You may have heard me
shout it from the mountaintops mention before how I strive for age appropriate birthday parties? For me, it is a top priority of every party plan for my own kids – even today. I think it might have started because my daughter was an extremely sensitive little one – easily overstimulated and stressed out at the drop of a hat with anything out of her comfort zone. I want to share with you just 5 of the easiest, low tech, perfectly age appropriate activities that would keep any toddler busy for ages!
The supply list for this fishing activity is short and inexpensive. I took a blue striped bed sheet and simply taped on construction paper cutouts of fish (big, small and multicolored). The sheet was hung between two trees in the yard with kitchen twine. My husband and a friend sat behind the sheet with several bags of toys and trinkets, each bag labeled with a guest’s name, as the items caught would be his/her party favor. The child was given a dowel – tied with a length of string and a clothespin instead of a hook – with their name written on the clothespin. I think you get the idea now… throw the “hook” over the top of the sheet, their prize was clipped on, and they pulled it back over with sheer joy and excitement! I will suggest lots of helpers with this one – the little ones are only two and need plenty of assistance.
But not with paint! Just in time for my son’s 2nd birthday party, we had this great big wall built in the backyard. Turns out it was the PERFECT canvas for the party guests. Can you guess what the supply list has on it? Paintbrushes and buckets and water. That is it. I do have a couple of suggestions if you plan to do this activity… use small buckets, and do not fill them up – otherwise I guarantee you will have a lot of wet children on your hands. Secondly, an assortment of paintbrushes makes it more fun and interactive – I’m talking tiny paint by numbers brushes all the way to 3 or 4″ wide paint the side of your house brushes.
Sing a Long!
Even if you don’t have a friend or family member in the music industry, you can still have a terrific sing-a-long with party guests. We borrowed several instruments to add to our collection of maracas, drums and triangles, and let the children pick what they wanted – a tip here, try to have duplicates of the more popular items (it will cut down on the tears). Have the whole group of kids come together, and perform the classics – to live accompaniment or recordings. Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle little Star, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, you know the drill.
As low tech as they come, paper and crayons can be a big hit at parties with little tiny ones. We taped a large sheet of white butcher paper to a 6ft table at kid height, and surrounded it with rented chairs. You can then fill little boxes or baskets with crayons (new or used!) and washable markers – add your themed party decor, or not and that is it!
Supplies needed on this one? Kids, and well, a parachute. Just the sight of this giant colorful activity brought the party guests running! We found a list of parachute related games here, just print it out and play.
Hope that helped just a little? When the birthday child and his guests are only 2, or 3 or 4 years old, cut yourself some slack! Skip the bouncy house and the paid entertainers, make their party simple and inexpensive. Need more ideas? All you have to do is tweet, facebook, instagram, tumblr, linkedin, google+, vine, or email me, I got a million of them!