When you are deciding what is the best time for your 4-year-old birthday party? or how long should a 4-year-old birthday party be? you need to consider who is coming and what could be the schedule and likings of the guests.
You also have to consider your own schedule and the schedule of event organizers (if you are arranging any).
Mostly the guests of your 4-year-old’s birthday party would be the kids of the same age. These kids are still in the phase of building up their patience and you need to keep this in mind while planning your party.
Moreover, setting the wrong timings run the risk of fewer people attending your party.
What is the best time for a 4-year-old birthday party?
The best time for a 4-year-old birthday party is mid-morning, ideally, from 11 am – 1 pm or 10 pm – 12 pm. This is the time when most 4-year-olds are happy and active.
The second-best option is in the afternoon or late afternoon, for example, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, when the preschooler gets up from a nap. (Consider that many 4-year-olds still take a nap).
You should not arrange the party when it could be nap time or bedtime for anyone. There are certain times when the kids are tired and clingy.
Like at the noon, some children who are used to taking a nap, will lose their minds and start crying.
Same for the night! The children who go to bed earlier will create a scene.
You should consider a few more things when setting the timings for a birthday party. Here they are:
1- Is it weekend or weekday?
A birthday can be any day. If your child’s birthday falls in between the weekdays, you can choose to throw a party on the coming weekend.
But your child might not agree. He might want the party on the same day.
In this case, you cannot choose the morning time. Parents need to go to the office and most 4-year-olds go to preschool.
Invite the guests in the late afternoon like after 4:30 pm when all the kids have taken a nap and are ready to spend time playing.
The weather has a huge impact on when you plan to throw a party.
In the cold weather, you cannot invite everyone over in the afternoon. In this season, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm could be the best time.
While in the summer season, you can’t invite them in the noon. 12 pm to 3 pm is usually the warmest time of the day. (varies according to the geographic location).
If you are arranging your kids’ birthday party outside of the house, you need to take care of the venue timings too. If it’s arranged in a restaurant, you need to ask the management before setting up your plans.
4- Event organizers and entertainers:
If you are seeking the help of event organizers or entertainers, your timing should match their schedules.
How long should a 4-year-old party be?
A 4-year-old’s birthday party should not be longer than 2 hours. At this age, children are not capable of keeping their cool for longer.
Aim for the party activities to be no more than 1.5 hours. The first and last few minutes of the party would be spent on kids’ arrival and departure.
Some parents would also like to stay with their child, you can’t keep them waiting for a very long time.
Split the timings into short activities, as they can get bored of the same activity for more than 20-25 minutes.
You will find a sample schedule below.
When to send invitations?
If you want more invited guests to attend the party, make sure to send an invitation at the right time.
You should send the invitation at least 2-3 weeks before the party. You can call or send emails, whatever suits you.
After that, a quick reminder 2-3 days before the party is important. It can be a simple text message or whatever works for your community.
- Make sure to be clear about the starting and ending timings of the party. So the parents could drop off and pick up the kids on time.
- Be clear about the stay of parents. You should mention it if you have extra helpers to supervise the kids. Also mention that if any parent still wants to stay, he/she is cordially welcomed.
4-year-old birthday party schedule (sample):
Here’s a sample schedule you can follow for your 4-year-old’s birthday party.
- First 15 minutes of arrival
- 30-40 minute party games
- 10 minutes photography
- 5-10 cake cutting and happy birthday song
- 10-20 minutes of eating time
- Last 15-20 minutes kids go back
- Fix no time for opening presents
1- First 15 minutes arrival:
The first few minutes (10-15 minutes) would be spent on the kid’s arrival. They won’t just come and wait for the party to start.
You need to arrange something for them to be entertained. Coloring pages are a great choice. Get some art and craft stuff for kids.
2- 30-40 minute party games:
When you are choosing birthday games for 4-year-olds, consider their ability and patience level.
Consider these things:
- 4-year-olds are not so patient to stay in a line for so long and wait for their turn. So, choose the games that include everyone or at least require a minimal waiting time.
- Choose the games that are not too risky (in terms of risk of an injury)
- Games that are so difficult, complex, or require any excellent skill should be avoided.
- Avoid creating tough competition between kids. A 4-year-old might cry if he is unable to play.
Here are a few great games for a 4-year-old birthday party:
- Musical chair
- Pin the tail on the donkey
- Kangaroo race
- Sack race
- Duck duck goose
- Animal sounds
3- 10 minutes of photography:
The next 5-10 minutes would be spent on photography. It can be a few group photos or individual photos of each child.
4- 5-10 cake cutting and happy birthday songs:
The next 5-10 minutes would go on the most important part of the birthday. Cutting the cake and singing the happy birthday song. Receiving gifts from the guest is also counted.
5- 10-20 minutes eating time:
Then comes the part which is most loved by the kids. “Eating the cake” and eating the snacks or meal, whatever you have arranged.
6- Last 15-20 minutes kids going back:
After eating, it will be time for the kids to leave with their parents. But all the parents won’t come at the same time.
Kids will leave one by one and you must arrange any activity to keep them entertained when they are waiting for their parents to pick them up.
It can be coloring again, playing with the playdough, or watching cartoons.
If you plan to use a screen, make sure to seek the permission of parents because some parents don’t let their kids have screen time for more than a specific time frame.
7- Why we fixed no time for opening presents:
Kids usually open their presents after cutting the cake, but 4-year-olds are still developing their patience.
While opening a present, your own kid might say that he doesn’t like the gift or any other kid might start crying because he wants the presents.
If you still want to open the gifts during the party, you can do it after cutting the cake. Make sure to train your child about how to behave if he doesn’t like anything and prepare small presents for every kid so they don’t leave crying.
Related: 7 Perfect Rhymes For 4th Birthday
When you are setting time for your 4-year-olds birthday party, you need to consider so many things like the common schedule of the kids of this age. Other things to consider are the weekdays, weather, and availability of event planners or entertainers.
Usually, the best time is mid-morning on weekends while the second-best option is late afternoon when the kids are up from their naps.