Everyone knows how to make preschoolers happy at a birthday party: balloons, cake and presents. If you throw in some games and party favors, too, the kids will be over the moon. It takes a bit more planning to keep the adults at your child's birthday party occupied, especially if they don't have kids themselves. For guests who want a break from the sugar-induced shrieking and bouncing -- and, let's be honest, that would probably include every single person over the age of 12 -- a few adult activities are a godsend.
Satisfy the Adult Palate
A favorite activity at adult parties is eating and drinking, and your preschooler's birthday is no different. Forget about the goldfish and gummy bears you bought for the little ones, though, and set up a separate table for cocktails and grown-up snacks. You could even have an alternate cake for the adults to enjoy while the kids dive into the rainbow cupcakes. Besides alcoholic beverages, provide other adult favorites like coffee and tea. Even if "Happy Birthday" is sung off-key and way too loud, at least your guests can listen to it with their bellies satisfied.
Fun with Media
When there is a sporting event happening the day of the party, having the game on in an adjacent room can keep adult sports fans happy. If the party is taking place in the same room as the television, you can put the sound on mute and turn on the captions. You could also put on a movie or hook up a video game system depending on what your adult guests enjoy. Using a projector to display a movie on the side of your house is another option.
Games and Icebreakers
Who says games are only for kids? Leave Candy Land and Go Fish to your preschooler and offer up some grown-up board games like Pictionary or Scrabble. Even if you don't own any board games, you can always play Charades. If your guests don't know each other yet, you could write icebreaker questions on the bottom of everyone's napkin and encourage them to share their answers with each other. It works best if you keep the adult gaming area separate from the main kids' play zone so you don't end up with the board knocked over.
For the Crafty Guest
Even though they're not interested in joining in on Pin the Tail on the Donkey, adults at a kid's birthday party still want to honor the birthday girl. Provide an array of art supplies and adult guests can keep themselves occupied making a unique card. Or bring out a set of unfinished wooden ABC's, paint and paintbrushes and invite guests to choose a letter to decorate. At the end of the party, your preschooler will have a personalized alphabet to display in her room.