How does one work with a party "theme"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-08-2014, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been searching old threads for ideas for a small toddler birthday party, and some people are mentioning "themes." I don't live entirely under a rock, so I sort of get it, but I still need help. I have been to a Hungry Caterpillar party where the food was themed, there were huge, awesome, handmade decorations, and the birthday toddler even wore a handmade caterpillar dress. I...uh...can't do that. Food is my strong suit, but I'd rather have foods my daughter and her friends (as well as the adults) will actually eat than to have them be purple or star-shaped. I don't want to spend enormously on decor, because I'd rather use that money for other things. I'm also fairly eco-minded.

Even as I gripe, I want someone to pull me up and make me be more awesome. What are the most important points when working from a theme? Do toddlers notice decor? What do they appreciate? I remember strongly a toddler in my care beaming as he marched through the house holding a card another child had made for him. I want to do the kinds of things that will make my daughter feel something like that.

My daughter, who will be two, likes...

Slides
Chocolate
Dogs (but we're not getting one this year)
Cats (ditto)
Books
Nursing twice per night even though Mama is very tired (probably not a great theme)
Action rhymes
Dancing
The beach (she thinks - we are going later this summer)

It will be an indoor party, most likely, since I found her first birthday at the playground to be quite frazzling, especially transporting all that food. We don't have outdoor space of our own.

Ideas, general or specific?
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#2 of 7 Old 05-08-2014, 07:55 PM
 
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Hi MamaCB,

 

A list of thoughts in response to your post

 

- How about bringing a little slide inside with lots of cushions round (from the couch)

- Cook great yummy non-themed food that all will like, makes you and the attendees happy. I don't care for themed food unless the theme makes the food taste better!

- Dog and cat images up on the wall; posters, cards, decals..

- a short circle time led by you or a special guest to do action rhymes

 

:)

 

how many attending?


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#3 of 7 Old 05-09-2014, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Bruna! Do you think I should all of those things, making it a "DD's Favorite Things" theme, or would it have more of a party feel if I took one idea and built around it?

We are considering a slide; I just need to make sure that the ones I can afford and can bring inside aren't too small to be fun for age two and up.

Our guests will be two toddlers, their two parents (they are one family), and at least three additional adults. Up to three other adults and two older children may be present, depending on their ability to travel. The older children are good at parties and will he happy with good food and light balloon play.

Maybe I could find dog and cat ears or masks for the guests.
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#4 of 7 Old 05-09-2014, 10:25 PM
 
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Dog and cat ears sound like such a cute idea. I totally think a dd's favorite things party theme is a great way to go, because as you know, these things do change, so celebrating what she is into right would make such a sweet memory.
Is her bday soon? My son will be 2 in 10 days, so I am also planning.
His birthday is very meaningful to me, so I remember to make the whole thing as fun for me as possible too:)
It sounds like you have a nice and manageable size party shaping up.
Have you figured out a menu?

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#5 of 7 Old 05-10-2014, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, fun for the Mom! What is that again? :-) Last year, I just wanted to spend time with my daughter, but I was busy unpacking food and hosting. That's why I want to eliminate half the work by hosting at home. We have about a month and a half left for planning.

Since it will be a morning party, I think I will make a tofu scramble on the stove and then keep it warm in a crock pot. I'll add breakfast breads and a fruit salad, with coffee for the adults. If I think of any theme-y additions, all the better.

I am probably making a vanilla cake with optional toppings that include chocolate as well as nut and candy sprinkles, since my daughter loves chocolate, but the other toddlers are not allowed to eat it. She is getting additional chocolate on her actual birthday (a non-weekend day), so she will be fine.
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#6 of 7 Old 05-10-2014, 06:20 PM
 
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We had an owl theme for DD's 2nd b-day because she loves owls and I was able to find some really cute ideas and printables on pinterest.  I found a free printout for owl masks that I printed on cardstock and cut out and taped to some popsicle sticks, and for favor bags I used brown paper and just cut/folded and glued on some colored paper to look like owls.  You could do similarly with animal faces or put together some glueable pieces for the kids to design their own masks.  My best friend is a pastry chef but she's used to doing standard ingredients and DD can't do milk, soy, or gluten, but she was able to sub ingredients and make us a fantastic cake with a little purple fondant owl on top - none of our friends are incredibly health conscious but not a piece of cake was left!

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#7 of 7 Old 05-11-2014, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, printing out my own masks! That solves the usual "expensive or Chinese?" dilemma. Thanks for the idea, sassyfirechick.
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