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Planning a Birthday Party for a 3 Year old

Updated on January 8, 2012
Birthday Parties are all about fun!
Birthday Parties are all about fun! | Source

The age of 3 is probably the first year that your Pre-schooler will begin to fully understand the meaning of the Birthday Party. Any parties that have gone before were probably more about the occasion than the child.  Planning a party and getting your little one involved can be exciting and fun but can also bring with it a lot of decisions to make.


Best venue for a 3 year old's party?

Just the very thought of a party is exciting to a three year old child. It is an opportunity to eat lots of sweet food and to run around with their friends. It wont matter to them if everything is not perfect. The most important things at this age are to be comfortable with the surroundings and the people and to have lots of fun!

There are many venues that host birthday parties for a price per child. This can include food, decorations, party bags and sometimes even the cake. The benefits of this are that there is no mess to clean up in your home afterwards and a lot of the planning can be left to somebody else. However it can be impersonal and quite often some of the larger venues can host more than one birthday party at a time making it difficult to keep track of all of your guests. If you choose this option it is a good idea to ask about options for quieter times of the day.

Hosting your Pre-schoolers birthday party at home means that they are in an environment that they are familiar with. Make life as simple as possible for youself by using plastic or paper cups and plates. If you have a big back garden you can try to host the party outside, giving the children lots of room to run about.

Outdoor parties are easy to plan for. Why not buy a cheap battery operated bubble machine. Children of this age will have great fun chasing the bubbles and trying to pop them! Another great idea for this age group is a pinata filled with sweets! This is sure to impress!

For parties at home it is a good idea to have a store of different ideas and games planned as children of this age have a low attention span. You may also decide to hire an entertainer for of the party.

Would you use a Party venue or your own home for your child's party?

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Booking an Entertainer for your Child's Party

Booking entertainment for your child's party is one way to take the pressure off yourself and give you a chance to enjoy and participate in the party with your little one. However if you do decide to hire entertainment here are some things to consider:

  1. Ensure that the company you use are reliable - there is nothing worse than a room full of dissappointed pre-schoolers!
  2. Decide on a budget before you begin - It is easy to get carried away!
  3. When you book the entertainer be clear about the age of your child and the other children attending the party.
  4. Book the entertainment to arrive 20 to 30 minutes after the party begins so that all of the children have arrived
  5. Remember to confirm with the entertainment a couple of days before the party giving directions to the party venue if necessary!
  6. Ensure you have the entertainers fee ready when they are finished

What kind of Entertainment is suitable?

3 year olds can differ greatly in their level of physical ability, social skills and bravery so the type of entertainment you choose will largely depend on your child's ability and the number of children attending.

Some younger children can be be afraid of clowns so a magician or a puppet theater may be a better option. Other ideas include a bouncy castle but ensure that an adult is posted on duty to supervise this at all times! It is important that the bouncy castle does not become overcrowded.


Things to think about when planning the party

  • Party Decoration: Use simple decorations such as balloons, favourite Disney character banners to add to the effect.
  • Number of Guests :As children of this age may not be used to larger groups and may become over excited or even distraught it is usually best to keep the number of guests quite small.
  • Invites: Remember to be clear about the date, time and finish time of the party on the invite.
  • Do you need help? You may want to ask some of the other parents to stay to help you to supervise the children as children of this age may require some help with toilet trips, washing hands and many other little jobs.
  • If parents are not staying at the party with their children, be sure to take a telephone number and ask about any allergies the child may have.
  • When to open the presents: This decision may be taken out of your hands by your little one but be aware of your guests who may not yet totally understand why only one person gets presents!
  • Party Bags: A lot of the superstores now cater for partybags by selling miniture pencils, toys, hairclips etc in multiples. It's also a nice idea to send a party bag home to a little sister or brother who couldn't make it. (My little one has often received a specially made up one with a few jellies - she loves this)

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