First Birthday Party Games That Are Perfect For Your Little Ones!

Fun And Fabulous First Birthday Party Games
Age-Appropriate For Extra Fun!

As you prepare to celebrate your little one's first birthday, if you have decided to host a party and invite his or her friends and loved ones to join in the celebration, then you will probably want to incorporate some games for 1 year olds to play. Aside from entertaining the youngsters and parents alike, this is a time that is sure to provide lots of photo ops.

To help you come up with some fun first birthday games that are perfect for your little one's first party, I've put together some options that my son always enjoyed when it was nothing but a little tot. These games are sure to make that first birthday extra special and more memorable. All the parents are sure to have fun watching their little ones learn, explore and have an exciting time. And knowing that tots will be tots, be sure to have the camcorder going as I'm sure they will provide ample antics that you will want to snag for future home movie time.

first birthday party games
Photo courtesy of: Chris P.

BABY OBSTACLE COURSE - Using cardboard box tunnels and some pillows, create an obstacle course that is age appropriate for your little guests. An older child can demonstrate how to get through the course.

BALL PIT – Take a swimming pool, like a blow up pool, and then fill it up with plenty of plastic balls, turning it into a fun play area. You don’t want the kids to fall on a hard surface like cement, so be sure to put the pool on carpet or a grassy area.

BEAN BAG TOSS – Take some colored pails and attach them to a board in a line, ensuring that they will not fall down when kids toss bean bags at them. Give each child a couple bean bags and have them try to toss the bean bags right into the pails.

BUBBLE BLOWING – Make sure you have plenty of bubbles on hand. Have older kids or adults have some fun blowing plenty of bubbles so the kids can run around and chase the bubbles.

BUBBLE ENCASEMENT – If the weather is nice outdoors, place some bubble solution in a little wading pool. Have a big hula hoop right in the pool’s center. Let one child stand in the pool and then have someone lift up the hoop to surround the child with a bubble.

BUILDING BOXES – Cover square tissue boxes with some paper to create your own building blocks, decorating them with letters, numbers or shapes. You can also use other small boxes for a little variety. Then just let the little ones cut loose and build. As an alternative, you could provide alphabet nesting stacking blocks, building blocks, Stack N' Sort cubes, etc.

DANCING - Since one-year-olds tend to love music and enjoy movin' and groovin', just turn on some music with a good beat, sit back, and enjoy the show, as your little ones dance their hearts out.

First Birthday Party Games

FOLLOW THE LEADER MUSICAL STYLE - Mom, Dad, or an older child shall serve as the leader. Start by playing some soft music. The leader will then demonstrate for the little ones what they need to do. The object is to try to get everyone to do the same thing at the same time, most likely this won't occur, but they'll have fun trying.


Meow like a kitten
Sit down
Crawl on the floor
Touch your nose
Reach to the sky
Stand up
Fly like an airplane
Wiggle your toes
Shake your fingers
Touch your toes
Bark like a doggy

HOKEY POKEY - Have Mom, Dad, or an older child serve as the leader. Have the little ones stand in a circle. The leader will then sing the Hokey Pokey song and make the appropriate movements while the kids try to imitate all the movements.

While you will start the song with one body party, like the left leg, you can use other body parts as you continue the song, such as the right hand, left arm, right leg, etc.

MUSICAL ANIMALS - Play a bit of music in the background, something like Old MacDonald would be perfect. When the music says a particular animal makes a particular sound, the adults or older kids can demonstrate the movements and sounds. Have the little ones move around the room trying to sound and act like one specific animal with sounds and movement.

PARADE TIME – Let the little ones participate in a parade that the parents can watch. Give all the kids a little musical instrument. Things like tambourines, bells, cymbals, chimes, cowbells, horns, drums, etc. work well. Line the kids up and have a leader lead them through the house or yard as they play their instruments. A parent or an older child can serve as the leader. Periodically, have the kids make an exchange, so they may each experience the sound and feel of a different instrument. If you want to enhance the parade theme, have all the kids dress up as a fun cartoon character.

PUPPET SHOW - Use your child's favorite DVD or book as your guide. Get some parents to help you out or find out if local theater students can help with the puppet show. Ensure you keep the attention of the little ones with hilarious voices, plenty of movement and great expressions.

PUZZLES - Chunky puzzles are always a favorite of one-year-olds, as long as they are age-appropriate. Spread out various puzzles with shapes, cars, pets, fish, animals, construction, dinosaurs, jungle animals, etc. and have your little ones put them together. To keep things on track and avoid frustration, let each little one work with an adult or older child.

RING AROUND THE ROSEY - Have all the little ones start by standing in a circle and holding hands. Then have them walk around in a circle as they sing:

Ring around the rosey,
A pocketful of posies,
Ashes, ashes,
We all fall down!
After everyone "sings" "We all fall down!" be sure your little ones follow the instructions and fall to the ground.

You can even change up the end of the verse, having everyone do the new actions. For example:

We all squat down!
We all jump down!
We all sit down!
We all lie down!

TREASURE HUNT - Hide some Easter eggs (extra-large ones work best) around the party area and let the little ones enjoy finding them. Be sure to put a little prize inside of each one, taking care not to fill them with anything that they could choke on.


Even young kids enjoy receiving presents. Check out some of these fun party favors. Click on the first Birthday Bear Favor Set below to see 10 fabulous favor packages that work well for little guests. You might consider handing them out after you play your first birthday party games.


First birthday party games provide an excellent way to round out an exciting party. Be sure you have plenty of help for the party, keep the party from going too long and have plenty of fun first birthday party games to keep kids entertained.

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