4th Birthday Party

Oh look, it's broadly a place to talk about special occasions, party tips and to swap present ideas but let's be perfectly honest, this forum is here because I want to get excited about CHRIIIIIISTMAS from about June onwards.

4th Birthday Party

Postby A_W » 26 Mar 2012, 12:07

What did you do? House party, village hall? Games? Bouncy Castle? Indoor play?

What did they enjoy the most? We'll have about 20 children to invite and some will be 2 but mostly 4/5 year olds.

We went to one yesterday and it was so boring. Only played pin the tail on the donkey and musical statutes and then the kids just ran around aimlessly the rest of the time. And the food - OMG - no fruit no veg - just frankfurter sausages in a bap with cakes and crisps and those foil top drinks. Was very pleased when H asked for water instead :D

And alternative ideas for party bags please? Was going to put some sunflower seeds in each one (paper bag of course) but what else apart from a cake?
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby RachelS » 26 Mar 2012, 12:29

For DS1 4th birthday we went and had a picnic at the local miniature railway. The children were given some tickets to have a ride, we played pass the parcel. Re party bag, what about a book.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Pics » 26 Mar 2012, 12:32

Village Hall. Lots of running round with balloons. You can also ask people to bring big toys (like ride ons etc for the little ones to mooch around on)

Sometimes a carft table - or just coloring can be good. for Elodies i got some pre cut masks from Yellow Moon and space stickers as it was a super hero party and that was the nearest themed stickers i could find. Both the boys and the girls liked those, especially as there were felt tips too!

Musical statues, running races, the chocolate game (or with jelly) where they are in teams and have to run up, put on hat, gloves scarf, then cut up chocolate/jelly, eat some then run back .....

Simple games with lots of time for running round!
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Tintin » 26 Mar 2012, 12:52

Church hall, with a magician. 2 hr party.
15 min for people to arrive with the magician set up and chatting to the children, telling jokes etc but not really doing his act as such. Then 45 minute magic show. Then food, which took about 30 mins, followed by the cake & singing Happy Birthday. Then just some running about, dancing, playing with balloons until people started drifting away.

Stompy's best friend had a bouncy castle at his party - HUGE hit with all the children.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby AwayinaChive » 26 Mar 2012, 13:50

In a big green park, with pin the nose on the clown, musical spots, craft blanket (spot with paper and glue and glitter and cut out paper crowns to decorate), hide loads of popsicle sticks and kids go find 5 each and exchange for a handful or raisins, pass the parcel, probably more I can't remember. The rest of the time they were happy to run around and play.

Healthy snacks only and I think strawberry shortcake for the cake. For dd2's birthday we had carrot cake for her party everyone cancelled on and then banana bread at the party people came to.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby ariom2 » 26 Mar 2012, 14:54

we're still planning but B has asked for a witches and wizards party (in may, without warning from last oct lol!) we're going to try and get the local village hall and invite 10-15 kids. fancy dress optional but B will be a wizard. we're going to try and do it all ourself (which seems to be going against the grain here where everyone has entertainers or soft play parties), so are slightly nervous. I'm going to see if I can get a bundle of winnie the witch books off ebay or similar and some magic wands maybe to fit with them theme. B wants 'musical sitting down' and egg and spoon. we've got a lot of willow at the moment (actually to make a fence) but I think I might try and make a few brooms and we could have broomstick races. I might get some spooky rubber toy type things and hide them and then do a spell - children have to help me find 5 spiders, a snake etc and put into a papier mache cauldro that I might make. I'm thinking of trying to make paper aeroplane/bats and throw them and have a competition to see who catches the most (or maybe bats on ballons then they can't get too many and it wo't become a rugby scrum!), pin the hat on the witch/cat on the broomstick or similar, maybe a game of corners - but with spooky wood, spell room, castle, etc, pass the parcel. 2 hours max, 15 arrive and free play, 45 proper games, 30 food/free play, 30 last games and goodbyes. I'm going to have a craft activity (can't think what at the minute) and a biscuit decorating activity (ice digestives and put out silver balls/jelly shapes etc to decorate) for people to do in the free play bit. B is very shy and I'm worried that if we don't do lots of organised stuff it won't be about him enough. we'll do pizza and sandwiches but I have't really though more on food.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby TwinklinGDecorations » 26 Mar 2012, 15:07

Big Hall,

Lots of ride on toys and scooters (thank you Pre school for the loan :)), A table with home made playdough (did this at her 3rd and the adults played more than the children), a table with glitter egg making (the works has 12 polystyrene eggs for 99p + some craft glue + glitter and stickers), table with crown making (card, scissors, stickers and glitter glue). No balloons as the Pickle decreed babies or balloons but not both as the babies will pop the balloons. Like ariom2 I was thinking of icing biscuits too - just need to designate an adult to oversee it.

1 hr 45min. There are hopefully going to be a lot of children so organised games is not going to happen. Party bags will probably be books or a small toy, a piece of cake and some candy bracelets (the latter because I love them!).

Tea/Coffee and cake for adults, party food for children (exact make up yet to be decided by the Pickle and I!). Milk and Water for children to drink.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 26 Mar 2012, 21:32

We had a house party for 14 children plus adults. Party was in the morning. As people arrived about 10am we had a crafty activity in the dining room - decorating gingerbread snowmen (DD1 is a December baby so I spent the days after Xmas baking for her party) with those icing pens plus loads of sprinkles. Crafts as people arrive is a good idea because one or two children can easily start doing that before the others arrive. A friend had decorating masks and crowns at her DS's last two parties, went to Wilkos and got loads of cheap crafty stuff. This year she'd bought herself alphabet cutters and that would be another great thing to decorate at the beginning.

After that DH took the kids into the sitting room and played pass the parcel, musical bumps etc and did his party trick singing 'Old MacDonald' (with puppets) but getting the sound wrong which is hilarious if you are under five. He ends with a giraffe which is even funnier because no-one agrees on the noise.

While that was going on I tidied up the dining room and put out the birthday lunch. We served sausages (nice ones from a local butcher) and potato wedges followed by orange jelly (with tinned manderin oranges in it just like my Mum use to do) and home made icecream then cake. Water or fruit juice to drink. The kids demanded they eat the remains of the gingerbread snowmen at this point as well. Biscuits and pate and cheese for adults plus drinks. I like to serve something approaching a proper meal so they don't all go home high as kites, I also don't give out any sweeties. I don't mind treats but to my mind Haribo is not a treat, home made cake/biscuits on the other hand...

The party bags had cake, a balloon, bubbles and a little pop up toy (Yellow Moon do a good variety of traditional party bag toys) in them. Love the idea of seeds. I keep on meaning to make home made playdough as a party bag gift with all the coolest colours/smells.

Everyone was gone by 12.30. Result! We also got some lovely comments about how it felt really traditional and yet different to the usual trip to the soft play. It helps that being Xmas time we have the time to prepare and it definitely requires more than one adult on duty to make things flow well so one activity can be organised while another is happening.
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Mummyto1 » 26 Mar 2012, 21:51

L just had his last weekend. We were lucky with the weather so we could be outside but we just had 3 of his friends over (all of whom had been here before for play dates on their own, so they were dropped off and we didn't have to cater for the adults). We decorated the cloth party bags with fabric crayons, played on various bits in the garden (tent, tunnel etc) did pass the parcel, musical statues and a hiding game where I hid a stuffed toy around the garden for them all to hunt. I had some other things planned but they liked doing their own thing too and two hours goes pretty quickly, especially if you sit down to eat. We did 11 - 1 so did lunch. It was proper sausages, pitta, hummus, carrots, cucumber and hula hoops (because L has had them at parties before and thinks they are the most exciting food ever as they fit on fingers!). We then served the cake for pudding. Prizes for games were stickers and some craft bits.

I don't think 4 year olds need much to be honest. L was happy as larry just having a few good friends over, and the parents enjoyed a little break! We went to another friend's party the day after and it was 35 kids in a hall with an entertainer and (and this was the fault of he entertainer) it was totally overwhelming for lots of them. They didn't understand some of the games, it was really loud and lots got very upset at not getting a chair for musical chairs etc. the music was all totally inappropriate (YMCA, Macarena and other pop songs with lyrics far too old for them and not songs they know). Made me think we'll keep parties as low key as possible until L says he wants anything different.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Spanner » 26 Mar 2012, 21:57

I lost my reply but similar to what Pics and LMP said!

Adults to help are essential, especially if you are doing your own thing in a hall (we just had 8 friends at home). I think it's nice to have some kind of theme - we did knights and castles. We had crafts on arrival (some Baker Ross stuff, borrowed extra felt tips etc - card shields to decorate, fridge magnets, finger puppets - nothing too messy - lots of things to stick on rather than paint). Party games were traditional with slight twist - musical knights so you had to pose with imaginary sword, Sir Simon says... Playmobil knight in pass the parcel. We did have some haribo and chocolate coins for prizes but individual sweets rather than a bag full.

Lunch was pizzas which the kids put their own toppings on (waitrose do nice bases with tomato in the freezer section). There were some carrot sticks, cucumber and tomato which was largely ignored. We made way too much as kids don't actually eat that much at parties. Jelly and ice cream for pud. Drinks were cartons of apple and blackcurrant from morrisons (the fruit juice kind rather than fruit shoots) or they could have had water/other squash but nobody did.

We had buffet style to load up plates and ate on the floor on large disposable tablecloths and picnic blankets. Disposable plates and not very much cutlery.

I provided adults with tea and shop bought cake (tubs of mini bites) and some kettle chips and diet coke (the mums drink of choice in my experience).

Party bags can soon add up - we got some stuff online and a bit more in the supermarket. Cake, fun size malteasers (raisins for one child who doesn't like chocolate), fake knight tattoo transfer thing and little plastic knight figures. I was going to put bubbles in but found mini card games that were cheaper. My kids like seeds but maybe raisins would be a safer bet? Personally I don't mind some chocolate type sweets as a party treat. And even Haribo at least has natural colours and flavours - everything in moderation. At some parties friends have given me a second party bag for DD although she wasn't invited which was a nice touch and avoids arguments later!
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby A_W » 27 Mar 2012, 08:10

Oops should have explained the sunflower seeds are to grow into plants and not for eating. Thanks for all the tips. I think we will aim for a party in the park next to our house and have the village hall as reserve in case of cold or rain. I like the idea of a little party but Hannah has been to loads recently so need to return the favour. Next year will be a small one! I hope...
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby camper » 27 Mar 2012, 09:17

We went to the local park, picked a table next to the playground to put food on, then let the kids run around for a couple of hours. The only "organised" entertainment was a piñata hung from a big tree. I'm afraid I had to put little chocolate Easter eggs in, <ducks rotten tomatoes thrown by super-healthy weaners> :wink: because two of the kids had nut allergies and trying to find healthy snacks with wrappers on which hadn't once been possibly maybe in contact with something nutlike was just impossible. I only put in enough for two for each of the kids, if that makes me less guilty. I figured it was more about getting to batter something with a cricket bat than just grabbing sweets.
For the rest of the food, we had a big pile of seaweed rice crackers (no dips because I didn't have time, but there would have been guacamole and hummus if I had!) carrot and cucumber sticks, homemade pizza slices, and I made a massive amount of Luca's Mum's kuku with spinach which went down a storm. And the chocolate whale shark cake of course. I originally planned to make a big fruit salad too, but there wasn't time, and tbh it didn't really matter in the end. I think if you're going to a party, you're not necessarily expecting to be fed like it's your main meal, and most of the kids are too busy running around like nutters to be that bothered about the food.
For party bags we had the party hats MJ and I had made, a couple of balloons, a piece of birthday cake, a small notepad and a little plastic shark.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby weasley » 20 Mar 2013, 10:04

Scoot had a knight themed party at the local park.
Games- pop the snake eggs (balloons)
Rescue the prisoner - hide and seek but with one hider
Capture the dragon - giant game of chase with me as the dragon and all of the children with foam swords.
Food- we had a banquet on the picnic tables with decorated goblets and silver paper plates. Plenty of healthy bits and real sausages :wink: Plus some 'party' nibbles.
Party bags- I made them all a knight costume to wear and take home they then filled their bag with prizes from the games and some choc coins from the dragon piñata. They also had a slice of cake and a bag of fruit from Asda.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Woodsies » 20 Mar 2013, 10:17

Tunble Tots, it was brilliant. They entertained the kids for 90 mins, split into sessions of about an hour, then lunch, then another 30 mins. We go to TT classes anyway, but it was fab, would totally recommend.
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Re: 4th Birthday Party

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 20 Mar 2013, 13:08

Isn't this last year's thread? Funny that it's come up now!
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

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