To the Mom Who Will Settle for Nothing Less Than a GREAT Birthday Party for Their Child
I'll be sharing all the party details and my 3 year old gift guide!
Our little guy is not so little anymore! It's hard to even believe that he is 3 years old now! This was the first birthday for my son that he's understood what a birthday party was all about. So we wanted make it special by celebrating with our family and friends in a fun and casual environment. I'm a firm believer in keeping things simple, fun, and not too terribly expensive either! After all it's a child's birthday party and they'll end up remembering the smiles and laughter more than the food and pretty decorations. But that didn't stop this mama from wanting to add a few fun little details while being thrifty. After all, we wanted this to be a GREAT party for our big boy!
What guided my party planning was trying my hardest to imagine what it would be like to experience all the fun of a 3rd birthday through our son's eyes! From there, it was easy to narrow it down to some simple and fun ideas that encompassed all the things he loves: action play, food, and interaction with family and friends!
I sent out transportation themed evites through Punchbowl (a great cost effective way to get out invitations). Something to keep in mind is the timing of a child's birthday party and to schedule around their normal routine. We followed that rule and scheduled the time of the party from 10:30 AM - Noon for the sole purpose that our toddler still takes an afternoon nap. Although many friends and family stayed after the "end time" it turned out to be great timing for most kids and parents that came because it was before lunch and nap time.
Since the party was transportation themed, we had everything from tractors, to trains, trucks, and street signs used to decorate the house. I added some tractors, caution tape, and a hard hat (not hard to find when your husband and father work at a tool company) next to the cake table. Then I printed up some cute transportation sign place cards from Pinterest (from we heart parties blog) with names like "dirt brownies" and "road sign cheese crackers", and added a Tonka truck and orange cones to the snack counter. I also found a Porta Potty free printable on Pinterest (from just jen blog) that I placed on our bathroom door. The colorful plates, napkins, birthday candle and Happy Birthday sign are all from the Dollar Tree. Side Note: The Dollar Tree is fantastic for finding affordable party decor!
The birthday cake was a vanilla funfetti cake (with pudding mixture to keep it moist!) and funfetti icing (his choices for his birthday cake). Nothing is better than watching your kid blow out their birthday candles!
Entertainment was provided by our amazingly talented and fun neighbors -we are pretty lucky! They put on a juggling act complete with different types of juggling, balloon animals, and hats! Jugglers beware when you ask a 3 year old with a strong arm to throw a ball at you for the juggling act though. My son launched a ball straight at our neighbors stomach but it all played well into the fun act they had put on for our son and guests!
Our son was happy to be the special assistant and proudly told him how old he was!
A magical experience for a 3 year old!
Juggling Act. Look at E.'s smile below! I'd say he was enjoying every minute of it.
Our fabulous neighbors with our son after their performance.
E. got a train table from his grandparents for his birthday (see below for other gift ideas)! This along with plenty of cars, trucks, and trains provided ample amounts of indoor fun for our son and his friends.
My husband and I with our son!
Grandma and Grandpa with their grandson!
Tio Pum (a funny story that only makes sense if you know Portuguese) and Aunt Hannah with their nephew!
Some of our friends enjoying the festivities.
A few of our friends who were enjoying the performance, cake, and play time!
Its overwhelming to us at how much love our son was shown on his birthday! He was and still is ecstatic about his new toys and Disney on Ice experience! If you're in search of some fantastic gift ideas for a 3 year old, check out my Top 10 Gifts for 3 Year Olds List below!
1. VTech Kidizoom Camera (See my previous post Toddler Photography for a gallery of my son's very own pictures. This camera is a durable and fun way for your child to explore taking pictures of their world and gives you a glimpse into their perspective on life.)
2. MagnaTiles (These are 3D Magnetic Building Tiles that are fun for kids and adults too!)
3. The Jesus Storybook Bible (This is a beautifully illustrated storybook bible with easy to understand bible stories.)
4. Tickle Monster Laughter Kit (A kit that has a read-along book and tickle monster gloves that will guarantee some giggles!)
5. Melissa & Doug Activity Table (This activity table is a great size, sturdy, and even comes with a built-in storage drawers for all of your child's trains, cars, legos, and more.)
6. Hot Wheels Stunt Box (This was clearly a Dad chosen gift but our son loves sending his cars flying off the track throughout the house.)
7. Battat Take-A-Part Toys (This is a great STEM toy that can be taken apart and comes with a play drill. It's great for teaching children how to problem solve and it builds fine motor skills and mechanical skills.)
8. Fire Chief Costume (This role play costume is great for building a toddler's imagination.)
9. Kitchen Toys (Great imaginative role play toys for introducing children to the kitchen.)
10. A Training Bike (Some people love the balance bikes but our son has completely skipped this step and is peddling and steering without issue at 3 years old. Great for teaching early coordination. Under $50 too!)
BONUS: Construction Floor Puzzle (A great way for toddlers to learn problem solving skills and the oversized pictures and puzzle pieces are interesting and easier for toddlers to handle.)
Overall, if you're a parent looking to make your child's birthday and birthday party a memorable one, I'd keep it simple and not lose sight of the fun experience it can and should be for your child! I'm sure you'd agree but that beautiful smile on my child's face after all of his special birthday festivities is validation enough for me to set aside my "A-Type" perfectionist mom tendencies and just soak up being in the moment of this joyous occasion with my son.
Hope the party details and gift ideas are useful for others! Do you have any ideas or resources you'd share on how you've made your child's birthday and/or birthday party a memorable one?
*Note* This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means if you were to buy an item I've suggested, I’d get a tiny commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Trouvaille Gal!*