Children's Party Planning

Some tips to ensure your toddler's birthday party is fun and instructive for the kids, stress-free and inexpensive for you.

Your toddler's birthday party can be fun and instructive for the kids, stress-free and inexpensive for you. Location, activities, party favors and food can all be planned ahead of time. Keep things varied; keep them simple. The kids will fill in the gaps.

Location:

Getting the party out of the house makes it more special for your little one but make sure you move it to a controllable space. The local dance school or kids' gym club may love to host your party. For them it's great public relations. A professional instructor can frolic the kids through some basic exercises or dance-abouts. Parents get to look over the facilities and give thought to enrolling their toddlers.

Activities:

Independent play is sometimes easier to manage than organized play. Have on hand lots of colored pencils and coloring book pages. From the web you can download individual pages of cartoon characters, farm animals, alphabet and number pages for coloring.

Bring in a box of stuffed animals and toys, the bigger the better.

A bag of old clothes for dress-ups works well, too.

Try to have one adult for every four kids. They can keep things moving, smooth any ruffled feathers, and assist with potty runs.

Party Food:

Keep it simple, keep it healthy, and keep it cold. Finger foods like fruit and vegetables work well, especially with dips. Parboil the vegetables to soften them a little, then cool them for the party. Individual yogurt cups and small fruit juice containers with straws are especially big hits, too.

The icing and candles on the cake are more important to the party-goers than the cake part itself. Try to ensure everyone's piece has a candle and/or cake decoration. Be sure to check with parents ahead of time about food allergies.

Party Favors:

Little things are all that is needed. The kids will have their drawings for starters. Add to these, balloons, toy noisemakers, party hats, pencils. One party planner sent each child home with a small potted plant for their garden

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