Friday, April 1, 2011

Taming the Toddler Party | UBP11

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

There's a girl in my office whose son is about a year older than the boy and she's always talking about the birthday party, superbowl party or holiday lunch that she's hosting.  She talks about her parties with such excitement, that in the moment I start to find myself thinking I should host events at my house more often.

It's not that I don't like to have people over, nor that I lack the organization, I just lack the drive to do all the work that having people over entails.  I love impromptu visits from friends and family, but the cleaning and re-organizing, decorating and general preparations for a 'party' just aren't my gig.
birthday 2011

In fact the boy just turned 2 and I didn't start getting organized until about two weeks prior.  The event was small and simple with no meltdowns by the boy or the momma.  So if you're like me and like to keep your parties on the downlow, here are a few things I did to tame the toddler birthday party.

Schedule it right - Although birthday parties are generally in the afternoon, the boy tends to be cranky after his nap, especially if you have to wake him up, so we instead opted for a 10am-1pm party, not because it was convenient for us, but because it was the best option for the boy.  Remember its a toddler party, make it about the toddler.

Count the kids - I'm a fan of the method where you limit the number of kids to the age of the child.  Fox example a 2 year old party, requires only two additional children.  The kids aren't really big enough to remember and seriously how many two year olds do you really want running around your place?  We actually only invited one friend again this year and it worked out great.

Count the adults - Kids parties have a lot of obligatory guests, parents, aunties, uncles and close family friends; the number of adults can multiply quickly.  Depending on the size of your house, this means that your home can fill up quickly too.  Remember, you need enough room for the kids to run around, play and keep themselves otherwise occupied!

Keep the food simple - There's no need to go all out making a fancy spread, things like hot dogs and kraft dinner are almost always a hit with kids.  We had organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free chicken hot dogs, some boiled and some barbequed, homemade potato salad (courtesy of my mom), crackers, sausage and cheese, chips and of course birthday cake and everyone seemed satisfied, kids included.

Stay flexible - Toddlers barely do what we want them to do in the best of circumstances, so it seems unreasonable to expect them to behave in a specific way or follow a specific schedulue when their home is full of people and abnormalities.  We opened presents throughout the entire event and since there was only two toddlers present if they wanted to open the toy up and play with it for a while, we let them.  Happy toddlers are a definite requirement for a successful party.

Thanks for stopping by my Ultimate Blog Party 2011 post; I participated in the UBP 2010 and was amazed by the amazing sense of community and all the great new blogs I discovered in the process.

If you have a few extra moments, please stop by my current giveaway
for a machine washable Degraaf Designs Diaper Bag
to celebrate my Ddrops Sponsorship to Blissdom Canada!