Toddler Party Ideas

By Emily Churchill

Created on June 14, 2016

If your toddler's birthday is fast approaching and you've hit a party planning roadblock, worry no more! The thought of managing a group of toddlers during a party can be overwhelming, but our general toddler party planning tips, fun food and decorating ideas and activity suggestions are sure to set your mind at ease. With the right game plan and plenty of supervision, you can throw a great party that will thrill your toddler and entertain your guests... without wiping you out!

Toddler Party Planning & Invitations

In addition to basic party supplies, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following services for your Toddler's party:

  • A moon bounce
  • Petting zoo animals
  • A clown
  • A popcorn, cotton candy, or snow cone machine
If you need a party theme idea for your toddler, here are some of our most popular toddler themed party guides. Use these guides to get ideas for theme related games, planning suggestions and more!
  • Farm Party: Gather up the animals and head on down to the farm. Hire a petting zoo or visit a real farm on your child's birthday.
  • Circus Party: Take your child and a few friends to the circus for the day or host your own circus games at home.
  • Sesame Street Party: Tell your guests how to get to Sesame Street on your child's birthday. Celebrate the big day with Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and rest of your child's favorite characters.
  • Mickey & Minnie Party: Mickey's Clubhouse fans may enjoy having a tea party with Minnie or performing magic tricks with Mickey on their birthday.
  • Monkey Party: All kids love to monkey around which is why monkey parties are so popular. Decorate your home to look like a jungle and invite all the animals to play.

Toddler Party Decorations & Food

There is flexibility in decorating for a toddler's birthday party. You can keep things simple with a handful of traditional decorations like helium-filled balloons and streamers, or you can select a theme for your child's party and bring it to life with themed decorations. Here are a few standard tips that you can implement to set the mood for a basic party or a theme party:

  • Hang or float bunches of balloons throughout the party area.
  • Hang long strips of streamers in a row across each entryway into the main party area, creating curtains for your guests to pass through as they come and go.
  • Decorate the walls with letters of the alphabet and numbers cut from construction paper, or use pictures of your toddler's favorite characters cut from magazines or printed from the Internet.
  • Play popular children's music, or the soundtrack from your child's favorite movie or TV show.
  • Set up a special spot for the guest of honor to sit for pictures and/or story time, and decorate it with balloons, streamers, pictures of your child's favorite cartoon characters, etc.
  • Block off a bit of the main party area, and turn it into a giant play pen stocked with age-appropriate toys and/or art supplies, such as crayons and blank paper.

When it comes to food, children are usually perfectly content to eat pizza or hotdogs, which is certainly much easier on the hosts! However, if you have time, you can serve theme-related treats like animal crackers for an animal party or seawater (i.e. apple juice with blue food coloring) for an ocean party. Either way, minimally-messy finger foods are best for toddlers, so consider things like:

  • Animal crackers
  • Apple and pear wedges
  • Baby carrots
  • Bagel bites
  • Berries
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cupcakes
  • Sliced veggies
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Grapes
  • Ice cream cups
  • Juice boxes
  • Mini cookies
  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Pretzels

Toddler Party Favors

Here are some toddler safe toy ideas that your guests will go gaga over!

  • Bubble tumblers
  • Small stuffed animals
  • A bag of fruit snacks, cookies or granola bar
  • Crayons and a coloring book
  • Board books
  • Squirt toys
  • Finger puppets
  • Stadium cups
  • Personalized placemats

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