When a toddler celebrates a birthday, we want it to be unique. And although they may not remember the party later on, the memory lives with us, the parents, which is why we want it to be special. While themes for a toddler birthday party run the gamut from simplistic (based on colour or design, like polka dots) to character-driven (Paw Patrol party, anyone?) and downright over-the-top.
So here are 15 themes for a toddler birthday party that are relatively easy and inexpensive to carry out, and will surely make your little one's birthday one for the history books.
15 Mickey Mouse
What kid doesn't love this timeless mouse? Mickey Mouse and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (are you singing the theme song? Us too) will provide you with tons of birthday party inspiration, from decor ideas to games, loot bags, and more.
Look for lots of red, white and black, as well as circular patterns, to infuse your toddler birthday party with whimsical fun. And don't forget the ears (which you can make with inexpensive headbands). Set up a Hot Diggity Dog station for lunch.
14 Minnie Mouse
That squeaky voice, those batting eyelashes... Minnie Mouse is irresistible, and can play the hostess (with the mostess) with this perfect theme for a toddler birthday party.
Use pink and lots of polka dots (you can find inexpensive circular stickers at most dollar stores to add to banners, paper cups, and goody bags), and don't forget to incorporate Minnie's iconic bow as often as possible (on the backs of chairs and on the birthday cake, of course).
Beep beep! Vroom vroom! Choo chooooo! Trucks, cars, trains, and airplanes will always get your toddler revved up for a great birthday party. Snacks can include brownies or Rice Krispie treats decorated with red, yellow and green M&Ms (to look like stoplights) along with small sandwiches cut out with transportation-themed cookie cutters.
Use colored electrical tape to "create" roads (yellow dashes) or train tracks (with black grid patterns) on the floors, stairs, or front walkway. Add some small chocolate doughnuts to the sweet table (they look like tires!).
12 Farm Party
Mooove over for a cute toddler birthday party theme where the ideas for decor, food and more are endless! Pigs in a blanket, deviled eggs and a veggie platter from "the garden patch" are just a few ways to incorporate the theme into the menu, and there are lots of fun games you can play with little ones that are farm-centric.
Go apple or berry picking. Hold the party at a local farm. Don't forget a great giveaway for guests (maybe a metal bucket filled with candy, or a small pot with garden accessories).
11 Carnival or Circus
Everyone loves going to a great fair or circus, and now you can bring it to the masses with this unique toddler birthday party theme.
Create a big top with red and white streamers suspended from the ceiling, set up some old-fashioned carnie games (and be sure to have prizes), add lots of balloons to the mix, do some face painting, and make sure to prep some theme-appropriate snacks (popcorn, corn dogs, and cotton candy - which could be quite the experience for your toddler, who may have never tried this strange and delicious concoction).
Children love bubbles, so give them bubble overload at their birthday party with a clear ball pit, bubble machine, bubble-themed loot bags, and a bubble-tastic birthday cake. You can even invite kids to wear their bathing suits to the party and create pools with bubble solution and giant wands and hoops.
9 Dolly Party
The only requirement of this toddler birthday party theme is that each guest "bring your favourite baby doll" (BYFBD). Set up little beds, play kitchens with play food, diaper changing stations, and more, and let all the little mommies (and daddies) get together for a playgroup bash.
If you have a little reader, a book-theme is great for all. You could hire a professional animator to do an interactive storytime session (or an outgoing parent), and then give out books, bookstore gift cards, or even library memberships in lieu of a loot bag.
7 Construction Trucks
Picture chips, pretzels and the like being served in your kid's giant Tonka trucks on a yellow and black table, plus orange construction cones as well as kids running around in personalized construction hats or bright yellow vests. If you have a child who loves building, then they need a construction truck toddler birthday party theme like this one.
6 Monster Bash
We did the monster mash.... we're not talking scary The Walking Dead-themed parties here. No, we're more about colourful silly-faced creatures that are funny and can be incorporated into a wide range of party accessories. Let guests make their own funny-faced monster cupcakes (and then take a few home) with mini marshmallows, candy googly eyes, sprinkles and more.
Ahoy, matey, we arrrgh in love with this theme! Foam swords and eye patches, scavenger hunts and chocolate coins, and maybe even some sandbox play - you can do so much with this idea! From a simple treasure hunt to talk like a pirate during the whole time, you can go as far as you like with this amazing theme.
They may be extinct, but kids haven't stopped loving dinosaurs, especially when it comes to celebrating a birthday. Many cities have reptile experts who can play host at a kid's 'do (if your budget allows). Hide things in "dinosaur eggs" and make the kids go hunting, or plan a "dig" in a sandbox for dinosaur bones. Serve snacks for both the "herbivores" and the "carnivores" (veggies with dip, and hot dogs).
3 Ice Cream Party
I scream, you scream... the kids will scream for ice cream! Ask a toddler what their favorite snack is, and they'll undoubtedly pick this icy treat. We're envisioning make-your-own sundae bars or cupcakes baked into ice cream cones (like your mom used to prepare for your class).
Make ice cream-themed decorations by creating a brown paper cone and topping it with a brightly colored balloon (to look like the ice cream on top).
Parents may shudder at this sugar-heavy toddler birthday party theme, but the kids will surely love it, especially the honoree. Invite kids to make their own candy necklaces, or instead of goody bags, let guests fill a bag at a candy buffet.
Another idea is to let the toddlers (with the help of their parents) create their own "toddler trail mix" with different candies, cookies, and other snacks (be sure that nothing is a choking hazard).
1 Under the Sea
Fish, dolphins, whales, sharks... they are all fun little critters and they can all be incorporated into a toddler birthday party theme.
Games could include fishing for magnetized creatures in a kiddie pool, or playing with "an aquarium" that you can create by fashioning a giant felt board on a wall where little ones can pin different underwater friends (that are cut out of felt as well). Send friends home with a little fishing set, or goldfish snacks or candies.