Hosting a party for your toddler can be hectic, messy and expensive. But you can rise above the stress and, with a little planning and some help, pull off a fun and cost-effective party for your little guy or gal. Here are three tips for throwing a low cost party for your toddler:
1. Keep it simple
For starters, think about ways to keep kids active without trying to fit a bouncy castle in your two-bedroom condo. Try involving them in decorating food or crafting party hats. Also try to keep the guest list small, make or buy appetizers instead of a full meal and choose cupcakes over an elaborate cake. The cool thing about cupcakes is that you can get the kids to help decorate them, which doubles as a fun activity. Instead of cupcakes, you could also make cookies or power balls together and then put in them in little bags with a note on each one (decorated by the child). It’s a fun activity as well as a nice, authentic “goodie bag” for guests!
2. Park life party
With Metro Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis comes a lack of space for 10 three-year-olds to run around yelling. If your child’s birthday (not to mention the weather) allows for it, take your party to the park! A quick search of your municipality’s parks and recreation website will inform you about table space, washrooms, and whether or not there are water park facilities. Here are park links for Vancouver, Victoria and Squamish.
If your child has a winter birthday and you don’t have a ton of space, think about renting a room in a community centre or borrowing a friend’s common room in their apartment building.
3. Treasure hunt
My childhood parties were famous for the elaborate treasure hunts that my parents created. With a few simple clues and some tasty treasure at the end of the journey, having partygoers scour bookshelves, hallways, parking garages and back alleys is a great way to keep kids moving with purpose. A hearty “yyyaaaaarrrrrrgh!!!!” makes every party more fun, too. Here is a good article about creating your own treasure hunt. You can also search Pinterest for hundreds of scavenger hunting ideas.
Remember, parties need not last for more than 90 minutes, so don’t feel pressure to deliver an epic all afternoon event. Just have fun with it!