Birthday party for 4 year olds - help!

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Janclamat, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Janclamat

    Janclamat Well-Known Member

    My girls are turning 4 in a couple of weeks and I have yet to plan a party. I have been procrastinating because I don't know what to do. I should get going because invitations should go out this week. We are just going to have it in our home. How long should it be and should it be in the afternoon or morning? Should I just have finger foods plus cake? Will I expect the parents to stay? How many kids should be invited? This is our first "friends" birthday so I don't have a clue! Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I've heard that it works best to limit the number you invite to how ever old the child is, so 4 kids for a 4 year old. I don't think that's a hard and fast rule, at all... probably mostly for mom's sanity, LOL. But I would personally keep it small. At four, I'd have it be like 1 to 1 1/2 hours, and probably have it in the morning or early afternoon, after lunch. 4 year olds can be picky and that way you don't have to worry about a meal that will please them all. If you know the parents really well, they might be comfortable dropping their child off. Otherwise, I would want to stay with my kids and would expect other parents probably would, too.
  3. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    Well, depends on your kids... I thought I would do a party with preschool kids for their 4th birthday too, but they still don't really have real friends at school, so I felt it would be awkward to invite kids they don't necessarily get along with... so, no party this year really. But if you're sure that there's a few kids they really get along with, I'd invite them, and just expect the parents to show up too (I wouldn't drop my kids at people I don't know I think, although I chat with the other moms at pick up time and there's a few I would be ok with for a couple hours).

    Last year we invited a couple of our friends (who have kids their age), and we had finger foods (chips and dips, meat/cheese/cracker trays) and cake... it was at 2pm I think? They stayed about two hours... we didn't really have a set ending time.
  4. Trishandthegirls

    Trishandthegirls Well-Known Member

    We did a two hour party for Piper and Cricket's four year old birthday party and it was the perfect amount of time. I like morning parties because it won't interfere with any naps (for friends who still nap). And it doesn't kill the whole day for the parents. All of the parents stayed for our girls' party, as I expected. I think four is too young for a drop off party. If you want to do just finger foods and cake, 10-12 is a good time because it's after breakfast, but before the real lunch hour. We had quiche, small waffles, fruit salad and a few other things that I've forgotten. It was all food that was easy to eat off of a paper plate. I was surprised by how much people ate - so that was a learning for me. I'm glad I didn't just put out tortilla chips and salsa, or cheese and crackers.

    Plan to have food available as soon as the kids arrive because at almost every birthday party I've gone to, the kids arrive hungry. Keep the cake out of view until you're ready to serve it or else some kids will ask and ask and ask when it's time for cake. And plan a few activities to keep the kids entertained - drawing, playing on a swingset, dress up, whatever.

    We had about 12 kids at the party (plus about 16 parents) and that was about as many as I think we'll ever have. Oh - I liked having a set start and end time for that many kids because it meant everyone showed up basically on time. The few parties my kids have been invited to that were 2pm - ? or 1 - 5 were a bit weird because people treated it like an open house and some showed up on time and others showed up really late. So there didn't end up being much of a party feel.
  5. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    That's funny... nobody ate anything at our party! We had leftovers for a week! I think it probably has to do with the time though... We said 2pm on the invite, and everyone was on time, but yeah, with 16 people I can see how some would get there late.

    Personally, I think that activities are unnecessary, but it's probably because I'm French and parents never planned any activity when I was growing up... don't underestimate the ability for kids this age to entertain themselves, as long as you have toys - you can always set up 'stations' for play doh, dress up, drawing etc.
  6. Trishandthegirls

    Trishandthegirls Well-Known Member

    I actually agree with Fran - no need for formal activities (you don't need a clown! and you don't need to entertain the kids). But do put out toys or have stations with things to do. We just went to a birthday party yesterday where the entire house was picked up with not a toy in sight. The 7 kids there sort of wandered around for 10 minutes and then all came back to their parents to see if there was anything interesting to do. And then they started asking for cake, which was sitting on the kitchen counter. The birthday parents hadn't planned anything for the kids to do, and didn't get do the party parts (cake, present opening, pinata) for a full hour after the party started.
  7. Julie

    Julie Well-Known Member

    The best party I had for my girls was when they were four. I had it in the morning but it was a pajama party. I spread blankets on the floor and let them eat snacks like goldfish and pretzels and watch a video. The kids seemed to have a good time. I didn't serve cake because it was close to lunch but I did send each child home with a decorated cookie on a stick that they could have later.
  8. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    Wow how LAME is that. I don't know what's wrong with people!

    Last year I never had to put stations or anything, there are so many toys here that the kids had no problem keeping themselves entertained.
Similar Threads Forum Date
4 yr old birthday party The Toddler Years(1-3) Mar 25, 2014
5yr Birthday Party ideas Childhood and Beyond (4+) Jul 28, 2013
"Drop off" Birthday Party Childhood and Beyond (4+) Feb 27, 2013
First school/friends birthday party Childhood and Beyond (4+) Nov 11, 2012
bowling alley birthday party Childhood and Beyond (4+) Aug 16, 2012

Share This Page