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3yo birthday party in December -- Ideas on a budget?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My DD is turning 3 and we are having a thing at my sisters house. So far, I'm making the decorations (Peep and the Big Wide World theme) and that's going to be relatively cheap. We are doing cupcakes instead of a cake to save on plates etc.


There wont be (sadly) a lot of children so games are not totally necessary and quite frankly, I don't want to overdo it this year! 


Any ideas for food, games etc.? It could be storming outside or 80 degrees (yes, both has happened in Southern Ca!) so indoor activities only, I should think. Thanks!

post #2 of 7

If you focus on making it green and reducing waste you usually save money too. Plus, frankly, a lot more attractive. For instance, we never have a theme other than "birthday" and while we do have a few decorations to put up to have a special atmosphere they are all reusable. I never buy anything disposable. We have a good supply of Chinese lanterns from orientaltrading.com and those hang from the ceiling. And we have a Waldorf-style birthday ring that the kids share and a crown from etsy for each kid. https://www.etsy.com/transaction/87737461  We don't buy any disposable plates etc and use our regular plates. If I don't have enough for a crowd I just buy more matching over the years but a lot of people thrift them. 


We serve some healthy snacks and a treat of some sort and usually rent a bounce house and put out some art supplies. Parties are always gift free. 

post #3 of 7

I kind of think the most successful little kid parties don't have any scheduled events.  Maybe that depends on how many kids, though, not sure.  But I feel like activities usually only work for some of the kids, kwim?  I haven't yet seen a party with a bunch of littles turn awkward and boring like an adult party might.  ROTFLMAO.gif


Maybe you could put together a good background kid music playlist.  If you did it on youtube, it'd be free, just darken your screen so they aren't all mesmerized.  


I'm already freaking out because I'm also in southern cali and my little guy is turning four in february, and I don't have a space big enough to invite his whole class (22 kids) plus his other friends.  I'm seriously considering having his party in like april so it can be outside.  You know, if I decide to bite the bullet and invite them all to my tiny house/no yard...  it'll be 80 degrees outside.  

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Great ideas so far. Yeah OMG knowing my luck it'll be in the 80s and there will be no where to go-- though my sister has a pool and clubhouse across the way from her place. Maybe I should rent it.

I am going as green as possible and don't want to do disposable plates but-- my sister might not like that idea. I was thinking about checking ikea and saving it all in a box for camping next year!

So far on food we are doing the typical fruit/veg trays (I want to make them from scratch), some dips and burger sliders. My daughter loves hamburgers. No soda but maybe 100% juice boxes for the kids. I'm doing gluten free with the slider toppings. Should be perfect.

I don't really want to do activities and seriously will be lucky if DD will even wear a dress. She didn't participate in Halloween this year. Refused to wear a simple headband and detachable tail as a cat. It all has been very frustrating!

She is also shy and sensitive and I would even go so far as saying she's "spirited", especially lately! We have tried to get her in a bounce house as well but she won't even attempt it if other kids are in it. I think it scares her. So I figure it'll be a waste of money, right?

The only thing she LOVES right now is that darned TV show, Peep lol! So along those lines I was thinking a craft area where kiddos can color pages I print out from the website with stickers and maybe glitter. I was thinking of making some GAK with Elmer's glue but that could get messy. Help!
post #5 of 7

I just had to chime in to say that my son was born the same day as your daughter and also (almost) refused to participate in Halloween--"I'm not doing that."  He ended up doing it after all, minimally dressed up, because his older brother and sister were so into it. Funny. :)

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ha! Well atleast the older sibs got your toddler to participate. She of course wanted to trick-or-treat and I was so embarrassed trying to explain that she wouldn't dress up. Ugh!

So I'm doing a pull string piñata, the silly duck fishing game at Party City and wanted to make a felt pin the tail on the donkey, where could I find supplies?
post #7 of 7
My daughter just turned 3 and we had a lot of kids both friends from preschool and family so the ages ranged from 3 to 7. One of the biggest hits was a game I made from hot gluing popsicle sticks onto paper plates before the party. Then at the party the kids colored them, decorated them with stickers and some glitter. We blew up balloons and had a balloon whacking game which was really just kids running around and shouting and hitting balloons at each other. They all had a great time with that. We also did a freeze dance and a fishing game. For the fishing game, I cut out paper fish and put paper clips on them and a number. I made a fishing pole out of a stick and yarn with a magnet on the end of it. They caught a fish and then found the prize with their number on it.
3 years old is a really fun time for birthday parties!
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