Birthday parties for younger children can be pretty simple to plan. At this age, your child does not yet really understand the concept of a birthday party so you will not have to worry about meeting their demands or disappointing them by not meeting their 'expectations'. But due to the age, you do have the challenge of keeping your little one and the other young guests thoroughly entertained. There are several things to think about when planning a toddler's birthday party and Gig Salad is here to help you every step of the way.
Keeping The Little Ones Entertained
There are several options you can choose when coming up with the activities and entertainment for your toddler's birthday party. You may choose to plan games or activities and then conduct them on your own, or you can hire a professional to come in and entertain the children. Hiring an entertainer to perform for the children or mingle in the crowd can be affordable; it's not (always) as expensive as you might think. For example, consider hiring a clown or a magician to entertain the crowd. If the theme you've chosen includes a popular cartoon character or super hero, it would be a great idea to have that costumed character make an appearance at the party! Or perhaps bring in some face painters or balloon artists to interact with the children. Balloon twisters make for great entertainment for your child's birthday party because they also provide balloon animals as keepsakes for the guests! If your budget and location choice allows, there are a lot of bigger, more extravagant ideas for your toddler's party. If your party is going to be outdoors and you have lots of room you can have carnival games or set up inflatable rides or bounce houses! Another fun idea, since most kids are animal lovers, would be to bring in a petting zoo! Finding just the right entertainment is key!
Start By Answering the Basics: Who, What, When, Where?
Before planning the details of what will actually take place at your toddler's birthday, you need to figure out the basics. Who is invited? If your toddler attends a daycare, you should invite the other children from the class. You should invite your family members and friends especially those with children that they can bring along. If your toddler is shy, you might want to avoid bringing in too many people that they are not familiar with. You do not want them spending the day being scared and uncomfortable. Next you should decide on a decorating theme. What cartoons or toys is your toddler into? All major cartoon characters are now plastered all over tableware, balloons and party favors. You can also go with a more generic theme such as animals or sports. Or perhaps a princess party, pirate party, or super hero party.
Once you decide on a theme, it should be easy to come across the appropriate party decor and most kids party decorations are also pretty inexpensive. The last two pieces are when and where. Remember that toddlers get cranky when sleepy, so do not plan the party around regular nap times. And you will want to keep the party fairly short so that they don't lose interest and get restless. As for the location, the most popular choice is usually your own home. Of course, the number of people invited will factor into your decision. If the party is taking place on a warm, sunny day you might want to have the party in your backyard. Or go to a local park. There may also be a local venue or play place you could hold the party if you do not wish to have it in your home. Once you've put all the basic information together you will want to get the invitations out! You could buy generic invitations or, for much larger parties with larger budgets you may have an invitation printer create some unique invitations that match the theme you've chosen. Another fun idea would be to sit down with your toddler and have an arts and crafts day and have them help make homemade invitations. Your child's young guests will get a real kick out of that!
Cake and Goodies
The only thing kids might like more than games and toys is sweets! So having a nice big cake is very important! You can bake a cake yourself or have a cake designed at a bakery that matches your party theme perfectly. Of course, cake does not make for a very well balance meal, so you will probably want to provide real food as well. You can hire a caterer or handle the food on your own. Even if your party time lands between meals, it is a good idea to provide snacks and refreshments. If you do plan to have the party around a meal time, plan for it to be a sit down meal. Toddler's do not really understand the idea of a buffet and the party could get pretty chaotic if you give children full access to all the food and let them run around with their own plates. Have a time for everyone to sit down and eat before allowing presents to be opened or entertainment to begin. If your party is outdoors, a fun idea would be to set up blankets and sit down for a picnic. Choose simple foods like hot dogs or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Remember, this is a toddler's birthday party!
As a parent, another thing you'll definitely not want to forget is pictures! If you want to experience all the little moments with your child and not worry about capturing them through a lens, then you may want to consider hiring a photographer for the party. Having lots of pictures is very important! This is not an age that many children will remember, so it will be really fun for them to look back at the pictures of this party when they are older.
These are just a few of MANY wonderful toddler birthday party ideas! Every child is unique, so make sure that the party you are planning is special to your little one. If you are too busy or feel that all this might be too much to take on, you can always hire a party planner to do it for you. However, with the right resources, you CAN do it yourself and have fun doing it. Gig Salad is here to help you every step of the way as your one stop shop for all your toddler birthday party planning needs.