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Preschooler Birthday Party Activity – Happy Hooligans

Pin-Up Birthday Cake decorating idea for kids parties
It’s a party game, it’s a craft, it’s a group project…  It’s a giant pin-up Birthday cake that kids can decorate together. It makes a great party activity for toddlers and preschoolers or a fun group activity to do at daycare when it’s someone’s birthday.

We had a birthday here in the daycare today, and to celebrate, we decorated a 3 foot “birthday cake” for the birthday girl to take home at the end of the day. The hooligans enjoyed this activity so much, they stayed at it for the better part of the morning.

If you’re looking for outdoor birthday party games and activities, click here.

If you’re looking for Christmas party activities, click here. 

This would be a terrific activity to set up at a little one’s birthday party.  The kids could work on it together during the party, and then the birthday child could take home this colourful memoir, and hang it on a door or wall in her bedroom.

P.S. Older kids may like this group art party activity.

Pin-Up Birthday Cake decorating idea for kids parties

I didn’t really have a plan other than the drawing and the foam stickers, and therefore, no real idea of what the finished project would look like.   It all just played out, with several of the ideas, like the “icing” and the “candles” coming to me as the kids were creating.  So when the hooligans finished up, just before lunch, I was thrilled with how it all turned out, and that our just-turned-three-year-old would be taking such a great keepsake home with her!

3 foot birthday cake craft that kids can decorate3 foot birthday cake craft that kids can decorate

You know what else I’m really excited about?  The versatility of this activity.  It could be a group activity at a kid’s birthday party, or you could make smaller one or two-tiered cakes for preschoolers to decorate individually.  Cupcakes would also be a cute and easy version of this craft too!

Provide a blindfold, and you’ll have a kids’ party game similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey!

Because we were working on a vertical work surface , I wanted the hooligans to use materials that wouldn’t require glue, and with the exception of the tissue paper and craft sticks, I did.

Supplies to make your Giant Birthday Cake Activity:

supplies for best kids' birthday party ideasupplies for best kids' birthday party idea for your shopping convenience, I’ve included Amazon affiliate links in this post

How we made our giant Birthday Cake Craft:

I started by drawing (in pencil) a very basic three-tiered birthday cake.  You don’t have to get fancy or worry about any imperfections because the kids will cover much of it with their decorations.

Then I traced over my pencil lines with coloured Sharpies.  Then I tacked the cardboard to the wall, and let the hooligans get to work.

Birthday Party Idea for kids - decorating a giant paper birthday cakeBirthday Party Idea for kids - decorating a giant paper birthday cake

They got busy sticking stickers and dabbing dabbers, and licking and sticking the Magic Nuddles (if you’ve never heard of them, check out the link I provided above – they’re awesome!).

TWO hours of fun and creativity!

The hooligans were positively in their glory, and are you ready for it?  They were at it for close to TWO hours!  Yep.  Two hours.  They LOVED it.  This was one of the reasons I was so excited to share this with you!  If you little ones like crafting, having a huge canvas like this to work on will keep them happy for a good long time!

The Icing:

tissue paper icing for birthday cake crafttissue paper icing for birthday cake craft

To make the “icing” look puffy, we used tissue paper.  I tore full sheets of coloured tissue paper in half, and the hooligans gently twisted and crumpled the pieces.  They then “painted” some glue onto the “icing” area of the cake, and then I helped them crunch and stick the tissue paper onto each of the tiers of the cake.


The Candles:

craft stick candles and yellow foam flamescraft stick candles and yellow foam flames

While the kids were busy sticking and dabbing, I painted 3 craft sticks (I trimmed one end to a point), and I cut three “flames” out of yellow adhesive craft foam.  The birthday girl stuck the flames on the candles, and I used a glue-gun to stick the candles to the back of the cake.

When the hooligans finally decided they were finished, I cut the cake out of the cardboard.

And here it is, as tall as the birthday girl! Isn’t it awesome?


More for you to enjoy:

70 Homemade Toys to Make for Kids

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza

Pin-up Tree Decorating Activity

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3-5 Playful Preschool 3-book3-5 Playful Preschool 3-book

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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.