How To Party Like A Toddler

July 30, 2012

My little guy turned three years old last Thursday and we’ve just wrapped up a weekend of birthday celebrations with friends and family — including a successful kid’s party.

Although my son Jin is 3, I am still an amateur at party planning with only one under my belt. For our first party after bringing our son home (for his second birthday), we went a bit overboard in our excitement and invited the world. It was really more of a house party than toddler celebration.

So this year, the goal was small and simple. However, as we approached the big day, Jin started talking about all his friends from school that he wanted at his party. Okay, I thought, why not?

But what to do? How many kids do I invite? What time do these things start and how long do they last? If I tell people to forego gifts, will anyone be offended? Basically, what IS proper kid’s birthday etiquette? And what would we do with these kiddies once at the party?

For advice, I consulted the experts: Some of my mom friends. My friends happen to fall on two extreme ends of the spectrum. They are either the make everything, bake everything type, or the buy everything, cater everything type. I’d like to think I fall somewhere in the middle although, admittedly, I think I’d land somewhere between the middle and the far end, not the DIY end.

Of course, I also consulted my other good friend, Google. Here one can find all sorts of helpful and if nothing else, entertaining information on how to plan a kid party and “rules” of the game. Here is a recent article on with advice from the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post herself, Lizzie Post.

But the real savior was Pinterest, where there is no shortage of ideas for party themes, food, activities and decoration. Here is a pic from our party, inspired by Pinterest. The kid’s loved it!

Our outdoor art party inspired by Pinterest

Below are some of my other favorite ideas found on boards from a couple of my favorite bloggers: Kym Macfarlane of Kraftkym, and Joy Cho of Oh Joy! :
Fill balloons with helium and attach a ribbon with a photo for each year of the person’s life at the end of the balloon. (kym macfarlane via
Lego Cake
Joy Cho / Oh Joy! via Erin Mulcahy
Cute way to display fruits and veggies
kym macfarlane via Lindsey Schubert
Repinned from Just Because
Birthday Sign
Joy Cho / Oh Joy! via Erin Loechner