The Exact Steps of Planning a Toddler’s Birthday Party

We’ve just had Baby Lighty’s second birthday party. Aside from the fact that I can’t believe my surely-still-tiny baby is two, I also can’t believe that I fell into the trap of throwing a party. Again. After the palaver that was last year’s party. When he won’t remember a thing about it as he grows up. “Oh but it’s all about the memories for us!”, I tell myself and Mr Lighty. Clearly planning a toddler’s birthday party is a little like childbirth, in that you forget all about the pain, the stress and the tiredness and happily do it all over again.

So in an attempt to ensure that next year, I don’t fall into the madness that is planning Baby Lighty’s third birthday party, here are the EXACT steps that anyone that has ever planned a toddler’s birthday party will recognise:

1. Decide that you’re not going to throw a party this year as he won’t remember it anyway.

2. Perhaps you’ll just take a little trip out or go away somewhere instead?

3. But maybe you’ll create a Pinterest board of ideas, just in case…

4. Decide that if you are going to throw a toddler’s birthday party this year, and that’s a big if, because of course you’re not going to, you need to pare down the guest list this year. Strictly close friends only.

5. Oh and family.

6. Oh and Godparents.

7. Oh and if we invite those friends, we’ve got to invite those friends.

8. Decide to send the invites out early because, even though it would do your pared down guest list a favour if people couldn’t make it, you need to make sure that everyone can make it.

9. If you are going to have a party, you’re definitely not going to go mad with props and a lavish theme

10. Start looking up props and ridiculous items that you definitely, definitely don’t need. Such as a professional bubble machine. And a light up dancefloor.

11. Start discussing a toddler-friendly playlist. Obviously this involves much dancing to the likes of Black Lace’s Superman, the Hokey Cokey and the entire back collection of The Wiggles.

12. Order a professional bubble machine.

13. Tweet The Wiggles to see if you can get the brightly coloured party paraphernalia that you’ve seen on Australian sites in the UK.

The Exact Steps of Planning a Toddler's Birthday Party

I actually did tweet the Wiggles…

14. Buy a roll of Lino for the party because…well, why wouldn’t you?!

15. Go into the Poundshop and buy all the things.

16. Log onto eBay and buy all the things.

17. Go back to the Poundshop and buy some more of all the things.

18. Compile the aforementioned child-friendly playlist. Debate whether some of the more questionable song lyrics are actually child-friendly.

19. Wonder about your sanity as you sing along to every. single. song on the playlist. Word perfectly.

20. Create signs for the doors, props and anything else you can think of that needs a sign. These require very specific font choices that you feel reflect the theme of the party.

21. Make party bags. Wonder if you look a bit tight with your (lack of) choices of tat that you’ve included.

The Exact Steps of Planning a Toddler's Birthday Party

Making party bags…

22. Keep a keen eye on the weather. Pin all of your hopes on the one forecast that says it’s not going to rain on the day of the party.

23. Attempt to tidy the house with a toddler in tow.

24. Get a tree surgeon round to deal with the broken limb of your willow tree which broke due to all of the wind and rain we’ve been having this Great British Summer Time (true story, and one which brings me back to point 22). Health and safety and all that.

25. Make a last minute dash to the Poundshop. Buy more of all the things.

26. Set your alarm to wake up in good time on the morning of the party.

27. Snooze alarm so many times on the morning of the party that you’re running behind before you’ve even started!

28. Set up all of your props and decorations. You know, all those props and decorations that you weren’t going to go mad on at the start of this post.


30. Run around like headless chickens. Chuck a few sausage rolls in the oven as your guests are arriving.

31. Tell everyone to help themselves to drinks (#terriblehostess!).

32. Run around a bit more making sure everyone is ok and has enough to eat / drink / somewhere to sit / people to talk to etc.

33. Finally – finally – manage to sit down for ten minutes and actually talk to your guests and enjoy seeing your toddler having fun!

The Exact Steps of Planning a Toddler's Birthday Party

Toddler having fun…mission accomplished

34. Swear that next year you will one hundred percent, not under any circumstances be doing this again!

10 months later…

35. Start thinking about the theme for the toddler party that you will definitely not be throwing in a couple of months time…!

Oh well. How many years have I realistically got before Baby Lighty is too cool for a party?! Maybe I’ll just plan and enjoy and stress over these toddler parties while I can!

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Proud to be linking up with:

Rhyming with Wine

12 thoughts on “The Exact Steps of Planning a Toddler’s Birthday Party”

  1. This did make me laugh, but also worry because this is going to be me in a few weeks time, throwing the first of two parties that I definitely wasn’t doing this year!! I won’t tell you about the party I’m definitely not planning for his birthday next year….

  2. You are a very brave lady! I wouldn’t know where to start with a party. We have always gone away instead and this year is no exception haha. I fear that next year will be THE year, but at least as my two have their birthdays 4 days apart we will only have to throw one! Winning! I’ll be following your tipd to the letter. You are clearly a party guru. Really giggled at this especially “Buy more of all the things.” 😉 Lovely pic of Little Lighty too! xx

  3. God I couldn’t cope. We’ve never had a proper party for our 7 year old, or our 3 year old, we’d rather take them and a couple of friends out somewhere, and have a family day. I really don’t even like family parties!!! You’re a better person than me for having the patience for all of this!


    1. Ah no not a better person, we just like different things! Your celebrations sound absolutely lovely too! 🙂 #DreamTeam

  4. Hahaha seriously so stressful and exhausting……and then we do it all again! Why oh why oh why?!!! Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  5. Love it – to be fair, we are 5 years in now and have 2 kids so have mastered an art of alternating a proper party each year. This year was Tig’s turn and she had a cinema party – so I’m afraid Mouse it’s 2 friends for tea and some egg sandwhiches 😉 Actually, in my experience the latter is actually just as lovely (plus you can’t stop the tidal wave that is my family descending, party or no party!).
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub – he looks very happy so you did good Mama.

    1. Haha! Ah that’s a good way to handle it! I doubt we’ll have another baby, but if we do, I’m remembering this tip big time!! Thanks so much for hosting #coolmumclub and thank you for your kind words!

  6. With our first two we set the standard high and exhausted ourselves with memorable parties, so now with the little 2 I’m scaling them down so they don’t expect us to be red coat entertainers! Why we do this to ourselves haha! #coolmumclub

    1. Haha, good plan!! I have no idea why we do this to ourselves!! Thanks so much for stopping by from #coolmumclub!

  7. Thanks for the one by one steps on how to go about planning a toddler’s birthday party. This will help a lot of moms or dads planning for their little ones’ special day.

    1. Ha! Well it’s a bit tongue in cheek but still…the essentials are there if you read between the lines!

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