Starting at about 3 years old, your child is old enough to enjoy having friends over for a celebration, but how fancy should the party be? The basic rule for a young child’s birthday party is keep it simple. Think about inviting the same number of children as your child’s age.
Children at this age can easily become overexcited at their own parties. Too much activity can turn a fun event into a disaster. Sometimes parents try to combine a toddler party with an adult party. Remember that gives you twice the work to prepare and clean up. It’s also hard to carefully watch toddlers when you are talking to other adults.
Tips for a successful party:
- Keep food and party games simple. Plan games in which everyone wins or at least gets a prize.
- Three-year old’s aren’t very skilled at entertaining themselves so plan 1 ½ to 2 hours of structured activity. Alternate quiet activities (such as story time) with active games (like balloon chase or beanbag toss).
- Plan a quiet activity (like drawing or a guessing game) just before you serve the cake and ice cream. This way, the children aren’t overexcited when they eat.
- Children don’t always understand that presents are meant for the birthday child, so it’s a good idea to have a small party favor wrapped for each child to open.
- Be prepared for the possibility that your child will be overwhelmed by the whole thing. Try to keep your sense of humor if you child bursts into tears or hides in the closet.
Most of all, enjoy yourself. This is a celebration to share with your friends and family. Keep it simple!