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We are organizing a big party for our 4-year old daughter. We rented a room, and expect 20-30 kids (most similar age) and the party is from 2pm to 5pm. What is the best way to manage the party (in terms of party games, toys, etc.), so that the kids are happy, and there are no casualties and property damage at the same time? What kind of party games would you propose for this age group?

Unfortunately there is pretty much nothing in the room, so we have to organize everything ourselves.

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What's your general budget (shoestring? moderate? blowout), and how big is the room? – Erica Apr 11 '13 at 23:21
@Erica, our budget is rather low, so we can't afford to hire an entertainer. The room could have been bigger, we were expecting less people to accept the invitation. – Grzenio Apr 12 '13 at 10:00
Whoa, 20-30 kids for a 4th party? That's huge... my kids just had 4 friends over. A party of 30 kids doesn't sound like 'low budget' to me! – Steve Shipway Jun 2 '14 at 21:54

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Honestly, I wouldn't try to over-organize at this age. Have a few games prepped and ready to go, like the ones Vicky suggested, but I would mainly just have lots of age appropriate toys and let hem kind of just have fun. If they seem to be getting stir crazy before you are ready for next phase of party, then bust out one of your prepared games.

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In my experience, typical parties for this kind of age group are 2 hours - I think you may find 3 hours too much.

The normal format is something along the lines of:

  1. Games - 30 mins
  2. Organised entertainer (magician, puppet show, etc) if relevant - 30 mins
  3. Food - 30 mins
  4. Games - 30 mins

If you're not doing an organised entertainer then extend the games a bit longer.

The sorts of whole-group games that go down well with this group are things like musical chairs, musical statues, musical bumps, pass the parcel, sleeping lions.

At age 4 you can also start to do some team games / challenges, like:

  • transferring M&Ms from one bowl to another using a straw
  • putting on outer clothes (wellies / gloves / hat / scarf) and carrying balls from one end of a course to the other to fill a bucket, then take off outer clothes and pass them to next person
  • passing a balloon down the line holding it only between the knees

You can have small prizes for the winning team, or the individual winners in the whole group games, but try to arrange things so that everyone gets something - at that age the children are hyper-aware of "fairness".

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When I was a little child, my parents had a lot ideas of what to play. I will just sum them up and explain it if necessary.

  • Cottonwool Blowing

Using a tape, you mark some lanes on the floor. Now you need some cottonwools for every single lane. Give straws to the children participating. The race starts with your signal and the kids must blow the cottonwools forward to the finishing line. The winner achieves some sweets.

  • Eating cake without using hands

  • Don't laugh

One of the children tries to make the others laugh. These avoid laughing. If the one in the middle succeed, he will get some sweets, if he doesn't, the rest will get sweets.

But please try not to over-organize that party. These kids want to have fun together while doing funny things. They won't like it if it seems like KidsPartyClownService24h is here.

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Kids that age are not easy to organize.

At our 4 year old birthday, which we held at our home we did the following:

Met at a playground, when everyone was there, a simple treasure hunt where they followed some balloons we tied to trees.

After everyone got the treasure, we went back to the house for snacks, cake and playing with the balloons and whatever random toys they could find. They entertained each other.

We unwrapped the presents with everyone there, the kids like to hand their present to the birthday kid!

We were at another birthday party with a similar party, but they did an indoor treasure hunt with clues, the dad read them aloud - super popular (where do you lay down at night? Clue was for the birthday girl's bed).

They also had a bunch of craft stuff, the kids could sit down and draw their own (pre cut) masks. They all loved that. I think if you have kiddie table space enough, anything crafty, like drawing is fun. If you have a theme you can use some printouts for coloring.

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Pinjata (candies hidden in a paper animal is a very good game for such parties)

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Listing a single activity doesn't really answer the question about organizing the party. – Beofett Apr 16 '13 at 16:27

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