Ideas for B-day Party Activities?

Updated on November 12, 2009
M.P. asks from Portland, OR
13 answers

Hi Everyone-
I am a little stumped about what activities to plan for my son's 4th birthday party this weekend. I am running short on ideas and time! He is having a Disney Cars themed party. All the ideas I've seen online involve outside activities. It is supposed to rain all weekend :( All of the kids (about 10 kids) are around his age, from 2 to 4, boys and girls. Any ideas? I'm also not quite sure how to entertain so many kids!

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answers from Seattle on

I'm all about crafting and having an autumn girl myself, we have to always plan indoor parties. Here are a couple ideas:

Car races with matchbook cars: make cardboard ramps and have them race.
Make a large posterboard cutout of the front of a car. Let the kids stand behind it (like they are driving) and have a photo booth. You could make it even more fun by making an entire cardboard box car and let them sit inside.
Make little cars out of little cereal boxes and plastic bottle caps.

Those were just off the top of my head. Here's a link with a bunch of ideas for a car/hot rod party:

Have fun! :-)

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answers from Portland on

I just had a halloween party for seven 4 year olds and all the activities were a hit. They were mostly girls but everyone enjoyed them. They are all transfereable to "cars" theme
1)Bingo - I made bingo cards with Halloween stickers (cars stickers). No one had played before so it was fun as a new game. I gave treats for the first bingo for each child but we ended up playing till all the boards were full.

2)Pin the nose on the pumpkin - My daughter painted the pumpkin and cut out the different shapes for the noses so she could practice her scissor skills and be a part of it.

3)coloring sheets as they arrived so that it didnt matter when they started and they could all join in at any time. One was even a maze (it was a little too difficult for some) I found these on line.

4) Read a ghost story - they loved it. Even the boys

5)free time to go play with my daughters toys and play in her bedroom.

6)Bowl full of jello and cool whip with fun toys hidden inside. The kids had to stick their hands in there and goosh them around till they found the eyeballs (grapes), plastic bats, skulls, etc. Make sure you put tablecloth on the table and on the floor and do it close to the bathroom so they can wash their hands off without carrying the mess around the house.

These activities filled up 2 hours of fun.

Get the parents involved too in helping!

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answers from Seattle on

For my 4 year old's party we played bowling (Target / $9.99). Each child had a turn and there was no win or lose. We also did pin (tape) the tail on the donkey (dollar store). They had the option to wear the mask or not. Two games was plenty at that age. For their gift bags, they received sandbuckets and each time they finished a game, they received a prize. We also did a pinata where you pull the string and they used their buckets for the candy. :)

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answers from New York on

I would try those little wooden car kits they sell at Michael's - each child could paint their own to take home.

LOVE Donna L's photo booth idea too! Good luck and have fun! Remember kids don't need to be entertained every second - sometimes just having unstructured play time (playing cars) with friends will is perfect. ENJOY!



answers from Seattle on

Have them decorate their own bags. The first thing I do at my kids' birthday parties is hand each child a lunch bag and something to draw with. If you have some car cutouts, as another mom suggested, they could glue those on the bag with a glue stick after coloring their race day scene on it. This could occupy some kids for half an hour. Stickers are nice too.

I like the pin the wheels on the car idea. Get a "CARS" poster and cover it with contact paper so it doesn't get damaged, then cut out wheels for them to stick on with tape. Better yet, have each child make their own wheel. Or have them design their own "winners" flag like at the real races. Or traffic cones, like the hotel on the movie. Or you could make your own Cars poster(s) using poster board cut into quarters. Each child draws, cuts out, creates his own poster. The possibilities are endless.

The great thing about four year olds is they still use their imagination and enjoy playing. A couple activities should be plenty, given their age. I made the mistake of having too many games at my son's first friend party, at age 4 ( he is now 10), and the kids were fairly tired at the end. Enjoy your party and don't stress about it. It's all about the fun!



answers from Seattle on

we just had an indoor party with kids the same age range. I did a version of pin the tail game(all kids won a prize), coloring and playdoh station and free play. I also cleaned out my garage and put all the ride on toys in there and the kids loved it. You can print out "cars" coloring pages online for free.
We also did a pull string pinata.
We did about an hour of the freeplay/playdoh/coloring, played the game, and then the second hour was cake and presents and a little more free play. It was the perfect amount of time.
The kids this age really don't have a long attention span, so I made everything quick. Not every kid participated, but that was ok. They really do entertain themselves quite well, so just do a few simple things and they will have a blast.
Have fun!



answers from Portland on

Paper airplane contest. Print off paper airplane designs online, and have each child decorate and make a paper airplane, then have them all vote for best looking plane (they can't vote for their own!), and then have them throw them (have them stand behind the same line when they throw), and whoever's plane goes the furthest gets a prize too! It's a lot of fun. You don't have to do prizes though.. some 4-yr olds aren't ready for competition! Have fun!



answers from Portland on

I'm glad other moms are coming up with good crafty fun things, because I only came up with "be sure to get the pinata"--I'm pretty sure I've seen Cars-themed pinatas, although recently only maybe at the little hole-in-the-strip-mall Hispanic shops (where you can also find superheroes besides the latest two movie releases ;) ). Cars stickers (get a pcak and cut them up into individual stickers) and lightweight plastic cars, or if they have any, balloons with the Cars printed on them (not yet blown up of course), would all be fun, non-candy stuffers. If you're lucky the stores might have Halloween candy with the Cars on the package ...

Could the kids weave black-and-white "finishing flags" out of construction paper? (I'd call them placemats except I know as a kid I was always devastated when something like that got FOOD on it : ( ... so I never used them as placements ... on the other hand, if a mom had made the placemat I probably would have been alright with ruining it .. you know how it is ;) SIGH ).

OK, that's it for me ...



answers from Portland on

You could play "pin the wheels on the car" (instead of tail on the donkey) or do an art project where they each decorate a cut out car (just cut a general shape out of construction paper) play the "red light, green light" game... if you could find some car shaped cookie cutters you could let them decorate cookies?



answers from Medford on

Get some cardboard boxes (1 for each kids), the boxes that paper reams come in work great (ask at the office supply store). Gather a bunce of color crayons and markers, glitter glue (whatever you are comfortable with kids using) and let the kids decorate their very own "race" car. Cut 1 hole in each side for them to use as a handle and they can have races inside or outside depending on the weather. Let the kids take their "race" cars home and there is no cleanup. :)



answers from Portland on

You could do a scavenger hunt inside with Cars cars. Race cars down a ramp (previously suggested), you could make an easy cake using two round cakes side by side and making a figure 8 track on them, then put a few Hot Wheels or Cars vehicles on it.

We had a Clifford party for my 2 yr old this summer and most of the guests were 3 and 4. We played a scavenger hunt, dog bone fishing with cookie cutters, and pin the bone on Clifford. With a bbq, cake and present opening, this was plenty for them to do. The kids played games while the food was cooking on the grill. The kids liked the fishing game the best.

You could get car shaped cookie cutters and attach a paper clip (if plastic) and a stick with a string and washer attached. A magnet sticks well to the washer. I just used an old baby tub for the pool and no water, but water would work, too.

Good luck and have fun,



answers from Seattle on

can you do things like hot potato with a car, have car races on hard wood floor, make ramps out of posterboard and let them try to slide cars from the couch/chair to the floor, pin the bumber sticker on the car, a friend of mine just did a moster truck party - she made placemats (but the kids could make them) with trucks cut out of magazines, stickers, and the kids' names, you could also add a picture if you can take and print at your house...then laminate with clear contact paper, play red light green light with the cars racing - they can drive the cars across the floor, following the r/g commands - you can even make a stop and go sign, get a few books about racecars (I am sure that there are specifically cars books)



answers from Seattle on

Have you considered the classics like musical chairs (could be like a racetrack) or pin the tire on the racecar?

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