party for 4 year olds

Pinata, pass the parcel, clown, cake, crisps, sugar laden soft drinks, gazebo, bunting….

what are the secrets of a good party for 4 yr olds folks?! 

Pass the Parcel will be like the 7th circle of hell unless you play the boring prize in every layer, make sure the music stops on everyone version.

Parachute games are good fun with this age group. Not throwing them out of a plane at a crazy height obvs.

cake must be professionally produced, wildly ambitious in design and upstage anything else offered by the parental peer group at parties 

balloon animal makers are always popular, make sure your clown does that

scavenger hunts are popular

bouncy castle, ball pit

ifs got to be expensive

adults are happy with a few bottles of wine and comfy sofas and conversation. Kids are good diggaz and the only way to date their cravings is to lay down fat dollah.

Remember: whether you like it or not, parenting is a competitive sport, although it’s always mum who is the main protagonist. You’re more like her boxer’s “second”, dutiful and wise in the corner.

*sate fgs

why the fook does my iphone change “sate” to “date”? Sate is a word ffs

Musical statues and bumps. Sleeping lions for when you want a 2 minute rest. Spotify has some good party game tracks which do the stopping/starting/talking.

Not looking forward to this at all.  Wish baby could just stay a baby and then magically turn into an 18 year-old one day. 

Outsource. You do not want these feral monsters and their insufferable parents in your home. 

Babies are cute but really boring compared to kids 

Seriously don't over think or over schedule / organise the party, they're only 4

top tip - make a strategic cut in the piñata before you hang it up, those things are weirdly robust 

There are quite good from 8-13 Asimov, goes downhill after that.

Pretty much decided to not sprog up, but I think I would enjoy planning the parties and things. Maybe when we get a dog, I’ll throw them a party…

4yos are amusing and sweet. They love bouncy castles yes.

None Linda,  but nephews nieces and four godchildren.

Bouncy castle 


Cake and ice cream 


Not a muzzle in sight. Let the little disease taxis be themselves. 

Guy and Linda make me feel a little better.

Looking forward to walks in nature and looking at bugs and plants with baby, but not looking forward to having baby's friends wrecking my house.  Could confine them to the garden I guess. 

I love my children more than I ever thought I could love anything. Even goading you guys. I'm enjoying the years when they're big enough to walk along holding my hand but small enough to want to. I'll be sad when this phase is gone.

They used to do a good standard kids party at the leisure centre where I live. Bouncy castle, various obstacles with lots of mats and tricycles that they could bez around on in the massive gym. They run like mad for about an hour while you set up the birthday tea on a trestle table, then you have the tea and they bugger off. Works up to the age of 4 or 5. About half of the kids in my eldest's class had exactly the same party and it was excellent. The kids just ran and bounced and whizzed for an hour which dealt with their general excitement. Easy to set up, easy to clean up.

some good stuff here - ta. we’re having it in the local park, no way the micro-barbarian horde is coming in our house even if it’s pissing down. 

Good call. Don't have them in your house until you can reduce numbers down to about 6.

My nemesis had a 3 year old’s birthday party at the Mandarin Oriental. 

Hard agree on the outsource point.

A local leisure centre with bouncy castle type stuff is more than sufficient for that age group.

Been through it twice and we have only ever had one party at home between the ages of three and 15. I think a four year vomiting in the shower cubicle then three of his friends walking it around the upstairs rooms was the tipping point.

Get a decent entertainer. There’s one who’s now available does a great sing-song:

Tie my kangaroo down

the court of King Caractacus

Two little boys

Goes down a storm with the little ones.

having tried both i would steer away from the "keeping-up-with-the" old fashioned do it yourself style children's parties as using a professional company is worth every penny in terms of avoiding the stress. 

And there are cheap options like or if you want seem ernest something like

parties at home are a nightmare.

i remember taking my daughter to one where the father was so stressed out, when he answered the front door he asked me "is the gift plastic?" (as if to say if it is not made out of wood or an improving book or similar you ain't coming in) - i said no (it wasn't) but once inside regretted not lying as the stressed hosts demeanour was palpable.

Crypto wins this thread. Party games are a fooking nightmare as they run out too quickly, and boys will just trash your house if they are not entertained. Buy everything you can and accept a trip to the dump the following day. Make sure the party gift is some sort of noise making device to ensure they never return or, if you want to be cool at the mo, give them those rubber bubble wrap things. 

I am quite stressed about it - dunno why…. if it pisses down I’m going to cancel it (and bribe birthday boy with something huge to hopefully avoid major melt down) and if it’s just a bit crap - not the end of the world is it. 

local leisure centre with bouncy shit and a colin the caterpillar cake ftw, do not have at home

I believe that it's very a la mode to have a drag queen to read them an appropriately correct story, followed by a burlesque dance. 

heh! yeah drag queen in multi coloured ape/furry costume with huge fluorescent strap on is booked. 

IMO the difference between a good and great 4yo's party is the quality of the entertainer hired.

We got one (called Freddie Fantastic smiley) who had the whole gaggle of kids eating out of the palm of his hand and totally mesmerised.

This left all of the grown-ups free to have a lame chat / watch on through their boredom without having to supervise the little darlings at all.  He was also quite fit so the mums loved that too.

I always took my good coffee machine too and make proper coffee for the parents - this seemed to go down very well also. 

Oh and +1 for jesus don't have it at home FFS.  Hire a local village hall.

When Shooty Jnr was... what... 6 or 7? something like that... we were stuck for ideas. For some reason, we left everything until pretty much the day before his birthday. Can't remember why we did that. Sounds bad. 

We had just moved back into our house, having had building work done. We had a lot of large cardboard boxes. I went out and bought a load of little Nerf pistol and an armload of spare darts, piled boxes around the garden or sliced them open to make barricades, cut out view slots, and grafittid the whole lot with spray paints to basically make an urban warfare arena in our garden.

They loved it, and spend the afternoon haring around the garden. Worked like a charm.

Entertainer wise, we had Magic Russ when he was younger. He was ace. Also used him for a Round Table do as he had an adult version of his show, which was superb. Really good magic tricks. West mids specific, mind.

We outsource it also - via a magician. He literally is one in the sense that he can keep the kids occupied for 1h30m minimum. He's a local dad doing it as a business and once tied 48 of the feckers up for 2 hours. Legend. Have some sprint around/bounce option ahead of that and then once past the magician it's cake time. Then boot them out/pack up if in park etc. 

Shooty's homespun laserquest type idea sounds brilliant.

I remember having one of my daughters parties at home. In troops prep school children:

"where is your tree house"

we don't have one 

"where is your playroom"

we don't have one. Welcome you spoilt aunt

We let their nanny do their parties until they were at "big school" and I don't think I even went as was at work. Then  for age 5 for the twins we had a clown or something like that to do some entertaining. In fact when they turned 5 I asked all parents from  both their classes at school here too as we had a twin in each class and everyone was just getting to know each other which was quite nice although a vast amount of people!

If you are in the market for running it yourself rather than a professional, I would recommend this lot - they send you everything and instructions and then you send it back afterwards. Hire the local village hall and you are all set.

(Full disclosure, I know Liz who runs it but that means I also know a lot of parents who have used it) 

Surely that’s what flip out is for ! That’s where nob will go with his mates for his 5th.

4th nursery did them, 3rd woods adventure + lunch in local cafe who let us have the place as it’s small / part of the woods, 2nd soft play with m8s and 1 was family only.

nobette had a family party for 2nd and 1st.