Party games for children under 5

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are planning a birthday party for a child who is younger than 5, plan plenty of party games to keep all of your guests entertained. Children under 5 are full of energy and have a short attention span. If you have age-appropriate games and activities, the party will be fun for everyone.

Freeze Dance

Children love to dance and Freeze Dance is an excellent game for using up all that great kid energy. Play fast music and let the children dance and jump around while the music plays. Stop the music and yell "Freeze!" Instruct the dancers to stop in the silly position they're in until the music starts again and you call out "Unfreeze!"


Have a parade and let the birthday girl or boy lead the way. Hand out instruments such as horns, noisemakers and shakers; even pots and pans make great musical instruments. If some of the children are too young to walk, pull them in a wagon or push them in their stroller so they can participate in the parade, too.

Treasure Hunt

Select items such as balls, plastic eggs or party favours and hide them around the party area while the children aren't looking. To play, hold up examples of the items you've hidden and tell the children to find them. Whoever finds the most items can help hide them again so the game can continue.

Pavement artist

If the birthday party is outside, give the children chalk to create art on the pavement, drive or patio area. To make this activity more exciting, tell them what to draw; a circle, square, triangle or even a funny face.

Duck Pond Grab Game

Write the numbers 1 to 5 on the bottom of rubber ducks and put them in a bucket or tub of water. Label prizes with numbers as well. Have the children pick the rubber ducks out of the water. They'll win the prize that corresponds to the rubber duck they picked.

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