12 answers

Planning a Birthday Party for My 3 Year Old

I need some help! I am trying to plan a birthday party for my little girl. She turns 3 in late February, and I am due to give birth to my son 2 weeks after that. I want something fun for her to look forward to and to make her feel special in the midst of all this baby excitement, but I need something that is easy on me since I am soooo pregnant and tired. I also need something light on the pocketbook. Any ideas??? She really wants a barbie party this year.

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Last May, I was in a similar situation. My daughter was having a birthday and I was 2 months away from having my baby boy. I decided to have my daughter's party at the park. I found a great park that was covered. She loves butterflies so I found butterfly wings on e-bay pretty cheap and bought about a dozen of them. I found some pirate hooks and patches for the boys at the dollar store. It was at a park, so the price was cheaper than at any other place in town I could think of having it (other than home) and the girls loved their wings. They spent most of the time running around and enjoying the day. We also had a butterfly pinata and I bought all the supplies and decorations at the dollar store. Depending on what her favorite barbi is, wings could work. Or, you could have the girls bring their favorite barbies. Maybe for party favors you could find dresses for them at a local dollar store or discount store. I've also seen kids decorating boxes for their barbies with gems and stickers. Again, everything was found at the dollar store. It should be easy to find anything in barbie you could want for a reasonable price.

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My Niece is very involved in singing groups (she is part of 'Light') and has done many local plays. Anyway, she has started doing birthday parties as a princess, I think "Belle" is her character(I would bet she could be Barbie too!). She comes and sings, tells stories, just basically entertains and the little girls are mesmerized by her. I know her rates are really reasonable. Her mom, Patti will answer any questions and does the scheduling. Adriene is in High School, but very mature and talented. Patti can be reached at ###-###-####.

I was in your exact situation and I had my daughter's birthday party at Peter Piper (if your not from this area, it's like Chuck E. Cheese). I had it on her birthday, which was during the week, so it was a little less expensive. Everyone got off work and came to the party and the host did everything. I purchased extra pizza's for the adults, but most parties I've been to they don't. Congrats and good luck!

http://allrecipes.com/Cooks-Profile/Photo.aspx?photoID=10...

That is a pic of the cake I made for my daughter's 4th b-day. she loved it and it wasn't as hard as i thought it would be. the directions are easy to follow (and on that web site). She loved it, we just stayed low key at home and had that cake and she was super happy (and it was cheap). Hope that helps.

Last May, I was in a similar situation. My daughter was having a birthday and I was 2 months away from having my baby boy. I decided to have my daughter's party at the park. I found a great park that was covered. She loves butterflies so I found butterfly wings on e-bay pretty cheap and bought about a dozen of them. I found some pirate hooks and patches for the boys at the dollar store. It was at a park, so the price was cheaper than at any other place in town I could think of having it (other than home) and the girls loved their wings. They spent most of the time running around and enjoying the day. We also had a butterfly pinata and I bought all the supplies and decorations at the dollar store. Depending on what her favorite barbi is, wings could work. Or, you could have the girls bring their favorite barbies. Maybe for party favors you could find dresses for them at a local dollar store or discount store. I've also seen kids decorating boxes for their barbies with gems and stickers. Again, everything was found at the dollar store. It should be easy to find anything in barbie you could want for a reasonable price.

Hire a friend to help you run the party. Build a barbie.
Go to the dollar store or whatever and get barbies/outfits to dress the barbie, certificates for names and do a fashion show with the barbies ( and them ). too cute. They keep the barbie they made.
It is far, but Imagination ave is a cute place for a party and they will run it. It is fun and my daughter's 3rd party was there.....perfect for their age.
I don't remember it being too expensive if you don't feed them.
Sometimes Ice Cream shops like Coldstone will give your party girls a tour and they can make their own ice-cream and stuff and then a park day before or after the tour.
I know MOMS clubs do it for free.

I agree with Sheri D. Go to the dollar store and also purchase a few of the Barbie either headbands, crowns, or tiaras and get some heels. The girls can pretend to be Barbie girls for the day. Also checkout http://thepartyworks.com for ideas. I have made cupcakes instead of a cake and decorated them with Barbie bling.

My daughter is turning 3 tomorrow and we are having a breakfast PJ party. All the kids can wear PJs and have some pancakes. And everyone is out of your house by noon.
Good Luck, hope you find something that works for you

Hi C.,

An idea that comes to mind is to ask your friends to help pitch in for a bouncy castle. (That could be their gift to your daughter) Children around age 3 and up REALLY enjoy bouncing...It will keep them busy for hours and all you have to do then is have cake and ice-cream and call it a party. You do not need to go all out with games and such for one so young. If you request a "Barbie" theme bouncy castle, they will most likely have one--they put up different character banners on the bouncy castle according to the theme you want. :-) The prices range around $75.00 for four hours, depending on how big the bouncy castle is and which company you rent from. Check on the internet--you'll find lots of information there.
Good luck!!! :-) Most of all, enjoy your time with your friends and your daughter.

--L.

-mother of 5 children ranging from ages 4- thru 12... with LOTS of birthday party planning experience and ideas to share with anyone who'll listen. :-)

You could invite three friends (since she'll be three) and ask them to bring a Barbie with them to play with. Then they are somewhat occupied while you can sit and rest, and have some snacks available (cupcakes, crackers, cheese, etc.). For a three year old, I wouldn't do more than an hour and a half, and you might find that some moms may show up to help/stay, too!

I live in Chandler and have a Barbie cake pan you are welcome to use it.
If you have a pampered chef big bowl, you can bake a cake in it and
after it's done flip it upside down, and then cut a hole in the top insert a barbie body without the legs and decorate the rest as a dress. You can find these barbies cheap in the wilton section of Michael's I believe. Or if you have an old broken one.

I did a doggy party and let the kids make jewelry necklaces or bracelets their choice, had lots of different choices of beads and they loved it, but I'd get the bigger beads with the age. You might want to check out www.familyfun.com and look into Birthday party ideas. The wood beads are nice size or just a bucket of bigger beads.
One thing that was a big hit we hung donuts on a string and made it a little high, but close enough for them to reach and then whoever finished first won.

Tea party's with a small glass teapots were a big hit with my kids at that age. You can use real tea or lemonade. They are just happy to play tea party. Let them use a bunch of your dresses and shoes and dress up. Really at this age they are usually pretty easy going, it's us that worry too much about everything being perfect. More expensive things, and bigger parties don't necessarily make them happy, sometimes they overwhelm them at this age.

You can print out colored barbie pictures (from the internet), or if you have pictures already use them. Go to the learning center and laminate them. You can then use them for place mats. You can also print out coloring pages and have a table set up for coloring. Honestly too, if you do goody bags, my kids often would rather give candy.
Also, don't forget the dollar store they have lots of things you can buy to make the party great and inexpensive. You may be able to find a tea set there if you don't have one.

I'd just do tea cookies, birthday cake and punch. And wouldn't get the huge parties started personally because it seems like every year it gets bigger. Trust me I've been there. Simple is often better.

Take care and have fun.
K.

For my daughters 4th birthday, I rented a bounce house. I didn't have any other entertainment and the children loved it. Instead of a cake, I made a rice crispie treat cake because it was easy and I wouldn't have to decorate it much. Also, my daughter doesn't like cake.

The bounce houses might be a little out of your budget. It's worth the little extra money if you want a no hassle birthday party. I recently rented from Bouncy Bouncy http://www.bouncybouncyinflatables.com/ and if you have means to pick it up and drop it back off, they are very reasonable.

If the bounce house is absolutely not an option, I found this website to help with a birthday party I have coming up. http://www.kids-birthday-party-guide.com/. It might be a little work to do some of these ideas, but you can do it very inexpensive if need be. Good luck to you and happy birthday to Natalie!

Don't know if you are close by it or not, but I had my 3 year old's party at Paradise Valley Mall this year--you pay nothing, the outdoor patio, or indoors if it gets gross out, is free and first come first serve. Just an idea. I had a circus theme party, and then paid for all the little guests to ride one ride one the carousel--they were so nice, they actually invited the party in for one more ride on the carousel for free.

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