A fish made from newspaper and painted blue, yellow and green.

Birthday Party Games: The Fish Game

We’re bringing you the world’s best birthday games because we know how important birthday parties are to kids!

Nothing beats the smile on a child’s face when they head off to school with those all-important party invitations carefully tucked away in their bag. Except maybe the excitement that fills the whole house when the morning of the party finally arrives!

Playing birthday games is all part of the fun. They’ll not only get the kids moving and laughing, but also teach important traditions, skills (like determination and concentration) and values – no matter what you are celebrating.

Why not add to the birthday party games for kids you know and love by playing a new one next time it’s your turn to host? We are sharing some of the most fun birthday party games from around the world so you can simply print off the instructions, gather together everything you need from around the house, and get started.

Be sure to check out our other party games for kids, too, for even more great ideas!  


Fun party games for kids: The Fish Game

This fun game is a variation on the British game ‘flap the fish’ which has been played for generations at birthday parties. Sometimes the teams would decorate their fish in bright colours before the race, so ask the children to finger-paint their fish first if you want to get creative. Providing aprons or old shirts to protect their clothes is a good idea, but getting messy is all part of the fun.

Stain removal tip: With paint involved, things could get messy. If paint finds its way onto clothes, wash it off immediately with cold water while the paint is still wet.  As long as you rinse while it’s wet, it should come off easily so then you can put it in the wash with Persil. You can find out more stain removal tips here.


You will need:

Old newspapers and scissors Paints or other art supplies to decorate the 'fish'! (optional)  


How to play this birthday game for kids:

Roll three or four newspapers into baton shapes, roughly around 60cms long. You’ll only need two (one per team) to start with, but keep the other two handy because they probably won’t last long! Cut out two 20cm fish shapes from the newspaper too.

Divide the children into two teams. Place the fish on the floor and tell them that they’ll need to work together, as a team, to win the game by using the newspaper baton as a ‘fan’ to waft the fish over the finishing line before the other team. They’ll need to play within the rules too – any pushing, dragging or touching of the fish isn’t allowed.  

This game will teach children to co-operate through working as a team. They’ll need to be open to each other’s suggestions, think quickly on their feet and decide together who should be in charge of wafting the newspaper, in order to get to the line first.

They’ll also need to keep their competitiveness under control – just one player breaking the rules will mean the whole team is out. No excuses!  

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