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Oh, Happy Day! 4 Fab At-Home Winter Birthday Ideas

Photo by Lawren Lu / Stocksy United / 530337
Photo by Lawren Lu / Stocksy United

Has your tot got a birthday coming up? Winter birthday parties often mean drumming up lots of fun…indoors and it can feel daunting to keep a gaggle of little kids inside (and entertained!) for a couple of hours. Sure, you could rent out a pricey pizza parlor, play-gym, or bowling alley, but there are also plenty of ways to have a birthday blast at home, too. Here are four fantastically fun ideas for an indoor at-home party that makes us wish we were toddlers again!

1. Pop It Party!

Preschoolers spend most of their time on the floor anyway, so why not go with it? Cover the entire floor in bubble wrap (use painter’s tape to secure it at various intervals), and then invite your tiny merrymakers to step, stomp, crawl, and roll to their hearts’ delight.
  • Make a bubble room: Take the bubble extravaganza to the next level by blowing soap bubbles and challenging the kiddos to pop them before they hit the floor.
  • Add bubble-busting props: Set out trucks, trikes (if floor space allows), or toy hammers, pliers, or other tools that are great for popping bubble wrap!
  • Pop’ goes the piñata: Set up a pull-string piñata—still fun, but much safer! Instead of wielding a stick, kids take turns pulling on ribbons until the “magic” one pops the piñata and releases the goodies inside.

Sweet Finale: Easy-to-hold cake pops!

Parting Party Favor: A bottles of bubbles!

Photo by Lumina / Stocksy United / 67317
Photo by Lumina / Stocksy United

2. Draw on the Walls!

Small children love it when they’re given free rein to do things that are normally against the rules. Line the walls of your living room with butcher paper and let the partygoers have at it with washable markers, crayons, stickers—even glue sticks and paper shapes. Anything goes!
  • Make a mural: Want more structure? Draw large outlines of people, animals, trees, or other objects that wee ones can fill in or embellish.
  • Accessorize: It’s always a blast to draw or paint on objects as well, like aprons, tote bags, or T-shirts.

Sweet Finale: Continue the artsy vibe with paint-your-own cookies. Revelers can use paint brushes to cover sugar cookies with different colors of frosting and then top them off with a shower of sprinkles. If you want something that you can prepare beforehand, try Rice Krispies Treat®paint brushes.”

Parting Party Favor: Why, all those artisanal, decorated cookies of course!

Photo by Saptak Ganguly / Stocksy United / 984928
Photo by Saptak Ganguly / Stocksy United

3. Decorate Yourself Soirée!

Set up stations for fun self-ornamentation activities like face-painting, faux tattoos, hand-stamps, sticker earrings, and nail polish. Post an adult (or friend’s teenager!) at each one in case the kiddos need help applying the decorations.
  • Dress-up fun: Put out baskets of dress-up clothes and accessories for the kids to try on.
  • Hall of mirrors: Set out some mirrors, so the little ones can admire their new looks! 

Sweet Finale: Place a cupcake in the center of a plastic painter’s tray and surround it with all the supplies needed for decorating. Serve the cupcakes pre-frosted, or, if you don’t mind the potential for a little mess, give each child a dollop of frosting in a Ziploc® bag with a corner snipped off for easy squeezing.

Parting Party Favor: Faux tattoos.

4. Carnival!

This one is all about the games! Pick a few of the birthday boy or girl’s faves and then let kids play to earn tickets, which they can exchange later for small prizes like stickers, crayons, bubbles, etc. Game options abound, but we like: 
  • Cup toss: Stack large plastic cups in a pyramid and then let the kids try to knock them down with little beanbags or soft balls.
  • Clothespin drop: Arrange empty milk jugs and bottles together in a group and then have kids stand over them and drop clothespins into them. Each vessel can be worth a different number of tickets. 
  • Go fish: Fill an empty kiddie pool (or laundry basket) with paper fish that have metal paper clips attached to them. Make a few fishing poles by tying a magnet to the end of a string, hand them to any interested little fishers, and then sit back and see what they reel in!  

Sweet Finale: Rent a cotton candy machine, or borrow from a hot new wedding trend and have a donut wall!

Parting Party Favor: Small paper bag for toting home each child’s carnival prizes.

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