25 Birthday Party Games That Cost Nothing

Save Money While Having Fun

birthday presents and cupcakes

The Spruce / Margot Cavin 

These birthday party games will make your birthday party or the one you're hosting a hit without having to spend any extra money on supplies for the party games.

A few of the birthday party games below require supplies but they're common objects that you probably already having laying around your house. Also don't be afraid to improvise if you have a similar object or you can still play that game with a slight variation. Chances are your guests won't even notice.

This list of easy birthday party games are great for all ages and you can often add variations to make them work for adults or even younger children. They'd be great for family birthday parties, too.

Tip: You might also be interested in free birthday invitations that will help you throw the best birthday party ever. If your party is for a holiday or near one, take a look at these party games for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and even the Super Bowl.

  • 01 of 25

    Treasure Hunt Game

    Child searching box


    Steve Hix / Getty Images

    This birthday party game gives clues to the guests that lead them to areas around the house or yard until they reach their final prize.

    I love this free birthday party game because you can customize it for little kids all the way up to adults.

  • 02 of 25

    Three-Legged Race

    Three Legged Race
    SolStock / Getty Images

    This classic group game is such a fun birthday party game that's fun with kids but hilarious for adults.

    All you need for this game is something to tie each pair's legs together.

  • 03 of 25


    Button box
    Image by Catherine MacBride / Getty Images

    Who has the button? Let your guests play detective to find out.

    All you need to play this easy birthday party game is a button!

  • 04 of 25


    Women enjoying indoor games
    Morsa Images / Getty Images

    The classic game of charades that can be adapted for children of all ages and adults.

    It's a great idea to match a game of charades with the theme of your party.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • 05 of 25

    Elephant Tug of War

    PeopleImages.com / Getty Images

    A fun game of tug of war that doesn't need any supplies at all.

    This is a great game that will really encourage your guests to use their imaginations.

    This one also goes great with other jungle-themed party games.

  • 06 of 25

    Fruit Basket

    Fresh fruit in red bowl
    Nancy Rose / Getty Images

    This free birthday party game is great for larger groups of guests and kids and adults will equally love it.

    This is an inventive game that takes barely any prep work.

  • 07 of 25

    Marco Polo

    Kids in garden playing blind mans buff
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    This classic water game is just as fun on land. Add some funny voices and you've got yourself quite the party game.

    Be sure to scroll down to view the variations you can use to put a spin on this easy birthday party game.

  • 08 of 25

    Obstacle Course

    Young boy in an obstacle course
    Alberto Guglielmi / Getty Images

    Set up an obstacle course in your backyard or large area in your home using items you have on hand.

    You'll be surprised what items you have that may "trip" up your guests.

    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • 09 of 25

    Hot Potato

    Three young girls playing catch in a sunny field in summer
    Vladimir Godnik / Getty Images

    The classic game of Hot Potato is a lot of fun and bring about a ton of laughs.

    The person left may be the winner but you can keep the game going by having them be the next caller.

  • 10 of 25

    Red Rover

    Group of children (7-12) playing red rover in yard
    Andersen Ross / Getty Images

    We all know the easy-to-play game called Red Rover, and it will be a hit at your next birthday party.

    This is a great game to play outside and even better if you have a fairly large group.

  • 11 of 25

    What's In the Bag?

    Girl wearing pink crown holding gift bags, father watching
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    A guessing game that makes a super fun birthday party game.

    This game can be easily changed for older kids.

  • 12 of 25

    Simon Says

    Family Jumping in a Park

    Digital Vision / Getty Images

    Last but not least, the favorite game of Simon Says that can be played anywhere at anytime without anything to buy.

    Put a twist on this popular birthday party game by changing the name "Simon" to something to fit your theme.

    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • 13 of 25


    Father and daughter playing hide and seek in park
    Hero Images / Getty Images

    A cross between I Spy and Hide and Seek will keep kids of all ages into this birthday party game.

    You only need one object for this game and it can be one of your choosing.

  • 14 of 25

    Dress Up Relay Race

    Boys playing together in a garden
    Alistair Berg / Getty Images

    In this birthday party game, the guests will compete in relay races where they pile on the clothes and accessories. You can even customize all the clothes and accessories to fit whatever the theme of your birthday party is.

    There are also lots of other variations for relay races you'll want to check out.

  • 15 of 25

    Steal the Bacon

    Kids running in the park
    Ty Allison / Getty Images

    A unique spin the classic game of tag that uses just one simple item you are sure to already have in your house - and guess what? It's not actually bacon.

    This game works with a just about any group of people, you'll just need to divide them up into teams.

  • 16 of 25

    Water Balloon Toss

    Colorful water balloons in hands
    MamiGibbs / Getty Images

    This birthday party game is best played in the warmer weather and needs to be outside.

    Pair up the guests and have them see how long they can go before they break the water-filled balloon.

    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • 17 of 25

    Capture the Flag

    Girl Planting White Flag on Beach
    Pete Leonard / Getty Images

    A fun, classic birthday party game that's best played outside. You can use flags, bandanas, or just about any soft object.

  • 18 of 25

    Cross the Lava Flow

    Group of happy kids having fun in the park.
    BraunS / Getty Images

    This is a great free birthday party game that's sometimes called Cross the Lava.

    How many of the guests can make it to the end point without falling in the river?

  • 19 of 25

    Animal Party Game

    Boy (8-10) lying on grass, looking at row of toy dinosaurs, close-up
    Victoria Blackie / Getty Images

    A fun guessing game that incorporates physical activity makes this birthday party game an easy one to plan and execute.

    Since there's no winner and losers, and the game can go on as long as you want, this is a great party to fill in the extra time.

  • 20 of 25

    Musical Chairs

    Children on birthday party having fun, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
    Lumi Images/Alexandra Dost / Getty Images

    Pair some fun music with an assortment of chairs, and you've got yourself and easy birthday party game that's always full of fun.

    Set up chairs or cushions in a circle but have one less than the number of people playing. When the music stops, anyone without a seat is eliminated and one chair is removed.

    Last one in the last chair wins!

    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • 21 of 25

    Egg and Spoon Race

    Children having a spoon and egg race in garden on a birthday party
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    This birthday party game could get messy quickly, but that makes it all the more fun!

    Have all the guests put one hand behind their back and use the other hand to hold a spoon with an egg in it. Have them run to the finish line just like that.

    The first one who makes it with the egg still intact and their arm behind their back, wins. If the egg falls halfway through, they have to start over from the beginning.

  • 22 of 25

    Partners in Pen

    Little Girl's Art
    Annie Otzen / Getty Images

    Much like charades but through writing, this free birthday party game involves guessing what your partner is describing.

    Have the pair sit back to back. One partner has an object that they have to describe to their partner who draws out what he or she thinks the partner is holding. 

    The team that finishes with the quickest time wins. The only catch is that the one holding the object cannot say its name or explain what the object is used for.

  • 23 of 25

    Plastic Wrap Game

    Plastic wrap


    FotoDuets / Getty Images

    This is a perfect birthday party game for a large crowd, and multiple people can get prizes along the way.

    The basic idea is to wrap several presents in plastic wrap and pass the ball around the table. Each person can have a try at unwrapping an object from the ball until the next person rolls doubles on their dice.

  • 24 of 25


    Children dancing at party
    Cultura RM Exclusive/Robyn Breen Shinn / Getty Images

    This is one of the easiest birthday party games to start because it just requires the participants—no props or money involved. However, it gets hard quickly.

    To play this game, instruct the guests to do something, but they have to do the opposite in order to stay in the game. For example, if you say raise your right hand, they have to raise their left hand; if you say to jump, they need to squat.

    You can even combine this game with a Simon Says type of game by having them watch you act something out but they have to do the opposite.

    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • 25 of 25

    Minute to Win It Games

    Kids playing hopscotch

    mixetto/Getty Images

    Minute to Win It games are short games that are both fun and challenging. These are perfect for birthday parties because everyone or just a few can play during the party. They also only take a few supplies and most of them you'll already find in your home.

    There are a whopping 35 Minute to Win It games here that will keep everyone at the party busy and having fun. These are great for kids, tweens, teens, and even grown-ups.

    There are also some ideas here on how to play the games in various ways - against the clock, as a small team, or as a large group.