Who doesn’t want to impress people? That’s why you go all out for your toddler’s 3rd birthday party right? The cake, the decor, the return gifts or party favors, everything needs to be on point, right?
If you were looking for 3-year-old birthday party ideas at home or 3rd birthday party ideas for a girl, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what went down at my threenager’s birthday bash. New, simple, and radical ideas you and your guests would LOVE!
Planning ahead for the 3rd Birthday Party
Apart from the fresh edibles, keep everything else ready three days ahead, at least. Me? I made a list a week before, and went all over town, a day before. It was so last minute. We barely had an hour to get the children and the house ready for our guests.
You plan ahead to avoid stress. Remember, it will show in the pictures. You can always hire an event planner who’d do everything for you. Just tell them your preferences and show up.
I didn’t even have time to take a bath. Urgh.
The Minimalism Theme
It’s clean, it’s fast, and it’s fun when it’s minimal. Your guests would appreciate having no clutter. A sweet table takes up less space and is a feast for your eyes too.
Last year, we called all the kids my daughter knew; she was two years old then. So, that’s everyone from the building and the church. There were about 20 kidlets and their parents cramped inside my 850 sq. ft. apartment.
I was recovering from my second c-section then so I was a little dazed and confused and frankly, overwhelmed by the sheer presence of so many people. The pressure of throwing a toddler birthday party for the first time was just too much for me.
That’s why we decided to keep it as intimate as a tea party this year.
Baby Aria turned 3, my threenager. Although Aria knows, even more, kids this year, we invited only the 6 friends she loves. Four showed, and it made all the difference!
PRO TIP: If you can’t make it for a kid’s birthday party, let the planner know. It’s common courtesy and also helps to plan and budget the party better.
Games to Engage the Kids
What good is a 3-year-old birthday party, without some structured activity? Preschoolers are dynamic characters, their memory is thriving at this point and they make sense of their world using sequences. That’s why a routine and incorporating games for teaching a preschooler is so important.
We play games to get chores done too. Baby Aria puts her clothes in the hamper, uses the bin and we also have a “clean up” song. Ah, that’s golden nuggets of information for another time. Remember to subscribe so you won’t miss it.
So, having games at a 3rd birthday party is another opportunity to help your child build social skills. It is another chance to practice getting along with others, especially the ones your child loves to be with. Here are some ideas for a 3-year-old birthday party at home:
Actions on the count of three
This game helped us bring the children together for pictures. We asked them to run to the wall and do different actions, such as throwing your hands up, shout hooray! Keep your camera ready because they are sneaky, they will run away and wait for you to count again.
Passing the parcel
The music stops at random and whoever has the ball, wins the prize. Yes, at a toddler or a preschooler birthday party, everybody wins, right?
Remember to take breaks between the games
This is important. Preschoolers get excited at the prospect of play. To avoid getting them hyper and out of control, make sure to take breaks between structured activities. We played the games in her room. For breaks, we went to the living room for snacks or a drink. Your guests would love it! The parents, because the kids are calmer. The kids, because they get a sense of “freedom” and wiggle time between games.
A Likable and Practical Food Menu
A tight ship routine makes being a stay at home parent easy. With day naps and a strict bedtime routine in place, my children are most active only between 3-6pm. Naturally, this was the time we chose to host Aria’s 3rd birthday party. Being tea-time, our birthday food menu was limited to simple snacks only.
- Smiley Fries
- Wafer Sticks
- Tang Juice
The breaks in between the games: a juice break, donut break, popcorn break. So the kids literally ate in piece meals. It gave them enough energy to participate, but not too much to go crazy and out of control. That is key to a successful toddler birthday party.
Break away from tradition: End with a cake
Traditional birthday parties in India from what I’ve experienced, play all the games at one go and cutting the birthday cake is an inaugural milestone. People cut the cake to get the party started, right? We did the opposite.
We did not expect preschoolers to sit down for 15-20 minutes straight and finish a plate of food at a birthday party. Since we wanted the kids calm, they had snacks at regular intervals. The breaks in between the games: a juice break, donut break, popcorn break.
The preschoolers are excited already; they are pumped! Why fuel the rage with more sugar then?! Besides, having cake at the beginning kills their appetite.
Ending the party on a sweet note is a brilliant idea. I got that from my friend Julie. Remember her? She was such a blessing, especially during my postpartum depression.
Our cake was dark chocolate with chocolate ganache and buttercream frosting. Soniya from Soni’s Cakes and Bakes did an incredible job! Everyone LOVED the cake.
Useable Fun Party Favors for Preschoolers
With the minimal theme, we could buy quality things that met our budget. Instead of getting one gift like an eating bowl or a drinking cup, we filled a small party bag with some of these little trinkets.
- Stick-on Tattoos
- Play Dough
- Glow Sticks
- Pretty pencils
- Designer Sharpeners
Having an intimate 3rd birthday party gave the children good wiggle room, it made planning and clean up easier too. Besides, my friends were impressed with how engaged the kids were for 1.5 hours and how practical and fun those party favor trinkets were too!