Author Topic: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?  (Read 9095 times)

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Offline elf

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4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« on: March 20, 2011, 12:35:37 pm »
Just wondering what others have done for their 4 year olds birthday?  We've kept all birthday parties for both children at home, not too many children, party food, free play mostly on a week day with Mum's also having a good catch up /cuppa etc.  I love having them at home as I think it is quite special - and weather is mostly good, not too hot, not cold.  But I'm feeling as though this may change a bit.  I would love to feel as though I could keep DD's birthday 'low key' but she has lots of friends from different groups and I am not sure if I want to mix all the friends, mums up together.  I also feel a bit weary about asking anyone from Kindy as I don't want to make anyone feel excluded and yet I want to be fair to DD who has genuinely made some new friends there.  It is beginning to feel as though it can get a bit political and stressful - so if I keep DD's party small and intimate does that mean she won't be invited to birthday parties?  Feels so silly to be even thinking like that at age 4!  Options are:

1 - Friends who she has made through me - so my friends and their children, mixture of ages, siblings etc - provide games for the older ones if they wish to participate... casual style
2 - Keep it more to children age 4 and mix up the friendship groups
3 - Choose maybe 4- 6 friends only and try and make it really really special, worry about it more next year at Age 5 where she would have done a year at Pre-Primary and then focus more on the friends she has made from school...

Anyone else stress about birthday parties???

Offline Zoey

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 12:50:42 pm »
We've kept our parties more geared toward family members and 2-3 special friends from where ever.  At school any invites go directly to the teacher to put in the kid's backpacks so other children aren't offended.

I really think these things are what you make them, they don't have to be "political" if you don't play into that, you know?  I also think it's important to consider what a birthday party is to you and your family, and center it around that.  I would try not to worry about all the drama right now at four :)  Ask the birthday girl what she wants.

Good luck!
      

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Offline Mum-of-Two

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 13:13:48 pm »
I did the big party with the kids from school for Elise's 5 year.  And truthfully because it was preschool I even questioned if I should wait until she was in her elementary school... but 5 is such a cool fun memorable age we just did it.  All said only half the kids showed that I invited and yet it was wonderfully perfect -- 6 girls, at a play gym type place.  Was fab.

I wouldn't worry about DD not being invited to parties, at this age I think it is still a mix of big and small parties.  Elise has only been invited to 2 so far in her preschool... and they're all turning 5.


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Offline Ryan&HollysMom

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 20:37:43 pm »
facing ds's 5th in 3 weeks...
last year we had his favorite kids that are around the same age over, 4 of them, 3 brought younger/older siblings and we had the parents (if they wanted to stay) too. made it afternoon so i wouldn't have to feed them too much. got lucky and decorated the backyard, it just turned into a big playdate. it really was wonderful. we did have a couple games, like musical chairs, but it was a bit of a shock as we didn't count on crying "i lost" kids - but that only lasted a couple minutes, dh got the "loser" to turn off the music the next time. for food we just did pigs in a blanket, some fruit and veggies and chips, and cake of course.
are doing much of the same this year, 6 friends, this time no siblings unless he's very good friends with them too (as is the case with one friend).
i would ask who her best friends are, and invite them. keep it small, i read about inviting as many kids (roughly) as the birthday girl is old (this is also a nice excuse for not inviting a whole lot more kids). i don't know where the notion comes from that you'd have to invite the whole class - silly in my opinion.
ryan's in a class of 12 this year, and in fact none of the kids is in his class. there are 2 JK/SK splits and 4 kids are from the other class, one is a big brother and one is a girl that's being homeschooled. he's known most of them since birth.
keep in mind that the bigger you make this party, they'll only get bigger from here on... most likely. i'd keep it casual, a few friends, let the parents stay if they wish, if not, okay. also put a time for pickup on the invite. and don't stress. think of it as a big playdate. :-) have fun!
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Offline clazzat

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 21:57:43 pm »
M's 4th birthday party was basically just a playdate with the friends that I have known since she was tiny, and it seems that most of her friends have done much the same thing.  A couple have hired a place to hold it, but it has still been broadly speaking the same group of friends, and no one has felt the need to invite a whole preschool class etc.  To my mind, this was the last birthday that I would get away with not organising quite a big party, so I thought I would make the most of it!  Next year she will be at school so I think there will be a lot more invitees and we will need a bigger place!

If you are worried about mixing groups, you could try having 2 parties - we ended up doing that for M this year as well because we do have 2 distinct groups and we found that a lot of them couldn't make the one during the week (and also my parents were going to come) so we had a weekend afternoon as well.

Offline RyansMum

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 23:21:05 pm »
We have had mainly at home parties as then I get to organise it all :P  I love it!

For Ryans 4th he chose a Spiderman cake, I then themed the party around that and told him he could have up to 16 children ( I feel that is a doable number in our house and quite frankly do not feel he needs to invite all and sundry, thats PC going mad).

Luckily it was a hot day and it was all outside. I organised 3 games and they also had tons of free play on Ryans swing set. We had a BBQ and plenty of juice!  Dessert was ready made jelly to keep it simple.

For his 5th we had 8 kids in the end (was going to be 11 but a few couldn't make it). He wanted a Racing car cake so again themed it around that. It rained so we were indoors using his play room, living room and kitchen. They had free play with the scalextric, car mat and cars and a blow up connect 4. We then had a numberplate craft and some racing on the X Box. We again had BBQ food with ice cream cones for pudding. Low key but fun. 

I have hired a venue before and its been fine dressing it up and them having great fun running around but the only thing I didn't like was setting it up as quickly as possible before the party. At least at home I can take my time.

Offline We Three

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 23:41:24 pm »
I'd go with option #1...but that is my style. The time will surely come when you can no longer get away with that, so why not have the one more year low-key like you want? We had Millie's first "real" party this year. "Real" in that it included more then just her family. I invited 3 friends, who quite frankly are only her *friends* because we are friends with the parents.  To her, as long as her cousins were here and there was cake and balloons, she was more than happy!

Offline elf

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 04:27:13 am »
Thanks for the tips.  She wants a 'Fairy Party' at home in the garden.  I want to make it really special and have a bit of a 'magical' feel to it.  So I'm going to keep it to just my friends and therefore the friends she has through me - so a couple of friends around her age and their siblings.  We haven't played games at her parties yet as it's been more like 'free play' but in the past I have put out 2 crafty tables - 1 set up with playdough and cutters and the other set up with little glue sticks and an image to stick bits and pieces on - last year they all helped make a butterfly but they could just come and go from these IYKWIM.  I've so far really enjoyed her little parties and would like to keep them intimate while I can.  As long as it's 'Pink' then she'll be happy!  I was thinking of doing 1 game - musical statues but combining the 'fairy' theme so maybe each child throughout the game could recieve a wand?  But not sure how this will work for boys????  Could have some wizard wands?  Or another idea was somehow icing biscuits, or making something to do with Toadstools?  I like the idea of them having a little bag of fairy dust (glitter etc) and decorating the plants in our garden and perhaps even combining this with a bit of a treasure hunt?  I just want to pick 1 activity  that is organised and kind of have 1 activity that they can come and go from if they want.  I can decorate outside and make it have a 'fairy' feel to it.  She doesn't have any cousins which is why she's always had friends for her birthdays.  I am terrible at making decisions like this and agonise over them but I think that I will definitely keep it to the usual group that comes and by next year I will have a good idea who her 'friends' are - she only started Kindy this term and from what I can see she gets along with almost all of the kids really well, but I do hear particular names so I guess this is going to be the year where she'll end up with a new/different set of friends as well...

Offline Aly Mac

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 10:26:32 am »
We did a big one in the park for her kindy friends Plus the ones thru our mums group    She had never had one and that year she had made friends etc. So just a four yr old party. Mind you. Never again. Nice that they all turned up but was thinking not all of them would. So this yr family plus cupcakes at preschool. Do they let you at your dDs? That's an option to still celebrate. I mean they are all together playing anyway!
Aleesa.....


Offline RyansMum

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Re: 4 Year old Birthday Parties?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 12:45:15 pm »
Check out this site if you haven't already http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/ I get nearly all my ideas from there, seeing as you want a fairy party they will have tons of ideas. I too like the idea of only a couple of structured games with the rest as free play as possible.