Tips for Throwing a Successful Toddler Birthday Party

When my son’s 3rd birthday was approaching, he started asking his party. I had hoped to avoid the whole toddler party scene but he had been to a couple of parties for his daycare buddies and thought it was a necessity. So, my husband and I figured it was worth a try. How hard could it be? Although we had attended quite a lot many Casino Party By, we knew this one had to be different than that. 

We were lucky and had taken cues from the other parties we had been to and our son’s party was a success. Here are some helpful hints to make your toddler’s party a winner for everyone:

1) Pick an appropriate time of day. Many toddlers still nap, so take this into consideration when planning the time of the party. We picked 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The kids could play, eat lunch, and still go home at a reasonable time without being too grouchy.

2) Plan an activity. Toddlers need some structure to keep the party moving so plan something that they can all do together. We rented a bounce house and the kids loved it! For around $150, you can rent a bounce house, moon walk, or ball pit that will entertain a herd of toddlers for quite a while. Check the company’s cancellation policy though for bad weather. Also, make sure you confirm the reservation the day before. Finally, ask the company about their cleaning and sanitizing of the equipment.

3) Other activities could be something like having the kids paint suncatchers. These are fun, relatively mess-free if done with supervision and it is something the kids can take home with them.

4) Another planned activity could be having the kids play with a piñata that has been stuffed with candy and small prizes like bouncy balls and yo-yos. They love the game of hitting the piñata and most piñatas these days are made with hassle-free ribbons that can be pulled instead of whacking at it with a bat.

5) Provide kid-friendly food, but something for the parents to eat as well. We grilled hot dogs and had chicken nuggets for the kids, but for the parents I had prepared meatballs in my crockpot and buffalo chicken bites that could be microwaved. The buffalo chicken bites were a huge success with the moms and dads.

6) Presents can be a tricky situation. If you do write “Please no gifts” on the invitation because your child already has more toys than FAO Schwarz, keep in mind that a lot of people will ignore that request and bring something anyway. To avoid making the parents feel bad who actually honored your request, consider holding off on opening any presents until the guests have gone.

7) If you can designate someone to help take pictures of the joyous events, it will take some of the pressure off of you. It is a sad parent who realizes that they spent so much time with games, food, and entertaining that at the end of the party they realize that they forgot to take pictures.

8) Overall, remember to have fun. It is a party! With toddlers, someone will probably cry, just make sure it isn’t you!