11 year olds are not little kids anymore, but they’re not quite teenagers, either. It can be intimidating to plan a party for this age group!
But by choosing classic games and activities with a modern, fun twist, you can ensure a great time for everyone.
So, what do older kids love to do at birthday parties? You’re in the right place to find some great ideas.
Here are 50 fun games and activities for your 11 year old’s next birthday celebration:
Twister is a fun game for this age group, and it’s a sure hit for a birthday party. The game caller shouts out the body part and what color it needs to be placed on. The last person standing wins!
You can order the classic game or create a giant outdoor Twister game on your lawn using paint. See it on sheknows.com.
2. Nerf War
Having a Nerf War is one of the most fun birthday party games you can plan! Gather up all of your Nerf or water blasters that you have around the house, and ask your kid’s friends to bring their own, too.
Then organize a Nerf war in the backyard or local park. You can even get a Nerf-themed birthday cake, and giveaway small water blasters as a party favor.
3. Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is a great way to get to break the ice at a party and help everyone get to know each other better. One player asks another player if they want a “Truth” or a “Dare.” If they say “Truth”, you can ask them anything and they have to answer truthfully. You can come up with a question on your own or find a list online.
Examples of Truth Questions:
1. “When is the last time you lied?
2. “What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?
3. “What is your biggest regret?”
If they choose Dare, you get to dare them to do something silly or embarrassing!
Examples of Dares:
1. Do a free-style rap for the next minute.
2. Act like a chicken until your next turn.
3. Talk in a British accent until your next turn.
4. Do 20 pushups.
5. Dump out your purse, backpack, or pockets and do a show and tell of what’s inside.
It’s important to stay safe both emotionally and physically. Set clear expectation for your party guests.
4. Name that tune
Name that tune is a great game for kids who love music. Put together a playlist of your child and their friend’s favorite songs. Then divide the kids into two teams and play quick snippets of each song.
Have the kids write down their answers and see who gets the most points. Plan a fun music-themed prize for the winner, and perhaps a consolation prize for the other team.
You can also play “Hum That Tune” where party guests try to hum a song for their teammates to guess.
5. Would you Rather?
Playing “Would You Rather” is a great way to spark discussion and laughter, and get to know each other better. It’s fun to pose questions that require the other person to choose between two great options, but sometimes it’s even more fun to make them choose between two terrible options.
Use your imagination or google the term “Would You Rather Questions”, and choose a few that appeal to you.
Here are some examples:
“Would you rather live in a house shaped like a circle, or a house shaped like a triangle?“
“Would you rather only be able to walk backwards or only be able to walk on all fours?“
“Would you rather eat a slug or take a bath with a spider?“
Need some help coming up with questions? This book on Amazon has some ideas for you.
Pictionary is one of those great party games that will get any age laughing. You’ll need a large piece of paper or whiteboard, and it may help to pre-write some good clues. One person on each team tries to draw the person, place, or thing without saying a word, and their teammates have to guess what it is!
7. Movie Night & Popcorn
There’s nothing better than a classic movie night at your birthday party. This can be part of a sleepover or an “undernight” (when the kids get picked up before bedtime).
To make it memorable, have everyone lay out their sleeping bags or blankets, pop some popcorn (you can add candy like gummy bears or sprinkles to make it even more special), and turn out all the lights!
This is a great option for a small group of your child’s closest friends.
Variation: Outdoor Movie Night!
Snuggle up on an outdoor blanket and watch a movie outside. There’s something special about watching a movie under the stars!
8. Cupcake Wars
Pre-bake some plain cupcakes and let the kids compete with each other for the best-decorated cupcakes, just like in their favorite baking shows! The winning team can earn a baking-themed prize. The best part? It’s built-in party food!
9. Fortnite Fort Night
Like it or not, most 11-year-old boys and girls love video games. Why not encourage it for a night? Create a fort using pillows, chairs, and blankets and let the children play the Fortnite video game to their heart’s delight.
10. Piñata (With a Twist!!)
You can buy a piñata at any party store, or even Walmart. The kids will love putting blindfolds on and trying to break it open so that all the candy will fall out! Depending on the number of guests you have attending your party, you may want to get more than one piñata.
For some extra fun, add something other than candy to the piñata. It could be fidgets, pop-its, hair ties, baseball cards, etc.
11. Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be adapted for all ages. If you’re feeling motivated, organize a simple treasure hunt or neighborhood scavenger hunt for your birthday party guests. If you have a theme for your party, it’s a good idea to have the scavenger hunt go along with it. For example, if it’s a Harry Potter party, it could be a Marauder’s Map theme.
12. Paint & Sip
Provide a canvas, paint, and sparkling fruit juices or fancy soda so your party guests can paint and sip to their hearts content. They’ll have so much fun, and you can provide a new paintbrush or watercolor set for party favors. The great thing about this activity is that they’ll always have a personalized memento from your party.
Variation: Plein Air Painting
Grab some paper and different colors of paint, and paint in the great outdoors! Your backyard or a local park is the perfect spot for this simple activity. Paint the trees, grass, and flowers that you see around you.
13. Backyard Campout
Who says your child’s birthday party has to be complicated? Take it back to simpler times with a backyard campout. Have everyone bring their tent and sleeping bag and campout in the backyard. Bonus points for a campfire, flashlight tag, and s’mores. Some children who haven’t slept outside before may get spooked, so chat with parents beforehand.
Charades is one of those classic party games that will help break the ice and get everyone laughing. To prepare, review the basic instructions with the kids, do an example for them, and write down some of things they could act out.
15. Flag Football Game
Football party! Order some flags to go around each party guests’s waist and start up a game of flag football in the backyard. If your party falls during football season and your kids are fans, it might be fun to have a football watch party before or after your game with wings, chips and dip, and soda.
16. Tug of War
All you need is a large rope and a clear marker on the ground to mark the center. Then split the kids up into two teams and place them on either side of the rope. The goal is to pull the other team over the center line.
Variation: Sprinkler Tug Of War
Put one person on either side of the sprinkler, grab a rope, and tug! The losing team will get soaked!
17. Capture the Flag
Capture the flag is a classic backyard game that older children in this age group will love. Split the kids into two teams and give them each a flag to protect. The flag can be a bandana, a ball, or any small object. The goal is to steal the other teams flag and bring it back to your side without getting tagged. This game is perfect for a big party with lots of kids.
18. Balloon Stomp
A Balloon Stomp is a high-energy game where everyone tries to pop balloons that have been tied around each person’s ankles. The last person standing wins!
19. Karaoke Party
Fire up the karaoke machine and let the kids be silly! This pairs well with a glow stick dance party, movie night, and sleepover party or undernight.
20. Two Truths & A Lie
Two Truth & A Lie is a tried-and-true ice-breaker, but it’s surprisingly fun to play even with close friends and family. Even the closest of friends don’t know everything about each other, and learning something new about the other person is what keeps a relationship new and exciting.
How to play:
Take 1-2 minutes to write down three facts about yourself. Two things should be completely true, and one should b e should be completely false. Try to choose a lie that is not obviously false, and try to choose true facts that might surprise the other person. You want it to be difficult for the other person to know which items are true, and which are false.
21. Kickball Game
Set up four large objects for your bases, and have a pitcher roll the ball to the kicker. Just like baseball, try to get around the bases. It’s a playground favorite!
Dodgeball is an easy game to set up because all you need is are soft balls for the kids to throw and a center line separating the teams. This is a great activity for a large group.
23. Blindfolded Makeup
Split the party guests into groups of two. One person puts on a blindfold. The blindfolded person applies makeup to their partner’s face trying to follow the instructions of their partner.
24. Soccer Shootout
Set up two goals and start up a soccer game. Or do a soccer shootout! To do a shootout, set up two cones for your goal, and mark a ten foot distance, or any distance you choose. Dribble the ball up, and shoot! See how many you can make in a set amount of time.
25. Mad Science Experiments
Do you have a child who would love a mad scientist party theme? Here’s a list of 75 super-simple but mind-blowing science experiments for your next party.
26. Water Balloon Games
On a hot summer day, all you need are some water balloons for an epic party. And a classic water balloon fight is just the beginning!
Here are 21 fun water balloon games you’ll all love. Afterwards, serve some ice cream sundaes.
27. Ninja Bootcamp Obstacle Course
This age group loves a good challenge. Give everyone a bandana to tie around their head. Grab some cones, hula hoops, outdoor blankets, small stools, and any other equipment you could use for outdoor obstacle courses and relay races. You can set it up for them or let them set up their own obstacle course. Time each other running through. Who can pass the finish line fastest? This is a simple, fun way to get active.
A great party favor for this activity? Water bottles!
28. Balloon Bulls Eye
One of the best party activities is balloon bulls eye. Affix several balloons to a vertical surface that you are okay with getting damaged. Provide darts to each child and see if they can pop the balloons.
29. Hula Hoop Fun
Use a hula hoop to play human ring toss, or just have some fun spinning the hula hoop around your waist!
30. Sidewalk Chalk Mural
For a cool-looking geometric chalk mural, place masking tape on the ground, fence, or any surface you are working on your chalk mural. Create geomatric shapes similar to a stained glass window. Color in the shapes. When you lift the tape up, you’ll have a beautiful geometric mural.
31. Glow Stick Dance Party
One of the best things about being a kid is letting loose and dancing up a storm. Give everyone a set glow sticks, turn out the lights, and put on their favorite music!
32. Hide & Seek
This is one of the best games of all time, and it’s not just for little kids. In fact, it gets more fun as you get older! One player covers their eyes and gives the other players 30 seconds to hide. After 30 seconds, they’re coming for you! Set clear boundaries and rules for the game to keep everyone safe.
33. Keep It Up
Using balloons or a light bouncy ball, see how long you can keep it in the air without it touching the ground. Team members cannot touch it more than once in a row. The team gets a point for every touch.
34. Paper Airplane Cornhole
Each player creates the best paper airplane they can. Then take turns trying to land the airplane into a bucket or other target.
35. Slip n’ Slide n’ Grab
When you can’t have a pool party, a slip n’ slide is the best way to get wet and wild! Better yet, place random objects along the slip n slide. Try to grab them as you slide down! Any 11-year-old boy or girl would love to have a slip n’ slide birthday party.
36. Frisbee Toss
Hone your frisbee throwing skills. Grab a bucket or laundry basket, and try to toss the frisbee in from varying lengths across the yard.
37. Climb The Ladder
Go grab the ladder from the garage and place a bottle on the bottom rung. Fill a bucket or laundry basket up with sock balls and take turns trying to knock it down. When you knock it off one level, move it one rung higher. How many throws does it take each party guest?
38. Cornhole Competition
This classic game is perfect for this age group. Split them up into teams of two and set up a tournament.
39. Three legged Race
Tie the left leg of one person to the right leg of another person and see how fast you can get across the yard!
40. Bowl Buckets
Bring some bowls outside and put a piece of paper in each one indicating how many points they are worth. Mark where each player should throw from and see how many points you can get in a set amount of time.
Horseshoes is a simple game that all ages can play. Just toss the horseshoe to try to get a ringer around the stake!
42. Freeze Dance
Bring a speaker outside and blast your favorite music. When the music stops, everyone freezes! You can also play musical chairs, where everyone has to sit down in a chair when the music stops. Take one chair away each round.
43. Potato Sack Races
Use sleeping bags or potato sacks to race across the yard in this field day favorite.
44. Flashlight Tag
A really easy birthday party game to play is flashlight tag. All you need is a flashlight for everyone and an open space! If the flashlight shines on your, you’re out!
You can also play shadow charades, catch the light, flashlight limbo, or have a flashlight disco party!
45. Around The World
Bring out a laundry basket and set it against a wall outside. You can play H.O.R.S.E., Around The World, and Knockout – no basketball hoop required!
The classic game of Limbo is one of the most fun party games there is. Put some limbo music on the speaker, and grab a pole, stick, or shower rod. Let the limbo games begin! The entire party will love this activity. Want to level up? Get some island-themed party decorations, since the game of limbo originated in Caribbean island of Trinidad.
47. Lawn Bowling
Set up some bottles and use any ball for a DIY version of lawn bowling, or get an official set.
48. Backyard Baseball
Place four large objects in the yard as the bases and play some good old-fashioned baseball.
49. Beach Ball Shot Put
Create a throwing line in the grass and throw the beach balls from there by “pushing” the ball in the form of a shot putter. Measure each throw with a tape measure and write the measurement. See who can throw the farthest!
50. Giant Jenga
Stack up the wooden blocks and remove the one by one. Don’t let the tower fall! We like this set from Hey! Play! on Overstock.com because the pieces are large, but they aren’t so giant that they would hurt someone when they all come crashing down.
Alternative: If you don’t have a giant Jenga game, or want a budget friendly game option, you can opt for a giant Memory Game. Use a Sharpie to write two of each letter or number on large pieces of cardboard. Then lay all the cardboard facedown in your yard and play a giant game of Memory!
51. High Jump & Long Jump Competition
For a High Jump Competition, find a big tree or a clear section of wall space outside, and make sure the area is safe. Jump and reach as high as you can. Use a tape measure to record the heigh of each touch. Who can get the highest?
For the Long Jump Competition, find a grassy area of your backyard that is safe to jump around. Market a take-off line, and have everyone jump from that spot. They should bend their knees, swing their arms, and jump for distance. Measure each jump with a tape-measurer and see who can jump the farthest!
52. Ring Toss
Toss each ring to get it around a peg, worth different amounts of point. This classic game will be fun all summer long! We like the Triumph Wooden Ring Toss Game from Blain’s Farm & Fleet because it’s super compact and disassembles easily.
53. Water Blob
Get a clear plastic tarp and fold it in half. Duct tape the three open sides so that they are completely shut. Leave a small opening to fill up the blob with water. Once it’s filled, close it up with duct tape. Everyone will love sliding, jumping, and laying on your new water blob.
54. Ice Skating or Sledding
In a cold weather climate, ice skating and sledding can be the perfect birthday party activities. Just add hot cocoa!
Happy birthday to your 11 year old!
We hope you loved these fun ideas and that your party is a huge success!