The third year of a child’s life is a milestone year. This is the year your child moves from being a toddler to a preschooler, according to the National Network for Child Care. Suddenly, your child can walk, talk, count and do other “big kid” activities. This does not mean, however, that you should throw an elaborate birthday bash for her. Three-year-olds still have short attention spans. Instead, throw her an age-appropriate party that everyone will enjoy.
Simple is best when it comes to parties for toddlers and preschoolers. It’s a fact that many moms want to plan elaborate birthday parties that are probably a bit too overwhelming for a 3-year-old. Sure, real ponies might make you the envy of the neighborhood moms, but they also might make your small child run screaming from the yard. Instead, plan a party around the simple, non-threatening activities you know your child enjoys, such as water table activities, circle games or even a trip to the park.
Consider the best time of day to hold the party, as well as the duration. Short parties are best for 3-year-olds, according to Amazing Moms. An hour or so is the perfect length for little ones to enjoy each other’s company. Many preschoolers are overly tired and cranky in the afternoons, especially those who are still sometimes taking an afternoon nap. Mid-morning or right after lunch is usually a better time for a 3-year-old’s birthday party.
Food, fun and friends are the key components to a good birthday party, and this holds true even for little ones. Start the party off with a simple game that everyone can play and succeed at, such as a circle game like Hot Potato or Duck-Duck-Goose. Or, take the children outdoors to play tag, or water games. Balloons are also a big hit with this age group. Then, give the kids a snack and something to drink while the birthday boy opens his presents. Follow that up with cake and ice cream, and then send the guests home before the sugar hits their little bodies.
Three-year-olds are at that age where they are starting to have favorites. Many young children may want a party built around a theme, such as “Blue’s Clues” or princesses. Themes make it easy to decorate and plan games. A princess party, for example, can feature costume jewelry for the little girls to dress up in, as well as some fancy dresses. Tiaras can be given as party favors. Little boys may enjoy being ninjas or soldiers, complete with plastic swords and water guns.
It’s a fact that moms have to consider the needs of the guests when hosting a birthday party. Some parents may be uncomfortable with water guns or swords being handed out to all the children. In addition, many children have allergies to gluten, peanut butter, strawberries, or other foods that may be served at a birthday party. Find out these things ahead of time to save yourself and your guests embarrassment or physical harm.
- cute asian toddler image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com