When it comes to backward child birthday party game ideas, everything goes! You can play any classic child birthday party game and transform it into a backwards game, by changing the order of things, starting from the end of the game, having the players play but not walking forward – rather walking backwards, if the guests are standing in a line to start the relay, then the last one in line starts, etc. Have a scavenger hunt (but with all the clues written in backward language), or play “Pin the Donkey on the Tail” or even better “Take the Tail off the Donkey”, etc. (the zaniest you get the better!).
The winners of each child birthday party game could also be the ones that would have lost if it was a regular birthday party, for example if your having a backwards obstacle course, and your are timing each guest to see how fast they go through the obstacle course, award the prize to the slowest time! (important not to tell the kids this beforehand, let them play as if they think they need to get the fastest time). Or if you’re playing ‘Pin the Donkey on the Tail’, award the prize to the person who pinned the donkey farthest away from the tail!
Here’s a selection of backward child birthday party game ideas:
Backward Freeze Dance
In this child birthday party theme game you freeze when the music starts! Have someone start and stop the music, when the music is playing all the kids need to freeze in their place… then when the music stops they need to dance and go wild! If a person dances when there is music and/or stops when there isn’t music – that person is out. The game continues until there is one person left who wins the game.
Egg on a Spoon (Backwards!)
For this child birthday party game, you’ll need dessert spoons and either hard boiled eggs, silly putty eggs, ping-pong balls or any other form of “egg”. The goal here is to run from a starting point to a finishing line with an egg on a spoon, if the egg is dropped, the kid has to start again. For the backwards party – kids need to walk backwards!! You can work this as either a competition between teams, an individual timed race on an obstacle course, or just see who can make it the farthest without dropping their egg.
On each guests’ back tape a piece of paper with some kind of action or activity written on it. All the guests sit on the floor and one is chosen to stand up and show everyone what is written on his/her back. Different from regular charades, the whole group needs to act out, and the standing guest needs to guess. (Examples for actions that can be written: typing on a laptop computer, going through a car wash, sleep walking, eating spaghetti, peeling a banana, riding a roller coaster, etc.).
Backward Animal Guessing
Put pictures of animals or write down names of animals and tape them on kids’ backs. Then the kids have to ask the other players only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to figure out which animal they have on their backs. Here’s the twist: yes=no and no=yes.
Limbo is one of those classic child birthday party game ideas! Get two people to hold a long stick or pole (starting very low). Then turn on music and have everyone jump over the pole (instead of going under). Once everyone has had a go, have the two people lift the stick a little bit more and all the guests have another go. If someone isn’t able to jump over – he/she is out. The last person to jump over the highest stick wins.
Ball in the Bucket
Kids need to stand with their back to a bucket and try to throw soft balls/hacky sacks into the bucket behind their backs. To make the game more interesting, have a few buckets located in a row, each a bit farther away from the next. On the first bucket tape the number 1 to it (meaning it is worth 1 point if they get the ball in that bucket), the second bucket with the number 2, and so forth. Each kid gets five tries and sees how many points he/she can get.
This is the name of the backward “Hide and Seek” child birthday party game. One person hides and everyone else seeks them. When the players find the person hiding, they hide with them and the last person to find them is ‘it’ for the next round.
Setup a starting and finishing line. Give each kid a numerical number. Have the kids run backwards and in backwards numerical order. You can time each kid and after all are finished, reward the one who took the longest time to finish!! Do not announce that this is how you are going to reward or they won’t try to finish first. (Also, make sure if you play this game that there are no obstacles in the way so that kids won’t trip. It could be fun to also play music backwards while the kids play this backwards game).
Pin the Donkey on the Tail
This is a great one! The kids have to pin the donkey on the tail. Remember, whomever is the farthest in getting it right is the winner!!
Backwards Treasure Hunt
Tell the kids you’re having a treasure hunt, but instead of using clues to find the treasure chest they start by seeing the locked treasure chest. The kids have to follow the clues to find the key to unlock the chest. You can use a small padlock with a key. If you have a large group, use two padlocks and divide the group into two teams following separate clues. Both teams must find their key or no prize! We filled our treasure chest with small bags of foil covered chocolate coins. Sample clue: “Find the only purple flowers in the yard. They hold the next clue.” The next clue is tied to the bush with the purple flowers, etc.
Backward Fashion Show
Set up a runway area, put on some good (possibly backwards) music, and have a backwards fashion show. You can provide an extra box of dress-up clothes to complement what kids have already got on (encourage them to put the clothes on backwards and upside-down). Then just let the kids walk backwards on the runway!
Backward Cake Eating
Each kid gets a partner and one of the kids sits in front of the other. The kid sitting in front gets their hands tied (so they can’t use them), and the kid sitting behind gets their eyes covered with a blindfold (so they can’t see). On the mark of ‘GO’, the kid sitting behind has to feed the kid sitting in front a piece of cake, since one can’t use their hands and the other can’t see, this can be quite hilarious!! The first team to get the piece of cake completely eaten is the winning team.
Read Books Backwards
Find a book you and the kids like and read the book from back to front!!
For this child birthday party game, have all the players dress-up normally… then someone is chosen to leave the room. While they are in the room, have a guest take an article of clothing (shirt, hat, pants, etc.) and flip it backwards and/or inside-out and/or upside-down. Then call the player to come back and have them guess the change that was made.
Totally-Twisted Musical Chairs
Set up chairs in a circle (one less than the number of players). Have the music playing and the players need to walk around the chairs, then when the music stops, everyone sits down (even if a player needs to sit on someone’s lap). Then a chair is removed (but all the players continue to stay in the game) and the music starts again, etc. This continues until one chair is left and everyone eventually sits on top of each other! If there are a lot of players you might want to stop at two chairs (or whatever you think could hold the load!), this version of the game can be really hilarious!!
Write all kinds of messages backwards and print out on many pages. Then let the kids try to decipher the messages. First one to figure them out wins.
Spread out a few plastic bowling pins or bottles and have the kids take turns bowling a ball trying NOT to knock down the pins. They win a prize for 5 times in a row without knocking any down but they have to bowl between the pins. Set up a few stations like bowling lanes if there are a lot of kids so a few can play at once.
Write out a sheet of questions backwards like “what’s my middle name” for example. Then get everyone to guess what it is but they have to write the answer backwards. The one to get the most right answers is the winner.
Backwards Water Balloon Toss
Have the kids divide into partners. Have one child throw the water balloon behind their back and the other kid has to catch it. Each time they catch it, the have to take a step away from their partner. The winners that don’t pop their balloon can walk backwards to the prize box.
Fill three containers with jelly beans, gum balls and coins (or anything else of the sort) and ask the guests to guess how many are in each container, the person who is farthest from the actual number wins!! (Don’t let them know this beforehand so that they will try and get the correct number right…)