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The best party games for your sports-loving kids

Need a list of the best party games for your next birthday party? We have you covered

It’s never fun when your kiddo says for months that they want an Encanto-themed birthday party but then switch it to Frozen the week before after you’ve already purchased everything. But if your child is into sports, that makes things a whole lot easier. Whether you’ve got a kickball fanatic or a budding soccer star on your hands, choosing the birthday party theme for your sports fan is a no-brainer.

There are tons of fun birthday party games out there, and there’s no need to stick to one sport when choosing the activities for your little one’s big day. From soccer-themed games to kickball games, there are a ton of options for all your guests. Indoors or outside, whatever space you have available, we have the best sports games for your little athlete’s party.

A group of kids have a sack race in the yard.

Getting the party started

The warm-up

First up, the warm-up, of course! Have an adult dress up as the coach and lead the kids in some useful and some silly stretches. Play upbeat music to pump them up (Jock Jams, anyone?). The coach gives the partygoers tips for the games ahead and ends the introduction with a cheer for the birthday kid.

All-star introduction

Use crepe paper (easier to break through) and make signs for each child in attendance. If you decide to go with regular paper, cut perforation lines to make it easier to rip when they run through. Announce the child’s name and have a little prewritten bio about them as they tear through the paper just like in the big leagues.

A child getting a soccer ball for their birthday.
Freeograph/Shutterstock

The games

Kickball games

Kickball is a classic for a reason. It’s easy to set up in your yard or at a playground. Stick with the classics or mix it up.

For continuous kickball, have four balls and a large container. Place the container (a bucket works well) where the pitcher will stand. You’ll need to set up an extra base by the home plate. One will be for kicking and the other will be for scoring. First, the team that will be kicking lines up at the kicking plate, and the pitcher rolls the first ball. Once the first ball is kicked, the kicker starts running the bases and the pitcher keeps pitching to the next player(s) in line.

Simplify the game by putting only one base at the second-base mark. Instead of running all the bases, the kicker runs from home plate to the solo base and back home. The kicker is permitted to stay at the base if they need to during their play, but they have to run when their next teammate kicks.

Another good twist to traditional kickball is to add in an activity at each plate. These range from something simple like jumping jacks or push-ups to something a little more complicated like repeating a tongue twister or answering sports-trivia questions.

Soccer games

Have each kid line up in front of a ball and kick the ball as far as they can one at a time. The farthest kick wins!

Dribble obstacle courses are perfect for outside. Separate the partygoers into two teams and have them dribble alongside one another down a line of cones. Once they finish dribbling, they kick the ball to the next team member. The first team to finish wins!

Ball toss

This works well for an outdoor party but can be adapted for indoors as needed. If you’re celebrating outside, use a large tarp or sheet and cut out holes with point values. The kids toss a football through the holes to score points. This works indoors with a smaller sheet and Ping-Pong balls.

Hot ball

This game is a little bit hot potato and a little bit musical chairs. First, ask the guests to stand in a circle and toss a ball back and forth until the music stops. When the music stops, everyone freezes just like freeze dance. The player holding the ball when the music stops is out. Start the music slowly and increase the tempo as the rounds go on. Last one standing is the winner!

Water balloon baseball

Make sure to tell parents that their kiddos should bring bathing suits and towels to the party for this birthday game. Fill up a bunch of water balloons and put them in a kiddie pool. Set up a baseball diamond and have the children hit the balloons with a Wiffle Ball bat. Three exploded balls in a row is a home run!

Obstacle course

Use pool noodles, hula hoops, and cones to set up an epic obstacle course in your backyard. For some added excitement for the players, incorporate kiddie pools at the end for a splashy finish.

Kids playing tug-of-war at a birthday party.

Other games and the awards ceremony

There are plenty of other sporty games to play that don’t require as much physical space. If you are tight on space (or a budget) these work just as well.

  • Sack races
  • Bust the pinata
  • Tug-of-war
  • Egg race

End with a bang

Create a podium using step stools of varying sizes just like at the Olympics. Present the winners of each sporting event with a medal and play music during the presentation. Have goodie bags for the kids that didn’t place in the games so no kid goes home empty-handed.

Having a birthday with the best party games won’t be too hard on parents and the kiddos will have a blast. Whether your child is really sporty or is just really into games, a sports themed birthday party is sure to be a hit and wear all of the kids out.

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