Terrific, not Terrible, Twos Party
September 28, 2011 3:00 PM Subscribe
Help me throw a birthday party that doesn't suck for my soon-to-be-two-year-old.
posted by shiu mai baby to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This was supposed to be a small party for just our close friends, but stupid me got all ambitious and invited a number of neighbors (and their kids) as well. Since many of these people have never been to our house before, I have just upped the pressure on myself. Swell! Plus, last year's party was all adults, since my kid was too young for friends, but now things have changed.
Anyway, there will probably be a dozen-ish children at this thing, ranging in ages from 1.5 to 4. I think I've got the food covered, as I plan on having a ton of juice boxes, and we're borrowing a hot dog roller from a friend, which will be fun. I'm more concerned about keeping said kids entertained for a couple of hours without losing my mind, as I will have the usual party-minding duties to contend with.
Since the party's in a couple of weeks, I was thinking about maybe setting up a station for kids to paint miniature pumpkins, but at this point I'm open to just about any idea.
1. I'm leery of planning on any activities that require being outdoors, because, given the mercurial weather this time of year, it could be 75 and sunny or it could be 50 and raining. Also, going out into the backyard requires going through the basement, which is currently filled with spiders and basement junk, and to get that kid-friendly would take way more work than I can give at this point.
2. The budget for this is pretty limited. We're cooking all the food, buying the cake, and ordering the favors off of Etsy. I'd thought of hiring a face painter, but a cursory search tells me that they usually start at the $100/hr range, which is too much for this particular event.
3. The party itself doesn't have any major theme, although I'm not opposed to it. Since it's still early October, it feels a little soon to do anything overtly Halloween-y, but I did just get the Oriental Trading catalog in the mail and it was filled with all sorts of neat (and insanely cheap) Halloween stuff, like fake vampire teeth and cute lollypops and stuff, which was tempting.
4. As I said above, a lot of the neighborhood moms are coming to this, so I acknowledge there's a lot of self-inflicted pressure to make it fun. I don't really socialize with these ladies a lot, but for the sake of my daughter, I want to establish friendly relations and a positive precedence for her to be included in future events. Luckily this neighborhood doesn't have a sense of one-upmanship, as far as I've been able to tell, and the birthday parties around here are pretty reasonable, e.g. no crazy inflatables, no Cirque du Soleil acts in the garden, etc.
I'd love to hear any suggestions, recommendations, and warnings from folks who've thrown toddler parties -- what to serve, what to avoid, how to make sure the kids (and parents!) have a good time.