Hosting The Ultimate Toddler Party

  • Swanky
  • September 07, 2021

The beauty of hosting the ultimate toddler party is that toddlers are so easily pleased! Our little ones can find fun wherever they go. Keeping them entertained is more about channelling their curiosity and sense of adventure into safe, family-friendly activities. And, of course, looking after their grown-ups while the toddlers enjoy themselves!

So when that special occasion arises and you want to throw the ultimate toddler party to celebrate, here are a few inspired ideas to help you host an event that everyone will enjoy.

4 Steps To Planning The Ultimate Toddler Party

When you’re planning a toddler party there are essentially only four elements that go into pulling-off the perfect day.

1. Pick A Theme

The fun bit. What does your toddler love? Are they mad about dinosaurs? Starry-eyed about space? Do they have a passion for princesses? Or maybe your toddler has one of those completely random obsessions that toddlers often have - like hoovers, or ants or bubbles. Whatever it is that your little one adores, it’s a great starting point when it comes to inspiration for everything else.

2. Choose The Decor

Some people love the creative aspect of putting together Pinterest boards, hand-crafting decorations and transforming their home into an Instagram-worthy party venue. Others aren’t so keen. But balloons, bunting and plenty of toys and food are enough to transform your home into an exciting, magical party-world for your toddler. Take a look at some of our DockATot roomscapes below for decor inspiration.

pink and rose tent of dreams set-up for the ultimate toddler party

A delightful set-up with our Tent of Dreams and Present Tense floor cushion in William Morris Pink and Rose and decorative pillows in William Morris Brer Rabbit.

DockATot Golden Willow Boughs Tent of Dreams and Grande dock
Our truly decadent Golden Willow Boughs print from the Regal Romance collection - the Grande dock and Tent of Dreams simply shine! 

3. Supply Refreshments

Of course, the center-piece for a party has got to be the cake! Whether you make your own or hire a professional, your toddler will be delighted no matter what. A useful tip to make a professional looking cake is to use toys as decorations. Use a Barbie to make a fairy-princess cake, diggers and a pile of brown sugar ‘dirt’ to make a digger cake, or toy dinosaurs and faux foliage to make a prehistoric jungle cake

Toddlers are notorious for being picky eaters. So finger-foods are the perfect way to keep little ones happy. As a parent of a toddler you’re probably already familiar with the classic, go-to finger foods: crudités with hummus, fruit kebabs, breadsticks and little sandwiches. If you’re feeling creative, take a look at these inspired, healthy toddler finger food ideas.

And finally, don’t forget the grown-ups! A glass of ice-cold bubbly or hot tea, depending on the mood!

4. Plan A Couple of Activities

There’s no need to organise structured activities for a toddler party. They’re often happiest with free-play time. The key is to make sure there are enough toys and activities for everyone to play with - we all know how hard toddlers can find it to share! That being said, it’s always good to have one or two simple activities up your sleeve if the occasion calls for it. Bubbles are a great activity for toddler parties, and if you’re feeling brave, messy play is always popular.

Toddler Party Ideas

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few toddler party theme ideas and activities that preschoolers will love.

1. Den Building

Pile-up the cushions and let them play! Den building is a great activity that can be applied to any party theme. Perhaps they’re making a safari lodge, or a princess castle or a magical dinosaur cave. Help them set-up their play tent and clip-up some blankets for the perfect toddler party activity.

toddler party den building with the theodosia play tent of dreams

We’ve used the Theodosia play tent and our collection of William Morris & Co cushions to build this cosy little den.

2. Garden Party of Dreams

For summer birthdays, garden parties can be absolutely magical. Put-up a play tent and lay-out cushions on the lawn for an idyllic afternoon in the sun. Flowers, pretty pinks and bunting are perfect for a princess party. Lay-out some fancy dress outfits for the toddlers to discover and help them craft beautiful princess party hats and fairy wings using flower petals.

dockatot toddler garden party setup

La Vie en Rose play tentcushions and Grand Dock make the perfect setting for a magical princess garden party.

Or perhaps, you could opt for a safari-themed garden party. Move your house plants outside, set-up a ‘safari’ tent and hide soft toy animals amongst your garden foliage for your toddlers to spot. A great craft activity for a jungle-themed party is to make little safari binoculars from cardboard tubes. Toddlers can decorate them with crayons, pens and stickers, then all you need to do is tape them together.

dockatot toddler garden party safari

Bring some safari excitement to the party with a play tent, floor cushions and Chambray Grand Dock.

3. Jungle Fun

If the weather’s not so great, perhaps you’d like to move your jungle-themed party indoors. Den building is a brilliant indoor activity for a jungle party. You could also adjust some classic nursery rhymes to feature all sorts of different jungle animals and actions. They’ll love stomping around as elephants, snapping like crocodiles or roaring like tigers!

It’s all about the leopard print with the Painted Spots Tent of Dreamsfloor cushion and Dream Weaver moses basket.

4. Teddy Bear’s Tea Party

For little children, often the food IS the entertainment. Make food center-stage by hosting a Teddy Bear’s Picnic party. Set out some cushions, a few soft toys, plates and cups and let your little ones play while they eat. Scones, finger sandwiches and tiny slices of cake are the perfect refreshments for a Teddy’s tea party. 

Fine china may not be ideal for a toddler’s tea party, but the Pink & Rose Tent of Dreams and floor cushions make a beautiful setting for a teddy bear’s picnic!


We hope these ideas have inspired you to enjoy planning that special occasion for your little one. Whatever you decide to do, ultimately the perfect toddler party is all about building happy memories together and celebrating that little person you love so much.

Shop Grand Docks and Play Tents.

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