Whilst the words ‘stress free’ and toddlers may not seem to go together all that well (especially when it comes to birthday parties!), with a little bit of planning and preparation you can create a stress free birthday party for your little one that you will ALL enjoy! To help get you started, we’ve put together five great tips to keep in mind when it comes time to plan your little one’s next birthday party.
Keep it small
Your toddler is likely only just beginning to realise the other little people around him or her are potential playmates. Try to keep this in mind when putting together your guest list and invite just a couple of your child’s friends, as once you then factor in siblings and parents, you guest list will easily grow.
Timing is everything
While you may prefer to have a party late in the day to give you extra time to prepare, in reality little people are at their best in the morning. Pick a starting time for your party which works around your child’s nap or rest time. If they are still having a sleep during the middle of the day, holding their party first thing in the morning will ensure they are at the brightest and will also wear them out in time to have a nice big sleep – hopefully anyway!
Food for everyone
Before you start planning your menu, it’s important to check with your guests if they or their children have any food allergies or dietary requirements, as the last thing you want to do is serve up a big slice of birthday cake to a child who is allergic to eggs.
When planning your party food menu, keep in mind the developmental stages of the children attending and choose food accordingly. While it can be tempting to load your table full of sweet treats, having a couple of ‘healthier’ options such as fresh fruit or simple sandwiches also helps those little tummies not become too overwhelmed. If you can, also serve food which can be prepared in advance and simply just needs to be put on the table when your guests arrive.
Ditch the games
We’ve all seen firsthand how our kids can sometimes get more enjoyment from playing with a box instead of the toy which has come with it! When you throw in multiple toys, boxes and wrapping paper, you really don’t need to worry about organising games for the kids. While it might seem like a fun idea to watch the kids play pass the parcel, in reality you are going to struggle to get a group of two and three year olds to sit in a circle for any length of time, let alone ‘share’ a present with each other!
This is perhaps the most important piece of advice for anyone planning a toddler’s party. Anything and everything you can do before your guest arrive – do it! Whilst there will no doubt be other parents in attendance, you are inevitably going to need to referee the sharing of toys and ensure your child doesn’t eat the entire birthday cake by themselves! Also by having everything prepared in advance, you may find you actually get the chance to sit down and play with your child on their special day.
Have you planned a toddler’s birthday party before?
What is your best piece of advice?