4th birthday party - what have I forgotten?

(20 Posts)
borednotboring Wed 09-Jan-13 21:41:34

DD's 4th birthday party this weekend, we're having it at home. There will be 11 children (including DD), aged between about 3 and just over 4 (pre-school room at nursery). There's a mix of boys and girls. There's a very loose Ben and Holly Theme

The plan

2-2.20 ish arrival and decorating crowns - have bought some crowns from Hobbycraft, got lots of stickers to stick on. May also leave out some Ben and Holly colouring in.

2.25 - Pass the Parcel - parcel has 11 layers plus prize, do i need to stick a couple of spares on?

2.40 - Pin the wand on Nanny Plum - like pin the tail on the donkey, any idea what we should use as blindfold?

2.50 - Musical bumps

3.00 - if not raining, treasure hunt in the garden. No idea what we will do if it's raining, apparently there is a 30% chance of rain/ snow. Should I pre-warn parents to bring coats? I don't think they will need wellies, it won't be that muddy in the garden.

3.15 ish, Tea, menu is:

Sandwiches - Ham, cheese jam
Pombears
Carrot sticks
Cucumber
Cocktail Sausages
Sausage Rolls
Grapes

Followed by various buns, party ring and chocolate fingers

3.40 Happy Birthday and cake

3.50 packing up and leaving.

One issue I have is that I have no where for 11 children to sit and have tea (I had assumed only about 6 would accept - oops). I was wondering about putting some picnic rugs on the floor and letting them have an indoor picnic, is that acceptable? There will be plates, party blowers etc.

I need to get more napkins to wrap the cake for party bags, have the rest of party bag contents, which are kinder choc, haribo bag, stickers, cat mask and bubbles, is that OK?

There will be tea, coffee, squash, coke and chic biscuits available for parents.

What else do I need to think about?

PoppyWearer Wed 09-Jan-13 21:47:53

Pass the Parcel - yes to extra layers for 1) random extra siblings who turn up/join in and 2) extra layers being ripped off.

Please make sure you have water for the kids as well as squash. My DCs and others are squash-refusers and organised parties often don't have water, a personal annoyance.

A picnic on the floor for that age is perfectly acceptable! Done that at lots of parties.

From experience, many kids that age won't want to wear a blindfold for pin-the-wand. Offer hands over eyes and be prepared for no one wanting to join in at all.

Have lots of music on standby for musical statues/bumps as a filler as needed.

Otherwise all sounds fab! Good luck!

scotlass Wed 09-Jan-13 21:51:57

Sounds great grin

Do you know all the kids well? Name badges can help in times of need like when they're bickering

Carpet picnic is totally acceptable. Rug on the floor kids all sit round with food in middle or some kids parties I've been to the parents made up a packed lunch type box and handed them out after checking sandwich choice when the kid first came in. Less mess and waste.

I also normally wrap the takeaway cake in tin foil, otherwise it ends up being chucked in the bin as is a squashed soggy, napkin covered mess.

Don't forget the wine and paracetamol too!

BiBiBroccoli Wed 09-Jan-13 21:52:28

You will need gin. Lots of gin. And possibly a couple of valium.

Other than that it sounds fab but agree with Poppy re music for filler/musical statues. You are likely to have a few who just run around like loons and refuse to join in but musical stuff seems to grab their attention more than craft/eating/pass the parcel.

God luck!

BiBiBroccoli Wed 09-Jan-13 21:53:27

x-posted with scotlass - listen to us re the drink and drugs!

oopsiforgot Wed 09-Jan-13 21:56:52

Wow!!! Putting me to shame, 4 y/o DS 4th birthday this weekend and all I've done is hire a hall and bouncy castle. Going to let them run around for an hour and not actual organise any games, perhaps a musical statues in case, is that too lazy? Stealing your party bag plans, either that or whatever delights poundland have on offer!

borednotboring Wed 09-Jan-13 22:00:58

oops I do wish I'd hired a church hall, but I was only expecting about 6 children to accept, so was happy to do it at home. It seemed too late to change venue when they all accepted (the last 2 only accepted this week). Just job I did some checking, turns out I'm one crown short, so back to Hobbycraft.

Think I now need to work on my party playlist.

The gin is on stand-by........

stealthsquiggle Wed 09-Jan-13 22:01:37

Wine. Lots. For you, not anyone else. Definitely name stickers unless you are 100% sure you can identify them all at a glance.
Make sure, for the sake of your house (and DC's clothes) that any felt tips you put out for colouring are the really, really washable ones.

Sounds good. Agree, maybe not all will join in. Will you have parents staying? Do you know if some will bring siblings (never happens round here, but can be the norm at some places I believe) as this may affect your catering, and some people like to give party bags to siblings too.

what will you do with the presents? Open directly (risk of bored/jealous guests if it takes too long but nice for your DC and for each present-giver to be recognised) or put in a safe place for opening later.

We let them 'fish' for their party bags (blanket loosely nailed across doorway, DH behind the door, fishing rod with clothes peg on the end. Each child in turn casts their line, DH behind the blanket pegs the party bag on and they haul up. Traditional where we live (Sweden) and super popular. Becomes an activity in itself. Then the last 10 minutes they sit and munch contentedly on their sweets. We put a DVD on for them for that part. Calms everything down before home time and gives a chance to chat with parents arriving back for pick-up. Also our DC carried on watching it then while we whizzed stuff into bin-bags and got the hoover out, so made cleaning up afterwards quite easy smile

I made name badges for the kids (we had LOADS of kids at DD1's party and DH didn't know them all) which helped not just us, but other parents who pitched in with juice-pouring etc.

I also (but I am a horrendous control-freak) removed some toys to safety in the shed (anything wheeled, or with small bits) which proved to be a good thing as they went for the toys like things posessed.

I had a few notes written and stuck inside cupboard doors in the kitchen with things like planning on and I prepared a list with all the names so that I could tick off when people arrived and note down phone numbers for any parents not staying.

It was an exhausting afternoon, but DD1 (and DD2 for that matter) loved it. And having her guests sing Happy Birthday to her was so lovely grin

borednotboring Wed 09-Jan-13 22:32:45

Lots of good advice. I know all their names, but DH doesn't. As far as I know parents are staying. No-one has asked about siblings, there were a few of the children at a recent party and no-one there had brought a sibling.

I want to open presents later, I hoping that will make it easier. I'm going to try and close the door on a few rooms and make them out of bounds so we can store our crap there

borednotboring Wed 09-Jan-13 22:33:11

Do you think I need to warn parents that some of the party may be outside?

scotlass Wed 09-Jan-13 22:36:27

I would warn them, 4yr old girls if I remember rightly (it's been a few years) were fond of sparkly shoes and party dresses however bringing wellies and coats would be preferential for garden escapades.

stealthsquiggle Wed 09-Jan-13 23:10:56

Definitely warn them. My DD would not, by default, have had wellies with her, and maybe not even a coat.

Warn them. If parents are staying they can help get them get coats and boots on.

Treasure hunts are v popular on the party circuit here. As are any kind of dancing games.

apprenticemum Thu 10-Jan-13 19:20:34

My little trick was to print off some thank you notes with a photo of my DD saying " Thank you so much for coming to my party and for your lovely gift. I had a great time and I hope you did too" Put one in each party bag and then you don't have the thank you letter nightmare later....Ta dah!!!

Rugs on the floor are fine....most food ends up there any way.

apprenticemum Thu 10-Jan-13 19:25:22

Oh, don't forget to put a sweetie in every layer of pass the parcle.
Loads of baloons, Kids play for ages with baloons (ear plugs for parents)

stealthsquiggle Thu 10-Jan-13 19:29:42

Ooh, careful, apprenticemum - few things start an MN bunfight faster than post-party thank you note etiquette (although I am in the 'each to their own' camp)

borednotboring Sun 13-Jan-13 19:24:08

Thank you for all you help, the party was a great success.

No siblings and 2 no shows due to illness, so in the end there were lots of extra layers in the pass the parcel.

Hints I have for anyone else doing the same:
- get as much help as you can, my parents were invaluable, especially as my dad has been learning magic and decided to do a little show which all the kids loved
- if you are playing a game which has a prize (pin the tail on the donkey) remember to buy a prize (thank got for duplicate Christmas presents)
- if you can get outside for a bit, do. We did a treasure hunt, even though it was freezing and I think everyone benefited.
- picnic tea on the floor worked fine, but next I would get mini bottles of fruit shoot and water to avoid spills
- if you have some time to fill, have a sing song, impromptu hokey cokey, head, shoulders, knees and toes etc worked well

And the gin was definitely needed......

Lovely! Glad you all had a nice time smile

PoppyWearer Sun 13-Jan-13 21:53:10

Yippee!

Can I book your Dad for July please?

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