Most 3-year-olds are just starting to share and learning cooperative play skills. When planning birthday party games for a group of 3-year-olds, create short and quick games. They usually do not understand being a "loser," so make sure you have enough prizes to award each child with something while playing party games.
Play music and have the young children participate in a few games. For a game of musical statues, have the children dance while music plays. When the music stops, they must freeze and not move. Award a prize to the last child standing or award prizes to each child for participation. You can also have the children pass an object, such as a balloon or party hat, around a circle while music plays. Play the game like "Hot Potato" and award a small prize to each child as he leaves the circle.
Most young children enjoy blowing bubbles. Take the children outdoors to blow bubbles using their own jars of bubbles and bubble wands. Tell the children to try to blow the smallest and biggest bubble. See who can catch the most bubbles on his bubble wand. The children take home the jars of bubbles as participation prizes. Pour bubble solution in a small plastic swimming pool and let the children use shaped wire clothes hangers and large bubble wands to create bubbles.
Prize Walk Games
Make sure each child wins a prize in a prize walk game. Print pictures of party hats, balloons and birthday cake on sheets of paper. Scatter the pictures all over the ground and have each child stand on a picture. Call out an item and the child standing on that picture wins a prize. Keep playing until each child wins a prize. Or, place several toys or party favors on a table. Each time a child wins, allow her to pick out her own prize from the table.
Inflate several balloons before the party to use in games. Give each 3-year-old an inflated balloon and tell him to bump it in the air. Tell the children the object of the game is to keep the balloon from touching the ground. Award small participation prizes to each child. For added fun, give each child two balloons and tell them to keep them in the air. You can also create a balloon-popping game by placing party favors in the balloons. Give each child three or four balloons and have him sit on the balloons to pop them to get his party favors.
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