Low-cost Guide to Great, Stress-free Kids’ Parties – Part I: Toddlers
Here’s a quick 10-step guide to planning your toddler’s birthday bash without breaking the bank, hiring a party planner or exhausting yourself:
- Set a budget: Set a budget and stick to it. You don’t want to spend a fortune on the party but you also want to make sure that your kid and guests have a good time.
- Where to host: Your own house is just fine but if the weather promises to be great, a local venue such as a petting farm might be a pleasant option. Saves you from tidying up, too!
- Who to invite: Limit the number of guests to five or six. Invite your child’s friends from the day-care, playgroup, or the neighbourhood – not all of them; only the ones your child talks about the most. Remember, parents will likely accompany their little ones, so plan accordingly.
- Invitations: The most affordable way of inviting guests is to send them an email or make a creative electronic invite.
- Time and duration: Keep the party short (about 1.5 hours) and host it during mid-afternoon so everyone can go home afterwards for a nap.
- Party ideas: Having a party theme is a good idea and you can choose from animals, flowers, cartoon characters, colours, sport, hobbies or a popular children’s movie.
- Decorating: Decorate in keeping with the theme but some must haves are balloons, streamers and pictures of cartoon characters.
- Games: Set aside a designated play area with fun items like play dough, bubbles, crayons and musical instruments. If you have a garden, prepare a sand pit for the little ones. Make sure there are enough spades and small buckets for all of them!
- Food: You want them to eat healthy but also let them indulge in a few treats. Some great fuss-free options are crackers, fruit and veggie wedges (apples, baby carrots, pears, bananas), bite size bagels and donuts, cheese cubes, cupcakes, ice cream cups, cookies, small juice cartons, water and popcorn. Don’t forget the birthday cake – something basic (chocolate/vanilla) with colourful frosting is sufficient.
- Party bags: Go for party favours only if your child is two or older. Inexpensive toys, crayons or books are sure to go down well.