The Best Toddler Party Planning Ideas You Need to Know Right Now
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
My husband has always teased me mercilessly about my pronunciation of the word three, when I’m excited. Like most Jamaicans, it comes out more like tr-e-e. Anyhow, this is one of the most difficult posts I’ve written so far. See my son, Kingston, turns three in a few days and I’m really struggling with it. I mean three already!
I just don’t know how it all has gone by so fast. I remember all my excitement at being pregnant with him and all the fear that I was going to be someone’s mom. Looking back, I was afraid because I didn’t really have a clue what being someone’s mom meant or how to do it. If I’m being honest, I still don’t really know and that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned being in this secret society for moms.
We all have a huge secret we try to keep under wraps, we don’t have a clue what we’re doing. No seriously, I mean it. I used to think people had it all figured out because they made it look so effortless, but nope. We’re all “winging it.” We just try to love our child/children as best as we can, take things a second at a time and pray for the best.
Now, here we are knocking at the door steps of the big three. It really feels like not that long ago that I went to what was supposed to be a regular, weekly checkup, only to be told I was 2 centimeters dilated and would be having my son 10 days earlier than my due date. It’s funny to think of that day because I also remember my reaction during the visit.
I actually told the doctor and nurse no. Pretty emphatically too, “No!” I cannot have my son as yet and even I explained to them why. I couldn’t have him yet because my mother-in-law and I were going to shampoo the carpet the following day in preparation for my son’s arrival.Yea, my son had other plans that didn’t involve a freshly shampooed carpet and guess who won that battle? He’s been winning battles since the womb. Guess I should’ve known what I was in for with this little boy.
I remember that indescribable feeling when they placed him on my chest and he snuggled closer to me. After months of not being able to eat anything but toast and tea, migraines, planning, worrying, laughter at the butterfly flurries, when I first felt him move, to pain at the rib shattering kicks that came as he grew larger. Every bit of it was worth it, when they put him on my chest. Everything else faded away. Finally I was able to smell him, feel him and see his little face...best day ever!
Then, before I blinked, he was 6 months old and I was struggling to imagine what I had done before he was here. It’s amazing how even when they’re so small, they have so much personality and truly take charge of your life. You get constant glimpses of who they may be later on in life. Kingston has always been outgoing. He smiled at strangers, cooed and motioned to them. He almost seemed to draw people in to him. It’s still his mode of operation (m.o) today.
Six months turned to 9, and I realized there was another mommy skill I needed to master, party planning. For weeks, I searched Pinterest, Google and Etsy looking for a theme I liked that hadn’t been overly done and that matched Kingston’s personality.When I saw it, I immediately knew it was perfect. The beautiful contrast of black, white, gold and grey. Hello, Mr. Onederful!
I started my party planning right then by trying to pick a venue. I thought about
1. Our house
2. Local club houses
3. Public play areas like Chuck E. Cheese
and hated all those options. Then I stumbled across a newly renovated park, near our house, that rented pavilions for family functions. I loved the idea of the park pavilion because it was covered, had a lot of seating and options for decoration, plus it was literally next to a playground. It even had grills to cook out, if you wanted to use that option. I called and booked half of a pavilion and was one step closer to celebrating the birthday boy.
Guests, Decor and More
Next, I worked on the invitation, guest list, decorations and food. Again, looking at what others had done was a big help. I just tweaked their ideas to suit my location and family/friends. I’m fortunate to have a close friend, who’s more like family, who created beautiful decorations for Mr. Onederful. Her business is Creative New Creations, and you can find her on Facebook.
Next, I sat down with my husband and decided who to invite. We mostly invited family and close friends. Since it was his first birthday, and my son was being cared for by my mother-in law at her home, there weren’t any friends from daycare to invite. Next, the decorations. The Mr. Onederful theme has been done in every color and style imaginable. Mustaches, tuxedos, the options are really very extensive. I chose to do a play on a classic black and white suit look and started searching the internet.
This is where Amazon came to the rescue. They had