Ideas for 3 Yr Old Party?

Updated on July 17, 2009
A.D. asks from Fort Worth, TX
31 answers

Okay, here's my issue: I'm having a lot of trouble coming up with what to do for my daughter's 3 yr birthday party. It's on August 1st, so it's likely going to be very HOT.
She and we have a lot a friends, and a party indoors (somewhere you have to pay) is out of the question finacially. I'm up for a party at my house, I just don't know what to do. Any ideas? Games?
I've been trying to search online, but I keep getting pages selling party stuff, even though I put in the search bar "birthday party ideas." HELP!! It's really coming up fast, and I need to send out invitations soon!!

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

I usually get ideas for parties from parenting.com. They have great age appropriate ideas. I think a good idea would be to make cookies and let the kids decorate them. They love that. Or you could make cupcakes and do the same thing.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

cookie decorating is great. just make sugar cookies and get lots of sprinkles and brightly colored frosting and let the kids have at 'em. This is great alternative to cake or you can get little treat bags to send them home after they dry a bit. its a activity and a favor in one.

also oriental trading company has individual craft kits sold reasonably by the dozen. there are so many to choose form they would fit with any theme.

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C.E.

answers from Dallas on

We've done the splash party with little pools, sprinkler and slip n slide. It was great fun for the kids. See if you can borrow what you can, and if you can get a pop up shade to use that would be great too.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

You did not say if you have a particular theme in mind or if this party is with boys and girls or children of various ages, so I don't know specifics to suggest. One thing I would say would be to go to the library and ask for help finding a book on children's party games and/or books on crafts. This would give you some great starting points without having any money invested at all. Our church just had some really fun games for vacation Bible school-- if you have friends who have done VBS you may check around and see if they know what sort of games their churches did. we had one relay where there were lots of little balls (or you could use small toys, balloons, whatever you had) in a bucket. The kids had to go from the starting point to the bucket and get one, then bring it back to the start. The trick was you had to "go" a different way each time-- maybe crab walk, sommersault, tip toe, walk backwards, etc.

When my daughter turned three, we did a princess tea party but we just had 3 friends. They all had princess dresses and wore them. I put pink lemonade in tea cups and made tiny finger sandwiches. They "danced" to princess music and made a princess craft (door hangers with princess foam stickers) that I found at US Toy Company.

I have thought of doing a cooking party some birthday. You could make your own pizzas and decorate your own cupcakes. Someone recently posted finding inexpensive aprons somewhere as favors.

A pajama party could be fun, too. Do it in the evening. Everyone wear their pjs. Have cookies (in leiu of cake) and milk and read a few bedtime stories in a big pile of pillows and stuffed animals before they went home. You could find inexpensive pillow cases to decorate with fabric paints as an activity, favor, play some other games.

Just a few ideas-- I love birthdays! Have fun!
A.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

We used Candice and www.DFWsno.com for my son's party 2 weeks ago, and it was awesome! Even though it was HOT, the snow cones, snowman building (and decorating), and snowball fight were just what everyone needed to cool off. Very fun for both the children and adults. Price was just right, also. I added a game before the snow activities started to keep the kids active and occupied and everything worked out great!

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with the others that mentioned a splash type of party. I just had a party with my playgroup where we had some water fun in my backyard. We had a couple of small pools the ones that can fit a few little ones and we had a jumber with 2 water slides, however the jumper choose not to cooperate so we had a slip and slide instead and the little ones 2-3yrs enjoyed as much as the children a little older. Of course they didn't quite slip and slide but they had a blast crawling trough it and getting wet. The only thing I would have done different was had some water squirters and water balloons. Another thing because it is hot I would just schedule it a little earlier rather that later in the day.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Was just at a party in the backyard with water things. Borrow a kiddie pool from someone - more than one is good because the kids liked it so much it was too full of children! And them hook up a sprinkler. PERFECT for 3 year olds (that's the age of these kids). Just ask friends what they have that you can borrow. Maybe bring out the bubbles also. And don't forget to tell the parents so they can bring towels!

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H.H.

answers from Dallas on

I have thrown parties for the last two years at the Roanoke Community pool. If you call ahead it is only $2 per person and you can bring your own food in (or order pizza in which is what I did). The pool is perfect for little ones because it has a beach entry and LOTS of lifeguards. If you are not near Roanoke, you might check out community pools close to your house. There are pictures and my story here: http://www.burbmom.net/roanoke-community-pool/

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

www.DFWsno.com

Shaved ice visit to your party starts at $50 and a sno-man mania party starts at $75. We dont charge for adults, but they sure love helping the kids out and playing in the sno-ball fight!

GL!

C.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't worry too much much about games and where to have the party. At 3 the kids are still entertained by each other. Parties at home are great! That is what I do every year. It does save money but I also feel it is more personal.
This is something I have wanted to do myself later in the summer...you could have a miniature swim party. Get a plastic baby pool, slip and slide,big water guns and snow balls from bahama bucks. The kids could even play water balloon toss. The cook hamburgers and hotdogs. Have lots of fresh veggies and fruit out. You could even get a little snow cone maker. If you do burgers make them small and put them on dinner rolls. Krogers even has whole wheat slider buns (didn't know until after party).

Hope this will give you some ideas…

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P.K.

answers from Dallas on

I have found wonderful books at the library on games and party theme ideas. I have used these resources with great success over the years.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

How about a water, bubble, chalk party?? You could make water balloons very cheap and let them have a balloon fight or balloon toss game. You could have different types of bubble toys and bubbles set up, and sidewalk chalk, if you have an area for chalk. They would have a blast. You could see if anyone had portable fans they could bring with them and set them up outside. You could even have a sprinkler and or kiddie pool set up for the kids to enjoy. They would have a blast. Good luck on your party. I know your daughter will have fun no matter what.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

A.,

3 year-olds are happy helping her tear open her presents and having birthday cake and ice cream. Setting up a craft table would be fun. If you have a small budget (who doesn't these days)go to Oriental Trading Company online and they have kits to make all sorts of things which are already set up and just ready for the kids to put them together. Or you can just go to a craft store, get some construction paper, glue and what-not and let them use their imaginations. Really, at 3 just being with their friends is the most fun they can have! What about letting them play in the sprinkler in the backyard??

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Try familyfun.com, they have a whole section on birthday party ideas.

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter has started inviting people over for a sleepover. She going to be 4 in September. I am curious to find out what people recommend. We went to a birthday party a week or so ago and it was fun. They played pin the tail on the donkey, had a pinata, and sprayed each other with hair water bottles. The kids seemed to enjoy that and they worked better than water guns. It kept the kids cool while they did the pinata. I hope this helps a little. If I find out anything else I will let you know.

After reading some of the other posts about swimming is little pools outside. It reminded me about a party that we went to last summer and the party favor was a beach ball. The kids played with them at the party and then got to take one home.

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H.E.

answers from Dallas on

Look at the Family Fun website. You can search party ideas by gender, age, and interests. They'll give you cake, game, decoration, AND invitation ideas for a nice little party at home. We have a daughter turning 5 on July 27th...I know the summer heat issue. As our 3rd child, she's come into a family tired of the expense and elaborate birthday parties. We've had some fun parties at our house...Her 3rd was a PINK party (she chose theme)...all food pink, all decor pink, and everyone asked to wear pink. Just 4-5 friends, simple crafts like gluing gemstones and glitter glue on pink crowns, dress up, and free play. At 3 yoa--it's fun and not overwhelming. I now use Family Fun to plan just about EVERY birthday party.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi A.:

I have a couple of ideas for you...

Have the party at 2:00pm or so (after lunch) so you are only serving cake. I have two summer birthdays with my sons and the kids really don't eat the ice cream. They hardly eat the cake b/c they have too many kids to play with.

Do you have a decent sized yard? How about setting up a couple different sprinklers for the kids to run through. I don't know how old you are, but when I was a kid my friends and I LOVED running through sprinklers and could do it all day. If you have one of those plastic Little Tykes play sets, you could even run a sprinkler on the slide. You could set up a little plastic pool. I bet between your friends, you could come up with a few different sprinklers, pools, etc. Tell everyone to bring their swimsuits and towels and join you for cake.

For a 'gift bag', try getting just one thing for each child. Instead of getting everyone lots of little things, and spending $2 to $3 dollars for things they won't play with again - use that money for one larger thing. How about hula hoops or sidewalk chalk - something along those lines.

Lots of stores are actually clearancing out all their summer things already! Start buying things now a little bit at a time.

Get on Party City's email list. They will send you a coupon for $10 off a purchase (I'm not sure on what amount of purchase you get that $10 off, as I just signed up).

Since you have a girl, you could decorate with solid colors, i.e. pink, purple, yellow and just use a theme that she likes for say, a center piece. The solid color decorations are much less expensive.

If you want to do a little snack in case the kids get hungry, try making individual snack bags with sandwich bags. Fill them with pretzels (about $3 for a large bag), Goldfish crackers (about $7 for the large size) and cookies ($2), (some of each in each bag). That way, when the kids are wet and reach for a snack, they won't get the whole bowl wet. AND they love to have their own bag.

You don't need to be elaborate. Kids can have fun doing anything!

Have fun and remember your friends are joinging you to celebrate your daughter's birthday. They aren't coming to have a catered, decked out party!

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

We did an indoor party when my daughter turned 3 because we got rained out. I pushed all the furniture against the walls, brought in their play inflatable pools and filled them with plastic play balls. We had a foamy craft project (from Michael's or Hobby Lobby), temporary tattoos and decorated cupcakes baked in ice cream cones. It was perfect for their age.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

What about a tea party or fairy tale character party?
My son went to a fairy tale character party when he was 3 and the boys all dressed as Prince Charming and so forth and the girls dressed as Cinderella, ect. It was really cute. The mother read a fairy tale to them, they played a game or two that had a fairy tale theme (I think the mom made the game up), ate cake and ice cream. Just had good old fashion b-day fun.

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K.V.

answers from Dallas on

Hi...youve gotten tons of good ideas :) I just wanted to say that a Hawaiian Luau is fun. THe $1 Tree has tons of decorations and party stuff right now. You can do the sprinkler/pool idea. There are tons of things you can do with this theme. Make homemade hula skirts with crepe paper. Pre cut a bunch of strips let the kids staple/glue them to a waist size band. My favorate craft is hula hand dancers. But lunch sack. Cut the bottom open end in strips. Precut flowers out of tissue paper. If you want better instructions email me [email protected]____.com I worked as a preschool curriculum coor. so I have a whole file on luau stuff. Color pictures, games, songs, food ideas, etc. :)

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

There are a lot of places that bring the party to you, if you like, but you mentioned a tight budget, and a 3 yr old won't care.

Fairies--Ribbon or Flower crowns and wands and wings, dance to music, tag, hide and seek, ring around the rosies, tiny treats, run around outside or in the house playing with imagination.

Noah's Ark--Blue balloons all over the floor, Cardboard Ark playhouse--cut shapes out of a grandfather clock box topped with a grandmother clock box--stuffed animals everywhere, animal masks, rainbow cake.

Tea Party--Necklaces, finger sandwiches, petit fours, juice, dolls and teddy bears, classical music, time for running around outside.

Teddy Bear Picnic--picnic on blanket with teddy bears, the song, hide and seek, pretend to be a teddy bear, stories.

Email me with any questions.
~A.

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

For my 3 year old daughters birthday, we had Cinderella come and serve the girls a tea party. We have lemonaide, cookies and cake served by her. Prior to the party, they girls dressed up like princesses before sitting down for tea. Cinderella put tutus and tiars on them, so the costumes werent elaborate. The three year olds didnt care. Here is a link to Oriental Trading. Its a huge link...cut and paste. They have tutus in bulk. I think Sam Moon does, too. You could either have a high school friends dress up like Cinderella, or scratch the Cinderella idea all together...buy some blue eye shadow and pink fingernail polish and do a make-up party for the girls. Our Cinderella was l ate, so I had to pull out the fingernail polish to keep the girls entertained before she arrived. It was a lot of fun!
If you do buy the tutus, those could be their party favors...or Sam Moon has jewelry for little girls in bulk..and hair bows in bulk..so depending on what your daughter likes, you could do make-up/hair glamor party, or jewlery/grown-up party. if there are lots of boys, do a teddy bear picnic where everyone brings their own bear (BYOB)and they eat finger sandwiches on blankets on the ground...
Have fun!
Here's the link...

http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/browse/processRequest.d...

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and I are professional clowns living in Anna. We offer facepainting, balloon sculptures, magic along with fun interaction and games. We've entertained at birthday parties and large events like the Plano Balloon Festival.

Our prices are very reasonable (we have four great kids of our own so we know how expensive things can get)and we do our best to work within a person's buget.

Please feel free to take a look at our website at www.freewebs.com/bubblesandwowza for samples of our work.

Give us a call at ###-###-#### if you have any questions at all.

Hope to hear from you,

K. Schmidt
Bubbles the Clown
Bubbles and Wowza, LLC

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

You could do a splash party outside. Kids always love to play in the sprinkler's best of luck.

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

Have a princess party at home. On the invatation I put wear your princess attire. So all the girls came dressed up. I had a princess movie playing in the background. They made wands and beaded their own necklaces. I had a princess cake. Keep it simple at that age. I also had some color sheets and they play a game.

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N.J.

answers from Abilene on

I would do something outside, like little water pools. Depending on what age the kids are, and different size pools for kids, and get some cheap water guns, and make cup cakes and let them decorate them (your outside anyways). Have fun!!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

3 would be a great age for a tea party! even boys would eat cookies, finger sandwiches, and drink punch. cheap doilies and a faux lace tablecloth, with plastic flowers, could decorate the table. you could decorate hats or a picture frame as a craft. yes you could do actual tea set stuff if you have it, but it's not necessary. this is a great age for dress up and pretend. my neices went to a tea party for a girl about this age and loved it!

R.B.

answers from Dallas on

If you are looking for entertainers, then you can search for "child party entertainment". That may give you more ideas.
I personally do in-home "make your own stuffed animal" parties (similar to the Build-a-Bear concept, but I come to you and the kids actually stuff the animals themselves). My parties offer entertainment, a hands-on activity, and a great take home gift all in one.
Plus, kids (even adults) of all ages love it (safety certified for 3 and up).
Please feel free to visit my website for a ton more info:
www.NoahsArkWorkshop.com/ReginaBoyett537
PS I am the top Party Leader with my company for all of the US and Canada. :)
R.

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S.H.

answers from Dallas on

A.,

I am also with Noah's Ark, and Regina is AWESOME! She is a teacher and is EXCELLENT with children! Just thought I'd add my little snippet about her. :) She really is so awesome at what she does.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi A., I just got back from vacation in Italy, so I don't know if you have a party booked yet. I run a business called Noah's Ark Animal Workshops, and I come to homes and do birthday parties. The kids get to make their very own stuffed animal by hand, no electricity, and no machines. It is a blast, and you don't have to worry about favors b/c each child leaves with darling stuffed animal. You just have to do the cake/snacks, and I do all the rest. You just pick out what animal/clothing/accessories you would like to have, and I come and bring all of the fun. Please let me know if you are still looking. I would love to discuss the details. www.StuffInDallas.com
L. Stein

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