12 Birthday Party Ideas for 3 Year Olds

12 Birthday Party Ideas for 3 Year Olds

Getting through those first three years is quite a feat, mama!

Congratulations on your babe’s third birthday.

This next chapter is defined by some really exciting milestones and developments.

Kick it off in style with some brilliant birthday party ideas for 3 year olds.

But wait, how exactly do you celebrate your ever-growing toddler?

Not to worry, we’re here to help.

In this article: 📝

  • How do you entertain a 3 year old at a birthday party?
  • What time should a 3 year old birthday party start?
  • What do you do at a toddler’s party?

How do you entertain a 3 year old at a birthday party?

Wondering where to start?

Here are a few things to bear in mind as you get ready to keep a chaos of toddlers (yes, that’s one of the collective nouns parents use!) entertained:

Limit your guest list

Your own three year old doesn’t have an off switch, and it’s safe to say that their friends don’t either.

Make things manageable by limiting your guest list.

Get outside

This one depends on your home environment and the weather, but if you can, try and celebrate outside.

It gives the little ones under your care the space to run around and make a bit of a mess, which almost every toddler loves.

If you’ve got a winter baby on your hands, not to worry, we’ve got some ideas for you below.

Keep it short

Longer parties, where kids keep themselves entertained for hours, are still to come.

At this stage, keep your party to about an hour to an hour and a half.

Anything longer, and your little one and their friends could find all the noise and excitement a little overwhelming.

What time should a 3 year old birthday party start?

Three year olds have energy to burn, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get tired.

The best time for most kids this age is mid-afternoon or mid-morning.

Aim for either 10am to 11:30am, or 3pm to 4:30pm.

What do you do at a toddler’s party?

Parties based on themes and activities are ideal for three year olds.

We’ve got some ideas for you below—keep reading!

3 year old birthday party ideas for boys

These ideas are perfect for little boys, though that’s not to say that they wouldn’t work for your three-year-old girl, too.

1. T-Rex and triceratops

Every three year old has a favorite dinosaur!

Host a dino-themed party, complete with great dinosaur toys, dinosaur decor, and, of course, a dinosaur cake.

2. Arr! This be a pirate party!

Pirate hats, eye patches, and a treasure hunt through the garden: pirate parties are always a hit.

For a real surprise—ask an adult to get into full pirate gear for a special guest appearance.

3. Painting party

This one’s definitely for the outdoors!

Get a selection of water-based, non-toxic paints and lots of heavy-duty paper, and let your little guests go wild.

They can take their artwork home afterward.

(You might want to warn parents about this one in advance so that they know to dress their kids in old clothes!)

4. Construction time

Is your little one into dump trucks and cranes, and hammers and nails (of the plastic or styrofoam variety)?

A construction party, especially if you have access to a sandbox, can be a great way to put those building skills to the test.

Serve up “dirt cups” made of chocolate pudding and cookie crumbs.

3 year old birthday party ideas for girls

Here are some girl-friendly options—but again, take a look to see if they would suit your little boy.

5. Tea for three

A tea party, with each guest invited to bring a special stuffed animal along, can be great fun.

Encourage everyone to dress up in some costume jewelry or a fancy hat, and serve cooled herbal tea, tasty sandwiches, and a few sweet treats.

6. Fairy tales

Invite your guests to come dressed as their favorite fairy tale character.

This could be a princess, a fairy, or a little forest creature.

Decorate your home with pretty fairy lights and serve up a unicorn piñata for fun.

7. Pick a color

Much like dinosaurs and superheroes, kids at this age always have a favorite color.

What’s your three year old’s favorite?

Use it to create a green, yellow, or purple-themed party.

Think green streamers, green cups, and green-frosted cookies.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself.

You could opt for a rainbow party, too. 🌈

8. Three-I-E-I-O!

This themed party is for all party animals—especially the ones you might find on a farm.

Create a big red barn out of cardboard to decorate your home and serve farm-appropriate treats, like fresh fruit snacks and sheep-shaped cupcakes.

Winter birthday party ideas for 3 year olds

Have you got a winter baby on your hands?

Here are some indoor ideas to inspire you.

9. A cozy movie

Bring in lots of beanbags, cushions, and blankets, offer some special treats, and put on a short, age-appropriate film, and you’ve got yourself a movie party.

This can be a good, calm option for kids who tend to get quite overstimulated.

Remember, mama, don’t serve popcorn—it’s a serious choking hazard for kids under four.

10. A magic show

Children love being entertained by magic.

Keep your little guests spellbound by hiring a magician (or even learning to do a few magic tricks yourself).

11. Storytime

Does your child have a favorite story?

What about their friends?

Ask other parents for inspiration and read a series of stories out loud.

A book-themed cake would go nicely, too.

12. Let it snow

Imagine a snow-themed party, complete with snowflake cutouts as decoration, and the joy of making snowmen out of marshmallows and toothpicks.

Let your little one revel in their own winter wonderland.

Happy planning, mama!

Popular on the blog
Trending in our community