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Retro Birthday Party Games and Ideas for Children

Retro Birthday Party Games and Ideas for Children

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned birthday party games? These days, birthday parties can seem very complicated. Do you invite your child’s entire class? Hire a magician? Go to the climbing gym? If you’re looking for an inexpensive and retro birthday party, try these old-fashioned birthday party games. They’re so old that they’ll feel new again.


Birthday Party Games from the 1950s and Before

Go back: way, way, back to the good old days of a cake and lemonade as a birthday party. Birthday party games from the 1950s are active and fun. Pin the tail on the donkey, or hold a sack race, egg on a spoon race, or a one-legged race. Teach the kids how to play marbles, and give them each their own bag. Hold a jacks or marbles competition that pits the kids against the parents! Learn how to skip rope, and make your own skipping rhymes.


The 1960s and 70s

Many of the family birthday party games of today have their origins in this era. Hold a game night as a family birthday party, vying to win at Risk, Clue, or other classics. Create a giant-sized game of Battleship in your yard and challenge teams of children or families to sink each other: the first one to lose needs to take a dip in an inflatable pool!

How about a disco party? Send out backstage passes to all of those you’ve invited to the party, then get out the bell bottomed pants and challenge everyone to a dance-off. Create your own funky disco dance moves and give them crazy names. Be sure to document this one on video.

If you’re feeling all bent out of shape, hold a Twister party. Everyone can dress up as their favorite Twister color, and after a rousing game or five of Twister you can all enjoy multicolored veggies and fruit cut into rounds, with Smartie-covered cookies for dessert.


The 1980s

Many of the parents of today have eighties memories from their own childhoods. After the big hair and neon sunglasses arrive, what do you do now? Craft-oriented kids will enjoy making glitter-filled water bracelets and friendship pins. Rent a button maker and create your own buttons. How about making an eighties music and dance party video for everyone to enjoy? Use hair chalk and gel to punk everyone up before the show, then crack out the hand-held microphones and get singing!

Of course, there is always the colorful challenge of the eighties: the Rubik’s Cube. Who can solve it the fastest? Have a Rubik’s cube twist-off.


If you are looking for some fun party supplies for your birthday party games, you can always try Etsy or of course Party City.


Even if you’re holding a retro birthday, you want to be modern with your invitations and party coordination. Using PurpleSlate’s mobile invitation maker, you can create a groovy invitation with a retro-themed photo, keep track of your guests, and even post photos and video of everyone enjoying those old-fashioned birthday party games.


Posted by Christina Belmont on January 20, 2016.


  • Retro birthday parties are a great way to relive the past and have some fun! Thanks for sharing these ideas.

  • I think this is a great idea, I usually organize games like potato sack race for my daughter's birthday party with the kids.. But this is unique, can't wait to try this out!

    • Hi Olivia, We are glad you like our idea and enjoyed reading it. Please check out our PurpleSlate app organize your daughter's birthday party with text messaging which is fast and easy, and gets you quick RSVPs!

  • Beautiful & love the creativity of bday party snacks ideas ...... Mam ❤️

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