Birthday parties for 6-year-olds should contain three components: food, presents and, of course, games. The games don't have to be complicated or involve lavish prizes. Most 6-year-olds love any game that involves activity. Send the children outside to play some games and your child's birthday party will be the best party on the block.
Organise a game of birthday party tag. Instead of the usual game, try changing the rules a bit to make it more birthday-party friendly. Let several children be "it," and when someone is tagged, they have to sit on the ground. Do this until there is no one left to tag. This will keep the game moving much faster. Alternately, play "dog tail tag." Give each child a long strip of fabric, and attach it to the waistband. The fabric should reach the ground. Then, let everyone run around and try to step on each other's "tails." When your tail comes out, you are "out" of the game.
Six-year-olds love to win prizes, and they sometimes aren't very good sports when other people win instead. Avoid games that have just one winner, and try to find ways to let everyone win. For example, the classic "hit the pinata" is a great game to play at a 6-year old's birthday party, because everyone gets a chance to hit it, and when it does break open, everyone will get a prize. Avoid the grab-fest, however. Instead of stuffing the pinata with loose candy, stuff it with goody bags, one for each child. Another great "everyone wins" game is to hide prizes or goody bags in a large pile of hay. Perfect for an autumn birthday!
Create an easy scavenger hunt in your home or yard. Create clues, then place the items so that they are only slightly hidden. Many of the children will not be able to read well enough yet to decipher many of the scavenger hunt clues, so you either say the clues aloud or provide a pictures of each clue (an easy way to do this is to use a computer to create a one-page sheet containing the pictures of all of the items). Divide the children into groups and send them hunting. For example, they could find stuffed animals, balls and other ordinary items (make sure you have enough of each item so that each group can find one.) A good stuffed animal clue could be, "I am fuzzy and cuddly and have brown hair." Each group that collects all of the items gets a prize for each group member, which should end up being everyone.