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3 year old's birthday party - what time/how long/advice needed please!

(5 Posts)
scampidoodle Mon 10-Jun-13 09:56:49


I'm planning a party for DS's third birthday in a month's time. I'm inviting 10 children and expect adults to stay. Hope we might get at least 6 out of those children...

It will be on a Saturday - is 3-5pm too late? I don't want to do a lunchtime party as DS is shattered by late morning and has a nap after lunch and I want him to enjoy his party. Also thought afternoon gives people time to do other things during the day and not be tied down too much. Any thoughts on this?

Also wondering if I need to have games and activities organised for the whole time? Got a few games and a craft activity in mind and hoping we can be in the garden for most of the time (but ok if inside), inside for food at around 4.15, finish with birthday cake and candles. I'm just not sure if a group of mainly 3 year olds can concentrate and be organised by someone for over an hour!

Going to do drinks for the adults and expecting them to just sit and chat whilst we do activities/games with the children - is that likely to work? DS has only been to softplay parties or ones in church halls with toddler group toys, so adults basically supervised their children the whole time and it wasn't really too much like a party!

Any advice appreciated.


steppemum Mon 10-Jun-13 10:08:34

I would plan things to do the whole time, but that would include run around time, not necessarily an activity.

I would have things like a bubble machine - they will jump round chasing bubbles for ages
some balls to kick around
balloons - quite fun as the wind catches them
also a few indoor games, avoid games where people are out - too young at 3, so we do musical bumps and just cheer when everyone sits down, and maybe say 'well done Johnny, you were fast'
dressing up might work too for a bit,
one (or two) quiet things, we sometimes do things like gluing and sticking a party hat or pour the lego in the middle and say 'can anyone make me a car' good to calm down for a bit.
also sleeping lions is good for that I do it so I tickle the ear of anyone moving, but they all stay lying on the floor
In my experience sit down tea is good, but last for about 20 minutes, then quickly bring on the cake, then they will want to go off and play again with new energy.

Plan much more than you need, so you have a list you can look at and grab a game.

Don't let them just free play in ds toys like they do on a playdate. Things will get broken, in fact I usually keep everyone downstairs, put away precious toys, and leave out those I am happy to be played with.

top tip, don't do drinks in open cups. Buy drink boxes, or water bottles with sports tops and refill with juice/squash they don't spill. Write their names on theirs.

I love kids parties, they are fun - enjoy!

scampidoodle Mon 10-Jun-13 13:29:30

Your parties sound great! Thanks for the suggestions. I think DH has a bubble machine somewhere from when he did a bit of DJ-ing many years ago, so I'll get him to dig it out.

Good idea about the cups, thanks. And having tea part way through rather than at the end - I'll do that.

Does 3-5 sound ok to you or would you have it a bit earlier and make it a bit longer?


steppemum Mon 10-Jun-13 15:01:36

3-5 sounds about right, you can do tea later, just don't expect it to take that long for them to eat and be ready to run again!

There will be some who will want a drink earlier, hence the bottles/cartons with a name

instead of gluing and sticking, you can do icing/decorating cupcakes and then serve them at tea time (they may be eaten as iced though and not last til tea!)

If the weather is nice and you have any hard surfaces, then get buckets/cartons of water and paint brushes and paint water pictures all over the patio/wall

can do the same with pavement chalk, our playhouse regularly gets scribbled all over with chalk, and then it washes off (something very satisfying about graffitti)

scampidoodle Tue 11-Jun-13 18:42:21

Thanks for your ideas - I'm looking forward to it now!

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