Well, after admiring the energetic bunting and exclaiming over the adorable produce cars, here are a few other suggestions.
If you are a fan of these busy books, you are surely familiar with Goldbug, the friendly little creature who makes an appearance hidden on every page.
Seeking and finding Goldbug in different rooms around the house is a fun take on hide and seek, without forcing little kids to hide (or stay hidden.)
I simply looked at a picture of Goldbug and drew him as best as I could with a pencil on yellow construction paper. I then traced over the pencil with black sharpie, and there he was. Healthy, and happy, and ready to hide.
The children walked as a group into the room. Together we would all say, "Goldbug. Where are you? Hmmm." Then, as a group, they would scour the room until they found their friend.
This game was effective because the 4-year olds thought it was fun (not baby-ish), but Hudson was entirely old enough to play. In fact, the birthday boy spotted the first Goldbug!
Finally, as we moved from room to room, another grown-up would move Goldbug to a different location, so the children could return to that room and play again.
In hindsight, I wish I had drawn a few more Goldbugs and placed one in every room of the house, including bathroom, closets, and upstairs. The children really loved the game and could have played for a while if it had been set up well enough.
Coloring is an old favorite of most children. Hudson is just learning how to do it, but it excites him. Samara, who is 4, continues to love it. Thus, we found some simple pictures of vehicles online, printed them off, and let the children have at it.
If I was a more particular mother, I may have insisted that the pictures look like Scarry's characters. However, after a fruitless search at Target for a Scarry coloring book and coming up short on Pinterest, I decided carrot car coloring pages were not necessary. Plain old trucks, jeeps, and race cars were good enough.
Silly Songs with Uncle B
Kids this age love to sing! While we were preparing their lunch, the children went outside, and my brother tried to engage them in a sing-a-long. Mostly they danced around, making up words to their own songs. But, I'd say the time was well spent.
Play Time with a lot of CARS and TRUCKS and THINGS THAT GO:
No need to get complicated here, friends. Children love to play with toys, and my little boy in particular loves to play with all things that move; hence, the theme of the party. So, we got out every single car, truck, bulldozer, dump truck, train, van, and tractor we own, and let them have at it.
We had a great party!
Lesson Learned: Simple, but thoughtful.