When people plan birthday parties they are planning a special day not just for their children, but also for themselves. Children grow so fast, and a huge part of sharing your life with a young child is trying to slow down from time-to-time and enjoy it, even for just a day.
You and your guests will surely remember the party for years to come, and look back at those early parties with fondness. Not only will your child remember more than you might expect, but those early positive experiences can have a lasting influence.
Memory and early childhood amnesia are still being studied today. While there are plenty of theories, the rules of memory retention in children have not yet been entirely decided. Just how much of life will your Toddler remember in the long run? Some say that children cannot retain memories until fluent language develops. Others suppose that young children cannot develop memories until they have developed a sense of self. A child’s memory improves as the section of the brain known as the hippocampus develops. While the average age for an adults earliest memory is around 3 years old, there are still plenty of people who report having earlier memories intact through adulthood. The capabilities for very young children to retain memories is still being studied and debated.
While your toddler may not be able to remember the explicit details of their lives before the age of 3 in the long run, the implicit memories still have a huge impact on children as they grow. Throwing an unforgettable birthday party for your toddler means that not only are you creating early childhood memories for your little one, but also that you are introducing them to new traditions which will repeat each year.
When you begin planning your Toddler’s birthday party, look to invite family and friends with children in the same age group. While younger children may not seem particularly social, it is important to introduce them to their peers so they can learn to socialize in the comfort of their parents’ presence. Inviting other toddlers also gives you the opportunity to socialize with other parents, possibly building life-long friendships for your kids.
The beauty of entertaining toddlers and young children is that you don’t need as much structure to keep them engaged. Toddlers typically do better with free play. Especially with mixed ages, many of your guests may be at different stages of play. While your toddler might enjoy playing with other children, some younger kids tend to prefer parallel play, meaning they play on their own beside other children.
You can plan for some party games, but be sure to keep them simple and easy to understand. When you are thinking of games keep in mind that your party guests will likely have varying degrees of sensory and motor development. For this reason, it is a good idea to make sure that games are fun without putting much emphasis on competition or prizes. Games like “pass-the-ball” or “follow-the-leader” are classics, but you can also experiment with group activities instead of games, such as coloring pages or easy crafts like paper masks.
It would also be a great idea to have some open play areas set up for the kids who may not be ready for guided play, or who don’t get into the party games. An easy way to do this is setting up a soft play area or a bouncer like the the Magic Castle Bounce House, which is a staple at many toddler parties. The Magic Castle is perfect for toddlers. It is also nice and compact which means it can be used indoors or outdoors. Because the Magic Castle can support three kids at a time, it makes for a great way to entertain your toddler and their friends. If you have a larger space for your party and are looking for a bouncer to accommodate more children, the Big Ol Bouncer is another great option for a toddler’s birthday bouncer.
When it comes to feeding your toddler-guests, easy finger foods are your new best friends. Keep things cute by cutting sandwiches into cool shapes using cookie cutters. You get food in fun shapes, and sandwiches are generally easy to make in a variety of flavors. Other easy toddler-friendly foods include pizza, bite-sized fruits and veggies, cookies, crackers, and juice boxes.
When it comes to a toddler’s birthday party, a big concern for hosts is entertaining the adults. If you have a bounce house set up, the toddlers will likely entertain themselves. It would be a good idea to have some entertainment or good conversation lined up for the parents, as well as some better food. Most of the time parents will keep themselves entertained on their own, by interacting with children and other grown-ups as well. Even so, it can’t hurt to think proactively and try your best to make sure that between the toddlers and the adults everyone has a good time. And as always, adult supervision is important in monitoring safe play, with or without a Bounce House.
- Toddler Birthdays are about making memories.
- It is possible to plan a party that your toddler won’t forget.
- Invite other toddlers.
- Toddler parties don’t require as much structure to keep kids engaged.
- Keep any games or activities simple.
- Finger foods are your friend.
- Be sure to keep your grown up guests in mind.