Need Game Ideas for Outdoor B-day Party at the Park (9 yr.olds)

Updated on February 28, 2009
L.G. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

Doing an "old fashioned" birthday party at an outdoor park. Maybe a dozen kids, boys and girls.
I have googled b-day games, went to some b-day party websites but am looking for more ideas.

This is what I have so far:

Potato sack race (w/pillowcases) paired with a 3-legged race (done in teams)
water balloon toss
There's the game where you pass an orange without using hands (in teams)

I'm looking for games that don't require a lot of props (have enough to lug to the park)

Also, how many games do you think is enough?
Thanks Moms!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

OK, it's over and I'm still exhausted. Had 20 kids (didn't plan on that many.... who brings extra kids w/o asking??) and here is what worked best:

The loved the water balloon toss hands down the best!! I wish I would have bought enough balloons to do it three times. I didn't fill them up too big and I bought better quality balloons so they lasted longer. No one got really wet. I had them bring extra t-shirts and no one needed them.

Pinata was a big hit although with 20 kids it's hard to control that many with a flying stick. Need 1 large bag of candy per 6-7 kids so each gets their share. Need a few parents supervising. We used a tennis racket versus a stick, easier to hit.

Did a giant relay race that included jump roping, running through a nylon tube (tunnel toy for toddlers), pillow sack race and then finished with a dizzy bat twirl and then back to start line for next person up. Smaller teams of 5 are best otherwise they get bored waiting for their turn. Needed 5 parents to do this right.

They did NOT want to do the wheel barrel races. Not sure why, maybe a little hard for them?

Went to the Dollar Store and bought 20 cans of Silly String. It's not the best quality there but better than paying $3 a can at Party City. Ooooooh, they liked that a LOT!!!

The party was a BIG hit but I needed 3 sets of parents to make this work for set up, organizing kids for games and really pulling it off.
My biggest advice is limit the number of kids, I had way too many to control in an outdoor open setting.

A park party is A LOT of work so be organized b/c whatever you forget, you need to drive and get.Dont' forget:

Sharpee markers to label the kids cups for their pinata candy and their drinks/waters

Weights to hold down napkins/plates in the wind

Fold up tables and lots of chairs for the parents

Tape to secure table clothes

Scissors, paper towels and garbage bags.

BAND AIDS, ANTISEPTIC WASH, NEOSPORIN AND ICE PACKS! Had 2 girls with cuts and one with a good bruise.

Thanks for all the advice, I'm going to take a nap now :)

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answers from Houston on

Along with the potato sack race, there is the wheel barrow and egg races. Also, you could do a bean bag toss into coffee cans or something like that and don't forget about the beloved pinata or pin the tail on the donkey.

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answers from Houston on

Divide them into 3 or 4 teams and armed with several rolls of inexpensive bathroom tissue see who can make the best mummie the quickest (you still must have a time limit). Have a small prize for the members of the winning team.

Remember the old "egg in a spoon" race? Surely you played it. It's a relay between two or more equal teams and see which team can relay the egg in a spoon without dropping it.

Feel and identify objects (unseen) in a sack. Have several that as so similar they would be hard to identify.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Relay races are so fun at this age. Egg and spoon races might be a little young. There's the game where you run to a bat put your forehead on the tip bat, bat stays in the middle, then you run three circles around in and then run back to the starting line. Fun dizzy stumbling...

If you could find small watermelons, you could do a greased watermelon race (use vegetable shortening).

You can also do a croquet game or set up a little badminton area, but that requires more of an investment. I'm sure if you just have two or three games the kids will be delighted. Have fun.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Red Rover, Red Rover..........Hula Hoop contest.........
Buy some cheap paper napkins, use about 1/4 cup flour to fill, pull up all of the edges, tie, and they are water ballons, they can throw at each is messy, but oh, so much fun.....its organic and will wash away in the next rain........or the wheel barrel race. Pair off kids, have the one on the gorund use their arms and the other holds legs by the ankles, see who can move the farthest.....have a race.....What about the dizzy bat race.....have a couple of baseball bats.....spin the kids around 10 times and watch how far they can go.
Have fun and good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Is the party about 2 hours long? Loosely plan it out.. First 15 minutes people arrive. Let the kids run around and great each other. Many of them will be thirsty, make sure the drinks are the first thing ready. Have them write their names on their cup so they will not waste extra cups.

Start with an active game/Contest. Then move along with the different activities. Your list is really good. (have you warned parents about the balloon toss? Some kids may have other activities after your party and will need a heads up about changing clothes. You could also do
"Red Light Green Light". There is a lemon toss where you place the kids into teams and have them toss and catch a lemon with plastic containers (like empty cottage cheese containers).

Then serve the cake in the last 30 minutes.

And we always have a pinata. (dads love pulling the rope) You could ask another parent if you could earlier in the week drop off a filled pinata with the stick, rope and blindfold and they could drop it off with their child at the park on party day.

We fill our pinatas with bandaids, stickers, temporary tattoos, gum and some hard candy. It is the last activity, we give each child a drink cup to collect the goodies and this is their party favor. Have a blast!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

A scavenger hunt also would be fun and that takes some time for them to do. Divide the groups up and give each a list of things to find. List could be things that you find at a park - sand, leaves, rocks and whatever else you might want to bring to hide.Reward - could be the goodie bags.

I have had several for my sons birhtday parties and the kids love them. I have had dinosaur eggs hunts and pirate treasure hunts etc... My sons birthday is near Easter so the Easter eggs were a great prop for me to use for that party.

Have fun!!!

A little about me:WFTM with 2children, daughter 8 and son fixing to be 7. Happily married for 10 years.

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answers from Austin on

Are there swings and slides, a merry-go-round at the park. Plenty of entertainment there. At our granddaughter's birthday, kids of all ages built sugar cube castles. They did it inside the house but it would be ideal for an outside project. Each child would need a stack of sugar cubes. Several could share a bowl of frosting to use as mortar. Put it in plastic bowls. Popsicle sticks are spreaders. If you could gather enough shoe boxes for the kids to take their castle home in it would be good. They need someway to take them with them. This project was not nearly as messy as it sounds. And the castles were so cute. Moms helped the little guys but they were two and three year olds. Kids up to age twelve participated and had fun. Best wishes.

Don't forget Follow the Leader with everyone who wants to getting to be leader.

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answers from Houston on

Tug of war
Red Rover
Hide and Seek
You could draw a hop-scotch thing on the sidewalk
Egg Toss (same as water balloon)
Chase or Tag
Freeze Tag

You also might want to have some quieter games - especially if it is an all girl party or if some of the kids coming are more reserved.

Also, my experience has been that you will have a bunch of games planned but they will enjoy just being outside and sometimes make up their own games or enjoy the play ground at the park, etc.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Along with the potato sack race, there is the wheel barrow and egg races. Also, you could do a bean bag toss into coffee cans or something like that and don't forget about the beloved pinata or pin the tail on the donkey.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

There's a game I learned at camp called "Pretzel." Everyone huddles up and grabs 2 hands with their 2 hands (should be 2 different people but this usually happens naturally). Next they have to figure out how to undo the knot they created w/o breaking their hands. They go under hands and arms, step over them, etc. When you're done you will have a circle (some kids facing in and some out). I do this with my 5th gr. students every year and they love props so it's cheap and can be done in any large area. You may want to try this at home to make sure it works for you but it's definitely more fun the more people you have!
As far as how many games, like someone else said, plan alot and then play it by ear.

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answers from Victoria on

three is enough, they will still want to play with eachother and open gifts, eat cake. time really flys at a b-day party. there's also red rover.



answers from McAllen on

The wheelbarrow races are easy and you don't need any props. It's teams of 2 (1 person is the wheelbarrow, the other is the person that holds the legs up and steers the person). You go down and back, switching positions on the way back. It's a lot of fun and hilarious.


answers from Corpus Christi on

hula hoop see how can keep it going



answers from Odessa on

Sounds like great fun...these are 9 year olds...they have lots of energy, so take a ball (soccer type) and let them play kick ball or dodge ball. Only one ball is required and you can have all the kids to stand in the middle and throw to try to hit them with the last one in being the winner or divide them in teams to play kick ball. They can make up their bases, etc.

The amount of time involved is up to long do you want to be at the park? A typical party length is about 2 hrs., but once they get started playing, you may find they are reluctant to stop doing that to eat, cut the cake or open gifts, etc. so I'd get all that out of the way first and them let 'em go.



answers from El Paso on

Kids this age need to be constantly entertained, being outside is definitely to your advantage! how about the egg in the spoon race, scavenger hunt, duck, duck goose...good luck!


answers from Austin on

Not exactly a game--but pinata's are always a big hit (no pun intended) at kids' birthday parties.


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