A mellow celebration with friends and family is always a good idea – especially when your tot is between the ages of one and five. However, as a mommy, there will come a time when you want nothing more than to organise a little bash for the apple of your eye. But, as parties go, there is a little more to it than colourful streamers and balloons.
What is important to remember when throwing a birthday bash for a toddler is that they are at a wonderful age where anything and everything is impressive – not only is this a relief to the mom who was planning on hiring in a circus pony, but it also means that you have more of a budget to work with.
It is also important to remember that hand-made decorations, home-made food and family participation are a lot more personal, which makes your party organisation much simpler! There is also nothing better than giving your little one the opportunity to make some of the decisions, making the build-up to the big day so much more exciting. If your sweetheart is approaching a birthday, it might be time to start planning – here’s how you do it:
Party Invites and Décor
When it comes to party invites, the best idea is to keep them simple. If you’re computer-savvy, why not design them yourself? Alternatively, a simple email to your little one’s friends will also work just fine. Be sure to ask parents if their children are allergic to anything and if there is anything that they are not allowed to eat.
Keep your décor simple – this will ensure that you have less to clean up and pack away when the party comes to an end. Chat to your toddler and ask them what type of theme they would like – if you’re going for a jungle or a safari theme, make use of large sheets of brown wrapping paper as table cloths, and dot them with various shades of green paint.
You can also make your own bunting out of cardboard – the possibilities are endless, you just need to take a look at what you have at home. Otherwise, a quick trip to a stationery store will ensure that you have everything that you need.
The Cake, Sweeties and Food
When it comes to catering, why not rope your family into the organisation process? If your mom still bakes a mean cake, ask her to help out with the birthday cake. Keep in mind that toddlers eat small amounts, which means that fruit cups, small bowls of chips, soft sweets and mini food items are ideal.
Package small bags of popcorn that can easily be carried along as the toddlers move from one activity to another. Don’t forget about the party packs – keep them simple. The chances are good that the kiddies will have already gorged themselves on any available sugary treats. Don’t forget about organising a salad, rolls, boerewors and drinks for the folks!
Dad, grandpa and your little one’s favourite uncles all dressed up in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes, a real-life fairy princess or a clown will ensure that the toddlers are kept entertained as they dart from super-hero to jungle gym to bouncy house. Avoid spending too much money on entertainment that requires too much concentration, as you’ll have a hoard of rowdy and upset toddlers on your hands.
All the while, don’t forget to take photographs of your little one on his or her special day. You want to capture all of the little moments, the facial expressions and the squeals of joy. And, after everyone has gone home, spend some quality time with your little one – run a warm bath, wrap them in a warm blanky that has been washed in a delicate fabric softener, and read him or her a story.
Once they flutter off to sleep, pop all of the soiled washing into a quick spin and add a trusty fabric conditioner to ensure that everything looks and smells as good as new.