Because toddlers like to party

I’ve had my share of fun toddler parties. Oh, not for birthdays and such, mind you (I’m rarely that organized), but for unexpected stuff, like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. We always host our whole mom’s group on the Fourth of July, dads included, and everyone has a fantastic time just running around the yard, picnicing with babies on blankets, climbing in the fort and sliding down, swinging until the moms’ arms hurt, and adventuring in the forest. Oh, and eating. We always eat a lot.

For the past three years, I’ve also hosted a New Year’s Eve party, where we get the little guys together for a morning playdate that culminates at noon with a big countdown, a celebration, and lots of squealing. We do the “ball drop” by giving each kid a ball to throw up in the air at the end of the countdown (at noon). We skipped the traditional noon ball drop this year, but celebrated quietly with very good friends and a progressive dinner. Progressive because the other mom had made dinner and I had offered to host dessert. So we went to her house for dinner, wrapped all the kids up and put them in the car, and came over to our house for ice cream sundaes, wii games, and a whole lotta train play. Cause that’s how we roll.

My favorite nonstandard party activity was for Widget’s birthday last fall, when we cut out dozens of animal pictures from the Baltimore Aquarium and Best Friends magazines, pasted them to bendy straws, and hid the animal pictures around the yard and the forest so we could have an Animal Rescue adventure. (My big kid is very into Diego and animal rescuing.) Which works out well for us, since we’re kind of animal rescuers ourselves, having fostered 35 beagles in 3 years before the kids came along.

We’re at it again over here at Toddler Planet. Or, apparently, unusual party central. This time, I’ve volunteered to host the pack of kids for an Inauguration Party. We’ll get together that morning and spend the day playing and talking about the new president and what we think might happen in the next few years. (You know, like turning five.) It’s a once-in-a-childhood opportunity for these kids, growing up so close to the District, but there’s no way we’re going to take kids this little downtown for the inauguration or parades. There’s just too much going on, too fast for toddlers and preschoolers to have a good time.

So here’s where you come in. What would you plan for an inauguration party for preschoolers? What games would you include? Crafts? Party hats? I’d love to hear some ideas as I brainstorm over here as well.


8 Responses to Because toddlers like to party

  1. abbyjess says:

    I was planning on using circle cookie cutters to make O cookies. You could do that and let the kids have red, white, & blue frosting to decorate them. Add sprinkles and maybe some candy treats and you have snack and activity. You could even do a whole O theme with balls (ball pit), balloons, hulahoops , etc.

  2. whymommy says:

    Ooooh, great idea. Love it! I’ve got a few other things planned now too … including a parade of children up and down the street, with noisemakers, after the swearing-in at noon.

    I know — you all want to be my neighbors now. 🙂 We’ll try not to be too much trouble … but I do want to give the kids an opportunity to celebrate, in a way that they’ll remember!

  3. *m* says:

    I definitely suggest little flags for all — my kids always loved them. And check out the FamilyFun magazine website — type in “fourth of July” and you will get lots of cute ideas. I have used this site often for party ideas. Have fun!

  4. Amy says:

    You are so cool. I want to come to your parties!

    I always go food, so I’d do Irish, Kenyan, and Hawaiian food (you could be the first hostess to ever serve corned beef and cabbage, poi, and something Kenyan – a google revealed several interesting menus – all at once!). One of our restaurants here does a really good Irish pizza, which is corned beef, green onions, and white cheese (not mozz, though, I’d have to call and find out what it is) on a thin crust with a garlic sauce. That would be kid friendly.

    Amy @

  5. Monica says:

    I would stock up on glue sticks & red, white and blue construction paper. Cut strips and stars in advance and let them make their own flags.

    And these are pretty cool too!!

    Of course you must serve arugula and other East Coast elitist foods. 😉

  6. Amanda says:

    Ooh, what about creating a globe on the garage floor in chalk, let the kids earn the privilege to create bridges between the countries to dignify the potential of what can be done with the new administration, liken it to making friends.
    Make scrolls and use black crayons to create constitution type documents.
    Create a heirarchy, with enough posts for all attendees and have a coronation/inauguration/crowning ceremony.

  7. JessicaAPISS says:

    Love love these creative party ideas! My kids love talking about the Obama girls, how they’ll go to school and live in the White House and get a puppy. There’s some fun books at the library on White House pets and kids for a storytime? But that’s not as creative as animal rescuing!!! xoxo

  8. mamalang says:

    I’ve never admitted this, but every time I hear the Barack Slogan “Yes, we can”, I hear Bob the Builder.

    Have a parade, maybe a “ball” dance.

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