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birthday party games for 3yr olds

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
hey, im throwing a party for my ds who is turning 3. anyone know of any fun games besides pinatas?
post #2 of 14
You can't beat the good old "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" or "Muscial Chairs." You can turn them into whatever theme you have and you can use pillows rather than chairs for the little one.

familyfun.com has loads of game and party ideas for all ages.
post #3 of 14
What about a bean-bag toss? Simon Says?
post #4 of 14
Pin the tail on the donkey
bean bag toss
hot potato/ pass the parcel
post #5 of 14
Don't skip pin the tail on the donkey (or a theme appropriate alternative). We did "pin the letter on the owl" for Rylie's Harry Potter themed 3rd birthday. It was hysterical to watch!

We also have been doing a craft at each of her parties for the past few years (starting at 3 with "potions class" sand art).

I really dislike pinatas for little kids, but we did one this year since we found a cute palm tree (Gilligan's Island theme) and the kids did enjoy it.
post #6 of 14
3-year-olds have very short attention spans, so you may want to think about a limited number of games with rules. (also not so good at turn taking beyond 2-3 people taking turns - it's hard for them to wait for several people to have their turn at the donkey or pinata). And sometimes, they're not the most gracious of losers.

I was at a three year old's party where the kids had a riot smacking and chasing balloons around. The balloons weren't that big, and they had air (not helium). They spent about 15 minutes swatting them around the big living room, laughing and having a great time. The carefully planned games went unplayed, and that was just fine with the hostest.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
3-year-olds have very short attention spans, so you may want to think about a limited number of games with rules. (also not so good at turn taking beyond 2-3 people taking turns - it's hard for them to wait for several people to have their turn at the donkey or pinata). And sometimes, they're not the most gracious of losers.
We've not had this experience at all . . . the kids who weren't having their turn have been too busy laughing at the kid who was taking his/her turn to care about having to wait.

We didn't really focus any attention on winning and losing . . . no prizes or anything like that, as I agree that may have caused some meltdowns (though the five year old cousin was way worse about that than 3yo dd and her friends).
post #8 of 14
When my DS turned three, I gave party guests a bottle of bubbles as soon as they got there, and everyone blew bubbles for a while. The bubbles were also a part of their goody bags. I also cut a huge piece of kraft paper and set out containers of crayons and markers and everyone had a good time coloring. You can cut their drawings out and they can take them home if they wish. Also, I put some hunks of play dough out on a kid-sized picnic table with cookie cutters, rolling pins, and accessories like that for kids to play with.
If you google party games or party activities I'm sure you'd come up with a ton of stuff you can do. I hope you have fun; I love children's birthday parties!
post #9 of 14
Welll....I'd skip games altogether for 3-year-olds. But maybe that's just me?

For my DD's third birthday we let the kids frost their own cupcakes. That, plus just generally playing with each other and DD's toys, kept them very busy.

For her fourth birthday we still had no games...we did make your own pizzas (all the parents stayed for the party, thank g_d) and the kids could decorate their own goody box with markers and foam stickers if they wanted. That was it. Otherwise they just played with the balloons (1 dozen helium balloons are invaluable!) and with toys and with each other.
post #10 of 14
Welll....I'd skip games altogether for 3-year-olds. But maybe that's just me?

For my DD's third birthday we let the kids frost their own cupcakes. That, plus just generally playing with each other and DD's toys, kept them very busy.

For her fourth birthday we still had no games...we did make your own pizzas (all the parents stayed for the party, thank g_d) and the kids could decorate their own goody box with markers and foam stickers if they wanted. That was it. Otherwise they just played with the balloons (1 dozen helium balloons are invaluable!) and with toys and with each other.

We went to a 3-year-old's party a couple of years ago and the mom was trying desperately to do organized games and activities...and it was not happening. There were only three 3-year-olds there and none of them were interested.
post #11 of 14

Pins in the jar

This is a favorite we do at every bday. My 7 yro still wants to play. Have the kids stand or kneel backwards on a straight back chair and drop clothes pins into a pickle jar(gal). You could use a number of variations on this. Those waiting for their turn like to count how many go in the jar and pick up the strays.
post #12 of 14
Just a heads up.
This may be perfectly obvious to many. buuut....

I went to my neighbors 3rd bd party with DD this past May. My friend made it a Dora themed party. Complete with a Dora pinata.
They all took their turns beating the crap out of poor Dora. Except DD. Who stood there with a look of horror on her face and her hands clamped over her mouth. People thought it was so damn funny they took pictures of her!.

I was upset for DD and asked my friend who thought it was halarious: "so, what's up for next year? An elephant cull??"

So whatever you decide, just don't get any themed pinatas. They don't *ALL* get the concept at this age.
post #13 of 14
games to songs -- head shoulders knees and toes, london bridge, etc.
post #14 of 14
I went to a party last year at daycare for a 4 yr old girl. She had a hawaiian theme. They had one area with a small plastic pool and little yellow plastic ducks in it with colors on the bottom of them. The kids did something with that, not sure what but it was turned in to a game. She also had balls for them to play with in another area and cute music playing the whole time. She also had a craft area.

There's only so much a 3-5 yr old child will do without getting totally distracted and bored so I wouldn't put too much thought in to the activities. The party usually only lasts 90 minutes to 2 hours so you have to figure in time to eat and open gifts I guess.
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