Birthday Ideas - 1st, 2nd, 3rd

We all look forward to our child's 1st, 2nd and 3rd Birthday celebrations. We see the special days as markers of their huge accomplishments. What better way to celebrate your child's growth and development than to have a party! A 1st birthday is really for the parents to celebrate - You made it through the first year! Your one year old probably couldn't care less what you do but decorating for guests and pictures is always fun and a great way to make memories. The 2nd and 3rd celebration is definitely a kids birthday! Toddlers do understand whats happening when it comes to their birthday and are able to communicate their excitement. "My Birthday?", "For Me?", "Tomorrow?" is all you will hear for days before the event! Believe it or not, your child's first parties will be the easiest celebrations you will throw. The most memorable too! So Here are some survival tips for throwing a stress free birthday party for toddlers. This day is all about celebrating your little ones special day so keep it super simple and you will be able to do just that! Activities: The Golden rule for successful parties for young children is having plenty of fun activities to keep them occupied. Keeping in mind that toddlers do not fully understand rules, have short attention spans, want to constantly move around and definitely do not grasp the concept of waiting their turn, you should simply set up multiple play stations. Some great play station ideas would be a play dough table, bins of duplo & blocks, floor puzzles, ride on toys and a crayon colouring easel. Set up a bubble blower on a high surface so bubbles are constantly floating down for the kids to catch and pop. Ball Pits are always very exciting for toddlers. If you do not have one or know anyone who might, contact your local toy library and borrow one. You can also easily make your own with a blowup plastic pool and a bag of plastic balls or several small balloons. Games: Simple games like "I Spy", "Simon Says" and "Follow the Leader" are always a big hit for the younger set. If your little one loves crafts and making gifts for mommy, try stringing round cereal like fruit loops onto yarn to make necklaces. Organize a fish pond. You can use a large bucket or a small pool filled with water and have the kids hook a prize with a fishing pole. Or, set up the fishing pond behind a blanket and have the kids drop their fishing lines into the lake. A fishing rod can be made out of a stick, some rope and a clothespin. Have another adult hidden behind the blanket to clip on their prize or loot bag. Food: Think small, safe and simple. Its impossible for the excited young guest to keep sitting still for any length of time, so none messy finger foods that can be eaten on the go are always the best for toddlers. Consider things like: Animal Crackers, Goldfish Crackers, Pretzels, Cheese Cubes, Deli Meats, Cut Veggies, Pickles, Grapes, Banana Slices and Apple Wedges. Don't forget the juice boxes! The parents attending the party will also appreciate having a selection of meats, cheeses and veggies to munch on. At this younger age, small cupcakes for the young guests is always a little less messy and easier for them to handle on their own. A cake can be made or purchased for the traditional song singing, picture taking and candle blowing and then served to the adults attending. Time Capsule: Its startling how many details and memories get lost along the way. To mark this special occasion prepare a time capsule to be opened in later years - on the 9th or 10th birthday when they are all grown up! All you need is a shoebox or some kind of container and fill it with memories of the day. A piece of decoration, unused tableware, a copy of the guest list, a party hat - whatever is reminiscent of that day. Have some paper and pens ready for guests to write a special note to your child in the the future. Seal the box securely with packing tape and give the time capsule as a gift to your child on their birthday several years later. Most Importantly: Keep it simple, have lots of help, keep the party under 2 hours and make sure to schedule the party after nap times! And remember, have lots of fun and take tons of pictures!

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