Location: Your house is great but it can get overwhelming with a few toddlers plus parents in it. In our town, we could rent the library basement, school gym, or church basement. But other locations could be a park or beach.
Invites: Im all for making your own invites and not buying premade (although that is what I did last year) Using Word and some easy clipart you could make some really fancy invitations. Or use it as a craft project a couple weeks before the party and have your child draw multiple pictures. For my daughter who is just a scribbler at this point, I would have her scribble on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and then cut that into four invites.
Then just write the party details over the drawing with a dark marker. There are also websites with free printable invitations, google it!
*Name Tag - have each kid decorate a name tag when they arrive. Or just draw a picture and they get to wear it.
*Charades, Simon Says
*Hook up Video Camera to TV and let kids see themselves dance & pose
*Story Telling with a book based on birthday theme
*Treasure Hunt (picture clues)
*Watermelon Seed Spitting
*Bean Bag Toss
*Bucket of Dirt/water with plastic frogs, bugs, etc hidden inside. Kids have 1m to grab all they can
*Spin the bottle – for who’s gift gets opened
*Carnival with facepainting, bean bag toss, ring toss etc.
*Arts & Crafts Show – fingerpaints, foot painting, crafts, etc. Clothesline for artwork display
*‘Green’ Birthday –gently used toy/book as gift, recycled invitations, Pot w/seed&soil as lootbag, Gifts wrapped in newspaper or reused bag, regular dishes & fabric napkins.
*Spa Party w/ nail painting, face masks, pink grapefruit pop in wine glass
*Pirate Party – treasure hunt, eye patch, bandana
*Cooking Party –Invites on recipe cards, Aprons (to decorate), printed out recipes, everyone make a pizza, Red & White tablecloths, Decorate cupcakes or cookies
*Fear Factor - 'spin the wheel' to decide who eats what - mashed avocado, sardines, pickled eggs, etc.
*Pajama (or sleepover) Party – movies, popcorn, etc.
Crafts (double as Giveaways):
*Superhero Masks – provide each child with small cape
*Paint a clay pot (later add a baggie of soil & seed packet for giveaway)
*Wooden Box to paint or decorate
*Doorknob Hangers to paint or decorate
*Playdough – small dowels as rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.
*Jewellry – bracelets, necklaces, etc.
*Homemade Soap –hide small token inside
*Candy Necklaces – licorice rope with lifesavers, gummy rings, etc.
*Necklaces (made from salt dough) - make them ahead of time and then the kids can paint them. http://123mytoddlerandme.blogspot.com/2009/08/salt-dough-recipe.html
*Tie-Dye t-shirts or pillowcases
*Mini piñata made of brown paper bag decorated with tissue garlands.
*Loads of balloons everywhere!
*Happy Birthday Banner - reuse year after year
*Put out a few pictures from previous birthdays. Perhaps using pictures to create a special place mat for the birthday child (put pictures on construction paper and laminate)
*Jello cups with gummy fruit inside
*Edible playdough with decorations such as pretzels, smarties, raisens, *etc.
*Chocolate Pudding with gummy worms
*Finger foods a must :-)
Check out these neat sites: