Kid-Tested Toddler Birthday Party Activities
I truly love planning children's birthday parties, from the decorations to the games. Months ahead of my kids' birthdays, I start obsessively searching Pinterest and various blogs for ideas. Older kids seem easier to me – it's the toddler parties that stump me as far as striking a balance between planning too many games and having just enough. So I polled other parents for ideas for successful toddler games.
Check out these great ideas, and share your own in the comments!
1. Movement games
Many parents suggested games that get their little party guests moving. Among the favorites were hot potato, bean bag toss, freeze dance, and musical chairs. Katie Rosenbeach, mom of two girls, used 5-gallon paint buckets she bought at Walmart for the chairs, and the kids loved it.
Since toddlers have short attention spans, I found that keeping the craft simple is key. Also, having older kids be the craft helpers really helps move things along. For summer parties, lay out large pieces of paper and let the little ones paint with finger paints.
When they are done, you can hose them off for water play. If you're not the super crafty type, you can always print out some coloring sheets and create a coloring station with crayons and stickers.
3. Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts with the little ones are definitely possible! It's up to you how to structure it, from the simple to the more involved. You can even use picture clues and guide them through on their hunt.
Hide small toys in a huge bin of rice and have the kids search for them. Or place small trinkets into Easter eggs and hide outside or around the house.
It always amazes me how excited kids get when they are searching for stuff.
4. Sensory Activities
Sarah Evans, blogger at It's a Vol, threw a dinosaur-themed party and set up a fossil dig. She used a big tub full of small animal bedding, plastic shovels and rakes, and little plastic dinosaurs. The kids had a blast searching for the dinosaurs.
Depending on the season, make a corn-starch and shaving-cream mixture and place it in a water table. You can also use this mixture to make balls, which then you can have kids play with in a kiddie pool.
5. Let Out That Energy
Instead of a piñata, try this fun Punch-a-Box activity. Use a tri-fold cardboard display and cut evenly spaced five-inch holes in it. Place smaller boxes over the holes and fill each with a prize, and then cover with tissue paper in the front. When party time comes, let the kids punch them out.
What toddler party activities have you tried?