Thursday, December 18, 2014

happy birthday, baby!

happy birthday, beautiful!
Officially I don't think I'm supposed to call Evie a baby anymore. She's two! Her birthday was yesterday, and we had such a great day.

I made the crazy decision to have a little toddler friend birthday party for her. I know what you're thinking: why have a friend birthday party for a toddler when you can put it off until they are much older and beg for it? Well Evie loves playing with other kids, so I thought she'd enjoy having a gaggle of them over to play on her birthday morning. And she did.

The party went off without a hitch, so I thought I'd share my strategies for a successful toddler party, along with some pictures of the Big Day. Toddlers have low party expectations and are easily entertained, so really it isn't hard!

cute babes in DIY party hats. this lasted for  2.5 minutes.
1. Prepare food your toddler will like. Our party was in the morning, too early for cake, and right in between meals. So I ordered donuts from my favorite grocery store bakery (Harmon's: have you tried their maple buttercream donut?!), and served them with fruit, orange juice, and chocolate milk. I think the fruit was actually the biggest hit. Keep it simple, and plan things that won't require lots of dishes and utensils (I chose all finger foods like baby oranges, grapes, and bananas).

forgot to photograph before we ate. oops!

2. Plan a few simple activities. Toddlers may not be able to stay with you on a treasure hunt, and probably can't whack a pinata with enough force to get any candy. Here's what they do like: loose balloons, playing simple games like ring-around-the-rosie, and listening to an interactive story or song like "Wheels on the Bus" or "If You're Happy and You Know It." I have books of the aforementioned songs, and the kids loved singing/acting along with the stories.

ring-around-the-rosie. they could have done this all day.
interactive story time.
playing with balloons.
3. Be flexible in your schedule. Toddlers march to the beat of their own drum. Be prepared to abandon an activity if it isn't going well, and let the kids just play. Our party group had a lot of fun playing with Little People and a play kitchen, and climbing up on the bed in the toy room. 

just relaxing on the bed, playing with various toys.
playing girls (little kitchen on the left).
The kids played so nicely together that I'm hoping to get the group together again to play. We really had so much fun!
cute party goers! they organized this pose themselves.

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