I think it’s important to start by saying that planning your boy’s birthday party does not need to be stressful, and it does not need to cost a fortune.
Easy said than done, I know!
We are surrounded by images of Instagram-worthy kid’s birthday parties that we somehow feel the need to compete with, but we really don’t.
So if you are stressing and wondering how you are possibly going to entertain a room full of 8-year-old boys, or make your 5-year-old boy’s birthday celebration special on a small budget, panic over.
It’s amazing what you can do with a couple of party games and activities up your sleeve and some good old fashioned party food. Kids really don’t need much more than that to have a blast, particularly boys.
So, look no further if you want to know how to throw an awesome birthday party for your son, and are in need of simple and easy-to-achieve fun birthday party ideas, that will engage your guests, and that your son will love.
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How can I make my boy’s birthday special?
With just a little planning, you can throw a lovely party for your son. Think about what he will enjoy doing the most – this list of games and activities for a boys birthday party will give you lots of ideas that will help make it a special day.
Hang some decorations, include his favorite food, and just make sure the day is all about him.
How do you entertain kids at a birthday party?
There’s nothing more overwhelming than lots of kids running in all directions, high on the excitement of what’s to come! I speak from experience. So whatever the age of your son, you’ll need some activities or games planned to keep the kids entertained.
These birthday party activities specifically for boys listed below should give you plenty of ideas.
Some well-thought-out and organized activities and games have been our party plans of choice so far. Normally we’ve had too many planned – they’ve tended to take longer than expected or the kids have been having so much fun in between activities that we ran out of time. But it’s much better that way than the other…
You could also hire an entertainer or a bouncy castle, or take the party to a venue with a planned activity to keep the boys absorbed.
What is the best theme for a boy’s birthday party?
Theme parties are popular so if you decide to host one think about what your son is most into. Some popular theme ideas include dinosaurs, pirates, Harry Potter, Lego, an action-packed superhero party, an airplane-themed party, nerf guns, and the list goes on.
How do you throw a good kid’s party?
It’s all in the planning. Make sure you have left yourself enough time to get the date or the venue that you want. Ensure that whichever activity or games you choose are age-appropriate for all party goers and are likely to be widely enjoyed.
Remember with kids, simple is always best! This is especially true when dealing with several overexcited kids at a birthday party…. (Honestly, I don’t know how teachers manage to teach kids anything!)
Also, make sure you give yourself plenty of prep time for the party food!
A top tip would be to get going with an activity or game early to warm up the kids, and follow their lead. If they are getting distracted or looking bored, move on to the next game quickly or have a break and some food. It’s amazing what a refuel can do.
How do you celebrate a kid’s birthday party at home?
Throwing a birthday party at home is often more cost-effective, but is not always practical and can require a bit more work. If you have the space however and are organised, you can host some really fun parties at home.
I would definitely recommend roping in a few helpers! What’s that saying about herding cats? I think herding children is probably more difficult…
Make sure you limit the number of guests to comfortably fit in your space, and if you are planning on being outside, ensure you have a wet weather ‘plan b’ with some indoor activities.
Hire an entertainer or a bouncy-castle if you have space in the garden, or make sure you have enough fun games planned to entertain the kids. And keep the food simple, the last thing you need is to be spending hours preparing the party food.
Planning your boy’s birthday party
Before you get to the nitty-gritty of what you are actually going to do on the day, there are a few other things to consider first.
Decide on a Venue
The most important thing to get firmed up early is where you are going to hold the birthday party, and there are two options – host it at home or hire a venue.
You may be thinking, how do you celebrate a kid’s birthday party at home? But actually, if you have the space it can be by far the easiest and budget-friendly option, and as I said before, all you need is a bit of food and some good games prepared.
Of course, you’ll need to consider the time of year and whether you can be outdoors or not. If it’s likely to be indoors only, you’ll need to keep the guest list short or find a venue that will give you more party space.
If you do decide to go down the route of hiring a room or going to an indoor venue, your options will range from simply a space where you will need to provide the entertainment and food, to packages with everything sorted for you. This will of course cost more, but something to consider if the thought of all the organization is giving you sleepless nights!
Choose a birthday party theme
If you want a themed party – and you really don’t need to! If you do go with a theme, it doesn’t have to be over the top – ask your guests to dress up, theme the cake and the tableware, and have a few appropriate games.
Send out invitations
Once the venue is sorted, and the date and time is confirmed, the next job is to send out the invitations to your party guests. A couple of weeks is usually enough warning, although you may want to plan a bit further ahead during the busy seasons, such as Christmas and summer.
Make sure you request an rsvp as you’ll need to know how many kids to expect.
Food and Drink
This does not need to be over the top. A few sandwiches and snacks or some pizzas and ice cream for older kids is perfect. Focus on the cake, that is what the birthday boy will remember, and he will probably have opinions on what kind of cake too!
Remember also to stock up on party supplies like paper plates, cups, napkins and balloons.
Again, this does not need to be over the top! Kids do love a goodie bag or a party favor but there is no need to stuff it full. One, or a couple, of well-thought-out gifts, are much better than a bag full of cheap plastic toys that will last 5 minutes.
Plan the games and activities
The final piece of the puzzle is having a couple of games or an activity prepared to entertain your little one and their guests, and ensure it is a fun event.
Drawing a blank or panicking over how you do that? Worry not, we have you covered with this extensive list of ideas for boy’s birthday parties, indoors and outdoors.
Ideas for toddler and preschooler boy’s activity birthday parties
You have the date, the time, the venue, and the theme. Goodie bags and food is sorted so now it’s time to think about the games and activities for your little boy’s birthday party.
So if you are looking for 3-year-old boy birthday party activities, here are some fun and simple ideas to help you celebrate your toddler’s and preschooler’s birthday. The best part is they are inexpensive and quick and easy to prepare.
It is worth noting that most of these games will not last more than 5-10 minutes, which is about all the attention span you will get with this age group anyway.
Indoor birthday party activity ideas for toddlers and preschoolers
#1 Musical Chairs
A classic party game! Line up two rows of chairs, back to back so they are facing outwards, with one less chair than the number of toddlers playing. Next, start some fun music and get the toddlers to go around the chairs in a circle until the music stops.
When you pause the music they must sit on a chair as quickly as possible, and the person without a chair to sit on is out. Every round you’ll need to remove a chair as the players reduce until you are left with two players vying for one chair.
#2 Freeze Dance
An all-time favorite in our family, simply put on some of their favorite music and get those toddlers dancing. Pause the music at intervals, and when the music is stopped the dancers must freeze in their current spot. Anyone who continues to move is out, and the winner is the last dancer standing.
#3 Balloon Games
Kids, and particularly toddlers, love balloons! There’s a whole host of games you could try, such as keeping the balloons in the air, passing a balloon from body to body, balancing balloons on different body parts, or the balloon waddle obstacle course.
However, in my experience, particularly with little ones, where balloons are involved, you don’t even need a planned game. Just make sure you have lots of balloons and let them go for it.
#4 Duck, Duck, Goose
A great game to keep your toddlers entertained and to burn off that excess energy. Sit the children in a circle and nominate a goose. The goose goes around the circle touching the other children’s heads saying ‘duck’ each time until at some point they say goose.
The toddler that has been tagged goose must jump up and chase the goose around the circle back to the same spot. Whoever gets there first takes a seat, and the other is the new goose.
#5 Simon Says
This will have those toddlers giggling away. Get them doing all sorts of actions such as ‘Simon says do three star jumps’, or ‘Simon says run on the spot’. Actions should only be followed if the request is started with ‘Simon says’. Throw out the occasional demand without saying ‘Simon says’, and those who do it are out.
#6 Pass the Parcel
Another classic party game that children love. To set up you need to wrap a present up in at least a dozen layers of wrapping paper, or newspaper works just as well.
Get the children to sit in a circle and pass the parcel around the circle with some music playing. As soon as the music stops, the child holding the parcel gets to unwrap a layer. The child who unwraps the last layer wins the prize.
If you want to keep everyone happy, you could put a small prize, such as candy, in each layer so that every child gets something.
#7 Pin the Tail on the Donkey
You can buy a very inexpensive version of pin the tail on the donkey online or you can find print-at-home versions for free. Simply stick the picture up, not too high – ensuring it can be reached, and blindfold each child in turn, before sending them in the direction of the donkey to have a shot at getting the tail in the right place. Sure to create some hilarity.
You can find alternatives such as pin the tail on the dinosaur, or pin the patch on the pirate, so if you’re having a theme you may be able to find a version to fit.
Outdoor birthday party activity ideas for toddlers and preschoolers
#8 Paint Party
A paint party is is a really fun activity for a toddler’s birthday party, what toddler doesn’t love to get messy with a paintbrush?
Young children do not have a very long attention span so set up a couple of different stations with different activities for them to explore.
You could have large pieces of paper with washable paints on the floor in one area, an easel elsewhere and even chalk on a patio or wall goes down well.
Just make sure that everything is washable and tell your guests to dress their children appropriately. Stock up on wet wipes too!
#9 Parachute Games
The parachute is always popular with toddlers and there are a number of games that can be played. Firstly, of course, you’ll need a parachute which can easily be bought online.
Games ideas include running under the parachute from one side to the other, ball toss – trying to keep the ball on the parachute, and treasures under the sea, where the children take it in turns to collect ‘treasure’ from under the parachute.
#10 Face Painting
Children love face painting. You could attempt this yourself, or rope in a willing friend or family member to give it a go. But depending on your level of skill, this may be more stress than it’s worth.
Alternatively, you can hire professional face painters (worth the money in my opinion) to come to your party and transform your preschoolers into superheroes, dinosaurs, animals, or whatever it is they want to be.
#11 Hide and Seek
Sometimes a game as simple as hide and seek is all a toddler needs. One child, or a group if they’d prefer, finds somewhere to hide, and the others must find them. The only requirement is a decent enough space with plenty of hiding options.
#12 Bounce House
Hiring a bounce house, or a bouncy castle for your backyard, or venue, is a very simple way to keep those toddlers entertained. It is amazing how long they can spend jumping up and down! Not the cheapest option but a very easy one. And you should have some pretty exhausted toddlers by the end of the day!
#13 Scavenger Hunt
Before the party starts, hide small items and toys around for the kids to find. Arm them with a small bag or basket and send them off searching.
Alternatively, you could supply each child with scavenger hunt lists of things they need to find, such as a leaf, pine cone, pebble, daisy etc.
#14 Bubble Popping
If you are looking for a sure-fire way to entertain a bunch of toddlers, investing in a bubble machine is a dead cert. Something like this one from amazon does not cost much and your toddlers will love it. Most preschools are fascinated by bubbles and will happily spend time running around chasing after and popping them.
Ideas for primary school age boy’s activity birthday parties
The above ideas are great for younger children but may not cut it as they start to get older. So if you are thinking what can I do for my kid’s 6th birthday? Or you are looking for activities for a 9-year-old boy’s birthday party, here are some great birthday party options.
Indoor birthday party activity ideas for primary school-age boys
#15 Sleepover Party
A super easy option as a parent, as long as all the kids are happy spending the night away from home, and this one feels like a real treat for the birthday boy. Make some pizzas, put on a movie, and provide some snacks, and you’re all sorted.
Charades is a classic game that is sure to get all the kids involved and break the ice. The best way, at this age, is to have some prewritten movies, books, and songs for them to act, which they will pick out of a hat before their turn.
#17 Craft Party
One for those art and crafty boy’s. You can either have one craft that they all get involved in doing together, such as a large canvas painting or painting a giant cardboard box cake, or smaller individual crafts, which although it doesn’t get them working together quite so much, it does give them something nice to take home with them.
#18 Indoor Trampoline Center
Trampoline parks never get boring and are a great choice for a boy’s birthday party, whatever age. Most have a range of different activities to keep them entertained and will provide a package with a birthday tea thrown in too.
#19 Soft Play
I’m pretty sure every parent is pretty familiar with their local soft play center, so why not look into hosting your son’s birthday party there? The entertainment is sorted, and most will offer a package including food too. You’ll just need to take the cake.
#20 Pizza Making
There are some pizza restaurants that offer this as a party, which I think is pretty cool, but you can also really easily do this at home, and kids love it. Either buy some premade pizza bases, or pre-prepare some pizza dough for the kids to roll out themselves, lay out a load of toppings, and let them create their own birthday tea.
#21 Candy Unwrap Game
This game is so much fun and is guaranteed to rapidly increase the noise levels in the house! It was one of my all time favorite party games as a child, it’s just such fun.
The aim of the game is to unwrap a candy bar that has been prewrapped in layers of paper and eat it!
Players roll two dice and if they get a double, they get the chance to unwrap the candy bar. To make it a challenge however they must first put on some oven mitts and any other items of clothing you fancy, to slow them down.
You could also add that they have to unwrap it just using two knives (unsharp) or two forks.
Meanwhile, the dice are still going around, and whenever someone else rolls a double, it is their turn. As soon as they get into the candy, they can start eating it, so you have to gobble down as much as possible before the next double is rolled!
#22 Ice Skating
A particularly nice thing to do for a winter birthday. Most ice rinks will offer party packages where you either book all or part of the ice rink for private use. They will often put on games for the kids and have catering option too.
#23 Nerf Gun Party
In some areas, you can hire someone to come in and set up a nerf gun party for you. They’ll be armed with a few different games, props, and of course the guns and ammo, and run the whole thing for you.
You can however quite easily do this yourself at home if you have a few nerf guns, and you can always ask your son’s friends to bring their own. This can be done indoors with a big enough space or move it outside if more appropriate.
If you have a warm day and are hosting the party outside, you could also do this with water guns.
#24 Egyptian mummies
Sure to cause hilarity! Divide the children into teams and give each a supply of toilet paper. On the word go they need to wrap one of their teammates up like an Egyptian mummy. Put a time limit on it, trying to do it quickly makes it even more fun.
At the end of the time, choose the best wrapped mummy.
Outdoor birthday party activity ideas for primary school age
Pinata’s are becoming more and more popular and kids love them, not just for the treats inside! You can buy a pinata easily online, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The filling is not included so you’ll need to buy the goodies separately.
Hang your pinata from a lowish branch, making sure it is easy to reach. Blindfold the children one by one, and give them a turn each at hitting the pinata. Keep going around until someone breaks it and is showered with treats.
#26 Backyard Campout
What little boy doesn’t love camping? There’s no better way to celebrate a boy’s birthday than a night under canvas with a few friends. If you can make a campfire or use a fire pit then brilliant, you can toast marshmallows, make some s’mores and tell stories around the fire.
If the weather is good enough you could incorporate an outdoor movie night too.
#27 Tug of War
Great as an activity on its own or as part of a Sports Day party. Split your party into two teams and have them hold either end of the rope, with a marker in the middle. On the word go they must pull the rope and see who can out pull who. Expect the children to want to go back for a few rounds of this one.
#28 Capture the Flag
This classic game is perfect for a boy’s birthday party particularly if you’ve got lots of kids over. Split them into two teams with a flag each that they need to protect. The aim is to try and steal the opposition’s flag without being tagged.
#29 Obstacle Course Race
Set up two obstacle courses and split your party into two teams. Each player takes it in turns to run the obstacle course and whichever team finishes first is the winner. Obstacle course ideas – crawl under and jump over something, hula hoops, skipping, run around a cone, run backward, hop, etc.
#30 Roast marshmallows
Toasting marshmallows and making s’mores don’t just have to be for overnight camping. All you need is an open fire and a bag of marshmallows and you’ll have some happy children.
#31 Petting Zoo
A great party idea for any animal-loving little boy. You can either take them to a local petting zoo or there are plenty that will bring the animals to you at home.
#32 Water Balloon Game
There’s endless fun that can be had with water balloons. Ideas include a water balloon and spoon race, water balloon pinata, water balloon baseball and catch the water balloon. Alternatively you could just have a free for all water balloon fight!
#33 Relay Races
Relay races are great fun and the perfect way to send your guests home well exercised. Create a course with markers at each end, split your players into two teams and use your imagination when it comes to the races. You could do egg and spoon, sack races, wheelbarrow races, carrying water they have to pass to each other, or an all-time favorite the balloon waddle between the knees or under the chin.
I have great memories of playing limbo at parties when I was younger. All you need is a pole, an adult holding each end, and some limbo music. The children take turns to limbo under the pole as it gets lower and lower each round.
#35 DIY Twister
Who doesn’t love a game of twister? Visit She knows how for a simple but genius idea to recreate an outdoor version on your lawn using brightly colored spray paint.
Tag is a classic game that all kids love and will happily keep them entertained. Try different versions such as freeze tag and stuck in the mud to mix it up.
#37 Apple Bobbing
Apple bobbing doesn’t need to be just for Halloween, it is perfect for a boy’s birthday party too. Fill a large bucket full of water and add some apples so that they float on the surface. The aim is for the children to get an apple out of the bucket using just their mouths – no hands allowed!
#38 Donut String
Similar to apple bobbing but this one involved donuts hanging from some string. Line the children up under the donuts making sure they can all reach their donut easily enough. With hands behind their backs, they must eat their donut off the string as quickly as possible. The winner is the first to finish.
#39 Ball games
A lot of boys love nothing more than playing with a ball in the backyard so why not make this the focus of your son’s birthday party? Set up a game of soccer, football, or dodgeball, and let them get on with it.
Ideas for older boy’s activity birthday parties
Boys can get to an age when they start to grow out of a lot of backyard games, so if you are struggling for ideas of activities for your 12-year-olds, or even 15-year-olds, birthday party, here are a few fun ideas to consider.
Indoor birthday party activity ideas for older boys
#40 Laser Tag
For a 12-year-old boy, there isn’t much more exciting than putting on some war paint and getting kitted up for a game of laser tag. And running around blasting their friends with lasers will have the kids buzzing for days.
#41 Movie Theatre
We all love a trip to the movies so it is a great way to celebrate a birthday, particularly if there’s a big blockbuster on. You can either join a regular viewing or to make it really special, organize a private viewing complete with popcorn, drinks, and any other snacks those hungry teenagers might need.
#42 Arcade Party
For those video game-loving boys, an arcade party is an absolute winner. You can either visit an arcade or set this up at home. There are even companies who can organize it all and bring all the gear to you.
Bowling is a classic and is perfect for a bunch of energetic boys. Book a couple of lanes at your local bowling alley, gets some snacks in, and let the competition commence.
#44 Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is great fun and is the perfect activity for an active boy’s birthday party. It doesn’t matter if the kids haven’t done it before, it is suitable for all levels and hopefully, they’ll all come away having had an awesome time and having learned a new skill too.
Outdoor birthday party activity ideas for older boys
As your kids get a bit older you can improve on the backyard camping and head to a local National Park, forest or beach, for a night of proper camping. They will love the adventure of being away from home for the night, somewhere new and exciting. Take a few outdoor games ideas with you and some marshmallows and you’ll be all set for an evening around the campfire.
#46 Mini Golf
Mini golf or putt-putt golf is great for this age as they can actually have a good competition. It is great fun and kids tend not to get bored when every hole is different and presents a new challenge.
You do need to make sure you find a track suitable for your age group, they sometimes have an age limit or a height limit so a little bit of research is required first. The excitement of driving solo and racing their friends makes for a really memorable boy’s birthday party.
Boys seem to love paintballing and most paintballing centers will be able to arrange a party package for you, suitable for your age group. Kids will love getting kitted up and running around shooting their friends with paint, in this action-packed birthday bash!
#49 Ropes Course
Treetop rope adventure courses, like Goape in the UK, are appearing everywhere now and are ideal for an older boy’s birthday party. Not great for those with a fear of heights, but perfect for boys who love to climb and love a bit of adventure. Most have Tarzan swings and a zip line, and some do have appropriate courses for younger children too.
#50 Pool Party
For those lucky enough to have a pool and summer babies, you have an absolute winner – let’s just hope the weather plays ball on the day!
Pool parties don’t have to be just for summer birthdays and those who have a pool, however. Most local public swimming pools will offer a party option where you can hire all or part of the pool for your party, along with floats and pool toys.
#51 Flag Football Game
This non-contact version of American football, where tackles are made by pulling off flags, is great fun and perfect for a sports-loving birthday boy.
#52 Outdoor Movie Theatre
Want a fun take on a movie party? Why not set up an outdoor movie theatre for your son’s birthday? Set up a seating area with cushions, mattresses, bean bags, and blankets, make some popcorn, and pop on a favorite movie.
Which party activities will you try for your son’s next birthday?
I hope this has given you some inspiration and ideas for your boy’s next birthday party. There are some great budget-friendly options here, as well as some more splash-out suggestions, so hopefully, there is something to suit everyone’s needs.
Just remember, and I need to keep telling myself this too, that hosting a kid’s birthday does not need to be, and should not be stressful! A party can be pulled together pretty quickly if needed, and you do not need to do anything elaborate for kids to have fun.