Summer Birthday Party or Picnic Games

With summer finally here, plenty of birthday parties are underfoot. I myself have been trying to figure out how to impress my almost 7 year old daughter next month with some cool birthday theme. A few years ago we had a candy shop party, which was a HUGE hit. But there’s so much to do in the summertime that you don’t really need a “theme” to have a great party – just good food, some sunshine, a hose or sprinkler, and a few games. Kids are easier to please than we think they are!

Classic Summer Party Games

These birthday party games are easy and fast, and popular no matter how many times we play them!

Water Balloons
Jump Rope Water Game
Toilet Paper Races

Water Balloon Toss

Pair up kids and have them stand in two lines, facing their partners. Have them toss the water balloons back and forth, having the kids take a step backwards after each turn. The last pair with an unbroken water balloon wins!


Not really a game, but an old standby that children love. You can also get creative and make bubble wands from plastic-coated coat hangers in various shapes and sizes.

Jump Rope H20

Have children jump rope while holding a paper or plastic cup of water with their teeth. The kid with the most water in their cup at the end wins.

Toilet Paper Races

Split the children into teams of at least 5-7 people. Have them sit in a line all facing towards the front. Give the first child the end of a roll of toilet paper, and have them pass back the roll to their ‘team’. If the toilet paper breaks, they have to start over. The first team t get to the end of their line with an unbroken length of toilet paper wins!

Easy Summer Party Games

Pick a Duck Limbo Musical Inner Tubes Croquet

Pick a Duck

Buy some cheap rubber ducks and fill up a kiddy pool or large tub with water. Write numbers on the bottom of the ducks and let the children pick them out of the water. Their prizes are given to them based on the numbers on the bottoms of their ducks.


Use a broom or section of PVC pipe and put on some silly music. The children need to go under the stick bent over back wards, tummy first. Gradually lower the stick, and as children fall down trying, they are eliminated. The last one to get through the lowest limbo stick height wins.

Musical Inner Tubes

Play this like musical chairs, but the kids need to stand in the middle of a blown up inner tube (you can find these really cheap at your local dollar store). If you’re really lucky, you can find inner tubes to match the theme of your party!


Split children into teams and play croquet. You have have them take turns at each arch (faster) or give them all a chance to play each arch (slower).

Summer Party Games to Make

Instructions on how to make these great outdoor party games or carnival games.

Bozo Party Game Fishing Party Game Bean Bag Toss Party Game Ring Toss Party Game
Make a Bozo Bucket Toss Game Make a Fishing Booth Game Make a Bean Bag Toss Game Make a Ring Toss Party Game
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About the author

Founder and CEO of Woo! Jr. Kids Activities, Wendy loves creating crafts, activities and printables that help teachers educate and give parents creative ways to spend time with their children.

View all articles by Wendy Piersall

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