4yr old birthday party ideas

(16 Posts)
snowydrops Wed 13-Jan-16 11:37:58

We are giving my almost 4yr old a birthday party in 2 weeks time. We've hired a local hall (Very cheap) and DH is doing a disco / music as we have the lights so that is sorted.

I thought lots of the kids she invited wouldn't come but of course they ALL are so we have 20 x 4 yr olds, actually a couple of them are older but most are age 3/4.

Ideas I have had:

Craft table - but what can they do? Do i get them all to do something at the same time or set up 'stations'

Traditional games - Pass the parcel (2 groups). musical statues, chairs, bumps, hokey cokey, simon says - anything else?

Pin the tail on the Donkey - thought could perhaps split into two groups, have one doing pin the tail on the donkey and the rest on craft table?

Then general madness and dancing for a bit followed by traditional sit down party food (doing the party boxes idea) followed by a bit more dancing.

Anything else I could do? I kind of want them to spend the first 15-20 mins calmly (ahem) doing something crafty but can't think of something to suit 20 kids??

No budget for entertainer, bouncy castle etc as trying to do this on the cheap as she's only 4!

PS I have 2 x ten yr old helpers coming along which could be 'team leader' type people if I can think of something for them to co-ordinate.

Thurlow Wed 13-Jan-16 14:48:22

I'm doing ours on a much smaller scale, but have bought packs of blank crowns and tiaras and jewelled stickers from Amazon for really cheap, which I thought might distract them for a while making their own crowns. The older kids could be there to help?

Re the games, I've been toying with them but I've decided that musical statutes, while fun, could easily descend into chaos and screaming when kids get sent out - so it might be good to have something else they can do in case any of the kids don't like a game where they can lose?

stealthsquiggle Wed 13-Jan-16 14:52:39

One word : Theme.

It sounds daft, but if you give the party a theme then the engagement with crafts, games, etc will be much easier - the most un-craft minded child will sit and make a crown if it is (for example) treasure for a pirate king.

Once you have a theme, you then reverse engineer all the usual games and general rioting to fit the theme, and the whole party becomes a lot more memorable.

newyear16 Wed 13-Jan-16 14:56:47

As someone who once organised a craft party of 25 guests for my 6 year old in a community hall, what I most remember was the NOISE and the fact that some of them just did not have the concentration ability to do any task for very long. I would ask a nursery/primary school teacher how they manage to occupy young children for a couple of hours without having them wandering away, arguing or shouting at the top of their heads.
You will need several adult helpers for 20 children imo.

attheendoftheday Thu 14-Jan-16 21:09:00

My tried and tested party method is to start off with free play. Half the hall with as many big toys as you can muster - trikes, scooters, pop up tunnel, tent, balance beam, little slide etc - borrow extras from friends if necessary, balloons can be good if you are a big toy short. Then a couple of craft activities out on tables at the other end. Homemade playdoh is quick and easy, or colouring sheets printed off. Stickers also very popular. Nothing too messy to get on party clothes.

After 30-45 min run some games. Pass the parcel (no more than 10 layers but can have multiple parcels going at once), musical bumps and musical statues are all easy. I find Pin the Tail on the Donkey is best to ask a couple of kids at a time while the others are playing. Remember Sleeping Lions if you need to calm the kids down.

Then feed them, then a bit more free play.

Has worked for me on many occasions with kids that age.

SternlyVoice Thu 14-Jan-16 23:56:17

Last year, my daughter was 4 and we did the following:

Craft table with colour-in masks (animals, princess crowns etc..)
Play tent with tea set
Dressing up boxes (borrowed various outfits)
Balloons
Giant jenga
Skittles
Pass the parcel
Music and dancing
Musical bumps

And various other toys for younger siblings

Lovelydiscusfish Fri 15-Jan-16 22:40:38

Am wondering about the same question currently, as dd is coming up to 4.
Am thinking about doing a couple of crafts - one before the food, and one after.
No idea as yet what these might involve - am planning to go on the Baker-Ross website and buy some stuff in. They do lots of brilliant stuff.
I'm imagining: craft- party games (including pass-the-parcel, musical statues etc etc), food - craft - home.

Jux Fri 15-Jan-16 22:54:32

Fill the place up with balloons and let them just run about bursting them, for the first half hour while people arrive.

Lucked Fri 15-Jan-16 22:56:52

Corners is a good game for 4 year olds.

I am not sure about craft - depends what you are thinking about

notquitehuman Sun 17-Jan-16 18:44:57

Does the local hall run a playgroup? My friend threw a party in a hall attached to a preschool and was able to borrow several boxes of toys from them. Unfortunately, this included many musical instruments. The noise!

MaryPoppinsPenguins Sun 24-Jan-16 16:30:30

For my DD's 4th I just hired a hall, got Frozen bouncy castle & bouncy slide, frozen cake etc and let them go mad. It was great!

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sun 24-Jan-16 16:55:09

I remember my sons' bday parties well and after years of doing them, offer the following advice..

Plan more games than you think you will need. A game of musical bumps only lasts about ten mins.

At the start, let them burn off some energy with quite an energetic game such as a dancing competition.

A calming game like 'dead lions' is invaluable when they all start fighting and playing 'it' in the hall. Turn off all music and make them lie there as long as possible.

Have some odd spare prizes to offer the child that is crying, saying something is not fair (there will be one)

Get everything prepared before hand

Try to avoid party bags. Give out a novelty balloon instead and they can take home their crafty thing.

Keep any present opening till after the party as other kids get bored watching your child open gifts

Have some sweets ready for your throat. It will be hoarse!

Have a calming vat of wine afterwards...good luck

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 24-Jan-16 19:03:05

I like the calming vat of wine idea.
If anyone's still around, I have an additional question - how far in advance to send out invitations for this sort of age group is best - does anyone have a strong view on this?

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sun 24-Jan-16 19:27:54

Invitations sent out around 2-3wks before. I realised it was useful to put my phone and mobile number on the invitation so parents could call or text to RSVP or ask me anything.. Have fun!

MaryPoppinsPenguins Sun 24-Jan-16 19:31:43

We do invites more like 6-7 weeks before, or we post on the class Facebook page.

wanderingwondering Sun 24-Jan-16 19:36:08

We've hired the village hall and a bouncy castle. Going to get some of the toddler group ride on toys out and give them a load of balloons and put some music on. Food 3/4 of the way through.
Hopefully that will keep them happy.
Maybe a colouring table for some of the quieter ones. I know the birthday boy won't touch it with a bargepole though!

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