4th Birthday Party - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 02-15-2007, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Wondering what others have done for the 4th birthday. DD goes to a montessori school in the afternoons, and while we haven't had any birthday parties earlier in the year, DD has been invited to two for the next month.

I'm wondering what others on here have done? I'm having a hard time figuring out from DD who her friends are - she seems to mention different ones all the time. DD's birthday is coming up in April. I am thinking of doing something away from my home, because we have a small house and the idea of having everyon here doesn't excite me (not to mention I'll probably have a family party here, so), and I have a few options available, but I'm not sure if those sorts of places charge by the child or the party - can you have a small party without paying a ton of money?

Tell me what you've done, whether its big or small, I'm new to this age group and I really don't know what others generally do.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#2 of 15 Old 02-15-2007, 07:34 PM
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For home parties she can invite as many people as her age-to-be. This year she wants it at the bowling alley for $5 a kid. She got to invite as many kids as her age-to-be, 5. If we were going to a big place with a free room, like the playland at the community center on base, we'd invite the whole class.

Other parties- the whole preschool class at the house- total chaos. The whole class at the playland- not too bad, considering you can't reserve the whole playland, just the party room adjacent to it. We've been to a couple at the kid's house where the whole class was invited but didn't all show up, that went well.

Can you ask her teachers who she plays with the most to get an idea of her friends?
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#3 of 15 Old 02-15-2007, 08:51 PM
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We had ds's 4th birthday in November. He goes to junior kindergarten but when he was asked he didn't want to invite anyone from school. He had two friends over that he has known his whole life (all 4 years ). Even that was a bit too much for our sensitive introvert. I like the idea of keeping parties small and mostly with family only because I am an introvert too and the thought of planning something with lots of children running around kind of freaks me out

I agree with the pp, see if you can ask the teacher who your dd tends to play with.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#4 of 15 Old 02-15-2007, 09:47 PM
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We have no family here. We were back home for my dd2's 2nd b-day and my parents, grandparents, sister and brothers were there, her godparents were there and other friends. That was a great party.
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#5 of 15 Old 02-15-2007, 10:02 PM
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We are having DS' 4th party at the community center in town next week. We get a room for an hour, then the gym for an hour all to ourselves. He has invited 2 neighborhood friends, 2 friends from school, and 1 other friend we have known since birth but haven't seen in awhile. I wanted to keep it small, and had to anyway since we rented a smaller room to keep costs down. We had coupons so it actually ended up being almost free! I will make a cake from scratch, plan to buy paperback books as party favors, so it will be pretty inexpensive. I just need to buy a few streamers, balloons, etc. He will require Thomas plates and napkins, though!

Last year we had a few of his friends over here and it was a nightmare. 5 little boys cooped up inside in Feb. was just crazy. Even with the moms here to help!

We are also having small family party the following week, just Grandpa and the aunts and uncles.
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#6 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 12:45 AM
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Well I can tell you what we did for my older ds's 4th birthday. We went bowling--we had about 12 kids; we had pizza, cake, ice cream, etc... I made each of them personalized bowling shirts (don't ask--a total exercise in masochism). All told, it probably only cost about $200 and the kids had a great time...

But I have no idea what to do for ds2's 4th birthday as he's just not that into bowling...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#7 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 03:01 AM
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For dd's 4th we had a dress up party at our house. I figured that's what they were all going to do anyway immediately upon arriving at our house, so why not make it part of the party? Everyone brought a few items, and the girls got to change clothes to their hearts delight. We also did a little craft (decorated picture inexpensive picture frames that I got at an arts and crafts store) and other than cake and presents, that was plenty!

Our house is small too, but one thing you might consider is rearranging your furniture just for the party, to create more space. We have done this for the past two parties and it makes a huge difference. Other than moving the couches around to places we wouldn't normally put them (but that create open space), we also move all of the toys, books, end tables, etc. to our bedroom upstairs.

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#8 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 03:39 AM
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My son's birthday is on Sunday, and we're having a party at "My Gym". He's been to a My Gym party before, and he had a blast. He has a class there once a week, and free play on another day.
We also did Chuck E Cheese once...his 2nd B-day I believe. It was blast!! Not expensive at all, the kids had fun, and all we had to do was show up. We didn't set up or clean up.
I don't know about where you live, but around here, we have a few different free magazines that are resource guides to local parks, and businesses geared toward child entertainment. They usually have them at Babies R Us and places like that.
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#9 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 11:15 AM
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My DD just turned 4 on 1/20 and we had a bowling party. We had 4 of her friends come. The bowling alley here only charges $4 per person; per game, so we paid for kids and parents to bowl one game and it was like $56 total. They do not charge a shoe fee or a lane reservation fee for parties. I would check with your local alley if you're going to do it, or I bet it could expensive.

We also just kept it real simple with cake and juice. My DD and I gave out fairy coloring books that we put together with a small baggie of 5 crayons, and a "build your own fairy" kit (made out of pipecleaners and a fake flower petal, etc) This stuff cost us less than $25.

Other ideas: Do you have a gymnastics place in your town? Do they rent out space for parties? What about a roller/ ice skating rink? Last year, we rented out a community hall ($75 for 4 hrs.) and had a potluck style dinner and I organized some games, and we painted wooden cars for the take home goodie.

wave.gifWoHM to reading.gif DD age 10, peace.gif DS age 7, and sleepytime.gif DD age 4 and DP toblueman.gif



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#10 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 02:07 PM
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My Ds's brithday is on Talk Like a Pirate Day (in September). So this year for his 4th b-day we had a treasure hunt/pirate party in the park. We invited friends of all ages (families with kids age 1-15 and a few child-free friends too) and just had a low-key BBQ. The good part was that the kids could do different things--play on the playground, do crafts, visit with friends and family. I know the weather is a challenge, but I loved being able to let the kids do their own thing for the most part.
Good Luck and have a blast!!!

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#11 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 06:28 PM
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DD is having her 4th birthday party on the 24th. She decided she wanted an ABC party--I think that comes from watching They Might Be Giant's, "Here Come the ABC's "(although she calls them the "Muffy Giants"). We're having it at our house, with the yard available if it's warm, which it has been lately. I got letters from the dollar store to hang on the walls. At the craft store I got foam sheets and stick-on letters to make letter collages with. We're doing decorate-your-own cupcakes, maybe a pinata and a letter treasure hunt. I'm making a light lunch/snack which will include alphabet pasta and lots of finger foods--hummus and veggies, mini-sandwiches, etc. We're doing an art supply exchange instead of gifts, meaning each child brings an inexpensive art or craft supply to exhange with someone else. We invited 3 friends from our homeschooling group, plus a few others of variuos ages, 7 altogether.

Heather, Mama to DS(10) DD(7.5),DD(6)
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#12 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 07:26 PM
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My son was recently invited to a party where they bought plain white cloth bucket hats (probably from Michael's or somewhere similar) and a bunch of fabric paint and let the kids make their own hats. This was at their house, so they made pizza and at the end had an ice cream bar. The kids just played in the back yard and in the kids' bedrooms (not something I'm ready for, though). We live in AZ, so it was no big deal having the kids play outside, but if there is some place indoors with a rec room or something where the kids can play, that would also work.

Last year we went to a party at an indoor rock climbing gym. This was a preschool class and the kids did amazingly well, so don't count the idea out based on age.

If we can ever get around to planning it (DS6's birthday was 2/2 , our plan this year is to have the party at the park and DS wants to make beaded necklaces. I like the idea of having the kids make something that doubles as party favors, rather than sending home cheap plastic junk that just gets thrown away anyway. Anyway, we'll have the park as the secondary entertainment, so you'd have to find some indoor equivalent if you live in a cold climate.
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#13 of 15 Old 02-16-2007, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by luvmy2boys View Post
I like the idea of having the kids make something that doubles as party favors
thumbs up!
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#14 of 15 Old 02-17-2007, 07:18 PM
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DD had her party at home, but in August you coudl go to a public park for free, or even use your own backyard. DD's 4th birthday was 2 hours long. We were going to follow the "as many kids as your age" rule, but she came up with a list of 6, so that was fine. When the kids first showed up, we just played with some toys while we waited for everyone to get there. We played pin the tail on the donkey and then a picture bingo game. Also, at DD's school, I noticed they were playing musical chairs, so next year we might do that too. This took most of the first our, and then we had cake and ice cream. After that, we opened presents, and the kids played with the presents for a bit, and then made necklaces with pony beads. At the end, we gave out goody bags as the kids left (do we wouldn't have that "wahhh - you got pink but I want pink" issue).

Other outside games that are fun are ring around the rosie, have a sprinkler set up and have a "water party", have a scavenger hunt - you can even use those plastic easter eggs, have a ball or two to kick, you can go to a park and the kids can use the jungle gym.

finally- the goody bags are always an issue. DD and my Mom picked out the stuff this year. DD gave out two plastic rings to each girl, a princess headband, a small bottle of "Dora" bubbles, Dora tattoos, and a jump rope. One of the girls lives next door, and that afternoon, we saw her with her mom and grandma jumping rope!
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#15 of 15 Old 02-17-2007, 11:54 PM
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My son's preschool doesn't allow whole class invites in the cubbies. He has yet to be invited to a birthday. He doesn't really have anyone that he seems especially close to in his class and I didn't want to invite them all (I'm an introvert and not much of a hostess). So, we did what we'd been doing all along and had a small family birthday party. Only this year we also took a little overnight trip to an indoor water park that is not too far from us. We had a great time with that and I don't think he missed out on anything not having a kid birthday party. He's only been to one and that was at a place called the Toy Lending Library. My friend rented the space and had a bunch of preschool (he goes to a different one than ds) friends that she didn't really know the families of at all. It worked out well, though, because their were a ton of different toys and dress up clothes and all kinds of fun stuff for the kids to do.

Marie-Mom to two boys and a girl.
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