There seems to be a huge trend for over-the-top birthday parties for toddlers. Pony rides, clowns and elaborate spreads are fun, but your toddler might not even notice. Further to that, a popped balloon can be enough to overwhelm the birthday boy or girl, so low key might just be the way to go. Plus, you’re more likely to keep your sanity!

Here’s a look at a few things to avoid when planning your toddler’s birthday party.

1. Don’t leave out details on the invite

To set you up for a stress-free event from the very beginning, make sure your invitations are detailed. For example, rather than just putting a start time, include a finish time so everyone knows when you’ll be packing up. After all, most toddlers still need their naps, so a morning or afternoon event of two to three hours is sufficient.

Let parents know if you need them to stay, or if there’ll be enough adults present to keep an eye on the mini guests. If you don’t want to be inundated with presents you may not use, graciously decline the need to bring any and let guests know their attendance is the best gift of all.

2. Don’t leave your toddler out of the decision-making process

You don’t want to end up with nothing but lollypops for food, however including your toddler in minor details means they’ll know what to expect and get a thrill out of having input. Decorations and colour schemes are a good place to start. Ask your child what favourite character they’d like to set the theme, or which colour to use for balloons and tablecloths.

3. Don’t over-complicate the catering

When you’re organising activities and keeping an eye on a group of toddlers, the last thing you want to do is fuss in the kitchen. Consider hiring event catering in Sydney to take care of the party food. A hot dog cart offering juicy dogs with custom relishes and drinks is a fun choice, and you won’t have to lift a finger! Give party bags containing snacks and juices to children on arrival, rather than at the end, so they have their very own nibbles throughout the event.

4. Don’t arrange overwhelming activities

Sometimes too much excitement can be overwhelming for toddlers, especially when the attention is centred on them. Plus, attention spans tend to be minimal, so fun and simple is the way to go. You can’t go wrong with traditional favourites, such as pass-the-parcel, Ring around the Rosie or a treasure hunt. Statues is a crowd-pleaser, whereby you play a song, stop it randomly and everyone freezes. Be prepared for some very funny poses.

5. Don’t worry about entertaining parents

You want your guests to be comfortable, however this is as simple as providing food, seating and a safe place for children.

Beyond that, don’t feel that it’s necessary to constantly entertain the adults. Everyone understands that it takes effort to run a party, especially with a group of excited toddlers. Plus, it’s more than likely the antics of the littlies will keep the party laughing.

6. Don’t do it all on your own

Especially if you’re having quite a large party, it’s important to ask for help so you don’t have to worry about all the details on your own. Enlist family members, friends and catering services to make the work load easier. Invitations are great for specifying what you need, like asking guests to bring their own chairs for a backyard party or to BYO their favourite drinks.

After you set all the details in place, you’ll find the time to sit back, relax and watch your toddler have a wonderful birthday!