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I'm planning a 4th birthday party for DS at home. We've got 10 of his friends coming round. He's my eldest and I've never planned a kid's birthday party before so freaking out a bit! I'm on maternity leave at the moment so a bit strapped for cash so we're going for good cheap fun. Sadly can't afford any kind of entertainer. We'll have a toy area for general play and some colouring sheets etc and I'm planning to get them all making pizzas so that sorts food out too (plus a few other bits and jelly & ice cream etc).
But please could I get some ideas for party games? I'm going to do the old pass the parcel, musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey, sleeping lions, what's the time Mr Wolf and the mummies game, but then I run out of ideas. I guess I could do another variation of musical statues - musical bumps or musical chairs or something, but still, six games plus pizza-making doesn't sound very many for a 2 hour party and my worst fear is that I end up with 10 bored 4 year olds!
Arrival and general running around takes at least 1/2 hour. making pizzas and sitting down to eat maybe 45 minutes including singing happy birthday and blowing candles. Which leaves you less than an hour for games. Play 2 organised games - pass the parcel, musical bumps mainly. They will mostly just want to run around like mad - add a few balloons into the mix if they are getting bored (not likely!)
Honestly, don't over plan it will be over before you know it!
I'd also add - have some games that don't have a 'winner' - 4 year olds can be sore losers! My DD is constantly traumatised by pass the parcel - to the extent we usually have to play it again at home, just so she can make sure she wins... Plus lots of sweeties/bags of haribo to give as 'prizes'.
DD1 was 6 in September - we had 15 friends in a church hall. She came up with the idea of having 3 parcels for pass the parcel so you don't have to wait so long to unwrap. Prizes were from the pound shop. Wrap a packet of haribo sweets inbetween each layer and have a bowl of spare packets for anyone who misses out along the way - although is pretty easy to ensure that everyone gets at least one bag with 3 parcels.
Beyond that, with DD2 turning 4 next month we are doing balloons, lunch in party boxes, music and general running about! I will also have a colouring/messy corner and will be ready to play musical bumps or what's the time mr wolf if things seem to go quiet.
I agree that they just want to run round and shout!
Will parents be staying? That is why we use church hall - cheap to hire but space for parents to sit and chat, kitchen to make coffee/tea (and I put out a couple of plates with chopped fruit for everyone to pick at).