Birthday parties – Aaarghh! Not that I don’t like celebrating my kids’ birthdays, I do! But the whole concept of party planning and organizing, who to invite, types of food to serve, presentation, games, party favors, etc is just exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done parties before for my eldest. Weeks or even months before, I’ll be browsing through the internet and Pinterest searching for ideas. Then I’ll be printing, cutting, coloring, pasting, stringing, etc at night, just because the shops do not sell party decor for the theme she chose.
The birthday cake / cupcakes – now don’t let me get started on that! I’m terrible at baking. What more decorating! So I’ll always take the easy way out by getting those marzipan flowers, unicorns or whatever suits the theme. Once during my daughter’s Smurf themed birhday, I got little Smurf figurines and just placed them on top of the cake. Tadaa!
I’ve realized I spent so much time on making sure everything looks (nearly) perfect and trying to please other kids / parents (no offense here) rather than spending quality time with my girls. So, since last year, I’ve decided to do away with the parties and instead build-up the birthday vibe a week before their actual Birth-Day.
Besides, being a 2 year old toddler, she doesn’t really has close friends yet, neither she would remember the party. So, here are a few ways to celebrate a toddler’s birthday without having to exhaust yourself, and actually enjoy the time and appreciate them.
1. Plan A Weekend Trip (Somewhere, Anywhere)
What’s more exciting than a nice short weekend trip for the kids to enjoy themselves. It could be weekends up in the moutains, in a farm, a city, rent a Cottage in a forest, near a lake, or even visiting the grandparents or friends are fun ways for a trip. For Little E’s birthday this year, we have decided to drive to Vienna and spend the weekends there though her birthday is not till the following week.
2. Plan A Day Trip
If time is a constraint and everyone’s busy, then make it a day trip. For example, we spent Big L’s birthday this year at thermal springs and she had so much fun. I felt it was family time well spent on her birthday. The best part was, we actually gave her a choice between a birthday party where she could have friends over or a family trip, and she chose the latter. Other great ways to spend the day could be a trip to the –
- Chocolate factory
- Theme park
- Indoor playground
- Swimming pool or the beach
3. Toy Shop
Bring your toddler to your biggest toy store in your area and let them choose 1 to 3 of their favorite toys for their birthday. If you’re worried that whatever they choose might get too expensive, set a budget. Yes, we all love our kids so very much and will provide them whatever they want especially on their birthday. I just think it’s a small way of teaching limitations and self-control of their ‘wants’. Though you might want to explain to your toddler in a way he or she would understand. And they’re all different in their own way.
Kids love picnic! I know my eldest did and still does. Something about eating outside, in the open, with a different scenery, just makes them all excited. So pack your picnic basket and blanket, head outside and just have fun. And if a park is so far away, just head to your garden! It doesn’t matter where you do it, kids and toddlers will love them either way.
5. Special T-Shirt
Let’s make their birthday extra fun by presenting them a personalized T-shirt with their age on it or even add their name.
Decorate the house with streamers, balloons, banners, and leave special messages all over are a great way to show your toddler it’s their day and we want to make it special. Do it the night before so they’ll wake up in the morning with a nice surprise. Besides, don’t just stop there. Fill their cupboards with balloons. When they open them, they will fall out. What a joy!
Instead of the elaborate party, invite a toddler or two for a mini playdate. That way, they could spend quality one-on-one time with their toddler friends.
8. Birthday Breakfast
Birthday candles shouldn’t be limited just on cakes. Stick them on their pancakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts or even french toast! It’ll be a great start to their birthday morning.
9. Movie Night (or A Movie Day?)
A movie night can get pretty late for a toddler. That’s why a ‘movie day‘. Yeah, it sounds weird but that’s just what it is when it comes to toddlers. A great way to imitate a movie night is to close the shutters in the living room, change into your pyjamas (that’s up to you), make some popcorn, get under a cozy blanket, and on a DVD of your toddler’s choice (it doesn’t matter if we’ve all seen Boss Baby a thousand times).
10. Birthday Cake (or Cupcakes / Muffins)
What’s a birtday without a birthday cake! Get your toddler involved in the process of baking a cake. Yeah, yeah, I hear you… Aargh the mess! And the duration it will take to bake with a toddler ‘trying’ to help will double or triple the time! But hey, it’s their day. And we’ve done away with the parties. So let’s give them this one instead! 😀