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PLAYING: Tips on planning a toddler birthday party

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Tips on planning a toddler birthday party

Planning a one-year-old’s birthday party can be surprisingly tricky. Here are some toddler birthday party ideas, from kids’ birthday party venues to toddler birthday present inspiration, to get their celebrations off with a baby-friendly bang.

3 mins to read Oct 6, 2020
  • Pick a toddler-friendly venue that can handle the mess of a baby and toddler takeover. 
  • Consider a house party if you’re only inviting a few guests and want to keep costs manageable.
  • Look at local activity centers or halls if you want a bigger event (with less clearing up).
  • Consider things like parking and toilet/baby-changing facilities.
  • If it’s a house party, make sure it’s safe for all ages attending, whether old or young.
  • Out of home, make sure the venue is aware of the age groups attending so they can ensure appropriate health and safety provisions are in place.
  • Think about your kick-off time—straight after baby’s regular nap time is a good choice.
  • Keep it short—for everyone’s sake. A couple of hours is plenty.
  • Book well in advance—you’ll need to confirm the venue on the invites.
  • Be sure to include an “RSVP by” date on the invite.
  • Invite the people you know will get in the party mood.
  • If people ask about gifts, suggest things they can grow into (clothes, books), or practical items (toothbrush, bath towel, fun dishes, small outdoor toys).
  • Consider asking for donations to a charity instead of gifts and include the information on the invitation
  • A few toddler toys, some soft playmats, and lots and lots of colourful balloons should create the right atmosphere.
  • Choose a playlist to get everyone in the mood. With a couple of adult-friendly tunes thrown in too.
  • Keep the music low, to protect little ears.
  • Consider giving your little guests a party favour or loot bag with a small book or toy to take home.
  • Put out a selected of healthy, age-appropriate snacks and finger foods to keep everyone happy.
  • Consider small sandwiches and appetizers for older siblings and adults.
  • Provide lots of water.
  • Keep sweet treats out of reach so parents can control quantities.
  • Ask if any of your guests have allergies.
  • Consider the cake or cupcakes. Homemade or store-bought? And don’t feel guilty if you don’t have time to make one, it’s called prioritization!
  • Ask the other parents how much cake they’d like their little one to eat. 
  • Watch out for those grabby little hands if you are lighting a candle.
  • Baby might feel a bit overwhelmed when everyone’s singing. Give them a cuddle for reassurance.
  • Ask a friend or relative to take lots of photos, you will probably have your hands full. Make sure they’re ready for the blowing out of candles!
  • Remember that party photos make great thank-you cards, printed or sent as digital messages.


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