Preschool Dress-up Party
Keep a birthday party for young children simple and flexible - playing dress-up is a fun activity that allows for free play.
For young preschoolers, we found dress-up themes to be easy for parties. I found some inexpensive lace in a variety of colors at a local discount store, and we let the boys and girls alike have a 1 yard long piece of it, which they kept as a party favor. It was a scarf, a veil, a cape, and more... another year we had cowboy hats - and both times we stocked a 'dress-up' box from the local goodwill with a variety of accessories the kids could use during the party. We had non-sugary snacks out at all times, and let the children free play between snacks, presents and cake. Their parents were invited, too, and the adults were able to visit and relax, and there was plenty of supervision.
As for food, depends on who your guests are - easy finger foods that won't be too hard on your home if dropped, like hot dogs, veggie pieces and dip (the parents might like that too), chips, luncheon meats (could be sandwich fixings for the adults), cheese chunks, cheerios, mini muffins, slices of apple... whatever the kids like to eat.
You can also certainly use a more complex theme for decorations and so on, but I must say that my kids did not need much to have fun... the guests were most of what were needed! If you're pressed for time and want to do a themed party, a few choice decorations and special cake (see our other themes for some easy cake ideas) will delight your child and make their party special -- without wearing you out!
Contributed by Grace Sylvan