birthday party.The guests continue to mingle, but the murder has to chose a victim. The murderer winks (discreetly) at the chosen victim, and the victim 'dies' spectacularly in front of the guests. If any of the guests think they know who the 'murderer' is they can accuse them. If they are correct they win. If not, they die. The 'murderer' carries on winking and 'murdering' the guests (with the guests spectacularly dying) until they are correctly accused, or until only one guest is left- in which case they win the game.

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Sardines
This is a great birthday party game- especially if you have lots of cool hiding places. To play:

  • Choose one person to go off and hide
  • After a set time (say five minutes), the next person goes off to try and find where the first person has hidden themselves. When they do, they join them in the same hiding place
  • After another five minutes, the next person is starts to look for the hiding place- and when they find it, they squeeze in
  • This carries on until there is only one person left looking for the hidden group. Hopefully they find the hiding place quickly before the 'sardines' get too hot and thirsty!

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Picture It
Again, another classic birthday party game. You will need:

  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Blank paper or pads
  • A timing device (a stopwatch or egg timer is ideal)
  • A list of famous people, well known films, TV shows, books etc. (take into account the ages of the guests)
For this birthday party game split into teams (maximum 4 per team). One person from each team takes turns to be the artist. You ask the artists to come up and you show them one of the titles. They then have three minutes to draw hints for their team to guess the title. The first team to guess correctly wins a point.

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Sculpt It
A fun twist on a classic birthday party game. You will need:

  • Modelling clay
  • Some form of timing device (a stopwatch or egg timer is ideal)
  • A list of objects (hairdryer, wheelbarrow, sunflower, porcupine etc - take into account the ages of the guests)
For this birthday party game split into teams (maximum 4 per team). One person from each team takes turns to be the artist. You ask the artists to come up and you show them one of the titles. They then have three minutes to sculpt the object and for their team to guess what it is. The first team to guess correctly wins a point.

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One Thing You Didn't Know About Me
Get your guests to write out one thing that no one in the room knows about them on a slip of paper. Pop the slips of paper into a container. Ask someone to choose one of the slips and read it out. The guests have to guess who belongs to each 'confession'. This is an ideal birthday party icebreaker game.

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Guess the Object Write out names of objects on sticky note paper. Place these in a container. Put the guests in pairs- this is a good chance to mix people up with people they don't know. Get each guest to pick out a piece of paper, but not look at it. They place the sticky note on their forehead. Each person takes it in turn to describe the object, without actually saying, or spelling out, what it is. This is a great ice-breaker birthday party game.

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Knobbly Knees
If you have a few couples at your party, this birthday party game is so funny. I've always got guys to line up for this one as they tend to have the knobbliest knees and the hairiest legs- but you can get the girls involved if you want to.

To play get some of the guys (or girls) to roll up their trousers to above their knees and line up in a row. Each of the guys' partners is in turn blindfolded and has to feel the knees in the row- and guess which belong to their partner. Not as easy as it sounds- and always hilarious to watch.

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Shopping List
This is basically a memory game, and is a fun birthday party game. You get the players in a circle, then go around the circle adding to the shopping list, beginning with. "I went to the store to buy a ..". This is then added to by each player.

For example, "I went to the store to buy a doughnut"; the next person says "I went to the store to buy a doughnut" and then adds their own item, "and an apple". The next person repeats this, "I went to the store to buy a doughnut, an apple", then adds their own item, "and some bread". This continues around the circle. If a person can't remember an item of the list then they are out. The game continues until only one player is left.

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