15 answers

Birthday Party Ideas for Small Space W/ Lots of People.

My little guy is turning 5 next Monday and he wants to have a dinosaur theme party (being held next Saturday). We recently moved to a city about 40 minutes away from where we were before, so a few of the kids that he wants to invite will need to have their parents stay with them... adding about 8 or 9 extra people..
We don't have a ton of room at our house and it looks like the weather might not be good enough to have an outdoor party. Any ideas for activities?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks so much for all the great ideas. We had decided to have the party at our house because of some money issues and the travel time of the parents.
We ended up having the kids decorate name tags & goody bags when they got here. Afterwards we gave them each a small digging tool and they dug through a box w/ easter grass for some big dinosaurs I had bought (1 for each child). Then we opened presents and had doughnuts and cake (my little guy decided he wanted a doughnut cake instead of a regular cake or cupcakes). They had about 20 minutes to play afterwards w/ their prizes. I also found little cups w/ dinos on them at the dollar store that they could each take home w/ them.

Featured Answers

we just went to a 5 year old party in a VERY small house. the mom had face painting with some kind of non toxic paints that were more like crayon looking. she had beads to make necklaces. dunking for apples. pin the tail on the donkey. pinata. hokey pokey (my son LOVED that!), and this game where you blow up balloons, put them on a bed sheet, the kids all stand around the sheet holding a piece of it so the sheet is in the air and the balloons are on top. she played music and the kids tried to bounce the balloons off the sheet. musical chairs. good luck!

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Hi! I can't wait to here what other people respond with! For many years I did bday entertainment (in LA and surroundng areas) at kids parties and I've been to every possible kind of environment. So, here are some of my tips:

1.) for your space...Can you move some furniture (coffee tables etc) out of a living room and put chairs etc. along a wall for parents? If you can create an open space in the middle for the kiddos that's always great.

2.) If your living room and kitchen are joined, expect the parents to hang out in the latter and the kids in the former.

3.) Go to Lowe's or Home depot or Uhaul and get the sticky plastic floor covering (usually near the paint section). It's about 1 1/2 feet wide and comes in roles. It sticks to the carpet on one side and looks like seran wrap (sp?). It comes right up afterwards and you can even recycle it where they recyle plastic grocery bags. Put this over the carpet where the kids will be if you want to protect it. OR put it over the floor where you have a project area set up.

0-45 min= kids arrive, centers and eating
45-60ish= Music games or other party game
between 1 hour and 1 1/4 hours = Bday cake
For the rest of the time, you can do presents if you want to, or you can let them have some free time. They'll be sick of organized stuff by this point. The last 15-20 minutes will most likely be spent making sure eveyone leaves with their stuff (shoes, jackets, crafts, etc)

For 5 year olds, the party shouldn't last over 2 hours. Since the parents may be traveling to get there, don't plan anything formal for the 1st 1/2 hour, just have the food ready (*since your space is small, you might consider easy finger foods so people don't have to sit down to eat)and let the kids play while the stragglers arrive.

You can set up some "centers" (a la elementary school)
2.)Center 1: You can make a "mural" or Giant BDay card (poster board or extra large roll of paper) spot for the kids to decorate with crayons, stickers etc... then you can put this in his room after the party! You can print his name/age in the middle. Another good idea for this is to get some face paints (ideally the water based kind. My favorites look like tongue depressors dipped in paint) and put each kid's hand print on the card too.
3.) Center #2: If you have an adult helper there, have a "tatoo" parlor with dino tatoos. The kids can line up and get one (or do face painting here if you feel really creative).
4.) Center #3: Digging for dinos: Put some plastic dinos/dino eggs etc in a moderately deep box and then fill it with something not too messy (i.e. not sand). Let them reach in and dig up a toy dino to keep.
5.) Center #4: Dinosaur hats: You can get the visors at a craft store and let them put their names on it and decorate it with dino stickers, or spikes or wings or whatever. (cute photo op!)

1.)Limbo is hilarious. I let the kids go however they an (even crawling) under a balloon stick (but a rope works okay too), then have them jump over it when it's really low. Have the holder cheat, of course, so they can all get under and over!
2.) Freeze dancing is also fun. You can use any music for either of these so you don't have to buy a horrible bday party cd... but if you do buy one, get one with the YMCA on it (and Shout too) because it's really cute to see them do it and the parent can giggle too.

1.) Pin the tail/wings etc on the dino
2.) musical chairs...
3.) I've done a "blindfolded non-pinata" a couple times too in a small space. Basically you cover the eyes of the older kids with blind folds and then sprinkle prizes and candy on the floor and let them crawl around and pick them up. Use a bell or whistle to let them know when to start and when they can stop.
4.) Shoe mix-up: two team. Put everyone in each team's shoes in a pile. When you say "go" they have to find their shoes and put them on. Then also have to help their teammates do the same. The first team with all their shoes on wins. (this is also a great game for "coats & mittens" and works like a charm if you do it at the end of the party to make sure eveyone has their stuff on and is ready to leave). Of course, at this age you must definately give out a 2nd place prize too!

Let me know if you have questions! Though I still do parties, I'm moving more towads a new service. As a filmmaker, I'm creating a service that makes Bday DVDs of kid's parties (we either film it with our professional-grade equiptment, edit and produce the dvd, or we use your footage to make dvds). I've been making "Grand parent" videos for a while now and people seem to love it!


2 moms found this helpful

I see you are in Layton. How about the Dinosaur Park in Ogden? I have never been there, but it looks really cool and I think the prices are reasonable. They do have birthday party specials.
Check it out.

we just went to a 5 year old party in a VERY small house. the mom had face painting with some kind of non toxic paints that were more like crayon looking. she had beads to make necklaces. dunking for apples. pin the tail on the donkey. pinata. hokey pokey (my son LOVED that!), and this game where you blow up balloons, put them on a bed sheet, the kids all stand around the sheet holding a piece of it so the sheet is in the air and the balloons are on top. she played music and the kids tried to bounce the balloons off the sheet. musical chairs. good luck!

I'm new to this site. I think you are in Sweet, ID? If you are then look into renting the Sweet Grange hall for your bday party or you can contact Judy McCullough about the Ola Grange hall. If your not from Sweet, I apologize for taking your time. I'll get better about this site soon.

Good morning!! My little girl, Sierra, had a dinosaur party last year for her 3rd birthday. It was so much fun and all the kids had a blast. We found a pinata--that was so much fun. Anyway, my thoughts were maybe having it at a kids restaurant or maybe a place that lets you rent out a room??? I know that Boondocks out here lets you have your kids b-day party for a charge. You can still have a dinosaur theme that way. Just a thought . . .

I'm in the same (size) situation. We moved from a 2000 sq ft house to 1200 sq ft, then had a 3rd baby! I just remind myself that the move is so that I can raise my own kids. BUT, on the space issue, my kids all share a bedroom, so for our parties, I've been known to stack the beds up (just twin size), lay a blanket over them with a "do not climb" sign, put away (like in my room) all toys that are "off-limits" and then use the bedroom for overflow. I let the kids play in there (usually some free time some organized play), set up the tables like play-dough, crafts, and coloring in there. Also, all of my kids' birthdays are in the winter, so we are ALWAYS inside. No rowdy games for us! I usually enlist the help of my mom or the first parent to arrive to help wrangle the guests and keep order.
There are lots of great party games on-line if you just google "dinosaur birthday party." That's what I did and found lots of fun, like pin the tail on the dino.
Have fun! And good luck!

For my daughter's brithday last year, we had a pretty large group--most of the guests were good friends of ours, so the families stayed for the party with their kids. We did a pizza party. We had all the sauce, cheese and toppings out in bowls, and then had ready-made dough (I got the Pillsbury kind--in the biscuit section of the refrigerator at the grocery store) and we let each family make their own pizza. It was a good way to keep everyone busy. The only problem we ran into was getting enough pizza pans, but you could borrow some or use cookie sheets. Anyway, you could still do a dinosaur cake and decorations and games, and just do the pizza as lunch if you wanted.

You can have them make their own dinosaur names using their name ie; Tyler-saurus-rex or Tri-David-atops give them a name tag ask them what sounds they make and what they eat, pizza, cake , candy. Look on the web for dinosaur games there are loads of ideas out there. perpetualpreschool.com has great themed ideas.

When I was a kid we used to play hot potatoe. My mom would wrap little things a stick of gum, a quarter in layers of newspaper. Some layers had something some didn't. Then play music and pass it around, rather than being out if your holding it when the music stops you take off a layer of paper. We also played drop the clothes pins. We would kneel on a chair, facing the back and try to drop clothes pins into a mason jar sitting on the floor. Those are the two games that really stick out in my memory.

The best website I've ever seen for birthday party ideas is www.birthdaypartyideas.com!!! You can click on kids parties and find dinosaurs and get all kinds of ideas - you can look at the same age parties or all the special mention ones! Have fun!!

Apex center in Arvada. It's at 72nd and Ward if you are not familar with it. If you like swimming, you can have every swim, then bring in any food and drink you like. They also have a nice party room. Check it out online :)

Southtowne mall in Sandy has a dinoland where they do dino bday parties that are fun, also Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum is an awesome place to have a bday party.

go to a park. or rent a building. I'm lds and sometimes we can schedule a night or day at our church and use the cultural hall, which is meant for activities, and it's free.

Project dinosaurs onto the ceiling for decoration; you could put a stencil on top of your lamps or something, or instead you could just hang them. Decorating the ceiling keeps your floor space available.
Of course, you could use your floor space and put in a rug.
I saw a DIY show a couple of years ago where they painted a short fiber rug, a kind of foot-traffic rug, with some acrylic paint. You could get a grey or brown one and stencil on some dinosaur bones. This might be a good activity, because the kids could use paint pens (open the windows!)
If you can use small tubs, like from butter, microwavables, even foam boxes from leftovers, you could fill them with sand and bury dinosaur treasures, using paintbrushes as excavating tools.

My suggestion would be to pick out a few things in the area that the parents might enjoy seeing or something they might enjoy doing and very politely recommend those outings for them...such as telling them where nearby shopping is located, or where a movie theater is located, or if there is some sort of a historical attraction like a museum, or an art museum...whatever is in your area. Anyhow, this will give the parents the idea that you are NOT expecting them to hang around for the children's party...and politely tell them what time they should return to pick up their child. They should not expect to stay for the party unless they have been invited. That's my vote....for whatever it is worth. NH

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