Birthday clown send your toddler scrambling under the table? Your big plans could overwhelm your birthday tyke. Here’s help planning a successful party.
The day after his son’s
second birthday, a father described the party: “We
had everything. Lots of children, balloons, piles of
presents, party games and favors, a big cake and ice
cream. Everyone had fun except Jason. He spent the whole
Probably “everything” was a bit too much
for little Jason. He would probably have been more comfortable
with a party on a smaller scale. Often a toddler’s
parents plan a birthday party like the ones they remember
from their own childhood, without realizing the parties
they recall probably took place when they were seven
or eight years old, not a mere two! When there is too
much fuss, toddlers can feel overwhelmed and
The best parties for young toddlers are small and simple.
So keep these tips in mind when planning your toddler’s
Stick with a kid-friendly guest-list
To maximize fun and minimize
distress, invite only a few children (three or four
at most), schedule the party so it doesn’t coincide
with naptime and avoid competitive party games.
that two-year-olds have no understanding of the concept
“birthday” and will expect presents of their
own if any are given to the birthday child. To avoid
fuss and hurt feelings, you might ask the mothers of
guests not to bring gifts. Or, have a small—identical—present
for everyone to open at the same time.
Before guests arrive, put away any toys that you won't
be using for party games. Since toddlers find it difficult
to share, extra toys in view can lead to unnecessary
upsets. Try to confine the party to one room and clear
it of any objects that could be damaged, so you won’t
have to worry.
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