If your kids are anything like mine, the countdown to their birthday begins months before their special day. Create a celebration that lives up to the hype by planning a birthday party filled with creative themes, engaging activities, and toddler-friendly games that will please the crowd. Check out these fun toddler birthday party ideas so that your little one’s special day is memorable.
#1 Digging for Dinosaurs
If you have a dinosaur-loving toddler, consider a theme that focuses on these prehistoric creatures. Plastic dinosaurs can serve a variety of functions to help bring your theme to life. Incorporate them into table displays and centerpieces, or use new, clean toys as a cake topper. Then, fill a plastic baby pool or sandbox with play sand, and hide dinosaurs in it. Let the kids dig with shovels to find the dinosaurs, which they can take home as favors.
#2 Toddler Tea Party
A tea party theme is a festive and just-fancy-enough occasion for the little lady in your life. Encourage the birthday girl to choose a dress that she loves, paired with white gloves for an on-theme touch. Decorate your space with lace tablecloths, pastel hues, and floral centerpieces. Serve the guest of honor and her friends her drink of choice, like juice, out of a teapot. Offer some kid-friendly finger foods like bite-sized sandwiches, fruit, and cookies, and let the toddlers enjoy a kid-friendly tea party.
#3 Cupcake Decorating
Ready to get messy? Bake a couple dozen cupcakes, but leave the decorating to the kids. Your toddler and guests can enjoy homemade birthday treats that keep them entertained at the same time. Set up a cupcake decorating station, where kids can top their chosen cupcake with frosting and then decorate it with a variety of toppings like sprinkles, candy, cookie crumbles, and more. Then, your young bakers can enjoy their sweet treats to celebrate your child’s birthday.
#4 Canvas Painting
Bring out your little artist by hosting an art-inspired celebration. Pick up inexpensive canvases or a roll of butcher paper so that your toddler and their guests can create a masterpiece. Set kids up outdoors, if possible, to minimize the mess. You can place canvases on small easels on a table, or just cover your table in a disposable tablecloth for a simple cleanup. Or, hang butcher paper up on an outdoor wall or fence, and let the kids stand and paint. Invest in washable paints in a variety of colors, along with paintbrushes and other creative painting tools like sponges. Let kids make a masterpiece that they can take home as a memory of the special event.
#5 Sidewalk Chalk Games
Sidewalk chalk is always a hit with toddlers, and it’s an easy activity for any toddler birthday party. Whether you’re hosting your event at home or at a park, sidewalk chalk can keep kids busy and entertained with little effort from Mom and Dad. If you want to make sidewalk art creations extra special, pick up some stencils that allow kids to create unique shapes, characters, and letters on the sidewalk or driveway. Make it even more fun by making some DIY spray chalk using water, cornstarch, washable paint, and dish soap. Be sure to warn your guests so that kids show up in clothes ready to get messy.
#6 Ball of Fun
Do you have a toddler who loves balls, whether they’re running with them, kicking them, or throwing them all day? Then, make their birthday party a ball of fun. Collect all of the balls you have around the house and stock up on some new styles. Giant bouncy balls can keep a toddler entertained and active. Fill your backyard or an open park space with balls for all, and let the kids burn off all of that toddler energy and play with the balls. Want to make the party extra memorable? Send each kid with a ball to take home.
#7 Pajamas and Pancakes
Got a breakfast lover? Don’t even get out of pajamas for a special toddler birthday celebration. A pajamas and pancakes party is easy to throw together and seriously adorable. Encourage guests to arrive in their favorite jammies. Offer kid-friendly breakfast foods like pancakes and syrup, fruit, mini boxes of cereal and milk. Instead of traditional birthday cake, serve donuts to carry the theme all the way to dessert.
#8 We All Scream for Ice Cream
An ice cream sundae bar is a fun and easy birthday party theme that kids of all ages will love––even toddlers. Grab classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate and set up an ice cream bar filled with toddler-friendly toppings. Colorful sprinkles, crushed cookies, chocolate candies, gummy worms, whipped cream and chocolate syrup allow kids to create decadent sundaes that they won’t soon forget.
#9 Colors of the Rainbow
If you have a child who loves rainbows, let that be the theme that guides your party, from the food to the activities. Colorful decorations can adorn your party space. Offer up a colorful menu featuring an array of fruits in every color of the rainbow. Set up some arts and crafts activities inspired by vibrant colors. Kids can draw or paint rainbows, make rainbow necklaces out of colorful pasta or beads, or play with colorful blocks and design rainbows of their own.
#10 Transportation Fun
It seems like many toddlers go through a phase where they love everything that goes: cars, trucks, trains, and more. If your little one is a fan of all things transportation, then center your party theme around their favorite things. You can pull out your ride-on toys, let kids play with trains and tracks, or have them race cars down the sidewalk. Add in some festive on-theme decorations, and you’ll throw a transportation-themed bash that your child will love.
#11 Zoo Friends
Got an animal lover in your life? Then, host a zoo-themed birthday bash that kids are sure to love. If you have a local zoo, you might even be able to host your birthday party on site. If not, you can carry the zoo theme into a home party as well. Pull out all of your toddler’s favorite stuffed animals to create a home “zoo” perfect for playing. Encourage guests to bring their own stuffed animals to show off and play with.
#12 Water Stations
If your toddler loves splashing around and has a warm weather birthday, then slip on their swimsuit and enjoy some toddler-friendly water fun. A small inflatable backyard pool and sprinkler can be all you need to keep little ones entertained for hours. A water table or pouring station only adds to the fun, offering additional options for kids who may be shy around water. Give kids a popsicle to cool off after all the outdoor fun.
#13 Seasonal Activities
Let the spirit of the season inspire your toddler’s birthday party theme and activities. Winter birthday parties can include a snowflake cookie decorating station. Spring parties can feature an egg hunt or outdoor play as temperatures warm. Summer birthdays can take place at local parks and pools. Fall birthdays can be pumpkin themed, with toddlers picking a pumpkin out of a homemade patch in the backyard and then decorating them.
#14 Parachute Fun
If you’ve ever attended a toddler gymnastics class, you’re probably familiar with the fun and colorful parachute that toddlers love. Invest in one for your youngster’s birthday party and organize some parachute games that are perfect for this age group. Toss some lightweight balls into the parachute and let kids “pop” them like popcorn. Play musical parachute, and encourage kids to walk in a circle as the music plays and then stop moving when the music stops. And don’t forget to let kids raise the parachute above their heads and crawl under it––everyone’s favorite part.
#15 Face Painting
Show off your artistic side by setting up a face painting station at a toddler birthday party. You can pick up a set of face paints online or in stores, along with brushes and baby wipes to clean up any messes. To keep things simple, sketch a few designs on a sheet of paper so that the toddlers can choose a look you can pull off. To make it even more fun, keep those options on theme––for example, animal designs for a zoo-themed party.
#16 Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt for toddlers needs to be kept simple and might require some assistance from the grown-ups at the party, but it can certainly be a fun activity for curious little ones. Select items that are easy for little ones to identify by color or name. Scatter these items around the backyard and give clues––and let’s face it, they’re going to have to be pretty obvious for the kids––so kids can find them. You can hide objects on theme with your event or just everyday objects like balls, dolls, and trucks that toddlers will be able to identify.
#17 Make-Your-Own Snack Mix
Snacking just might be your toddler’s favorite pastime. As a result, a make-your-own snack bar will be a big hit with the toddler crowd. Fill containers of all shapes and sizes with toddler-friendly snack foods, including crackers, pretzels, raisins, fruit snacks and maybe a few sweet treats too (after all, it’s a birthday party!). Then, give the kids a fun container to fill up with their favorite snacks.
#18 Playground Games
Give toddlers an introduction to popular playground games at your birthday party. Hopscotch on the driveway gives kids a spot to hop and jump. Add in a few hula hoops and see how the toddlers do. If they can’t wiggle them around their hips, they can jump from one hoop to the next. Bouncy balls are always fun––add some oversized balls so kids can sit and bounce on them.
#19 Rainy Day Fun
You know that dreaded feeling when you have an outdoor event planned and then you check the weather forecast and see rain. If your outdoor toddler birthday party gets hit with bad weather, don’t despair. Instead, try some of these rainy day activities that can keep little ones entertained indoors. First, plan a craft, whether kids are coloring or painting a picture that coordinates with the party theme or creating necklaces or bracelets out of string and cereal. Next, include something that keeps kids active indoors, like having an indoor dance party complete with favorite toddler tunes. Finally, add a food station, whether kids are having a full meal, decorating a treat or simply enjoying cake and ice cream. Your rainy day birthday will be saved.
#20 Sports Party
Got a little athlete in the making? Host a toddler-friendly sports party for your little one. Decorations can mimic the look of a football field, baseball stadium or basketball court. Serve concession-style food like hot dogs and popcorn. Give kids their very own hat to wear during the party, and encourage them to come dressed supporting their favorite team. Toddler-friendly competitions, like basketball played on a mini basketball hoop, carries the sports theme through the activities.
Were you inspired by this list of toddler birthday party ideas? We hope so! Your options for hosting a kid’s birthday celebration are endless––simply get creative and use your toddler’s interests as inspiration. Don’t forget to share your favorite toddler birthday party ideas in the comments!