– Step 1: Plan a welcoming activity
– Step 2: Choose appropriate activities
– Step 3: Involve them in preparing the party
– Step 4: Return calm children to their parents
Your (toddler) child wants to invite a few friends over for a birthday party at home. Hosting 5 to 10 toddlers is no easy task. The children will have to be kept busy, and when they are young, they are demanding, volatile and turbulent. Keeping them entertained and safe is a real challenge! Here are a few tips to help you meet the challenge.
1. Plan a welcoming activity
Even if you’ve given parents an arrival time, not all children will ring the doorbell at the same time. Keep them busy before the afternoon activities begin by waiting for everyone to arrive. Plan a welcoming activity for this. Here are some examples:
– Buy a pack of crayons for each guest and print out a colouring page with the party theme. This way, the afternoon begins calmly.
– Offer a “free play” time: use the slide/chicken house combo in the garden or playroom of the house. Children should have space and choices.
– Cartoons: this is the least interesting in terms of friendliness, but if you are the only one hosting, you can be sure that the children will be too focused on the television to get into mischief.
2. Choose appropriate activities
Offer games to your child’s guests. Tailor them to their age, available materials and time. Here are some ideas:
– Treasure hunt: the weather is nice, and you have a big garden.
◦ Hide a dozen packages of candy in the garden.
◦ Give each child a card with the location where they will find their “treasure.”
– Blind Discovery:
◦ Put lots of toys in a crate.
◦ Present them to the children and then blindfold them.
◦ Each, in turn, must guess by touching the toy what it is.
– Musical statues: it’s the “boom” of the little ones.
◦ Have them dance to the music they love.
◦ At times, turn off the sound. The children should come to a stop.
◦ Those who move are eliminated.
– Makeup: offer to have the children take turns putting on makeup with appropriate crayons. If they are old enough, suggest that they make up with each other.
Plan 3-4 games to keep the children busy during the afternoon. Each activity should be safe. For example, if children use the swing, remind them of the risk of hitting and carefully monitor the game.
3. Involve them in the preparation of the snack
Plan a birthday cake, but remember that kids love to bake. So, for example:
– Have them bake a yogurt cake.
– Have them decorate muffins with whipped cream, candy, coulis and powdered sugar. – Play blind discovery with flour, sugar, candy…
4. Return calm children to their parents
You don’t want to give your kids back to their parents. Stop the dynamic activities about 45 minutes before the end of the birthday party, around 4 pm.
Start reading 5 to 10 minutes before the parents return. Choose one of the books offered by a guest, a book on the birthday theme or a seasonal book! Then move on to the snack and finally close the afternoon with a story.