My little Josie’s 3rd birthday is coming up which means it’s time to start party planning! It’s easy to over plan or organize games that will go way over the children’s head, especially at this age.  So, I have done all the research for you and found the best birthday party games for 3-year-olds.  Most are easy, some take a little more work, but these games will be enjoyed by all the little party goers!

#1. BALLOONS!  Toddlers love running around in, kicking, popping, and bumping the balloons.  It will keep them entertained in between activities or turn on some music and let them go at it as long as they want.

#2. Pin the Tail on the Donkey (or similar).  You can do this game with any party theme…or without one if you don’t have one.  For 2- and 3-year-olds, put the scarf over their eyes, but don’t spin them.  We don’t need anyone ending up with stitches after a birthday party.

#3. Cupcake walk.  For this game, print out one unique picture for each attendee of any theme you choose.  Then tape the pictures to the floor in a circle.  Have each child start on a picture and then play some music while they rotate around the circle.  Stop the music and randomly call out a picture.  Whoever is standing on that picture wins a prize (typically a cupcake, but I will opt for the less-messy dollar store treasures).

#4. Duck, Duck, Goose.  Most of the kids will have played this, but if some haven’t, it may take them a while to understand the rules.  Don’t get involved past explaining the rules once and don’t hover if everyone is happy and having fun…even if they aren’t playing correctly.

#5. Water balloons.  If you are throwing the party during warm weather, water balloons will keep the kids entertained for a long time.  Just be sure to have enough water balloons ready!  Have you seen this AMAZING invention?  Fill up a billion water balloons at once!!

#6. Musical Parade.  Get pots, pans, recorders, tambourines and anything else that that could be used as a musical instrument and have the kids play follow the leader around the party space.  I love this Melissa & Doug musical kit that would be perfect for this game.  It would be fun to do it right at pick-up time so the kids can put on the parade for their parents!

#7. Small painting or coloring craft.  Don’t waste your time and frustration on having the kids make a craft.  Just have them paint a small wooden object or color a fun picture pertaining to your theme!  Kids love taking something home that they made.  They beam with pride when they show mommy and daddy.  How cute are these for a train party or these for a mermaid party?!

REMEMBER only choose a few activities!  Don’t over-pack the party and get frustrated shuffling kids from game to game.  Have fun and let the kids be kids.  What are your favorite party games for those cute little toddlers?

Birthday Party Games


  • Sarah says:

    I’m having four 3 yr olds at my daughters 3rd birthday, the games planned are bean bag toss through an animals mouth, bean bag toss at cans, and a white sheet and squirt bottles of paint and spray bottles for after swim time in the kiddie pool. Everything’s basically hello kitty themed. Dollar store prizes.

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