Want ideas on planning a Halloween party for your toddler? Find ideas in this post sponsored by Tree Top!
Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year to have a kid. Seeing little babies and toddlers dressed up and engaged in all of the spooky decorations brings me so much joy. Last year, Jamie was just 6 months old, so he wasn’t as into it. This year, at a year and a half, he is getting the biggest kick out of all of the jack-o-lanterns, black cats and costumes!
We have quite a few friends with little ones who are around Jamie’s age, so we got together at the Happy Hallow Zoo in San Jose for a fun Halloween party. Our friends at Tree Top were there sampling flavors and showing off their new see-through pouches, so the timing was perfect. We even had a visit from their mascot, Seymore Good!
When I threw parties in the past, I would always get overwhelmed. I wanted to make everyone had a good time, you know? I’d worry about whether there would be enough food, and if the activities would be well received. I stressed myself all the way out over kiddie parties. Mad woman. That’s the only way to describe what I was. A mad woman.
Once Jamie was born, I realized I needed to chill. My new party philosophy is this: Parties for children are supposed to be fun and easy for everyone, even the mama. I’ve hosted so many parties for babies and kids that I thought I’d share my easy peasy plan with y’all. Whether for Halloween or any time of the year, this plan will make sure you have a great party and get to enjoy it!
Start with a theme.
The most important part of planning any party is starting with a theme. Not only will it pull everything in the party together from food to decorations, but it also gives your guests an idea of what to expect. When you’re hosting children, keep in mind that they’re all different, and their parents might need to prepare them for what’s coming up.
The theme for our party was #SeeTheGood Halloween, so we didn’t have any scary decorations or crazy food. All of the decorations and activities were designed with kids in mind. Since Tree Top’s pouches are clear and allow us to see all the yummy, good applesauce inside, I incorporated them into the theme as well.
Plan the food for the kiddos, not the adults.
Oh my goodness, this is a lesson I learned the hard way. Back in the day, I would have tons of food, sometimes catered, for my kids’ parties. At the end of the event, there would be so much left. When kids come to a party, they’re hyped up and want to play and engage with each other. They’re not interested in sitting down and having a big plate of food. The parents are so busy chasing their kids around that they don’t really have time to eat.
What does that mean? Think finger foods. Lots and lots of finger foods. Fruit, crudité, cheese, chips and salsa, Tree Top pouches. You know, things your guests can pick up and eat on the go. Remember, too, that even if you are throwing a Halloween party, that little kids don’t need a whole bunch of candy. They won’t even expect it if you don’t provide it.
We had a few small packets of Halloween sweets, but put Tree Top applesauce pouches on all of the tables. All of the kids reached for those first, and some of them had more than one! At only 50 calories per pouch with flavors like Cinnamon, Mango, Tropical, and Strawberry plus no added sugar, they’re still delicious and sweet. They were perfect for our little guests and a fantastic alternative to candy for Halloween, especially for little kids.
Keep activities simple.
Similar to planning the food for the kids, you should make sure the activities are kid-friendly as well. I’ve learned from experience that complicated projects may seem super cool during the planning phase, but execution is a whole ‘nother story! If you’ve never had a group of excited children trying to understand a set of detailed instructions while sweat pours down your face, trust that it’s not something you want to experience.
At our #SeeTheGood Halloween Party, our guests put “disguises” on their Tree Top see-through applesauce pouches. They used Halloween themed foam cut-outs and stickers to make super cute ghosts and goblins. The best part is that those became their party favors! Our community is semi-crunchy and not really interested in taking home goodie bags or a lot of stuff, but this easy project was a cool (and delicious) way for them to take a little piece of the party home with them.
No matter how much you plan, when you’re hosting a party for kids, you have to be flexible. Take our Halloween party for example. I asked guests to wear costumes, and my own son, my co-host, didn’t want to put his on! I could have forced him, but that wouldn’t have been much fun at all.
Also, the kids weren’t interested in posing for pictures. I forgot to pick up the cheese tray. We didn’t have a bowl for the popcorn. Our party area wasn’t quite ready for us to set up when we go there. All of those things? No. Big. Deal. I stayed calm, so the other adults stayed calm, which means the kids were calm. Everyone left saying how much fun they had, and thanked me for a really great time. Man, I should have been doing this chill party host things years ago!
Remember the goal: have fun!
No one wants to come to a party where the host is stressed out over every little thing. People come to parties to have fun. No matter what goes on, let that be your goal. If it isn’t fun, scrap it. Remember, kids are incredibly easy to please. You’ve already won just by sending the invitation!
Thank you to Tree Top for sponsoring our #SeeTheGood Halloween party. For more information on their ridiculously good applesauce in six different flavors (now in see through pouches!), follow them on Instagram and Twitter.