How we Throw a Third Birthday Party

This year our little boy turns three. This week he turns three and which still feels like such a huge number for such a small person. So to celebrate his birthday we threw a little party for him, to see family, play with friends and eat lots of rubbish. So to remember his party and for anyone who’s about to throw a toddler party I’m sharing the decorations we had, who we invited and the food we laid on.

I’ll start with who we invited. I think there’s quite a common misconception that at every age children should have dozens of friends at their party. The thought terrifies me a little. Dozens of sticky hands all over our walls and muddy feet on our carpets, most of the time that’ll just be my two toddler terrors.

While it’s nice for them to have a flurry of friends at their parties as they get older, I don’t think it’s as important when they’re little. It can get a bit overwhelming for them at such a small age and to be honest they wouldn’t care if one or seven children were there. My son just likes another buddy to play with, someone other than his sister. So on that note we only had two other children there. His other little buddies came the following morning for a little play sessions, so it was quite nice to break up the weekend for him.

Along with the two other children, we had adults. Adults everywhere, our friends and family spread themselves around our house and we outnumbered the kiddies. For us, it was nice to have the right people there celebrating with us.

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The decorations were kept simple. They consisted of bunting, a string of lights and balloons. We could have gone overboard, but he wouldn’t have noticed. He had lots of fun playing with the balloons and he did notice the lights. When we were blowing up the balloons in the morning, they kept slipping through my fingers and shooting across the room, making that horrible farting sound. Both kids found it hilarious, so we had great fun doing that for a good half an hour before the party even started! It was one of those things you wish you hadn’t started doing after a while, because you’re never allowed to stop.

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During the party we didn’t have any activities planned at all. I’m just not that kind of mum to have ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ set up. Instead a put plenty of toys in the garden, laid out a few in the house and we all left the kids to their own devices. Despite the lack of games, the kids all had fun.

The food we bought for the party lacked any imagination. I went with food that I knew would get eaten. It bugs me when I spend time and money laying on a spread that looks healthy, fills the table and hardly any of it gets eaten. It’s just one of those things that when you’re at a party, you’re more likely to go for the pizza or chicken strips, rather than a cheese sandwich. So our table looked a little beige, but it was delicious!

Here’s of the list of the food:

  • Breaded chicken pieces

  • Carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and pepper with a few different hummus dips

  • Two large pizzas cut into strips

  • Garlic bread

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Crisps

  • Pitta bread

  • Sausage rolls

  • Cocktail sausages

  • Cheese cubes

  • Spring rolls

  • Wedges

  • French Fancies

  • Birthday cake

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It was a wash of beige food, with the occasional pop of colour from a cherry tomato. But it was party food and I think it’s allowed to be basic as long as it’s tasty. My mum brought over her famous sausage rolls, which are always a hit. The birthday cake we had this year was a Thomas the Tank Engine cake, our son chose it because he’s Thomas’ number one fan.

It was so sweet when we all gathered around to sing happy birthday to him, his face lit up with happiness but he went all shy and buried his face into Mr Firstooths leg. I love the way kids react to the birthday song, you can see it in their faces that they feel so special. The week after our sons first birthday, we bought a muffin out with a candle on every evening and sung happy birthday to him, just to see his sweet smile again.

His friend helped him blow out the candles. Our boy didn’t have much puff in him so he was grateful for the help. She also helped him unwrap his presents, we all laughed but he wasn’t too pleased. She’s also three and such a character, her and my boy spend an equal amount of time playing wonderfully and winding each other up. Funny things.

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So his party was a brilliant day. It was a simple party, because it doesn’t take much effort to please a tiny person during his party. Next year we may be slightly more extravagant, perhaps we’ll buy party rings, who knows. But I don’t want to think about his fourth birthday at all, three has been hard enough for me to come to terms with (which you can read about here).

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