Backyard Birthday Party Ideas (4 Year Old)

Updated on July 14, 2009
B.A. asks from Fairfield, CT
23 answers

I am planning a party for my daughter's 4th Birthday in August. I want do do something on the easy side since I will be in my last trimester with our second child. I was thinking of just having 3 or 4 of her closest friends over to play in the back yard and have lunch, cake, balloons etc.
We don't have any play equipment or yard toys because our yard is kind of small and we can walk to a playground nearby. Can anyone give me ideas for activities or games that kids can somewhat do on there own (with supervision of course)so the parents can chat and relax. I was thinking of putting out the kiddy pool and setting up the sprinklers for them to run and play in, but is that a bad idea? I don't think 4 kids can fit in my daughter's kiddy pool at one time. I don't mind buying another pool if it will be fun for them. I actually saw a nice affordable one at Walmart that has a slide. Anyone have better ideas or know of a reason a pool party might not be a good idea (Like maybe the weather won't cooperate)? What if they get bored of the water? Any ideas for games or other activities?
Thanks for any suggestions!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! I think that I used just about all of them.
I ended up having about 6 of my daughters friends over. We filled her kiddy pool and I got beach balls, bubble toys and magnetic fishing rods for them to play with. We had pizza, juice boxes and cupcakes. (The beach balls and fishing rods were also the party favors.)
All the Moms got to sit in the shade, sip lemon aid, talk and watch the kids play. (Important safety tip: Yes, we did have to keep a close eye on the kids around the pool. Even though it was a shallow kiddy pool and the kids were 4 years old, they had a tendency to want to wrestle in the water and climb on top of each other.) We were careful and everyone had a great time.

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A.M.

answers from Rochester on

I did a backyard party for my daughter's 3rd birthday and the children LOVED it! No one got bored. I laid out a kiddie pool, water toys and sprinklers. I also went to the dollar store and bought some of those giant bubble wands. I filled a large plastic storage tub half full of water and emptied a bottle of dish soap into it to make a bubble station. At the end we ate cupcakes on picnic blankets and bashed a homemade pinata to fill goodie bags. A fun time for the kids and easy for me!

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J.B.

answers from New York on

for my daughter's 4th, i had a beach theme and i got a kiddie pool and a ton of little beach balls from Oriental Trading Co. they had so much fun throwing them in the kiddie pool and throwing them around the room (it was indoors) and also sitting inside the kiddie pool. you coudl have one with water and one withtout filled with the little beach balls. and then I let them each pick one out for a party favor when they went home. Also I had sand pails and shovels also from Oriental Trading - so cute. you could have a small bin of some sort with sand in it and hide little things in it and then they could use their shovels adn pails to find them. it will be fun no matter what you do! enjoy!

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C.P.

answers from Rochester on

Pool parties can be fun if all the kids like water and the weather cooperates. You probably don't need another pool because they probably all won't want to be in it at the same time. You can have them were bathing suits & do a bunch of water games. You can use regular squirt bottles instead of squirt guns & try to spray each other on the belly. Or Making it a game of tag with one bottle and the kids have to sit down when they get sprayed. After everyone is down another kid takes a turn at being the sprayer. Or splish, splash -- a water version of duck, duck goose. Use a cup with a small hole in the bottom, fill it with water. The kid holds a finger over the hole & walks around the circle letting just a little water out on each head. Then tips over the cup on the "goose" & then run in a circle etc. As long as your are getting wet you could make it a messy art party & have lots of paper & washable paints.

You will probably need a back up plan if the weather doesn't cooperate. You can do scavenger hunts (elaborate or as easy as a paper bag with "find 4 blades of grass, 3 sticks, 2 rocks, 1 birthday girl" you can use pictures because they can't read) , hot potato, pin the hat on the party girl (use a blown up picture of your dtr), Or our bug on a leaf game - draw leaves on a poster board & get those sticky stretchy bugs from the dollar store or walmart. Then the kids throw the bugs at the poster board. It was real hit at my dtr's party.

Best of luck!
You may also want to consider getting a neighborhood teenager to help!

3 moms found this helpful
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D.R.

answers from New York on

At 4 you can still get away with the simplest of entertainment. However, in the event of rain you will want to provide some 'activity'... Not sure where you live, but a craft store (michaels, ac moore) or educational store (lakeshore learning) will have kits that are appropriate for that age... For my daughter I bought peel & stick frames... they come with sheets of cutouts & frames with magnetic backs... it's easy for that age, clean, and they leave with something they made... win win!! there are many options aside from that

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D.S.

answers from New York on

If possible-and there are bathrooms available, have it at the playground. WE did that and there was no mess for me-especially if you are pregnant! Bring some snacks and drinks and the cake. At that age, they don't need more than 90-min/ 2hrs tops anyway!! Go to the dollar store for hula hoops and some balloons and tablecloths.

Good luck!

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K.G.

answers from Syracuse on

When my son was that age, we put donuts on strings dangling off our clothes line and the kids ate them without using their hands. That was fun and the kids enjoyed it. (Have spare donuts in case some fall off the string to the ground.) Good luck.

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K.M.

answers from Albany on

My son's fourth birthday party included a tiny pool with a fishing game - it was not my plan to make it the highight of the day, but the kids (and parents) spent nearly all their time there! So while it's not really a girly thing (or is it?) it is a good way to make use of your pool. The sets came from Dollar Tree and they still have them with the pool toys. The fishing rods are plastic and yes, they will break eventually, but they'll last the day and each one comes with 3 fish or sea creattures with tiny screws in the mouth for the magnet to attach to. Buy a couple sets and add it to your fun - just don't get the rods too close to each other because the strings will tangle.
Have a great day!

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L.G.

answers from New York on

Check out www.orientaltrading.com. They have lots of good craft kits and toys for goody bags. And they are not expensive either. A tea party sounds like fun! At this age girls tend to like dressing up like princesses and other fancy ladies. They can also bring their dolls for extra guests.

For a game, get little rubber ducks and have them fish for ducks. depending on the color, they pick a prize from a bucket. Like a red dot gets one from the red bucket, a green from the green one etc

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T.N.

answers from New York on

The pool is a great idea. Here are a few others: you could do a hunt for little prizes, a simple obstacle course (making sure everyone wins something), a pinata, play a color game for prizes, i.e. who sees something that is green? These are all things that can be done inside as well.

your local party store should have great prizes like kazoos, inflatable beach balls, tiny plastic animals, etc.
have fun!

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S.S.

answers from New York on

Hi, my kids loving playing with water balloons, we give some basic rules, no throwing at the head or face. We put a twist on musical chairs;you get to pick a small prize when you are out . I always do cupcakes for birthdays, easier than cutting. I've done, decorate the cupcakes. Usually, I have a craft project that has a dual purpose, break up time and the favor. decorated flip flops, pumpkins, pails, banks, photo albums - pocket size, make a jewelry, etc... Pick up a new release movie in case of rain,(than serve popcorn and movie candy as the prizes) Basiclly, the kids just want to play.

Happy Birthday.
S.

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K.B.

answers from New York on

Hi B.,

I have a little boy but if I had a little girl I would def. do a teaparty. You could have all of the girls dress up in their favorite party dress and serve sandwiches that you cut with fun shaped cookie cutters. You could also go to Michaels and buy a craft for them to do. Michael's has a ton of stuff as inexpensive as a $1.

Good luck!
K.

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K.B.

answers from New York on

Get a slip and slide...they run, slide on their bellies on the vinyl runner (you have water attached to it) and they love it. Have some kind of activity for them to do when they get wet/tired, like painting rocks or planting flowers to take home in a little pot (they can paint the pots, you can get them cheap at craft stores). You would be surprised how well kids can entertain themselves!

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T.F.

answers from New York on

Hi B.,
Congratulations on your second pregnancy and your daughter's upcoming birthday (my birthday is August 3rd!)

I am a Discovery Toys consultant and have some suggestions for easy and fun outdoor play. We have a great item on sale...the Score Center. It's actually sold out, but I have 2 left in my inventory. I don't see a way to include an attachment, so if you'd like to send me your e-mail address, I can send you the image and product description.

There are several other items in our current line that have been used for parties and carnival games and are just perfect for your needs! You can check them out at my website: www.discoverytoyslink.com/toleenfarah
Just click on the "shop now" tab, and then the "preschool" tab on the left, or simply click (or copy and paste) the following links below to see the three products listed below.

PUZZLE RING TOSS:
http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/product?P...

FLIP FLOP FACES:
http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/product?P...

6 in 1 PLAY CENTER:
http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/product?P...

I hope this helps. Keep in mind, I also do fundraisers for schools, daycares, any youth organizations, as well as home parties/demos where as the hostess, you can earn an unlimited amount of toys for FREE! (It's the best way to do your holiday and/or birthday shopping ~ for Free!!) Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions. Best of luck to you!

Playfully yours,

T. Farah
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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A.G.

answers from New York on

Why not have a small party at the park! Bring the cake and/or ice cream to the park, some balloons, and a few candles and do it there. Make sure you clean up your mess and don't forget the lighter for candles but then the play set is provided. You would probably even be able to have the parents come and tell them bring a chair! I am having a big BBQ in my backyard this weekend for my 2 turning 3yo. I too am 38 weeks pregnant but my friends are bringing a dish to share and their own chair! My husband will man the grill and I will "supervise"! It is possible to make it easier on you. This pregnant thing is hard work all on it's own!!!! Have fun! A.

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M.K.

answers from New York on

why not a fancy tea party?

All the girls get super dressed up. with hats etc.

and you make little tea sandwiches, and as the party gift you can give each of the girls little white gloves, and a purse.

OR just buy little crowns and high heel shoes, feather boas
diamond earings and necklaces for all the girls to play with while there.

total cost probably not more than 40 bucks

M
M

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M.G.

answers from New York on

Last night I witnessed a party in the neighborhood for a little girl. She looks like she's about 4 or 5 years old. All of her guests (about 9 girls) arrived in sundresses. The host supplied hats--they looked like Easter hats, cute. They had a tea party. I hope it was iced tea. lol. They played games like Simon Says and things of the like. Their backyard is pretty small too. I thought that was a nice idea. I might do that next year for my daughter. Just a thought. Happy Birthday to your little girl.

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A.D.

answers from New York on

A slip and slide and the kiddie pool you already have should do. You could get a pinata for the end (they have ones where you just pull a string if you are worried about the girls swinging a bat at each other - although I doubt it's as much fun). You could add sack races, three legged races or limbo, but this will involve some adult interaction/supervision (unless you know a couple of teenagers that you could hire to be party coordinators and run the games while you sit - then you could have them do face painting, or supervise a craft project as well).

Have fun,
A.

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D.S.

answers from New York on

B.,
I think all yoru ideas are right on. I have found that kids usually need to be dragged from playing in the water, they love it. If you put kids together they usually make up their own games. I would suggest setting a kids table where they could eat and talk also as well as the adults.
Have fun!!!
D.

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P.P.

answers from New York on

I think a birthday party for a four year old should be simple and for the kids. You state that you would like to possibly buy another pool, for what. Just plan fun things, bubbles, dress up, tatoos, face painting and bead making. The parents can supervise these activities and still enjoy getting together. Time each activity and take a mid-way break for lunch and the cake and signing is the end of the day! Have a fun and inexpensive day.

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T.M.

answers from Utica on

we hired a clown/balloonist, just a thought. works for inside or out

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C.O.

answers from New York on

Hi!
Big blow up balls (99Cent store); hula hoops; bubbles!!!!
Also, kid's tattoos and music -
Have a wonderful time - oh - and definitely would get the extra pool.........
Take care!
Celia

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M.T.

answers from New York on

If you have the party at home, why not do a craft party? Boys and girls at that age will enjoy going to different stations to make things like sand art, scratch off bookmarks, painting a suncatcher, etc. Check out the Oriental Trading website or your local craft store for inexpensive crafts.

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C.T.

answers from New York on

Hi B.-

If you want the parents to relax and chat, please, please, please do not put out the kiddie pool(s). Remember even at 4 years old, there is still a drowning hazard.

The only other alternative is to take turns being pool monitors for 15 minutes. This would be one adult at a time that gives undivided attention to the pool and kids. This means no getting up for food or drinks and no socializing.

As for games, what about a water ballon toss? Also, I saw velcro sticky ball dart boards at Walmart and thought those looked fun. What about a pinata? Fill it will "good stuff" from your local dollar store instead of candy. I also saw someone once us a fan to blow continuous bubbles out into the play area and the kids went nuts chasing bubbles and popping them. A sheet with a beach ball makes a fun toy too. The kids work together to keep the ball in the air. If the adults are helping/supervising they can call out two names so that they have to switch places by running under the sheet while the ball continues bouncing along...

I am sure you will get a ton of other great ideas.

Have fun.
~C.

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