How do you keep three year olds entertained at a party. It’s a struggle, right? They’re not quite old enough to follow instructions, so that rules out most party game ideas. But it can be done, if you keep things simple and I’ve got the perfect solution for this tricky age group, with an easy DIY party game for 3 year olds.
My little boy has just turned three and is at that in between age now where he’s interested in other kids (well mostly whatever they’ve got in their hands) but not quite sure how to play with them. So for his third birthday party, I wanted an easy game to break up the day and one that got everyone to play nicely.
So what kind of party games can you plan for 3 year olds?
Because I was really hoping to get through the party without a massive meltdown… and I succeeded. That in itself is worth sharing, right?
Many years in teaching (and a lot of trial and error) has taught me how to plan for different age groups. And if, like me, you’re a mum to a three year old, we know that they usually have their own take on the rules. But before you throw in the towel, a fun game for a group of threenagers can be achieved if you make sure of the following:
- the games are quick
- are easy to follow
- there is minimal waiting for turns.
- you avoid having winners and losers and make the games just for fun.
Oh, and be prepared for a lot of cheating!
How to make a Pin The Spider On The Web game for 3 year olds
I made this Pin The Spider On The Web game for my sons bugs themed party to tick all of the above boxes. And because it was so easy to make and set up, I didn’t mind if they only played for five minutes. But guess what, they were all queuing up to play and came back to it throughout the party. Even better, was that it used items I already had, so cost me nothing to put together.
There are three main parts to the game:
- The web
- The blindfold
- The spiders
Although, if you’re really time pressed and are willing to compromise a bit on the finished look, I have included some time saving short-cuts.
Making a washi tape spider web
Using washi tape to make the spider web is perfect as it’s a low-tack tape meaning that your wall surface should be mark free when you take it down. Please do make sure to test the tape on a small area first though.
The best position for the web would be a door or painted wall but you could also stick the web to a sheet of foam board instead. I opted for a cupboard door to avoid having to use pins to hang up the game.
And don’t forget to position the web at toddler height too!
You will need:
- Black washi tape
- Make a cross with two longs strips of washi tape.
- Add two further diagonal strips.
- Start near the centre with small strips of tape to bridge the gap between each longer length.
- Repeat this step until you have a small octagon.
- Leave a small gap and repeat step 3 and 4 to create the next octagon.
- Continue until you have filled your web.
Making a spider blindfold
Blindfold Cheat If you don’t have time for this stage, you can use anything to cover the eyes, from a scarf to taped over glasses. Although I have to say, wanting to wear these glasses is what got all the kids involved in the game.
You will need:
- Foam craft glasses (mine were from Wilko’s)
- Black paper
- White paper
- Coloured paper to match your glasses
- Glue (I used a roller glue but glue stick or glue dots will work too)
- 1 1\2″ round punch
- 10mm round punch
- Punch out 8 large white circles.
- Punch out 8 small black circles.
- Stick the black circles onto the white ones to make 8 eyes.
- Glue the eyes over the glasses, overlapping slightly so that there are no gaps to peek through.
- Cut out 8 legs from the green paper.
- Glue 4 legs onto the back of the glasses on each side.
Making the spiders
Spider Cheat If you don’t fancy cutting out eight spiders, you could use different toy spiders and skip this stage altogether.
You will need:
- 6 different coloured foam sheets (adjust to the number of guests you have)
- Spider template
- Double sided tape
- Print and cut out your template.
- Draw around the template onto the foam sheet.
- Cut out the spider shape from the foam sheet.
- Place a piece of double sided tape onto the underside of the spider.
Final tips for setting up the game
I’d recommend setting up the pin the spider on the web game a couple of days in advance to get ahead on the crazy party set up. The great thing about washi tape is that it’s low tack and should easily peel off your walls. But please do remember to try a small patch test before you commit to a whole web.
If you want to have a winner for the game, then you’ll need a small prize to give to them – a toy spider would go down well. However, I find that with little people, this can cause more upset than it’s worth so I avoided having any prize and didn’t make too much of a fuss about who pinned closest to the centre of the web.
You will probably find that some kids don’t like anything on their face and won’t want to wear the glasses, which is fine, closed eyes work too. On the flip side, my son refused to part with them. Like I said, you might have to relax on the rules a bit.
I hope that you found this post helpful and now have some party game inspiration for your three year olds birthday. If you’re looking for more ideas, particularly for shy kids, then do check out my post on How To Keep Kids Entertained At A Party
Good luck with the party and especially with the threenager!