Birthday parties are stressful for toddlers! They have so many new things happening around them that they sometimes just shut down and refuse to do anything. It’s not an uncommon occurrence at all.
But there are some things you can do to help combat the stress of throwing a toddler-friendly birthday party without completely overwhelming or disappointing your guests. Here are our favorite tips for making sure everyone has a great time.
A method of hiding one’s cake-eating hand from view after getting all up in that chocolate frosting. If done correctly, the only physical evidence will be a smear of icing on the lip. And that can be easily wiped away.
Instead of allowing toddlers to open presents in front of everyone, give them a present bag that is full of little toys they can play with throughout the party. Maybe put in an extra toy or two that they can open during their own time after all the guests are gone to really have fun with. They also might just take the toys home with them after, which is always an exciting surprise when you get your children’s toys back (for some reason they insist on taking everything else).
If you know there will be kids at the party that don’t speak your language or understand what’s going on, try setting up some signs or cards with pictures that explain what’s about to happen. All the kids will still be excited even if parents/guardians are nervous about not knowing what’s expected of them.
Games at a Toddler Party
Don’t expect toddlers to sit down with you for more than five minutes without losing their minds– it’s hard for them to sit still that long. So instead of having one big party activity planned, think about smaller activities that can be done in five minutes or less. For example:
- Pin the tail on the donkey/princess/dinosaur
- Duck, duck, goose
- Use balloons filled with rice, flour, or sand to have them guess how many are in there
- Sing their favorite songs for a dance party
This is also your opportunity to teach them about what’s going on at the party. If they are still too young to understand why you’re singing happy birthday to them, explain it to them as you go.
End With a Bang
Don’t make it super strict and say, “Okay, we’re done with presents now!” Give the guests 30 minutes or so to play with their toys, sing some songs, blow out candles, eat cake– whatever they want before ending the party.
Then let them have a final goodbye. This way there are no tears or stress about having to leave, and they can go on to their next adventure with a happy memory of the party.