Save your sanity, like I am, and try these toddler birthday party alternatives.
Okay friends, you may want to sit down for this one. We are not throwing toddler birthday parties in our house. Now, before you start calling me a bad mom, hear me out.
For my daughter’s first birthday I spent close to $1,000. Yes, I know that is crazy. I wish I could tell you we rented ponies and had a character show up but we didn’t. Just food, drinks, decorations, and rented a pool clubhouse (which was the cheapest part, at a bargain of $50). After such an event, I decided we were not going to be throwing any parties while my child was a toddler.
This does not mean that we will not be celebrating her birthday, just not with a full on party. I am not looking to deny anyone the opportunity to celebrate my child so we still are doing pizza and cake with the family.
For her second birthday, we just had family over. We ordered pizza and had cake but even that added up. It always amazes me how the cost of a simple gathering can get expensive, quickly. Since I am working hard to keep us on budget and keep expenses down (one of my many jobs as a stay at home mom) birthday parties are just not a justified expense.
This weekend we went to a good friend’s birthday party for their 4-year-old son. I was impressed with how much fun they were able to make it without going overboard. Especially, after they told me how insane some of the birthday parties they have attended have been. (Paying the official University of GA mascot to drive 1.5 hours to a child’s party. Only to cause the toddlers to cry and scream in his presence. Can you say a waste of money??)
Just for the record, that example is not the craziest I have ever heard of or attended. I have been to a two-year old’s birthday party at the Living Seas at Epcot. It could best be described as a mini wedding and had a caricature artist and DJ to boot.
Now as an adult, I had an amazing evening and I know the rest of the guests did as well but does that child honestly remember anything about that day? NO.
And this is why I am not going crazy until my children are older. I want them to remember the event and the effort their parents put into putting it together for them. (Because someday I will be old and feeble. So if they remember these things I can use it to my advantage when my diaper needs changing.)
So what do I plan to do for my daughter’s 3rd birthday (which is rapidly approaching)? I am so glad you asked!
I plan to do these Toddler Birthday Party Alternatives:
1. Bring a treat to her class or playdate group
Such a simple thing to do and it doesn’t require much planning. Most grocery stores have delicious options if you don’t have time to bake. And the best part… Children love treats! You just made some children really happy with little to no effort. Bonus: They can still sing to the birthday child!
2. Start the day with a bang
I’ve seen some great ideas on Pinterest and it can be as simple as balloons in the bed or decorating their bedroom door. My plan will be to take her to breakfast without baby brother and order her something delicious she doesn’t normally get to have on a weekday morning! The day starts off special from the start this way!
3. Special birthday outfit
Again this is one of those areas I think parents of young children have gone overboard about (Monogrammed everything???) but it can be very simple. I found a shirt with a 3 on it for R’s upcoming birthday for less than $10 at Old Navy. Simple but special and she knows she can’t wear it until her special day. Talk about anticipation!
4. Sing Happy Birthday
Toddler’s love singing. And they especially love repetitive singing. Sing Happy Birthday as many times as you feel is appropriate for your child. They will be one happy kiddo!
Hopefully, you don’t still think I am a mean mom after reading this list. But if you do, you might be the overboard, crazy mom like I was for my daughter’s first birthday, I’m just saying. It’s okay, you can reel it back in with the tips above!