First Birthday Party Games & Activities

1st Birthday Party Games And Activities

The first birthday is a momentous occasion for any family, and planning a celebration that will keep the little ones entertained can be quite a task. But with the right 1st birthday party games and activities, you can make the day a memorable and fun-filled one for your little one and all of your guests. From simple games like Bubble Chase and Sensory Play to more elaborate activities like a Photo Booth and a Cake Smash, there are plenty of options to choose from that will keep the kids entertained and engaged. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best 1st birthday party games and activities that will help you create an unforgettable celebration for your child’s first birthday. So, get ready to have some fun and make some memories!

1 Year Old Birthday Party Game/Activity Ideas

Depending on the venue and the number of guests, you could set up games for different age groups at a different place or sequence them so nobody would miss out. Here are some great choices for first birthday games.

First Birthday Party Games For Babies And Toddlers

Babies are too spontaneous to participate in games; they would, however, love these 1st birthday party activities.

1. Bubble Chase

Kids, no matter what their age is, they are captivated by bubbles. A fun game would try and catch them!

How to Play

  • You will need a bubble machine for the game or have a few of the older kids to blow the bubbles.
  • Show your toddler how to catch a bubble with a plastic drinking cup.
  • Give them a cup and let them go after the bubbles.

2. Game of tunnels

One of the most fun-filled indoor games you can have on a birthday party is building tunnels.

How to Play

  • For this game, you can buy a pop-up tunnel for kids until four years of age.
  • Alternatively, you can make your tunnels by taping cardboard boxes together. You can find plenty of carton boxes from your local supermarket.
  • Arrange the tunnel in the playroom for a game of peek-a-boo.

3. Wagon Ride

If you have a big backyard, this is one of the most fun outdoor activities for all the kids.

How to Play

  • Buy a big children’s wagon and decorate it with stickers, balloons, streamers and colour papers.
  • Mark a path using balloons in your yard and take one baby at a time for a ride along the path.
  • Each baby gets five minutes of ride time and is greeted with cheers and claps with every ride.

4. Quiet Play

While the big kids are away playing other games, you can gather up the toddlers to have their quiet party for a while to calm them down.

How to Play

  • Get a big enough playpen for more than three toddlers and have them spend some time in a quiet corner.
  • Use pads and soft mattresses to create a baby zone with plenty of soft toys.

5. Toddler Obstacle Course

This one is an interesting game for which your baby needs a lot of motivation.

How to Play

  • You will need ropes, soft toys, bouncy balls, blocks.
  • Make an obstacle course using ropes and place the toys, balls and blocks in the path.
  • With the baby on one end and you on the other, cheer for your toddler to make his way to you

6.  Sensory Station

Create a sensory station with various items for the babies and toddlers to explore.

How to Play

  • Set up a table with different textures, such as sand, water, and playdough.
  • Add some toys and objects with different colors and shapes.
  • Allow the children to explore and discover the different textures and objects.

7.  Balloon Bonanza

Babies and toddlers love balloons! This game is perfect for indoor parties.

How to Play

  • Blow up a few balloons and let them loose in the room.
  • Encourage the children to catch and play with the balloons.
  • To make it more challenging, you can have them try to keep the balloons in the air as long as possible.

First Birthday Party Games For Big Kids

For bigger kids, you could make the games a little more challenging and fun.

Kids playing in ball pit

1. Make a small Ball Pit

Children love playing in ball pits and so do some grown-ups!

How to Play

  • You would need an inflatable swimming pool, your baby’s kiddie pool will do too.
  • Order BPA-free balls online in bulk packets, preferably a few hundred balls depending on pool size.
  • Fill up the pool with balls and set it up on the lawn or someplace indoors where it is safer.
  • Use different coloured balls and let them jump in.

2. Fashion Show

For this game, you will have to inform your guests in advance so they can come prepared.

How to Play

  • To make it realistic, you can set up a walkway with some lights and balloons.
  • Have a good music system and someone to play and pause on cue.
  • Dress up the children in costumes based on a theme and let the walk begin.
  • At the end of the game, offer a gift or memento to all the participants.

3. Balloon Scrabble

This is an excellent game for kids of all ages.

How to Play

  • You will need a balloon of different colours and permanent markers.
  • Inflate 26 balloons for all the letters and write down each on one balloon in capitals.
  • Pick a word or name and scatter the balloons.
  • Divide the kids into teams, and their task is to find the correct balloons and stand in the right order of the spelling. Fastest team wins.

4. Smash a Balloon for a Gift

It doesn’t matter how old you are; it’s always exciting to get a surprise gift.

How to Play

  • Gather several gift items such as stickers, small gift articles or collectables.
  • Place a gift item inside each balloon before inflating it.
  • Scatter the balloons in a room and ask all the kids to enter and stomp the balloons.
  • They get to keep anything they find in the balloon they popped.

5. Cops and Thieves

This fun game is best played outdoors, such as a park.

How to Play

  • One kid at random is chosen to become the sheriff, and the rest of them are thieves.
  • The thieves run free while the sheriff tries to tag one of them.
  • Whoever gets tagged will be jailed in one end of the park where they can be set free by the other thieves.
  • If the sheriff tags one of the other thieves while they are helping the tagged one, they become a sheriff too.
  • The game ends when all the thieves have become sheriffs.

6. Pin the Tail on the Donkey

This game is played with a blindfold and is immensely entertaining. You will need some Velcro strips and streamers for this game.

How to Play

  • Draw a picture of a donkey on a large sheet of cardboard without a tail.
  • Cut strips of the velvet and stick it to different parts on the donkey’s body along with one strip in the right place where the tail should be.
  • A streamer or a tiny rope with the fastener attached to it is used as the tail.
  • The kids are blindfolded and have to walk up to the donkey and stick the tail in the right place.
  • Whoever gets it right wins a prize.

Pin the tail on donkey

7. Musical Chairs

This game is perfect for toddlers who are starting to understand the concept of competition.

How to Play

  • Set up chairs in a circle, one less than the number of children playing.
  • Play music and have the children walk around the chairs.
  • When the music stops, the children must find a chair to sit on.
  • The child who is left standing is out.
  • Remove a chair each round until there is only one child left sitting.

8. Simon Says

This classic game is perfect for older toddlers who are starting to understand more complex instructions.

How to Play

  • Choose one child to be “Simon”.
  • “Simon” gives commands starting with “Simon says”, such as “Simon says touch your toes” or “Simon says hop on one foot”.
  • The other children must only follow commands that start with “Simon says”.
  • If “Simon” gives a command without saying “Simon says” and a child follows it, they are out.
  • The last child standing becomes “Simon” for the next round.

First Birthday Activities and Games For Adults And Older Kids

Your toddler’s first birthday is more of a fun time for the guests than it is for him, therefore have a couple of fun activities such as games for parents along with the children.

1. Time Capsule

Older kids and adults can only grasp the fun part of a time capsule. This should be included in your baby’s 1st birthday party games so they can open it at the age of 20.

How to Play

  • Pass along a note pad to all the guests so they can write something in it.
  • Collect pieces of confetti, balloons, gift cards or anything that can be sealed off for a long time.
  • Get a plastic container or a decorated storage box with a sealable top and add everything in it.

2.  Photo Scavenger Hunt 

This game is a fun way to get everyone involved in capturing memories of the special day.

How to Play

  • Create a list of items for guests to find and take photos of, such as “a group selfie”, “the birthday cake”, or “a guest wearing a party hat”.
  • Give each guest a copy of the list and a camera or smartphone.
  • Set a time limit for the scavenger hunt and award a prize to the guest who finds the most items on the list.

3. Building Blocks

Construction and demolition!

How to Play

  • You will need plenty of building blocks for this game, a Nerf gun and plastic balls.
  • Divide the participants into teams of builders and demolishers.
  • The building team has to build a structure out of the blocks in under 5 minutes.
  • The demolition team tries to take down the structure by shooting at it or tossing plastic balls from a distance.
  • The teams then switch roles.

4. Parent-Child Craft Game

Parents and their children team up to build something creative.

How to Play

  • You will need plenty of cardboard and art supplies such as scissors, tape, glue and colours.
  • The task is to build a house, a car or anything that can be done under an hour.
  • The kids come up with the ideas while their parents help them with cutting, glueing and decorating.
  • Have a team of judges evaluate the craft, and the winning team gets a small prize.

5. Guess the Baby Food

This game is a fun way to involve everyone in celebrating the first year of the baby’s life.

How to Play

  • Purchase several jars of baby food in different flavors.
  • Remove the labels and number the jars.
  • Have guests taste the different jars and try to guess the flavor.
  • The guest who correctly identifies the most flavors wins.

6. Name That Tune

This game is a fun way to test everyone’s knowledge of popular music.

How to Play

  • Play a short clip of a popular song and have guests try to guess the name of the song and the artist.
  • The guest who correctly identifies the most songs wins.
  • To make it more challenging, play clips of lesser-known songs or obscure covers.


1. Why Is the First Birthday So Important?

The first birthday is an important milestone for both the child and the parents. It marks the end of a year filled with growth, development, and love. It is also a celebration of surviving the first year of parenthood! First birthday parties are a chance to bring family and friends together to honor the baby’s first year of life. It is a time to create lasting memories and capture those precious moments on camera. Choosing the right entertainment for the party is crucial, and 1st birthday party entertainment ideas, such as birthday party games for 1 year olds, can help make the event more engaging and enjoyable for everyone involved. From traditional games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey to modern twists like a photo scavenger hunt, there are many ways to make a first birthday party fun and memorable.

2. What Else Can We Do Instead Of Doing A 1st Birthday Party?

While 1st birthday party entertainment ideas are certainly fun, they may not be for everyone. Some parents might prefer to skip a big party and celebrate their child’s first birthday in a more low-key way. There are plenty of alternative ways to mark the occasion, such as having a family picnic, taking a day trip, or having a special outing. You could also opt for a small gathering with close family members or close friends. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, it’s important to remember that the first birthday is a special milestone and a time to reflect on the joys and challenges of the first year of parenthood. Whether you choose to have a big party or a small gathering, the most important thing is to create lasting memories that you and your child can cherish for years to come.

3. How Do I Organize My 1 Year Old’s Birthday Party?

Organizing a 1 year old’s birthday party can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. To start, make a guest list and choose a date and time that works best for you and your child. Once the logistics are taken care of, start thinking about 1st birthday party entertainment ideas and birthday party games for 1 year olds. Keep in mind that the party should be age-appropriate and focus on sensory experiences such as colorful balloons and sensory play. You could also have a theme for the party such as a favorite cartoon character or color scheme. Remember to keep it simple, and focus on creating a fun and memorable experience for your child and guests. Don’t forget the cake and party favors as well! With these tips in mind, you can plan an unforgettable first birthday party that everyone will enjoy.

The first one will always be the most memorable and these games should add plenty of fun to your baby’s first birthday. Throw in some twist of your own to make the games more exciting and take plenty of pictures for memories!

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.