Brilliant Birthday Party Ideas

Ages 2-4: Pretend Sleepover

What could be more fun than hosting your child and his friends for his first (mock) sleepover? Plan the party for after dinner (say, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.), and have your guests come in their favorite pajamas. Encourage the gang to bring their blankies, sleeping bags, or rest mats to lounge on, as well as their favorite stuffed animals. If you wish, cut out stars and a big moon for wall decorations or hang from the ceiling.

Little-Sleepers Invitation

Fleecy fabric gives this invitation a cozy touch. Trace the pajama template* onto fabric, cut out the pajama shapes, and glue them onto folded card stock. Add invitation details with a marker or alphabet stickers.


Stuffed-Animal Dress-Up: Direct guests to a basket of doll clothes, hats, socks, jewelry, and scarves, and let them get into the party spirit by dressing up their cuddly stuffed animals. Then give the children time to do what they love -- enjoy free play together with their floppy friends.

Pillow Art: Have the children decorate pillowcases with stamps and fabric markers. (Cut moon- and star-shaped stamps from sponges.)

Flashlight Highlights: Play flashlight limbo -- kids can pass under a light beam that you lower in increments. Let everyone win.

The Last Good Night: Pile up cushions and pillows for children to lie on while they listen to a bedtime story before heading home.

Star-Bright Moon Cake

Create a moon-shaped cake that features a wink and a smile. Then surround it with cookies that are sure to have your guests reaching for the stars.*

Sleep-Tight Goody Bag

Use moon and star stamps to decorate light-blue bags with acrylic paint. Once the paint has dried, fold over the top of the bags, punch holes, and add ribbon handles. Goodies can include bubbles, toothbrushes, bath sponges, nailbrushes, glow-in-the-dark stars, and teddy-bear stickers.

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