Little Kids’ Birthdays: Keep it Simple!

Birthdays are so much fun! No matter how many of them you have, each one is a new and exciting experience. For big kids and some of us grown-ups, a big party and with lots of excitement is the highlight of the day, but for our little ones, the best part of their birthday is getting some extra love and attention from those closest to them. Birthday celebrations for young kids don’t have to be extravagant, they just need to show your kiddo that they’re special!

For your child’s first few birthdays, keeping things simple is easier on you, much less expensive and a lot less overwhelming for them. Babies and toddlers can easily get overwhelmed by too many people and too much attention so keeping the party small is good idea. Read on to find more ideas for planning a simple, fun first, second third or maybe even fourth birthday party for your kiddo.

Pick a theme

Pick something your child is into. For a first birthday, it could be something you like, for toddlers, ask them what their favorite thing is. Some great birthday party themes for little ones are: princesses, balls, cars, teddy bears, puppies, kitties, any movie/show/book that your kiddo particularly likes.

Invite family and maybe a few friends

As mentioned before, too many people can be overwhelming, so keep the guest list small. The general guideline is to invite one friend per year of age. Or you may decide that a family-only party is best, and that’s totally ok! Babies and toddlers love their families! The simplest way to do invitations these days is online either by setting up a Facebook event or using Evite. If you want to go the snail-mail route, most big-box stores sell cute generic-looking invitations, or if you want to go a little fancier, check Etsy for printable invitations that go with your theme, this would add a special touch without being too much work or costing too much money.

Don’t worry about going crazy with decorations

Going overboard with decorations is kind of a waste of time and money. The guests are going to care more about getting to love on your little one than what the space looks like, and your kiddo will be much more interested in their guests, the presents and the food than any amount of streamers and centerpieces. One thing I would suggest is getting a couple of helium balloons – kids love them!

Pick some easy foods & a yummy treat

If the party will be at a meal-time, you generally can’t go wrong with pizza and salad. If you want to keep it even simpler, make the party between meals and just put out a few snacks like a fruit and veggie tray and some chips and dips. The important food item is the cake – this is where it’s ok to go a little overboard, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult or expensive. Grocery store cakes are yummy and can be ordered in whatever theme you want, or if you want to go a little fancier, go to your local bakery and go crazy!

Skip the favors or go super simple

If you only have adults coming to the party, there’s really no need for party favors. If you’ve invited some kids, you’re still not obligated to give favors, especially since they usually end up in the trash when you give cheapy little party-favor-toys. If you want to give favors, a couple of ideas for things that people would actually want are – sugar cookies (get a cookie cutter that matches your theme) or crayons and a coloring sheet to match your theme.

Sit back and enjoy

If you stick to a simple theme with simple plans, you’ll get to do the most important thing – focus on your kiddo on their special day. Skip the expensive decorations, the huge list of things to do before the party and during the party and just sit back and enjoy your child’s birthday with them, that’s what they really want anyway!


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