The Easiest Birthday Party Ever {Crafts and Cupcakes}


My youngest daughter is a December baby, which means that juggling birthday celebrations and holiday celebrations is no easy task. She turned 3 last year and I racked my brain for how to celebrate. I decided to combine some of her favorite things – coloring, Play-Doh, and cupcakes – and host the party at our house. I know hosting a party of 3-year olds doing crafts in your home sounds like it could be a nightmare, but it wasn’t at all!

In fact, at the end of the party, I realized that it was the easiest birthday party that I’ve ever thrown. I think I discovered the sweet spot of an at-home birthday party with a mix of simple crafts, coloring, Play-Doh, and cupcakes! 

Here is my recipe for success, if you are looking to host your own easy at-home birthday party:


Pick a theme that your child likes to be the backdrop of the party. My daughter was obsessed with trees, so the party was tree themed.


I sent out a free Evite with a graphic that I made to go along with the activities that we would be doing {crafts and cupcakes} and the theme {trees}. I created the graphic for free on Canva. You could also just use one of the Evite invitations that are already made {most are free}!


The following were the activities that I had planned, which were all low stress and non-messy {with the exception of the cupcake decorating} and the kids could either take it or leave them if they didn’t want to do them. Some kids did all of them, and some only did a few and ended up playing in our playroom and skipping some of them – we could use all the craft supplies later, so it wasn’t a big deal if they went unused! The coloring pages, Play-Doh, and stickers were all out on the table before anyone arrived, so the kids could sit down right away and get started playing {no waiting around}!

  • Coloring: I printed out coloring sheets to go along with the theme {trees and cupcakes} that the kids could start coloring while all the attendees trickled in. Each kid had their own cup of crayons that I put in portion cups from Christmas Tree Shop.
  • Play-Doh: Each kid got their own tub of Play-Doh {except I got the Cra-Z-Art brand, which comes in a 20 pack for less than $10 on Amazon} and a mini cookie cutter. I put out plenty of rollers, cutters, stamps, etc. scattered around the table for play {no cost here because we just put out our stash of Play-Doh toys}.
  • Stickers: Because who doesn’t love stickers? Each kid got their own sheet of stickers and a few pages of colored cardstock to create their own masterpieces. 
  • Decorate Your Own Shape: The kids got to decorate their own trees with foam trees and foam stickers – you could do this with any shape. This was great because it was a non-messy craft! I love the Creatology brand from Michaels.
  • Craft Kit: I picked up a snowman ornament craft kit at Michael’s on a great sale. They have a ton of different craft kits and you could tailor this to any theme. This was also not messy because it was all stickers! This one was geared towards the older kids we had in the group. If the kids didn’t do them, I packed them up for the kids to bring home!
  • Decorate Your Own Cupcake: This was the biggest hit of all the activities. I saved this activity for the end, since I knew kids wouldn’t decorate them and then be able to resist eating them. Before the party, I frosted each cupcake {mainly to avoid the mess of frosting your own cupcake}. I bought these tray palettes and filled each small well with different sprinkles and candies and the cupcake went in the large middle well. Each kid got their own palette, they decorated them, we sang Happy Birthday, and then we got to eat them! I had extra cupcakes on the side for the adults.


I set all the activities up on my dining room table and every party attendee had their own setup and place card, so there would be no fights over who was sitting where. I put two plastic table clothes on top of my dining room table {easy clean up later!}, decorated the middle of the table with trees {you can easily tailor this to any theme – I found these inexpensive trees at Christmas Tree Shop} and then set the following at each seat: place card, coloring pages, a cup of crayons, Play-Doh tools and cookie cutters, sticker sheet, blank colored cardstock {Michaels sells the best packs of colored card stock and it’s usually on sale}, and apron.


When everyone arrived, I had out simple finger foods that are some of my daughter’s favorites: Dunkin Munchkins, bagels {cut into quarters}, cereal, Goldfish, applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, and yogurt smoothies. I also had juice boxes, coffee, and water. There was plenty of food for kids and adults to snack on. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The cupcakes came out later to serve as two purposes: an activity and the dessert. 


To go along with the art theme, I picked up these adorable coloring activity books from the Target Dollar Spot {that just happened to go along with the tree theme}! I taped on small pack of crayons that I ordered in a 12-pack from Amazon with a tag that I made on Canva that said “You color my world. Thanks for celebrating with me!” 

I think the pictures speak for themselves, our girl had the best birthday party ever!

If you are looking for more birthday party ideas, check out our Birthday Party Guide!

What has been your child’s favorite birthday party?

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Aarika lives in Trumbull with her husband, two daughters (2013 and 2015), and son (2020). Originally from Ulster County, NY, she fell in love with her husband at a UConn football game when she told him he had nice biceps and the rest is history. Outside of work and motherhood, she enjoys eating good food, sharing a drink with friends, summer days spent at Pinewood Lake or on vacation in Cape Cod, and mindlessly streaming too many shows with her husband. Her favorite time of day is early morning before her kids wake up with a hot cup of coffee and a good book.


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