By the time your little one is 3, she’ll probably have an idea in her mind of what she’d like her party to be like, so you might want to think about hiring a themed entertainer. ‘3-year-olds will be able to comprehend games so fun activities like musical statues are ideal,’ says Maddy from Dreamcatcher. ‘With a bit of help from other grown ups you can play games like pass the parcel, but make sure you have a few treats at the end for children who have missed out on a prize!’
‘Your little guests will probably need their parents close by to feel confident enough to join in, so set up a clear seating area nearby for the adults.’
Who to invite
By now, your little one will probably have some friends of her own - a ready-made party list! Be realistic about how many children you feel you can handle at once though...
'Adapt classic party games to suit your theme - try Musical Islands, instead of chairs, for a pirate theme where the children sit on cushions when the music stops. Or Pin the Wand on the Fairy,' says Jemma Powell, of party organiser Jem's Fairies
'It's fun to make up little take-out boxes filled with crisps, biscuits or popcorn in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon,' suggests Georgina from PlushParties
'Or serve a few mini hotdogs or sandwiches and for a drink, put pink lemonade or milkshakes into old fashioned milk bottles with stripey straws,' suggests Annabel from Hats&Bells
You could also add a few mini muffins - see Lakeland for a range of mini muffin pans and cooking cases.
Go to town with pirate bunting, cups and plates, or all things fairy/princess. 'I remember a girl's party where everything was pink, including the meringue,' says one mum. 'And at a little boy's Cowboys-and-Indians party, the dads cooked beans, potatoes and sausages on a barbecue.'
'Cupcakes with pink butter icing and edible glitter are very popular with girls,' says Annabel. For boys, try cake toppers with a pirate or robot theme - see Partydelights. Failing that, a big chocolate cake covered in chocolate buttons, glace cherries and/or multi-coloured jelly sweets is guaranteed to delight!
Six big family moments that matter – and the products that make them easier to navigate
These products from John Lewis & Partners help support the memorable moments of family life.