Planning a birthday party for a child who hasn't started school yet might seem strange because they haven't had an opportunity to meet any classmates or make any real connections yet. It's ok. Actually, according to PBS, for a four-year-old, a friend may be a regular playmate or a child they just met at the park. At this age, kids may be able to engage in cooperative play, but they are still developing the ability to understand other perspectives. So, having friends at their party, or a lack of them, isn't that big of a deal.

Inviting family members is a possibility to fill up the guest list. Or, mom and dad's friends could come over. If their friends have kids, even if they aren't the same age, they could come along too. If neither of those are an option, never fear. There are still a lot of ways to make the day special for a little one.

Related:10 Activities Your Preschooler Should Do Every Day

10 Park Party
via Pexels/Anete Lusina

With no friends yet to invite, bringing a child to a busier park in the area might be a good idea. This way they can work on socialization skills, meet some children, and play with them for the afternoon. Parents might even want to pack a picnic lunch to bring along with some birthday treats and/or balloons to make it festive.

9 An Open Gymnastics Gym Party

Via: Pexels: LenaHilfinger

This is another great opportunity for a child to socialize and make friends while having a ton of fun. Gymnastics gyms have a lot of equipment and fun things to do. Most times they have a particular time when they host an open gym for children to come in and play around or practice. This would be a fun learning experience and a great day for a young child.

8 Jump For Joy

girl on trampoline
Credit: iStock / Martinan

Trampoline parks are so popular these days and for good reason. They are a ton of fun! They have activities for practically all ages. Going there allows the child to interact with other children as well. It would make for a great fun-filled afternoon.

7 Rent A Bouncy House

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If family and friends are coming over to celebrate, renting an inflatable is a great option. This allows the birthday child and any other children who show up to keep themselves busy doing something they don't get to do all the time. Having a cookout makes for an easy and affordable meal plan to go with it.

6 Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Attending A Birthday Party_ A Few Etiquettes To Consider
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Full of Heart Mommy suggests having your child go on a small adventure to look for their birthday present. The idea is, to begin with, the birthday breakfast, and during that time, you give your child the first clue about where their birthday present may be. Ask your child to solve a few riddles or answer a few questions, so they can have an idea of the location of their gift and find it.

5 Amusement Park Party

Unvaccinated Families More Likely To Visit Amusement Parks Than Vaccinated (1)
via Pixabay/Estelle_

An amusement park is a great way to make the day special. Whether it be games and rides or a water park, this will be a memorable birthday.

4 Art-Themed Birthday Party

Water based paints in clear disposable cups.
Photo by JTMultimidia from Pexels

Does your kid love to paint? Then arrange some paintbrush sets, palettes, and mini canvases. Also, make sure to have a lot of washable paint and fun sponges. To make the birthday party more interesting and enjoyable, you can offer face painting as well! Adults and children alike can participate in this type of birthday, so even without friends there, it will be a good time.

3 Zoo Party

Penguins At The Zoo In The Snow
via Unsplash / Steve Payne

Taking your child to the zoo for the day is a great way to celebrate their big day. Children can go all over and explore, seeing all the different animals. Watching their faces light up when seeing these big animals in person is totally worth it.

2 Camping In The Backyard

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The Spruce has a great list of fun ideas for your little one. Camping in the backyard is one of them.

Pack up the family and head outside. Pitch a tent right in your own backyard. Another option is to rent an RV for the weekend and head to the local campground. The time your family spends without tablets and phones is quality time. You can't put a price on it. You'll spend your weekend playing board games, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, and enjoying the great outdoors together.

1 Decorate The Entire House & Do An Interview

Via Unsplash

Just because there won't be a big party, doesn't mean you have to skip the decorations. Your child can wake up to a birthday wonderland! Hanging banners, curling streamers, and tons of balloons will bring excitement to the day right from the start.

When the little superstar is ready for their interview, parents can sit down and ask whatever questions they would like—keeping note of all their answers or doing a video. What's great about this is that it can be a continued tradition for years to come. Comparing answers from 4 years old to 14 years old should be interesting to see.

Sources: PBS, Full of Heart Mommy, The Spruce