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Old 02-09-2004, 02:50 PM
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Toddler Parties

In 3 weeks I will be hosting our extended family for my toddler's 2nd birthday. He is the youngest of 3 children (the oldest is 12) so I've done birthday parties before. That may be part of the problem!

The bar has been raised, so to speak. My Big Kids have had special cakes that I've done for them (special shapes, cartoon characters, Barbie cake, all kinds of things) and the theme decos to go with it.

Then we come to the little guy, who really won't CARE if his cake is shaped like Blue's pawprint or a school bus or just a plain circle with a candle in it! His siblings will want to help plan the decorations and the cake, because it's fun to think about. But the birthday boy will just be happy that there IS cake, and that people he loves are singing "Happy Birthday" and he will open some presents and play with his cousins.

I guess I'm trying to find a way to tread that fine line between going overboard for what a toddler needs at his party, and doing to little which would cause his siblings to feel like he's being robbed of something.

And I have to admit that some of this might be me trying to measure up to a standard that another family member sets, a standard that I don't even necessarily agree with but nonetheless I feel compelled to "keep up with the Joneses" or feel like a Bad Mommy.

There will be cake, candles, and balloons. There will be 2 meals' worth of food for over 30 people (they travel a long way to get here so they stay all day). Really, what more does a 2 year old need?
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Old 02-09-2004, 05:07 PM
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I think that youve covered every area that there is to cover. At 2, they really dont care, like you said. Is there anything or character that he really likes? Dogs, The Wiggles, cars.....anything that might make him feel like it just his day? If he really doesnt care, just make a big deal out of it being "his" day. Take pictures, give him his presents and sit back and let him play.

Sounds like you are worrying too much about what others will think. Plan your meals, relax and enjoy your company.....dont beat yourself up over it.

Personally, I think that we, as parents, spend WAY too much money on stuff like that for kids his age. All that money for an hour of entertainment.

If you can think of anything that he really likes, let me know and Ill help you with some ideas that wont break the bank.


Tami
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:29 PM
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AN HOUR!!!!!! HA!!!!! This is an 8 hour event. Again, this is a family visit, since we live far away. Some people have to drive almost 3 hours to get here. There will be no "entertainment" or "activities." We have enough toys & games to keep the kids busy and if it's a nice day we'll send them outside to run around.

There will be at least 15 children here, ages 12 and under. Possibly 18.

I was thinking about doing something with cars. He loves his Matchbox cars. Maybe a little "road" on top of the cake, with cars on it. Do you think the cars would get too icky from being on the frosting? I was considering putting the cookie crumbs down (like in the "dirt pudding cups."

Some of what's driving this is the Big Kids (ages 12 and 8) who LOVE to plan a party. They want to make a special day for their little brother.
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:47 AM
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Barb,
I think the matchbox cars are a great idea, after all they will wash off! Evan is also a big fan of cars. I have to admit though for his 2nd birthday I didnt spend much money, I bought a Happy Birthday banner, a bouquet of balloons since he loves those! I bought plain colored plates and cups that I found clearenced at Target! They tend to clearence a lot of their b-day stuff often you might want to check it out! Thats it, the banner was saved and will be used again and again! I already plan on making his 3rd party Scooby Doo, again I found clearenced items at Target awhile ago and picked up! His birthday is the end of April so who knows what the weather will be like, hoping its nice so we can be outside since his big gift is going to be a swingset! They probaly wont even notice the Scooby theme!
Leighann
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:00 AM
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I was wondering if Matchbox cars would be "dishwasher safe" I could run them through in the little basket that we use to keep baby bottle pieces

Or, I'll just look for some store brand fruit snacks. Lots of times they come in fish shapes, or animals, things like that. They look cute on top of a cake.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:51 AM
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I did the matchbox cars with my sons cake and they cleaned up fine in hot, soapy water. I would imagine that they would be dishwasher safe. My only question would be if you left them in on the dry cycle, would the heat melt the tires??


If you like the fruits snacks, Ive seen them in racecar shapes too.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:52 AM
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Also wanted to add that our Dollar Tree has some racecar prints on napkins, plates.......stuff like that. They also had some racecar stuff for party favors too.
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:57 AM
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DD#2 will be 4 this year. For her 1st bday I just got a white sheet cake from Sams with yellow icing around the edges. Made a sm. smiley face cake for the smoosh topper and placed diff. colored gum balls around the bottom edge of cake. Plates etc. were just primary colors so they matched the overall "theme".

Bday#2 I don't remember, but for last years I just iced a regular cake blue then cleaned up her blues clues toys (you know the kind that come in happy meals) real good and put them on top of cake.
Found blues clues candle and party goods at the $Store.
Plates and napkins??? Who cares? The kids certainly don't. I only buy them on clearance and if we're having a small party. Barbszy I think you're having a shindig!

One great thing I may do for this year I stole the idea from another mom. First of all I will no longer do goody bags...but this mom had a great idea. On the bottom of a helium balloon string she tied a small toy. Her theme was care bears so she found mini care bears and tied them on. Kids always want to get a balloon, + they got a toy too !

Good luck with your party and let us all know how it turns out. Our 1st one was 60+ people with a threat of rain I was so stressed by the time the thing was over-couldn't wait for everyone to leave. Ours are all day affairs too, I can certainly empathise with you.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:25 AM
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That balloon idea is a good one. Kids always LOVE balloons and I have a party store here that gives coupons for "balloon bouquets." I have had more than enough of these silly goody bags. Last year at his party I didn't give them and one child (relative) was pretty peeved about that, and let me know it If I give them out this time, it will be a snack for the ride home and a juice box.

Plates will just be plain ones that I get at SAMS in the million-pack. But I might get decorated napkins to serve with the cake. 1 pack should do it.

I'm glad to know about the Matchbox cars washing up well. I'll probably do that then. The Big Kids can help me figure out how to arrange them on the cake. They really enjoy planning things like that. Maybe I'll just ice the cake and leave them to it.

I've been doing these Big Family Parties for 12 years now. You'd think I'd have stopped being so anxious over it already! At least by now I have a handle on the bulk-cooking part of it.
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:38 PM
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Barb,
I think you will be fine! You seem like a good hostess!
Leighann
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