Hosting a Valentine's Day Party For Toddlers
I know, I know... Valentine's Day is completely overly commercialized! But hear me out, it's still a pretty great holiday (I mean, flowers and sweets... need I say more). While I'm a true believer in the fact that you should show your love and appreciation all year long, not just on one day, I'm also someone who loves the idea of Valentine's Day too–especially now that I'm a mom. Holidays in general are way more fun when you have a little one to enjoy them with. Holidays are the perfect time to craft, bake and play with your little one, all centered around one theme–which God knows, I love a good theme. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I decided I wanted to host a fun little party for Jayden and a few of his friends. We have been blessed to have such great community of mamas and their littles where we live, that its nice to be able to host something for them once in awhile. Our little ones are at the age when they are loving crafts so I thought it was the perfect time to celebrate and craft together.
First things first, when it comes to planning a party for toddlers, with toddler of your own, you want to plan ahead as much as possible. Seriously, if that's all you take away from this post is to "plan ahead" you'll be set. I suggest planning your guest list first, in our case we had to keep the number to 7 tots, which was 16 total including their mamas, Jayden and myself (gotta love NYC small living spaces). Once your guest list is set, you'll be able to better plan crafts, snacks, seating arrangements for activities, etc.
Next on the list, you want to send out invites/save the dates–I love paperless post. You could also just create an event on Facebook, which works really well too. Keep in mind, that picking a day and time can be a daunting task when you're taking into account different nap schedules and wake times for multiple little ones. My best pieces of advice is, mornings typically are the easiest to coordinate (we hosted our party 9:30am-11:30am) most toddlers are up and ready to go and if you're still not sure, plan around your childs schedule and just go with it. Toddlers are so unpredictable anyways, it's almost impossible to plan and accommodate everyone.
After that, I created a pinterest board, with inspiration for the decor I liked and some of the crafts I might want to try. I highly recommend doing the same, as a pinterest board can really help narrow down your vision for the overall look and feel you want to achieve. Plus, who doesn't love pinning?!?
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into the details of hosting a Valentine's Day party for toddlers...
After browsing pinterest, I headed to Target to check out their Valentine's Day decor and fell in love with these plates, which I then used as a base for the theme of the event. I stuck with a traditional pink and red color scheme, but with hot pink as opposed to pale pink, which felt more modern to me. I also incorporated small bits of purple, teal and orange with the plates and napkins from Target and these streamers from Party City. I also picked up these to-go cups and lids from Party City and decorated them with paper cut outs (made for scrapbooking) from MICHAEL'S Crafts. I also picked up the straws, some more cut out hearts, and cardboard to make the DIY Kissing Booth (see more at the bottom of this post). We picked up balloons the morning of, a dozen for $7 at Walgreens. The lightbox, featuring the theme of the event "For the Love of Tots", I already own, but was previously purchased at MICHAEL'S Crafts.
I pulled together a few treats, as a part of the "goodie bags" for the tots. What toddler doesn't love applesauce... so I made sure to included that and added a cute little "You're My Main Squeeze" label for them (thanks, pinterest) and little to-go baggies of the "Be My Valentine" Cereal Mix that I made for the party see below for recipe. We also have emoji themed temporary tattoos as well.
I made two treats for the party... a "Be My Valentine" Cereal Mix for the tots and a Greek Yogurt Parfait for the Mama's–both we're a huge hit! Recipes below... [one-half-first]
"Be My Valentine" Cereal Mix
Ingredients (serves 8):
3 cups Multi Grain Cherrios
3 cups Strawberry Shredded Wheat -
1 box of Craisans
1 package Organics Tiny Yogurts Pomegranite + Acai
1 package Happy Baby Organic Greek Yogis
Mix all together and enjoy!
Berries & Granola Yogurt Parfait
Ingredients (serves 8):
1 large container 0% greek yogurt
16 - 20 sliced strawberries
1 container of blueberries
Banana walnut granola
8 small jars
Add yogurt, then layer with granola, topped with more yogurt then strawberries, blueberries and sprinkled with chia seeds. Make overnight and serve the next day cold. Will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to incorporate a fun DIY craft for the tots–something they would enjoy doing and something the mamas would love to hang on their wall. While pinning, I came across this amazing pin and knew this was the project I wanted to recreate.
For this project we used the following:
Prior to the party, I cut out the letters, using the painters type and prepped each canvas. The day of, we laid out the paint, brushes and trays and let the tots have at it. Surprisingly, this project wasn't nearly as messy as I had anticipated. With 8 tots total, we split into two groups and had four at this station and four at our next station, so it never felt overwhelming. I also made these Valentine's Day DIY T-Shirts for the tots, so that they wouldn't get their regular clothes dirty (even though the paint was washable). The tots had a blast and their paintings turned out so cute! Jayden's is hanging in his nursery as we speak.
Our second station, was set up for cupcake decorating. I made the strawberry cupcakes ahead of time and then had two types of frosting (strawberry and vanilla) and a variety of sprinkles set up to use. Each tot got two cupcakes to decorate. I naively thought they would be taking them home and had purchased these cute to-go containers to store them in, not thinking, there wouldn't be any left... as you guessed it, they ate them all! Still such a fun activity and thankfully I was able to sneak a few into the kitchen to enjoy the next day.
Don't forget to create a playlist. Of course, Pandora is always a great back up... but I personally like using Spotify and pulling together my own themed playlist. Here's a link to the Valentine's Day Party spotify playlist I created and then ended up playing from our tv/speaker via airdrop. Jayden is a BIG fan of music, so I had to make sure he had some jams, so he could shake his little booty. Last but not least, in my opinion a party is not complete without a photo booth. With it being a Valentine's Day party, I created a "Kissing Booth" and backdrop for the tots to play in, which was also a big hit. I used one of those three part science project poster boards in red, along with cut out hearts, a streamer banner and larger letter stickers. In total, it took about 10 min to make the "Kissing Booth", including the backdrop.
Jayden was the ultimate co-host and I can't wait to plan our next soirée together. I couldn't be more pleased with how the party turned out and as far as I could tell, everyone had a fantastic time–I can't thank these mamas and their tots enough for joining us. We even managed to get a group shot with (almost) everyone looking at the camera and sorta smiling–it only took us 15 tries. The tot only group shot was another story... #momlife