Active Party Games That Get Kids Moving

If you're planning a kids' party, you'll need plenty of party games to keep your young guests busy. Make sure some of your games incorporate physical activity. These allow kids to burn off energy and excitement—not to mention give them a healthy dose of exercise as well. Most games are better with groups, so parties are the perfect opportunity for kids to laugh, run, and be silly with their pals.

Outdoor Games

Boy and girl playing tag in garden
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These fun, fast-paced games are easily adaptable for kids of different ages and skill levels. They are a ton of fun games for the backyard like a scavenger hunt, capture the flag, and water balloon tosses, just to name a few. You can also take these ideas and challenge yourself to invent a brand-new game that matches your party's theme.

Indoor Games

Depending on how many guests you have (and how many breakables are in your home), you can play these games indoors. You could do the limbo, play "Land, Sea, and Air," or a classic shoebox race. Any of these help party guests get plenty of exercise.

Relay Races

With just a little advance prep, you can entertain the troops with these relay races suitable for kids and adults. Some can be done indoors and some require no props, and almost all can be adapted to fit the theme of your party or gathering.

Tag Games

Like relay races, many tag games can support your party's theme, either as-is or with some creative rethinking. Tag doesn't have to be the same old game, either. From bandaids to socks to dragon tails, there are fun ways to add a twist to this classic.

Beach Ball and Balloon Games

Does your party have a beach theme or do you need some extra activities fast? These games are lighter than air, but still get kids moving, bopping, balancing, and laughing just the same. You'll need random props for these, but most are likely right there in your garage or basement.

Plastic Cup Games

Got disposable cups for your guests? Turn those common party accessories into a fun game. You may be surprised at just how useful they are and all the creative things you can do with a simple cup. From stacking to bowling, everyone will love these surprisingly active games.

Kickball Games

Kickball is a classic playground game and it can be played anywhere. Your backyard or the park are perfect locations, and there are many fun variations you'll want to try out.

Get a tournament going or just kick the ball around for fun, you can even toss extra fitness challenges into each base to ramp up the exercise quotient. The kids won't even realize you're sneaking in the extra fitness!

Non-Competitive Games

If games with winners and losers are causing hurt feelings at your party, toss in one or two of these non-competitive activities to reset the mood. Some take a little planning and others can be pulled off on a whim. More importantly, they also simply let kids be kids with few rules and a lot of fun.

Olympics-Inspired Games

Whether it's an Olympic year or not, you can get kids feeling sporty with these athletically inspired events. Whether it's fencing with pool noodles or backyard archery, these games can inspire and entertain.

Brain Break Games

Your kids may know some of these "brain break" games from school. Use them to fill downtime at your party or to transition from one activity or space to another. You'll find ideas for indoor and outdoor games. Most require few or no props, little explanation, and can be done with just 10 minutes or less of free time.

Halloween Games

These not-too-scary games feature tricks, treats, and lots of fun physical play for your Halloween-themed party. From pumpkin bowling to monster freeze dance, they're great ways to burn off some of that candy-coated energy.

Holiday Games

These active party games and activities can be adapted easily to work with your style, your space, and your holiday party's theme (Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and more). Many can be played with any number of guests and players of any age. Play "Santa Says," create a human Christmas tree, or do a gift-stacking relay, they're all filled with festive fun.

Valentine's Day Games

What's not to love about games that get your honey's heart pumping? Use these party games for a class party or at home. They're all centered around hearts and are quite adorable, from a version of musical chairs to a shower of heart-shaped confetti with a scramble to collect the most.

Easter Games

Hunt eggs, roll them, steal them, toss them... these games will liven up your Easter brunch and keep kids hopping. The fun ideas include an Easter-themed version of capture the flag to putting on your very own Easter parade.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Harsha DW, Berenson GS. The benefits of physical activity in childhood. Am J Med Sci. 1995;310 Suppl 1:S109-S113. doi:10.1097/00000441-199512000-00019

By Catherine Holecko
Catherine Holecko is an experienced freelance writer and editor who specializes in pregnancy, parenting, health and fitness.