- Pick a venue that can handle the mess of a small child and toddler takeover.
- Consider a house party if you’re only inviting a few guests and want to keep costs manageable.
- Look at local leisure centres or halls if you want a bigger do (with less clearing up).
- Consider things like parking and toilet/child-changing facilities.
- If at home make sure it’s safe for all ages attending, whether old or young.
- Out of home, make sure the venue is aware of the age groups attending so they can ensure appropriate health and safety provisions are in place.
- Think about your kick-off time — straight after junior’s regular nap time is a good choice.
- Keep it short — for everyone’s sake. A couple of hours is plenty.
- Book well in advance — you’ll need to confirm the venue on the invites.
- Be sure to include an “RSVP by” date on the invite.
- Invite the people you know will get in the party mood.
- If people ask about gifts, things they can grow into are good (clothes, books), or else practical items (toothbrush, bath towel, dining sets).
- Consider asking for donations to a charity instead of gifts — you could always include this on the invite too.
- A few toys, some soft playmats, and lots and lots of colourful balloons should create the right atmosphere.
- Choose a playlist to get everyone in the mood. With a couple of adult-friendly tunes thrown in too.
- Keep the music low, to protect little ears.
- Consider giving your little guests a party bag with a small book or toy to take home.
- Put out a selected of healthy snacks and finger foods will keep everyone happy.
- Consider small sandwiches/canapes for older siblings and adults.
- Provide lots of water.
- Keep sweet treats out of reach so parents can control quantities.
- Do ask if any of your guests have allergies.
- Consider the cake. Homemade or shop-bought? And don’t feel guilty if you don’t have time to make one, it’s called prioritisation!
- Remember cakes are usually high in sugar so cut slivers rather than slices for younger guests.
- Consider low and sugar-free cake options. Read more about the birthday cake dilemma here.
- Watch out for those grabby little hands and keep eyes peeled when the candle is lit.
- Little one might feel a bit overwhelmed when everyone’s singing. Give them a cuddle for reassurance.
- Ask a friend or relative to take lots of photos, you will probably have your hands full. Make sure they’re ready for the blowing out of candles!
- Remember that party photos make great thank-you cards, printed or sent as digital messages.
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