3rd birthdays - big bash or small? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-21-2006, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Around my town, it seems more and more common for parents to throw big bashes for their children's birthdays. I just went to a 3rd birthday party at an indoor sports arena. There were at least 20 kids invited and they all got to play soccer and then enjoy those inflatable houses with slides and bouncy areas. There was a ton of food and parting gifts for all. This kind of thing is becoming more and more common, especially with those who have money. I'm not criticizing the big bashes, just feeling a little bit jealous that we don't have funds for this kind of thing. I do also, however, wonder how they are going to top this from year to year.

For my dd's upcoming 3rd birthday party, we are planning a picnic in the park (her choice) and inviting her 2 friends and their families. I sort of feel like this is not enough, like I should plan some games or some kind of activity.

What do you all do for 3rd birthday parties? What kinds of activities do 3 year olds like at parties.
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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It would be pretty easy to plan a few games for a picnic party. Maybe Hot Potato? Or Duck, Duck, Goose? Or Red Light Green Light? Simon Says? Or bring along a cd player and play some music for the kids to cut loose to.

Your dd will know you planned a special outing just for her birthday. That's all that matters!
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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We had a birthday cake after dinner and she opened a couple of gifts! No big party. It was fine. The only thing she wanted was a chocolate cake.

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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I think it totally depends on what you *can* and *want* to do. We didn't/don't have a lot of $$$ available, so we did something smaller. My dd turned three in January, and really wanted to have a "tumble" party... So for $100 CDN we had pizza, cake, the rec hall for two hours, and an instructor come and do dancing and tumbling with Zoe and about 10 little ones. Mostly cousins, friends of the family, etc. My inlaws, my parents and myself all contributed to the $100 of the party - that was our gift.

Last year when Zoe turned two, we just had a brunch party at my parent's house. The toddlers played with toys and ran around. Cheap and fun!

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Someone once told me that the number of kids you invite should be the same as your child's age. So age three would mean no more then three kids... But seriously, I think it depends on what the child wants and how well they do with other kids. I don't think I would throw a big party at a sports arena. I think that fills the needs of the adults rather then the kids. An outing to the park sounds like it would be great fun for three year olds..

michelle
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:23 PM
 
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It also depends on your child's personality. Is she a social butterfly who gets her energy from the people around her or does she prefer just one on one time with a close friend? IMO birthdays get way too out of control. A parent should never feel like they have to be so extravagent in their child's party. Kids are happy just to be with each other!!

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Old 03-21-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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We just attended a 1 year old's Birthday party this past Saturday. My friend rented a Moonwalk (AKA Inflatable Bouncer) valued at $100, a Clown valued at $160, and a food spread to feed over 50 people valued at $300, Decorations, Games, Party Favors, Goody Bags, a cake with her son's picture on it ALL valued at $200.

So in all she spent roughly $760 and probably more on gifts for her 1 year old son.

There were over 20+ kids there.

DH and I are throwing a big birthday party for DS. At home. We will rent the Moonwalk, I found a great deal on the rental. Those kids went wild on it and DS had a ball. He threw a fit when DH tried to pull him out to eat! so he let him stay and I stood by and watched him jump with the other kids.

For food, I'm having it catered as cheaply as possible...I'm still shopping around. We can't get around the number of young kids we are inviting about 15...because that is just that many in our family on both sides. So we just have to deal with it.

We are keeping the party 2 hours and everyone will be ordered OUT.

Can't afford Granny the Clown.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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My son LOVES being around all of his friends, and his 3rd birthday party had about 10 kids and 30 adults (most of our friends don't have kids, but they sure love ours!) He had a BLAST and I am so glad we did it. It wasn't expensive since we had it at his dad's house (we're alternating years), the only costs were food, drinks, and party favors for the kids (and party hats for all!)- his dad made sushi and some saag; I bought sodas, juice and some pirate-themed favors (temporary tattoos, eye patches, fake coins, and bubbles) and decorations. I also baked some vegan cupcakes.
I agree with pinkmilk- base it on your child's personality. Julian is a social butterfly and then some. He has much more fun in a big group than with just 1 or 2 friends, but some kids are totally the opposite and would have been overwhelmed by 40 people shoving presents and "happy birthday"s at them.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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Funny, I have been pondering this lately too. Our DD has down syndrome so she can't really say what she wants for her birthday.

But, I have a feeling she would be happy with just her family and lots of pretty decorations and a fun cake with candles to blow on. I thought about doing something with friends but she only has one and they don't play together much. Developmentally delays will do that.

Sometimes I have to remember who I am planning this for - me or DD. What I want or what she would like.

Christi
DS1(12), DD(7)blessed with T21, DS2(2), and DD2 - newly arrived 1/28/11
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