Role Play Birthday Parties

If you read here often you will know that at 2 years and 9 months, Cakie is near-on obsessed with birthdays. I think she is like most young children in this respect, loving balloons, cake and most of all the wonderful presents! A little while ago I set up a play space for them to have role-play birthdays to their hearts content (baby is now getting in on the act too!) You can read about all the things we included in that set up here.

 And the play has continued for far longer than I imagined it would, now branching out into little outings and picnics organised by Big Sis, toting her play food and party hats in all manner of wheely bags and little boxes that she lays her hands on! This week we have had a few designated play sessions around these impromptu birthday parties that she keeps declaring, and they have been wonderfully good fun and a great way to distract from asking for the TV or to fill long gaps on rainy days.

 I set up the little table with a tea towel and some hideous Tinkerbell napkins (that she insisted on buying at the supermarket!) They put on some party hats and birthday badges and really looked the part. Cakie and Pop scurried around loading up trollies and bags with their tea set, food and glasses and together we set the table for Cakie’s party. In this imaginative play, it is her birthday every time!

 Some of these gorgeous little wooden cakes and biscuits were one of the last presents my Mum gave to C. So not only are they very appealing to play with, they have huge sentimental value to me too, and I love how much she adores playing with them (who wouldn’t?!)

 We sang Happy Birthday a fair few times and tucked into some delicious cake, after blowing out the candles.

 And one of the best treats of all (apparently) is to give your 2 year old and 1 year old mini choccie biscuits and real apple juice on their pretend plates and plastic glasses. Cue much joy and laughter!

 And just a little bit of spilling, ah well, it’s just for fun eh?

 Next, what birthday part is complete without the obligatory round of pass the parcel? Cakie loved wrapping up some of her toys in layers of paper, while I taped down the edges.

 Pop, of course, didn’t have a clue what was going on, but merrily passed the parcel back and forth and dutifully ripped into it when the time came (ie Mummy stopped singing Twinkle Twinkle for the 13th time!)

 She was completely taken with the wrapping of gifts and continued it for a while, eventually turning it into wrapping and opening of birthday presents, with lots of animated surprise and joy as she opened the toy she had just wrapped each time. “Oh, a lovely dinosaur, wow!”

 We have also taken the party outside this week, with Cakie blowing up balloons by herself using the pump, which she was fascinated by.

 And we laid the little table again outside, with some birthday bunting that we have and more balloons to set the scene!

 How better to celebrate pretend birthdays than with your lovely friends?! I think the next party currently being planned away at is going to include some bigger friends and some real food too. It’s beginning to sound suspiciously like a real party!

This activity is good for:

  • Creativity: developing imagination and role-play
  • Literacy: speaking and listening/ developing vocabulary/ imaginative storytelling skills
  • Maths: laying the table- matching and counting place settings to people/ estimating sizes and how much paper to use when wrapping objects/ capacity
  • PHSE: turn taking/ practising table manners/ interacting with others


  1. Anonymous says

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    Emily Patterson
    Communications Coordinator
    Primrose Schools

  2. says

    Such a lovely post! Wonderful how the focus on birthday parties can bring out attention on the important traditions within the parties – food, hats, cake, candles, presents and compliments “oh, a lovely dinosaur, wow!”. Why NOT have a birthday party for ourselves everyday??? cheers, Jeanne from Zella Said Purple

  3. Anonymous says

    Hi Anna,
    I just wanted to say that I love your ideas on your blog, I look forward to checking your blog and I have voted for you in the awards. I have a soon to be 3 year old girl and a 3 month old boy so I have been finding many activities from your blog to do with my children. I used to be a reception teacher before I had my children too.