17 answers

Birthday Party for a 4 Year Old

What are some good cheap ideas for a 4 year birthday party? Money is pretty tight with the way things are and also the holidays so I don't want to spend a fortune on the party but he is older that he talks about his birthday party to his little friends at the daycare and wants them to come. He is very proud of himself for turning 4. I really don't want a ton of kids in my house since it is fairly small and I dont want to spend the next day cleaning. His bday is Jan 15th. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Featured Answers

Hit the dollar store. That was my mom's trick and it was always a great sucess. find things they can do themselves. Frost their own cup cakes, decorate their own cookies, get a bunch of white T-shirts for them to design themselves.
Just to list a few ideas. My Mom was super crafty I hope I got that gene. :)
Good Luck!!!

Hi S.,
When my son was 4 we did a cowboy party. The kids dressed up like cowboys and girls, mostly just played, I made a cake shaped like a horse ( just cut out a layer cake in a general shape and used licorice for the mane and tail). The big activity that the kids did was pan for gold. I had a bucket with sand and water in it, a pie pan with holes and I bought a bag of colored rocks and found some fools gold also. I put a group of rocks in ziplocks for each kid, they got to come over one by one and pan for gold themselves. Before each one came over I would open their bag of rocks into the sand and water so they each would find about the same #, each also had a fools gold in each bag. They loved it, it was fun, different and hands on for them.
Have fun,

More Answers

Hold a "pirate" themed party. Invites are a little boat alluding to a swashbuckling good time.
-first 15 mins, come in have a craft at the table where the kids can decorate a paper 'sword' or decorate paper pirate hats.
-Next 15 mins read a story about Pirates and their search for treasure.
- 15 mins Go on a treasure hunt. (in the basement or another large room) spread some filled eggs for them to collect. Or gather them together, giving each a map, and have a search leading to treasure at some spot in the house.
-Lunch or snack. (PB & Js, apple slices, chips and pirate juice (really, its apple or whatever you have on hand)
-Hand out goddie bags that are some simple treats wrapped in a bandana.

I did something similar for my daughter with a fairy theme. Her friends were still talking about it 3 mos later. I think kids appreciate low key, imaginative parties more than big hooplas. JMHO.

Have fun with it!!

1 mom found this helpful

A swimming party can be done for fairly cheap. Call up a few local pools in your area and find out how much it would be to rent the party room for a couple hours.

Have him help you make mini cupcakes to take to daycare. As for the party at home. Just invite a couple of friends. Kids love balloons, cupcakes and games. Read a book, make a cheap craft like fruit loop necklaces. At 4 he will just be excited to have friends over. Don't get sucked into the gift bags for the guests ( I did and resent it every year).

If you do a theam.. dogs.. make doggie "treats" to eat (sugar cookies) play "catch", have a dog show (they pretend to be a dog)

duck... hatch an egg race (pop a balloon with a treat in side) play duck duck goose, they have to waddle like ducks where ever they walk.

What ever you do...if it is fun they won't care how much you spend. You don't have to invite the whole class or neighborhood.

Cheapest would probably be to be at your house, I would think. Maybe he could just invite 3-4 of his best friends?

Primos (pizza) would be fun too. I don't know how much it would cost for a party- call them in advance. Then it wouldn't be at your house.

There's my 2 cents. :)

YOu could send cupcakes, and possibly cheap party favors, at party stores they sell things for like $1 a dozen, for his friends at daycare, as long as the teacher is OK with it. His friend will sing to him and he can pass out cupcakes and be the center of attention, that is probably all he wants for his "party"!

If you want to invite some friends over for a birthday party at home, tell him that since he is turning 4 he can invite 4 friends. There are lots of fun birthday party activites that cost nothing or next to nothing, like pin-the-tail on the donkey, or pin the whatever on the whatever, you can use any theme like pin the eye patch on the pirate, just make it yourself with paper and caryons and tape instead of pins. You can have the kids decorate their own pinata, all you need is a paper grocery bag and some crayons, markers, stickers, and whatever else you want to decorate with, have the kids decorate it, then make some small cuts or poke small holes in it to make it easier to brake, and fill it with candy, every kid loves a pinata! And of course you can do duck, duck, goose or truck, truck, car or whatever fits with your theme, button, button, who has the button, relay races, or just let the kids play with some balloons and have fun. Dollar stores or party supply stores are a good place to buy some hats and balloons and blowers, you don't really need much more than that, plain paper plates can be decorated by the kids rather than buying fancy paper plates. For the cake you can make it yourself (from a cake mix for simplicity) and it does not have to be decorated super fancy, some sprinkles and a clean scrubed tiny toy or two (like little action figures or cars) will make the cake seem amazing to your child! Good luck, and remember that your son will have a great birthday and will not notice or care about how much money you spend, it is the time that you spend celebrating with him that matters.

Hi S.-
We were in the same boat. If you are affilated with a church, maybe you could use the building instead of your home. We were able to do that and it worked fantastic. Also, one of the cheapest gamest that the kids absolutely loved was with balloons. We blew up about 50 regular balloons and then let the kids just run around a kick them, then we play "who can keep the balloon in the air the longest), and then, my personal favorite because it helped me clean, was letting them run around and sit on the balloons to pop them. They loved it, but the key was having it at the church: free, big space, already cleaned, kitchen available, vacuum and cleaning supplies on hand, and NOT IN MY HOME!!

Good luck!


You could contact your local firehouse. I have been to birthday parties where the firemen and firetruck come to the house. The firemen let the kids go on the truck and showed them all their equipment. They gave a little program on what they actual do and fire safety and let the kids ask questions. They also gave out coloring books and plastic fire hats. All this is FREE! Also, I know that they will allow you to bring the party to the firehouse. However, you would have to find another place for the rest of the party (ie:cake and ice cream) The only catch is that if they have a true fire they may cancel but I know alot of people that have done this idea and never have had a firehouse cancel on them due to a real fire. Good Luck!

Check out the library for party idea books or famly fun magazine always has pretty cool ideas that are pretty cheap.

Good luck and congratulations to your son!!!

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