13 Birthday Party Activities for Kids for an At-Home Celebration

Olu Ojo
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Birthdays are special milestones that kids eagerly look forward to each year. While planning a grand celebration at an external venue can be exciting, hosting a birthday party at home offers a unique charm and intimacy that is hard to beat.

With creativity and planning, you can make an at-home birthday celebration as memorable and enjoyable as any other party destination. Hosting a birthday party at home has several benefits. It allows for a more personalized experience, can be more cost-effective, and provides a comfortable environment for both kids and parents.

Insights from Research on Birthday Celebrations

A study by Research Gate explored how low-income rural families celebrate children’s birthdays despite financial hardships. Through interviews with 128 mothers across five states, the study highlighted that these parents strive to make their children’s birthdays as memorable as possible. Their central goal is ensuring the birthday child feels happy and “normal,” like their peers.

Despite their economic constraints, many of these mothers demonstrate remarkable resourcefulness, aspiring to host grand parties and provide expensive gifts, which they perceive as socially expected elements of a birthday celebration.

To achieve this, they adopt various strategies such as reducing other expenses, meticulous planning, re-prioritizing their budgets, pooling resources, and relying on assistance from their social networks.

However, the study also indicates that some mothers still struggle to celebrate birthdays as they wish, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction.

Nonetheless, these efforts underline parents’ universal importance on commemorating their children’s milestones and the ingenuity and creativity they employ to overcome financial limitations, a source of inspiration for all.

Craft Stations

Create a craft station where kids can make their creative masterpieces. This activity keeps them engaged and gives them something to take home as a party memento.

Materials Needed:

  • Construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, stickers
  • Beads and strings for making friendship bracelets
  • Paints, brushes, and canvases for painting
  • Masks and decorations for DIY mask-making

Examples of Crafts:

  • DIY Masks: Kids can use construction paper, feathers, and glitter to create their masks.
  • Friendship Bracelets: Provide beads and strings for kids to make colorful bracelets.
  • Painting: Set up easels and canvases for kids to paint their masterpieces.

Tips for Success:

  • Ensure you have enough supplies for all kids.
  • Set up different craft stations for a variety of activities.
  • Supervise younger children closely to ensure their safety.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt adds an element of adventure and excitement to the party. Organize a hunt around your house or yard with clues leading to hidden treasures.

How to Set It Up:

  • Create a list of items for kids to find.
  • Write clues and place them in strategic locations.
  • Choose a theme for the hunt, such as pirates or detectives.

Ideas for Clues and Prizes:

  • Use rhyming clues to make it more challenging.
  • Hide small toys, candy, or certificates as prizes.
  • Provide a map to guide them to the treasure.

Tips for Age-Appropriate Hunts:

  • For younger kids, use simple clues and keep the hunt short.
  • For older kids, increase the difficulty level with more complex clues.
  • Ensure all areas are safe for kids to explore.

DIY Cupcake Decorating

A cupcake decorating station allows kids to get creative with their sweet treats. This activity is fun, delicious, and perfect for budding bakers.

Ingredients and Tools Needed:

  • Pre-baked cupcakes
  • Frosting in various colors
  • Sprinkles, chocolate chips, and other toppings

Creative Decorating Ideas:

Tips for Setting Up:

  • Provide aprons to keep kids’ clothes clean.
  • Have enough frosting and toppings for everyone.
  • Encourage kids to share their decorating ideas.

Mini Talent Show

Release the performer in every child with a mini talent show. Kids can showcase their talents (singing, dancing, or magic tricks)

How to Organize:

  • Create a schedule for performances.
  • Designate a staging area with proper lighting.
  • Prepare a sound system for music and microphones.

Judging and Prizes:

  • Have a panel of judges or encourage audience participation.
  • Create fun categories like “Best Dancer” or “Most Creative Act.”
  • Award small trophies, ribbons, or certificates.

Encouraging Participation:

  • Ensure every child feels comfortable and confident.
  • Applaud all performances, regardless of skill level.
  • Provide positive feedback and encouragement.

Movie Time with DIY Popcorn Bar

Movie Time with DIY Popcorn Bar
Courtesy Of Andresr


Transform your living room into a cozy home theater. A DIY popcorn bar adds an extra layer of fun to movie time.

Setting Up the Popcorn Bar:

  • Popcorn machine or microwave popcorn
  • Assorted toppings like melted butter, cheese powder, caramel, and chocolate drizzle
  • Popcorn bags or bowls for serving

Movie Suggestions Based on Age Groups:

  • Younger Kids: Animated movies like “Frozen” or “Toy Story.”
  • Older Kids: Adventure films like “Harry Potter” or “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Creating the Theater Experience:

  • Dim the lights and arrange comfortable seating.
  • Provide blankets and pillows for a cozy atmosphere.
  • Serve drinks in themed cups for added fun.

Outdoor Games

Classic outdoor games bring energy and excitement to any party. They’re perfect for letting kids burn off some steam while having fun.

Examples of Outdoor Games:

  • Sack Race: Use burlap sacks for hopping races.
  • Tug-of-War: A sturdy rope and marked boundaries.
  • Water Balloon Toss: Fill balloons with water for a splashy game.

Organizing and Ensuring Safety:

  • Set clear boundaries for play areas.
  • Explain the rules of each game before starting.
  • Have adult supervisors to ensure safety.

Weather Considerations:

  • Have a backup plan for indoor activities if it rains.
  • Provide sun protection like hats and sunscreen.
  • Ensure kids stay hydrated with plenty of water.

Science Experiments

Science experiments add an educational twist to the fun. These hands-on activities are sure to fascinate young minds.

Examples of Science Experiments:

  • Volcano Eruption: Use baking soda and vinegar to create a volcanic eruption.
  • Slime Making: Combine glue, baking soda, and contact lens solution to make slime.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction: Create fizzy reactions with household ingredients.

Materials Needed and Safety Tips:

  • Gather all necessary ingredients and tools beforehand.
  • Wear safety goggles for specific experiments.
  • Supervise experiments closely to ensure safety.

Encouraging Curiosity:

  • Explain the science behind each experiment.
  • Ask kids questions to get them thinking.
  • Celebrate successful experiments and learn from any mishaps.

Themed Dress-Up Party

A themed dress-up party lets kids’ imaginations run wild. Choose a fun theme and watch the magic unfold.

Theme Ideas:

  • Superheroes: Kids dress up as their favorite superheroes.
  • Princesses and Princes: A royal theme with tiaras and capes.
  • Pirates: Eye patches, hats, and treasure maps.

Activities to Complement the Theme:

  • Superhero Training Camp: Obstacle courses and superhero challenges.
  • Royal Ball: Dancing and royal games.
  • Pirate Treasure Hunt: Map reading and treasure finding.

Creating the Atmosphere:

  • Decorate the party area to match the theme.
  • Provide themed props and accessories.
  • Play music and sound effects to enhance the experience.

Dance Party

Turn up the music and hit the dance floor! A dance party is a fantastic way to get kids moving and grooving.

Playlist Suggestions and Dance Games:

  • Create a playlist with popular kids’ songs.
  • Dance games like “Freeze Dance” and “Dance-Off.”
  • Interactive dances like the “Hokey Pokey” or “Macarena.”

Making it Exciting with Lights and Decorations:

  • Use colorful lights and disco balls.
  • Hang streamers and balloons for a festive look.
  • Provide glow sticks and party hats.

Encouraging Participation:

  • Lead by example and start dancing first.
  • Praise kids for their dance moves.
  • Have a few dance leaders to keep the energy high.

Storytime and Puppet Show

A storytime session followed by a puppet show is perfect for winding down. It’s engaging and stimulates the imagination.

Creating Puppets and Story Ideas:

  • Craft simple puppets using socks and felt.
  • Choose classic stories or create your own.
  • Encourage kids to participate in the puppet show.

Engaging Kids with Interactive Storytelling:

  • Use different voices for characters.
  • Ask questions to involve the audience.
  • Allow kids to take turns being storytellers.

Setting Up the Stage Area:

  • Create a small stage with a curtain.
  • Arrange seating in a semicircle.
  • Use props and backdrops to enhance the show.

DIY Photo Booth

A DIY photo booth is a hit at any party. It’s a fun way to capture memories and allows kids to express creativity.

Materials and Props Needed:

  • Backdrop stands and themed backdrops
  • Props like hats, glasses, and wigs
  • Camera or smartphone with a tripod

Ideas for Themed Photo Sessions:

  • Fairy Tale Theme: Princess crowns and knight helmets.
  • Adventure Theme: Explorer hats and binoculars.
  • Party Theme: Balloons and confetti.

Tips for Great Photos:

  • Ensure good lighting.
  • Encourage kids to strike fun poses.
  • Print photos on-site or send them digitally later.

Cooking or Baking Activity

Cooking or baking together is not only fun but also educational. Kids love being involved in the kitchen, especially when they get to eat their creations.

Recipe Ideas:

  • Mini Pizzas: Kids can choose their toppings.
  • Cookies: Decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles.
  • Sandwiches: Create fun shapes with cookie cutters.

Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable Experience:

  • Supervise kids closely, especially around hot surfaces.
  • Use plastic utensils for younger children.
  • Encourage teamwork and sharing.

Involving Kids in the Process:

  • Explain each step of the recipe.
  • Allow kids to measure, mix, and decorate.
  • Praise their efforts and enjoy the treats together.

Arts and Crafts Contest

An arts and crafts contest encourages creativity and friendly competition. Kids can showcase their talents and win prizes.

Setting Up the Contest:

  • Provide a variety of art supplies.
  • Set a theme or allow free expression.
  • Allocate a time limit for creating art.

Criteria for Judging and Awarding Prizes:

  • Judge based on creativity, effort, and presentation.
  • Award prizes for different categories.
  • Encourage positive feedback and support.

Encouraging Participation:

  • Make the contest fun and low-pressure.
  • Display all artworks for everyone to see.
  • Celebrate every child’s effort and creativity.


Hosting a birthday party at home is a memorable experience. Customize the activities based on your child’s interests and preferences.


  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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