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Family & Home 401 views Jun 18, 2019
Toddler birthday party – guide for busy parents

It’s a lot to do when planning a birthday party for your toddler, and being a parent with a full time job doesn’t help you. Not only your kids will attend the event, but other children also, and every one of them probably has specific needs. And where do you count that you have to work within a budget?

This guide will take you through the main steps you should follow to plan the perfect party for your toddler. They will make the process seem simple even if you have a busy schedule.


Step 1 - Plan

Before you book a play centre, you should decide if you want to organise an intimate event or a big party. If you have doubts, you should ask your child how many friends they want to invite. Also, you should ask them what parties they’ve liked the most, and try to plan your event similar to those.

Start with the budget

When you know how many people will attend the party, you can understand how much you will spend. You should determine what the cost per person is, and then multiply it with the people you will invite. Spend money only on essential things, book a play centre for the children to enjoy the experience, make or buy the cake, and buy your child a beautiful gift. Don’t waste money on costumes and extravagant things, your child is still a toddler, so they are not able to fully appreciate everything.

What type of party do you want to plan?

All parties are unique because of the guests and the activities planned for the event. But there are certain things you will have to decide when you organise one for your toddler, you should decide if you want to have it at home and hire a performer, or if you want to have it at a play centre where professionals will handle everything. If you host it at home, you have to organise some activities to keep the children entertained. At a play centre, a professional will do it, while you will relax with the other parents.

When you decide the type of party you will plan, you should remember that you are planning the event for your children, and you should ask them what they want before you make a decision. You should stick with princesses and superheroes themes; they will never go out of trend.

When do you want to have the event?

No matter how amazing the event will be most of the toddler’s birthday parties rarely last more than 3 hours. You should ask the professionals who work at the play centre if they have specific time slots, it will help you determine how long you will spend there.

When deciding the time of the party, you should consider the following things. An outdoor event will highly depend on the weather, so you will not be able to plan it a few months in advance because a rainy day will turn into a buzzkill. You should also check if the children invited at the event have other events planned for that day, a soccer practice in the morning will get them tired. It’s advisable to time the event between 2-5 pm, on a weekend day.

Step 2 – Prepare for the event

You should start by booking the play centre. There are numerous venues available in your town, but not all of them fit your budget and needs. The general rule is to choose the indoor play centre that works with your date and that has experience in planning toddler birthday parties. Also, you should check if the venue offers adults the possibility to enjoy the time they spend there.

Once you book the venue, you can start sending the invites. If you don’t want to use paper, you can use an online app to create some digital invitations. Send them on WhatsApp or Messenger 3 to 6 weeks ahead to give your guests time to decide.

You should discuss with the professionals from the play centre the activities the children will have during the party. You can come up with some suggestions if you don’t find suitable the ones they usually offer. You should share with them the theme of the event, and the number of children you expect to attend the party.

Don’t forget about the food, if the play centre doesn’t offer meals and snacks, you will have to bring them from home or to hire a caterer. You can choose from sandwiches, snacks, ready-made meal boxes and many other options. Make sure that you bring all the supplies needed. Some play centres have their own paper plates and birthday banners, while others ask the parents to bring them from home.

Step 3 – Party build-up

It’s advisable to create a chat group with the other parents, to discuss the important aspects of the event, and to inform them of the place, time and theme of the party. Tell them if they should join the party, or if they are free to go.

As you already know, most parents prefer directions for what to buy for other children, so a list will definitely help your attendees. Share with them a list with things your toddler needs or wants, all having an affordable price.

If you have the party at home, you will have to create a music playlist, or you can hire a DJ. A play centre has everything organised, and you will not have to worry about the music the little ones will listen to. If they have a favourite song, make sure to share it with the DJ.

The cake is one of the most important aspects when planning a toddler’s birthday party. You should customise it according to the theme of the party, or to ask your child how they would like the cake to look. If you don’t have the talent to bake cakes, you should go with a store bought one.

If you prepare everything in advance you will enjoy the party together with your child, and you will spend some quality time together.