Backyard Birthday Party for 8 Year Old

Updated on May 08, 2014
J.C. asks from Bronxville, NY
16 answers

Hi Moms,

I am having my daughter's birthday party in my backyard. I would rahter go somewhere but she has her heart set on a party at home. It will be co-ed!

I am planning to do a craft but could use some suggestions on filling the time between eating and the craft. I was just going to let them run around but I guess I need to have some more structure. Also, I don't want to hire anyone. Any game suggestions that are easy and fun?


I'm having a big communion the week before which is why I am kinda burnt out on the party planning!! :)

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone! I am going to decorate cupcakes! I will also go to the dollar store and buy some hula hoops and other fun stuff. I think we will have a pin the tail on the donkey, sack race and 3 legged race. A pinata, too!

Thanks for the advice!!! Happy mother's day!

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

sack races
the race where you have to carry a spoonful of water from one cup across the lawn to fill another cup
freeze tag
beach ball belly races, where a team of two needs to press a beach ball between their bellies, hands on their heads and make it to the finish line, back to the start if they drop their ball.
bean bag toss

have fun and happy birthday
F. B.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You don't need a party planner or person to do this for you. You might want another adult on hand to help, though. You know, when you are outside and have brought out the cake, and realize that you left the matches on the kitchen counter? Yeah.. it's good to have an adult to ask to run in and grab them... or to hang out/keep an eye on the kids (or the cake?) while you run inside.

As far as games... that is simple. I always planned the games, but husband would implement them while I got out the cake/ice-cream stuff, or the gift table set up or whatever.
Pin the tail on the donkey is simple and easy. Doesn't require much prep or supplies. Just a prize for the winner (simple, cheap--even a "winner" pin or something like that). Or do a pinata.. We did that for my son's 5th birthday party... it was a pirate party, and the pinata was a parrot (pirate's bird on the shoulder).. they whacked at it with a stick dolled up as a pirate's sword.

Or have them do 3 legged races, or sack races.

Those games have been around for years, but they are classics, because everyone can play, and everyone ends up having fun. They are simple. And many kids have never been exposed and will find them "new" !

Have fun and don't over think it.
Yes, you need an activity of some sort... but it doesn't have to be something crazy over the top like an elaborate craft, or a bounce house or anything like that.
They play these kinds of games at the elementary field day and the kids have a blast. Especially the one where you divide into teams and fill a bucket with water by the spoonful, in relay fashion.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Salinas on

Our most successful kid parties have been old fashioned, backyard events.

pin the tail on something
musical chairs
timed obstacle course
sack races
egg toss
bobbing for apples

Some kids have never played these games before. There is a huge novelty in them and in our experience they get really into it. Have fun and happy birthday to your girl!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

set up some old fashioned games (you can get this stuff at the dollar tree) jump rope, jacks, hoola hoops, hop scotch etc.

the hoola hoop thing is always fun and if you get a bunch you can send one home with each girl.

3 legged race
hot potato
musical chairs

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

8 yr olds can be very competitive, even if its not in their nature. So any game will do. Girls vs boys, boys vs boys, A-L vs M-Z last names, A-L vs M-Z first names, Even number months vs odd number months etc etc.

Food fight! But 8 yr old girls probably wouldn't want to mess up their hair...without adequate warning :)

Tug of war - a rope with a flag tied in the middle. Mark off starting point with spray paint or something on the ground. Don't forget a whistle or megaphone.

Ring toss - line 20-30 soda bottles in a shallow box or laundry basket, have kids toss a round key chain holder or something that's barely bigger than the soda tops. kids get to take home whatever soda they get the ring on. Have marker on hand to write names of kids who won which bottle.

Pool noodle throw - just like in a highland game where you toss a log, except here you toss a pool noodle. Whoever gets it the farthest wins.

Mini golf course. Have kids try to hit their balls in cups on their sides nailed from the inside into the ground (instead of digging small holes everywhere in your yard). You can set up different holes and paths using bricks (knock the ball in between 2 bricks or a series of 2 bricks), large toy trucks (under the truck, between the wheels), paper plates w holes cut in the middle cut in half and sticking up from the ground to make an arch, use a toddler size Little Tykes slide and have them hit the ball from the top...or have them try and hit the ball from the bottom and have it go over the top of the slide, etc etc.

Obstacle course - we set one up using a mini foosball table (knock the ball into one of the goals), tether ball (make the ball spin all around until the rope runs out), make a basket using a Little Tykes basketball net, archery or darts etcetc. We just used whatever game we could find in my son's playroom and garage.

gl and hope you have fun whatever you do!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You don't say what age - but I'd google ice-breaker games with the children's age. I've always found that the crafts take longer than expected and I used to have the kids start them as they arrived. Since they never all come withint the same 5 minutes period each kid gets to start on a staggered schedule which helps when there are only 3 glue bottles or scizzors and 10 girls.

I'd then make cupcakes, leave them un-frosted and provide a few different frosting options, plastic knives, sprinkles, etc - so the girls can each make their own cupcake. (or cookies can be used as well).

a pinata is always another option - I prefer to put separate bags of candy in the pinata since some kids are just grabby and others are shy. that way each kid gets a sandwich bag with candy.

I can think of so many games - but they're age specific and some are tough to explain - so google it - you'll find dozens of options. Think Barbie party, American Girl doll party, make up and manicure party (enlist a friend nail polish takes longer than you imagine).

Order pizzas to be deliver, get a vaiety of ice-cream cups or bars. I never though I'd say it becuase I've hosted "super soaker" parties, manicure parties, America Idol parties, Pirate parties (scavenger hunt), etc. but I miss those days!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

How fun. Just decorate the backyard to transform it. It's easy & can be done w/Dollar Store finds: white lights (like the Christmas tree kind), balloons, streamers etc.

-have a fingernail painting station. Have someone paint their nails, have nail dryer (can buy a cheap one at Walmart, Target etc.), nail stickers, diff
pretty nail polishes for them to choose from but only about 4 colors).
-bean bag toss for small prizes
--cake walk
-photo booth (you get a big refrigerator cardboard box from an appliance store, spray paint it, cut out a door for them to get into, a window on one side, paint the backdrop side in a cute way or hang a pretty colored curtain on the inside of the box that will be behind them for a backdrop), use an instant camera or digital you can email them later
-have some plaster knick knacks they can paint
-maybe even some cute crowns for them to wear from a party store
-small square canvases for them to paint & take home (buy aprons at the dollar store so they can wear them & not get dirty.
-give everyone a pair of cheap cute flip flops to take home

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Our friends had a backyard birthday last fall for their son. They had a decorate your own pumpkin craft (instead of was small pumpkins they could paint and stick things on), decorate your own cupcakes (sprinkles and candy), and they had a couple run around games. They have a zip line in their yard so all the kids took turns doing that. Mostly the kids all just ran around. They took a photo of each child and sent it with the thank you cards. Ideas for games: badminton, croquet, egg on a spoon race, large bubbles.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I just helped with a big picnic for a professional organization. The biggest hit of the day was two big buckets of water filled with water guns and squirters. The whole activity cost less than $20. Of course, it is AZ and was 95 that day! Plus, wet clothes dry in about 30 minutes here, not sure if you would want that in NY.
I would suggest a few of the games below, set up in "stations" so a few kids can be at each activity and you can cycle through them.
You could also set up our own Frisbee golf course, if you have the space, and use the fabric/foam Frisbees.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

They love organized games. I am planning my daughters 7 year Bday party in a few weeks, also a co-ed backyard party. I plan to do musical chairs, water balloon toss, and donut eating (it hangs down on a string and you eat it with no hands. A mini donut) Anyway, if you don't want to hassle with chairs or balloons or donuts, you could do red light/green light, simon says, 4 corners, heads up 7 up, freeze tag...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

At one point gather them all together and do a Simon Says!

Jump on one foot, spin around, Pat your head, take 2 steps to the right, wave with your left hand, ....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Is it warm enough to do some sort of water balloon thing? Or get squirt guns they can have a little war with? The guns can also be their party favor at the end.

I like the idea of decorating your own cupcake or something too, seems like they would like that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

We did a back yard party for my 7 year old last summer. We did have a bounce house, but we also did a craft, a jewelry/bead area and a pinata.

Could you have a kickball game? Maybe some relay races?

When we were in charge of games at a family reunion one of the more popular games was "Bozo's Grand Prize Game." Did you ever see that game? We bought sandbox buckets and ping pong balls. We lined up the buckets and had the kids take turns. They had to stand behind a line and try to get the ping pong ball into the first bucket, then the second, then the third and so on. I think we did 8 or 10 buckets altogether. We did have prizes for all the kids, but we tried to give slightly bigger prizes to the kids who got further along in the game.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Set up a vollyball net in the yard and let them have at it.

Perhaps you should consider hiring a local teen who could do games like musical chairs, red light/green light, frozen tag, wheel barrow race or 3 leg races. Perhaps a game of catch or hot potato.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Just let them have fun. Jump ropes, hoops hoops etc. so many things out there. Kind of old fashioned but fun. Do a google search. Set up a table for Jacks. I am sure you will have to show them. Pick up stix. Water guns are lots of fun too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Why can't they just play? Parents plan way too much for that hour or two. The kids would really rather simply play, have some cake and ice cream, play, open gifts, and play. They don't really want to have to go sit down and do anything. They would really rather play together since they get very little time to do that when they're in class at school.

1 mom found this helpful
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