Are you lost for 3rd birthday party ideas? Ask a preschooler! Most of her 3-year-olds have strong ideas and clear preferences for themes such as fairies, superheroes, Lego, construction vehicles, dinosaurs, cooking, or characters from the latest movies. After selecting a theme, you’ll see other choices such as activities, decorations, favors, and food.
“Keep in mind your child’s personality, temperament, and focus,” says Carla Pollard, a Parent Coaches Association-certified parent coach who recommends limiting events to an hour and a half. “Parties are for celebrating children, not for impressing friends.”
With that in mind, here are 14 clever 3rd birthday party ideas and activities that suit almost any theme or interest.
1. blow bubbles
When the kids arrive, pop the bubbles and let them join the party! You can also try out the bubble machine and giant bubble wand. Or, better yet, make bubbles the theme of your party! Check out Catch My Party’s bubble carnival ideas.
2. Dip into the paint
Try The Art Room Plant’s Shaving Cream Marble Print. Using shaving foam, paints, sticks and paper, kids can easily create beautiful works of art.
3. Repel bubble wrap
According to Danielle Rothweiler, celebrity event planner at Rothweiler Event Design in New Jersey, parents said: [their] A children’s party with activities and games where they are interacting with each other. It is a bubble wrap freeze dance in the style of Three Little Things.
“All kids really want is to have fun with their friends,” says Rothweiler. Few things tick those two boxes for him as much as Puchi Puchi’s game of Freeze Dance.
4. Offer Chef’s Specials
Let your little chef cook and play with your food! Want to know how to throw a kids cook party with your 3-year-old? Cook Republic shares ideas. Decorating cupcakes is just the beginning!
5. Let’s build!
At your own construction party, kids can eat treats out of a dump truck on their own little construction site (wearing helmets, of course!).
6. Drink kid-style tea
This perfect pink tea party from Foodlets is just tutu cute! (Plus, inexpensive tutus make great party favors!)
7. Go for Gold
Everyone takes home a medal at the Olympic party! Red Ted Art has a lot of Olympic crafts for this kind of gathering. Aim for gold!
8. Wear Fairy Wings
Get inspired by the school of fairies! Check out this lovely fairy party shared by The Imagination Tree. Guests get a pair of fairy wings, hop on a trampoline (at the flight school), and build a sparkly fairy house with the objects they find.
9. Go Wooee Gooey
Get some science fun at a Dr. Seuss themed party. Check out this Ooblek recipe from Preschool Powol Packets.
10. Nerf target practice
For a nerf gun party, stack the red solo cups, place a Lego man on top of and between the cups, and have the kids hold the nerf guns or beanbags to knock over the cups. Destruction and loud noises follow in this idea from Busy Kids Happy Mom.
Bury the dinosaur bones from the kit in the sandbox, hand out the shovels, and let the fun begin with a dinosaur excavation party. You can hide other treasures with this fun 365 idea.
12. Minutes to Win
A fun, fast-paced party game that challenges kids to complete tasks in under a minute. Here are some fun ideas for winning by the minute from Mom Loves Best.
13. Punch Box
A piñata can turn a well-behaved child of any age into a wild one. Instead, each child takes turns picking a circle to create her punch box to win a special prize. Find out how at Celebrate The Big and Small.
14. Wear a candy necklace
Activities, snacks and party favors are all there. Check out Design Improvised for easy instructions to help kids create their own candy necklaces. Circle Pretzels, Cheerios, Gummy Life Savers, and Fruit Loops are just a few of the perforated treats that can be stuffed into liquorice on a string or rope.