Jona Turns Two! Plus Tips for Stress Free Party Planning

It's a little hard to believe, but I have a two year old now. Jona celebrated his second birthday on Saturday, August 15th, and we had a small dinosaur-themed celebration. For some reason Jona has always loved dinosaurs; it was the first animal sound he said, and several of his favorite books have been dinosaur books.

toddler dinosaur birthday party |

Last year he was hesitant about trying cake and frosting. This year, he wasted no time and dove right in. Smart boy. 

His new lawn mower was a favorite gift.
And how many people does it take to put together a toy grill? Three men and two toddlers, apparently. These photos c/o my step-mom, Gail. 

Tips for stress-free party planning - toddler dinosaur birthday |

The thought of hosting a party with our house on the market made me a little bit tempted to throw my hands up in the air and say "Jona won't know the difference if we don't throw him a party this year, right?" (And honestly, he wouldn't.) However, I managed to both survive and have a great time celebrating my little dinosaur. Here are a few things that worked for me. 

{one} Don't be a hero. Buy the cupcakes. I love to bake. I love to cook. However, to keep my sanity in tact I went to Sam's Club and ordered thirty cupcakes with lime green frosting. That was $15 well-spent. I let the store help with other food prep as well; I bought pre-cut fruit, pre-made fruit dip, and donut holes from a donut shop. Yes, it cost a little more, but it saved me time in both the prep and the clean-up. No regrets. 

{two} Shop smart and decorate with what you have. Since we already had several dinosaur books, we used them as decorations on the table and on bookshelves. Rather than buying EVERYTHING dinosaur-themed, I chose simple (and disposable!) plates, silverware, and napkins in blue and lime green, my party's colors. I bought a tub of 60 miniature dinosaur figurines and used them as cupcake toppers and party favors. I did the same thing with dinosaur stickers, using some to decorate food labels, the rest to entertain sticker-loving toddlers. I also cut out dinosaur footprints from construction paper and taped them to our front steps; easiest decoration ever! 

{three} Choose a non-meal time to host your party. We had Jona's party at 10 in the morning, and we provided some light snacks and cupcakes. No one expects a full meal mid-morning (or late afternoon, etc.) so that means you have fewer snacks to plan. 

{four} Go outside. If weather permits, herd all those crazy kiddos outside. We did it after Jona opened his gifts, knowing that he'd likely get several outdoor toys. We were right, and the kids had a great time helping Jona breaking in his lawn mower, grill, and bubbles. Not only does this reduce the mess inside, but it also eliminates the need for planned kids' activities. 

{five} Keep it small. Now is not the time to send a Facebook invite to all 243 of your closest friends. Keeping it small definitely helps keep the stress to a minimum, plus you have fewer thank you notes to write. Win, win! 

Some dino-mite toddler reads (har har): 

favorite dinosaur books for toddlers |

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Several of these dinosaur party ideas were Pinterest finds, so I'm linking up to Pin to Present at In Residence

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