Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Party planning for toddlers

I have done a few birthday parties over recent years, for my son who is approaching age six and my daughter who just had her third birthday. If there is one thing I have learnt, it is that less is more!

For an enjoyable and successful birthday party for little ones, you often need less of everything than you would imagine; less food, less party guests and less activities.

Food - I learnt early on that it is easy to over-cater for birthday parties. Even though I have vastly reduced what I used to prepare, there is still always more than needed! Little ones really do not eat a lot and coupled with the excitement and the promise of cake, they are often too distracted to eat much at a party. Keep it simple too, prepare what you know your child and friends are likely to eat, rather than what looks fancy!

Party guests - for my daughter's third birthday party a couple of weeks ago, we invited just three other little girls. It was her choice. I suggested another couple of people but she said no, she really only wanted these particular three girls, so that is who we invited. I once read or heard somewhere that is is sensible to invite the same number of guests as the child's age. That is what unintentionally happened this time and it was very pleasant! The fewer guests there are, the less stress for the parents, the more time the guests spend with the birthday boy or girl and the more attention they receive.

Activities - whilst you definitely want to plan a few activities for the party, you also don't want to try to cram too much into the time. It can be good to allow some going with the flow too! For my daughter's recent party, we had a couple of small art and craft activities for the children to do on arrival (and something they could later take home with them), which is good for filling the time as you wait for people to get there. Then we played some traditional party games (pass the parcel, musical bumps etc), had lunch and the cake and then finished with a final party game and dance around! It was simple but worked really well.

I will leave you with some other children's birthday party posts you may be interested in reading:
A great party bag alternative
Children's birthday cakes
A winning winter birthday party for a 2-year old

What have you learnt from birthday parties you have had for your young children? What has worked and what hasn't? Any top tips to share?
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