Back Yard Birthday party...things for Kids to Do?

Updated on June 15, 2011
A.M. asks from Dunlap, IL
14 answers

Anyone have any budget friendly ideas for things for kids to do at a 5 yr old's birthday party? We wanted to have some sort of "back yeard bbq". I have called and found a bouncy house that is available but not sure I want to shell out $180. I can think of so many other things that the family can use that money for. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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answers from Chicago on

We're planning a backyard party for my 5 year old next month. The games we have in mind are egg race, sack hop, tug-of-war, limbo, waterballoon toss, and sponge pass (have teams of 5 or so kids sit in a line one in front of the other, with a buck half full of water in front of the first kid and an empty bucket behind the last kid - they have to pass a wet sponge over their heads to the kid behind them and the last kid squuezes it into the empty bucket. Whichever team has the most water in their second bucket at the end of a certain time (3 minutes or so) wins). They will get wet, but we're also do water balloon toss, so we're telling parents to bring a bathing suit or change of clothes.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

IME 5 year olds can have a lot of fun with plenty of budget-friendly ideas:
- water balloon toss
- bean bag toss games (hint - for easy no-sew bean bags, put dried beans into mismatched kids socks and tie a knot at the end. I drew eyes and fins on mine because my kids had a "kittycat" theme birthday party and I drew a picture of a cat with its mouth open on a piece of large corrugated cardboard for the bean bag target)
- obstacle courses (use hula hoops, plastic flower pots, cardboard boxes etc.)
- silly relay races (e.g. have laundry basket at each end with dress up or silly clothes, participants have to put on a silly outfit and then run to other side and put the outfit in the other basket while next relay member dresses up and runs to the other side)
- sidewalk chalk and bubbles
- pin the _________ on the ____________
- put bubble wrap on the patio and have kids stomp on it
- freeze dancing
- simon says
- pictionary with teams and using an easel or large dry erase board for drawing
-musical chairs (if you don't have enough chairs, use cardboard squares)

edited to add - if you know any responsible teens like through a scout troop or church youth group - they can be worth their weight in iPods LOL - we hired a couple teens from our church youth group to help out with my twin DD's 6th bday party and it was the smartest thing I ever did - they have way more energy and enthusiasm and "coolness" than me and my DH which was great for things like leading the games and crafts - DDs and their friends were following them around like they were celebrities.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Water balloons and limbo. Bean bag toss.
They LOVE to limbo! Download several Limbo song versions AND the "Hot Hot Hot" song......
You can get water bomb balloons 75 for $1 at any dollar store.
Make popcorn & serve it in those paper popcorn bags, juice pouches, hot dogs, fruit and cupcakes!
Seriously, they're 5. Less is more at 5! I'd skip the bouncy house.
Do you have a trampoline? Or could you borrow O.? Supervise them O. at a time but they'd love that too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Set up a kiddie pool, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, hula hoops, jump ropes, and then have some old-fashioned yard games that everyone (kids and adults) can join in - egg-on-spoon races, water balloon fights, bocce ball, etc. Should be lots of fun!


answers from Los Angeles on

That seems very expensive for a bounce house ... did you call around? We're in So Cal and just spent $85 for a bounce house for our 6 yo's birthday party and it was in our yard for 10 hours so we definitely got our money's worth. Didn't have to plan any other games, either; those kids bounced the entire time!



answers from Jacksonville on

Make it simple, games like Simon Says, relay races , (very simple)
hula hoops, balloons , kids have the greatest times with the simplest things,.... bouncy houses aren't all they're cracked up to be with the dangers being seen on the news ! Watermelon eating contest, dance contest, it's all fun to them. Will cost very little as well ! Have fun, use your imagination ,Mom !
C. S.



answers from Chicago on

My sister just told me about her neighbor's party for her twins...I guess they are in love with dinosaurs and fossils so she filled a baby pool with sand and made or found dino bones then gave each child a paintbrush and they had to "dust off" the sand to find the bones. She also painted easter eggs to look like dinosaur eggs and put treats in those around the yard so they had an egg hunt too! Some eggs were painted gold and these had extra special surprises in them. This is such a different and neat idea! I might use it in a few years when my kids are older!



answers from Seattle on

If its warm out, you could always put up a pool and sprinklers are good. Super Soakers if they are allowed ;)

Water slides are really fun and super cheap to buy!

Renting a Bounce houses are so expensive! Did you call around anywhere else?
I actually think you can buy a Bounce House cheaper than that.

Take a poll and ask the 5 year olds what they would most like to do. They might have some creative ideas.


answers from Dallas on

water. kiddie pool, water baloons, slip n slide, water sprinkler.
sidewalk chalk
hoola hoops

doesn't have to be a planned theme with well thought out of games. Kids know how to play without a whole lot of direction. I would just turn the kids loose out back. It's really the grown ups that are more difficult to plan for. They usually don't know each other, so, it's good to have maybe a badmitton or volleyball net set up and a tub full of cold beer to break the ice. Bring a radio outside and play some music. Let the grownups socialize while the kids just go play. Then gather everyone for cake and sing happy birthday.



answers from Chicago on

We had a bouncy house and we got it for about $80. It seemed like a lot but it was worth every penny! The kids bounced the entire time and loved it! Plus we had it all day and the adults had bouncy time too :)



answers from Dallas on

Pinata, water balloon toss, bubbles, slip and slide, sprinkler,



answers from Washington DC on

Go to - I've done several of the games during my kids parties and they were all a hit! And cheaper than a bouncy house.



answers from Youngstown on

We played pin the tail on the donkey wich I got for $1.00. We also had a three legged race wich was a blast. We also get a pinata and fill it with tons of candy and small toys for the kids. They boys all just run around and play so last year these three games were enough.



answers from Minneapolis on

You could throw a "messy party"! Google it for ideas. A friend of mine did that for a five year-old.

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