I know early is better for todler parties, but what if Aunt Bessie is coming from PA?True, the earlier you schedule a todler party the better. The kids are at their best. Your friends prefer to get the party out of the way so they can schedule other events in their day (unless their older kids have Saturday morning sports, of course). But what if Aunt Bessie is driving in from Pennsylvania and ...there's no way that you can have a morning party? Start as early as possible in the afternoon, right? Maybe not. Famous pediatrician and author, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton recommends a nap between noon and 2 pm, and most parents nap their todlers approximately in this slot, so scheduling a party in the afternoon before 3 pm. may be awkward. Sometimes the result is that people arrive late. After reading this, you may be tempted to start even later, say 4 pm, but do beware of entering the Cranky Zone. So, for an afternoon party, 3 pm is about right, entertainment at 3:15 or 3:30, followed by pizza (or alternative) at 4:15 pm, then cake.
Pizza is the superhero of children’s party meals. You order out for it, kids love it, end of story. But for those of you who want to elicit oohs and ahs by knocking pizza off its pedestal, this is for you. As many of you know I ran a children’s birthday party place in Wilton for a few years. For one party, a mom came in with a corded hot pot filled with mac & cheese sprinkled with green peas. The toddlers ate it. Megan Cooley on About.com suggests making ordinary sandwiches fun by cutting them with cookie cutters. Squidoo.com has this recipe for a taco salad:
Set out a bowl of cut up lettuce, and surround it with the various ingredients for a taco salad- chopped tomatoes, beans, shredded cheese, seasoned ground beef, cooked cubed chicken, corn chips, corn, and various salsas. Let the kids assemble their own salads. All right, I know – this is nowhere as straightforward as making a call to Planet Pizza or Letizzia’s. But even I would dig into either of these savory dishes. But come to think of it, I have no qualms about pizza either.