4 year old's birthday party - lots of ideas/advice needed!

(67 Posts)
Pamina3 Thu 20-Jan-05 13:45:06

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helsi Thu 20-Jan-05 13:52:58


2 hours and the times you have chosen are great - just right i would say.

Entertainer is good if you can afford it.

Party bags - piece of b/day cake, a balloon, a small gift e.g. bottle of bubbles, small packet of sweets.

Food - egg mayo sarnies can go down well especially if some kids don't like fish or cheese. jelly/ice-cream?

Games - musical chairs, cutting a mars bar up with hat, gloves, scarf etc on (put bar in freezer first - game lasts longer) - CAT me for full instructions of this game.

You might not need too many games if you have the entertainer, then food then follow with bubble machine etc.

Hope this helps.

lowcalCOD Thu 20-Jan-05 13:54:12

party oieces.com do huge bubble wrap stuff that they can pop by jumping on it team game
also the ck up a sweet on a plate fo icing sugar with only thier mouth

lowcalCOD Thu 20-Jan-05 13:55:05


puddle Thu 20-Jan-05 13:55:50

Pamina - I think you are VERY brave having 20 children in your house! We had a similar sized party for ds's 4th last year but hired a church hall. I think what you have planned sounds great.

Some games - we had pass the parcel and musical bumps. We had a game going on when the kids arrived - it was a variation on pin the tail on the donkey, but they had to guess where the treasure was on a pirate map (drawn by me and DP - party had a pirate theme). It was good because it gave the kids something to do at the beginning of the party which wasn't dependent on everyone being there. Plus had load s of ballooons which they batted about at the beginning. The other great success was the mummy game - we divided the kids into four teams each with a grwon up. The kids had to wrap the grown up up in toilet rolls so they looked like a mummy. This was a great energy burner before tea.

We had a penata which was a great way to end the party and cut down on party bag stuff as kids had extra sweets to take home.

Your food sounds great - my one tip would be go for much less than you think you'll need - most don't eat it. Put out a platefull per child with a seoection on it rather than letting them help themselves.

The other thing is decide whether your ds will be allowed to open the presents as the kids arrive. We have done parties at home with 10 children and presents have been opened as they have been given - we warned ds that this time there would be too many children to sit and watch him opening everything and we would do the unwrapping later when we got home.

Hope this helps - sure it will be great!

Sonnet Thu 20-Jan-05 13:56:02

I too have a nearly 4 yr old - see pressi idead thread.

Have done parties for my older DD as well since the age of 3.

Itcan be quite hard doing games for 1 hour and 15 ins - can you include any free play with DD's toys? or an entertainer for part of that time.

For an idead this is what I am doing for my DD's 4th birthday in the village hall.
3pm until 5pm.
3pm until 3.40 - free play on bouncy castle and some of DD's y=toys (prmas, sit ons etc). I also have someone face painting and balloons floating about.
3.40 until 4pm - organised games: Pass the parcel, pin the tail, the colour game (6 large squars of paper all adifferent colour, all children run about and when music stops they choose a colour to go to - an adult not looking calls out a colour and all those children are "out"
When they are out I let them choose a sweet from a basket)

tea at 4pm and at 4.30 free play on bouncy castle plus another pass the parcel.
Your tea ideas seem similar to mine - I always do traffic light jelly as well

It will be hard work - I'm planning to collapse afterwards with glas of wine and takew=away!

Pamina3 Thu 20-Jan-05 13:56:19

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motherinferior Thu 20-Jan-05 13:59:06

Big respect. DD1 is about to be four and we are having about eight little girls cutting and sticking and making hats in our front room.

lowcalCOD Thu 20-Jan-05 13:59:07

I woudl say 1.5 hrs and tea itneh middle
always works
and get the parents to go

helsi Thu 20-Jan-05 14:02:20


No the balloons do not need inflating first as the bags are quite small for little hands to carry. You can buy packs of party bags in newsagents etc.

chocfreeclary Thu 20-Jan-05 14:03:46

your ideas sound good.
I reckon you need LOTS of games as they are played and over surprsingly quickly. If you don't get round to them, no worries.
Party bags: i personally like a nice biggish present, one year we got a fab rainbow pencil (four folours of lead i mean) which we still use, at a oparty last year a sheet of fish tickers for the bath which are still going strong. These prob cost £1 each but better than lots of tat IMHO.
However the kids love the tat
food sounds good. Don't put the sweet stuff out until the savoury is finished. Don't do too many sandwiches, half a roudn (ie 2 small ones) per child is ample. Most kids just eat the crisps ime.

poppyknot Thu 20-Jan-05 14:04:39

HAving DD's party on SUnday!!!!

The games you suggest sound enough - four is quite young and some might not have been to a trad party before.

PArty bags - in 'Birthdays' and PArty shops you can get packets of cheap yo-yos and tops etc. I also bought a couple of packs of those stars that glow in the dark and give a couple to each child.

Got some bags of marbles for prizes.

Was thinking of a simple lucky dip - got some of those polystyreren squiggles and will fill a toy box or soemthing.

Also having face painting in another room - had this at DD2's party and it takes the pressure off - little girls love to sit and watch this. (HAvwe a handy niece to do this, maybe a teenage friend could do it)

I will tell you what works.

try this site

where it says..
Children enjoy playing games it's true. What they do not enjoy however is playing:
1) Interminable amounts of games one after the other
2) Badly organised games
3) Games where they are sitting around doing nothing
4) Games where they are caught out early on and have to sit watching the others enjoying themselves.

Good luck

Grommit Thu 20-Jan-05 14:06:58

I had a party at home for dd's 4th last year. I booked an entertainer - a magician/clown. The kids just loved it and we didn't have to do anything apart from the food. Food - they don't eat much - I usually do sandwiches - jam, ham, cheese, cocktail sausages, chopped up pizzas, crisps and fairycakes. If you do decide on an entertainer I recommend Smarty Artie- he covers the home counties - let me know if you need more info

Pamina3 Thu 20-Jan-05 14:14:32

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Tanzie Thu 20-Jan-05 14:21:47

Diktat from Tanzie (and my goodness, I am bossy when it comes to children's parties! )

Don't invite more children than you can comfortably seat either round a table or on the floor for their tea.

Sandwiches never get eaten.

Crisps, small sausages and sausage/cheesy rolls do.

As do fairy cakes with lurid icing.

Get paper cups with lids and straw you poke through to minimise spillage, put tea on paper table cloth so you can just gather up whole mess and throw away.

Games - pass the parcel (we always have in twice, once when everyone has arrived and again after tea), and string it out by letting music go in long blasts. Musical bumps and statues, dead lions (at the very end of the party is good and if you are lucky, some will fall asleep!). Also hunt the thimble/lolly always goes down well. And pin tail on donkey.

Open presents with all the children sitting down after tea and write down who gave what for thank you letters later. (This will kill another 10 minutes - believe me this will be the longest two hours of your life!)

They are prob too young for cutting up Mars Bar game at this age, but it is great for older children.

Entertainer is fantastic idea.

Drink lots of gin.

Get rid of the mummies - some will want to be waited on and brought constant cups of tea.

Be very very strict with the children - take no nonsense at all. Believe me, they will do as you say!!

PrettyCandles Thu 20-Jan-05 14:21:52

We cleared a space in our living room, borrowed a little bouncy castle from friends, had our little trampoline out, also the easel with a 'Pin the Funnel/Smokestack/Face/etc on Thomas' game on it that I had made.

I think dh and dsister did a musical bumps game, with mini gingerbread men as prizes.

Ds's room was used as a chill-out room for children who were a bit overwhelmed by the hulabaloo.

When it was time to eat we deflated the castle a little bit so that the children would leave it alone.
We fed our hordes fish fingers and veggie 'fish' fingers and chips with ketchup, sitting at the table. The adults got the same! Well, buffet-style plus some more adult nibbles. For drinks we had little juice cartons, plus still or sparkling water for those who wanted. No alcohol, the party was pre-lunch. After everyone had eaten as much as they wanted (no feeding or persuasion that day! ) we cleared the table and brought out the birthday cake as a pudding.

We finished with a video to wind them down until the parents arrived.

For partybags we had about half-a-dozen things in each bag (not all bags the same) and most of which we collected over the preceding month or two as and when I saw bargains: glitter pens, mini boomerangs, colouring books, mazes, etc. We also put in a couple of mini gingerbread men from Waitrose's bakery section (Credit to Bluebear for the idea). The room was decorated with Thomas and Winnie the Pooh (ds's choices) and helium balloons without ribbons floating around the ceiling (Asda, about £20? for 30 balloons and helium canister). As each child left they choose a balloon and I tied a ribbon to it for them to take as well as the party bag.

I thought I'd have a chance to chat to some of the mums - nope! It was the most knackering but exciting two hours, and it had never occurred to me that I would enjoy it as much as I did.

lowcalCOD Thu 20-Jan-05 14:22:30

Open presents with all the children sitting down after tea and write down who gave what for thank you letters later. (This will kill another 10 minutes - believe me this will be the longest two hours of your life!)

agree re presents

PrettyCandles Thu 20-Jan-05 14:24:22

And all the presents went on my bed - kept a fat pen on the bedside table so that I could write the giver's name on the wrapping immediately. A couple of presents were opened after the party, a few more after naptime, and the rest after supper.

Cruel mummy .

Grommit Thu 20-Jan-05 14:25:37

We had Smarty Arty number 6 - he was great - it was over a year ago and dd and her friends still talk about him: \link{http://www.smarty-arty.co.uk/}

Grommit Thu 20-Jan-05 14:26:12

sorry never manage to do links

batters Thu 20-Jan-05 14:26:32

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puddle Thu 20-Jan-05 14:28:51

I don't agree with getting rid of parents BTW. I think 3.5 is too little to be left alone in party mayhem - I am assuming you won't know all of them really well? Lots of parents help out anyway.

batters Thu 20-Jan-05 14:28:55

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motherinferior Thu 20-Jan-05 14:29:51

You do realise that I among others am getting VERY nervous now.

lowcalCOD Thu 20-Jan-05 14:30:01

yes 1.5 tried and testd

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