non-consumerist 4th birthday party - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Anybody have any good ideas for a 4th birthday party for my very energetic, curious dss? We can't spend scads of money, but of course we want him to have a fun special day.
Also, any good ideas for home-made party favors?
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#2 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 02:26 PM
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Sure. Cake/cupcakes and ice cream. Play games like pin the tail on the donkey, hot potato, etc. Have the kids decorate their own home-made party hats (construction paper rolled into a cone + string = instant party hat).

You can specify on the invitations "no gifts please" but it's been my experience that guests will bring gifts anyway.

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#3 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 04:18 PM
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Here are some inexpensive, active games - they assume you have access to a yard or some other outdoor space:
- water balloon toss
- costume relay races
- sack races using old pillow cases
- a version of pin the tail on the . . using a theme your DS likes, such as pin the tooth on the T-rex, or whatever
- musical chairs (you may not like, as it's competitive, but if the kid who just got "out" gets to operate the music the next time it can be really fun for him/her and take the sting out of being out). Don't worry if you do not have enough chairs - you can just as easily use paper plates on the ground.
- a treasure hunt (hide pennies, or painted rocks or something, all over an outdoor space)

For party favors I use brown paper lunch bags. DD stamps something cute all over them, such as stars (you can use a potato or a sponge to make a stamp, plus a little paint in fun colors), then I fold the top of the bag over, punch it with a hole-punch, and tie it closed with a ribbon. You might consider filling it with some bulbs - such as daffodil bulbs that won't get eaten by squirrels - if you live in a zone cold enough for them. Draw, rather than write, instructions on a piece of paper - or write them down but draw pictures alongside - and photo copy so each bag has a set. Kids can have fun planting the bulbs and then come spring will have an exciting surprise. Perhaps include some painted popsicle sticks (a fun activity for you and DS beforehand) for the child to place in the ground where the bulbs are planted, so s/he can go checking for them in the spring.

Another cheap and easy bag filler is some home made cookies, perhaps 3 different kinds.

Hope those help!

Mama to 2 mopheaded rascals
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#4 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 04:26 PM
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We JUST had a treasure hunt b-day party for my 4-year-old dd. Spray-painted a styrofoam cooler gold, made treasure maps, and the whole group ran around our yard looking for the key, which unlocked the back gate, where the "treasure" ws hiddden. Had a blast! Oh--treasure was their party favors--mostly purchased in the $1 area at Target.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a billion, y'all. This is my first foray into kid's party planning, so all the info is a huge help.
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#6 of 7 Old 10-17-2006, 08:44 PM
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For dd's third birthday we did a "Rescue the Animals" treasure Hunt. We hid a bunch of plastic animals in the yard for the kids to find. THe bonus: they kept re-hiding them for each other and for the adults so the game actually lasted much longer than I expected!

We also had a craft project that was super simple-- they made animal masks with paper plates and popsicle sticks.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-18-2006, 01:50 PM
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For dd 3rd birthday we had a butterfly birthday party. I made little catepillars out of those soft fuzzy balls with antenna and little googly eyes and hid them all over the yard. The kids were each given a cocoon (brown paper sack) to decorate, we used crayons, butterfly stickers, etc. and then they were on a catepillar hunt. They loved it!! of course that was their party favor. We also had a cocoon eating contest. Which was a little cotton candy on a string and the kids had to keep their hands behind their back while they tried to eat the cotton candy on a string. I had a butterfly cookie cutter and I used it to cut out butterfly shapes of ice cream.
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