Leah Elizabeth Photography

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Welcome to Value Minded Mama. This is my creative space where I document motherhood moments, cool kiddo and family finds, my super simple casual mommy style, saving time and money tips, our travels/adventures and being a stay at home mom. I love that you're here! Please stop by one of my posts (or fill out the contact form) and let me know how you found me. I love making friends and connecting with new people. Feel free to check out my social media channels below for more from Value Minded Mama.

Toddler Birthday Ideas

Toddler Birthday Ideas

We just celebrated my son's 2nd birthday this past weekend. Everyone had such a good time, and it was pretty effortless and stress free to prepare. I chose to make it that way, though. You see, I didn't really have a "theme". There are just so many to chose from, and often times they take a lot of planning and extra expense to get what you want/need. And of course, we all know that Pinterest has the greatest resources when it comes to finding birthday inspo, but sometimes it can be really overwhelming. So, I did some research and used my own experiences to create the perfect outdoor, summer, fun in the sun, water party. Just see how fun and cost effective this party was!


Food & Drink

1. Easy, simple, quick finger foods that are kid friendly and not very messy.

2. Have family bring stuff (fruit, potluck style). I never turn down help with food if people offer!!

3. Easy dessert options (cupcakes over cake - easy individual portions, no plate/cutlery needed). I also put different amounts of icing on them, because some people (myself included) don't like a lot of icing and I wanted people to have options.

4. Drinks should be most accessible where people are going to be. Outside, we had a cooler full of water bottles and soft drinks for the adults. In a second cooler we had an assortment of Kaprisun's, more water bottles and popsicles for the kids. Inside, I had sweet tea with an ice bucket for those that wanted to deal with cups.



1. Keep it simple (balloons, streamers, banner). I actually wasn't going to have any decorations inside because it was an outdoor party. However, there was a chance of rain, so I wanted it to be festive in case we had to be inside for a little while. I already had all of these decorations from his 1st birthday, so I literally just had to set them up. Easy peasy. Use what you have!

2. Outdoor water party - that's the theme, so that's the decorations!


Games/Things to Do

1. Easy, theme related (pool, slip & slide, sprinkler toy, water table). We already had the pool from last season (FREE), the slip & slide and sprinkler toy were from Walmart ($12, $10) and the water table was a gift for Silas from my in-laws.

2. Outside toys already at home (balls, toys, bikes).

3. Supplement with things from the Dollar Tree (water guns, squirt toys, bubbles, beach toys). 

3. Bubble station - because what toddler doesn't love bubbles?!?



1. Place for opening presents. Since we were outside and everyone was wet, we just opened the gifts outside and then kids could go back to playing.

2. Comfortable for adults & kids. We cleaned out our garage car port to make it more spacious, kid friendly, and less dangerous/hazardous. It also provided much needed shade from the sun, and a cool place to eat lunch. We used our outdoor wooden chairs for seating, and also had family bring extra stadium chairs. Add a portable fan, and you're golden. If you don't have a structure for extra shade, you could always use umbrellas or pop-up canopy tents (which we had and used both of).

3. Sunscreen & bug spray station. I felt like I needed to provide these things, since I was the one hosting an outdoor summer water party. Most people probably brought their own spf, because we all have young pail children. But, I knew we had a lot of bugs at our house too, so I wanted people to be prepared for that as well. So, I just went ahead and stocked up on everything we would possibly need for a day outside.

4. As this was an outdoor party, I didn't want anyone wet going inside the house. BUT kids have to use the bathroom, parents get soaked - it's inevitabel. So, I lined a path to the bathroom with towels to help keep my house semi-dry, but also give guests access to what they would need.

5. Party favors! The best part of any party for anyone who is not the birthday boy/girl. I was so proud over these party favors. I wanted to get everything from Oriental Trading, but I waited to long to place my order (figures), so I had to get the fillers from Amazon. Luckily they had almost the exact same items (from Oriental Trading, believe it or not), and I was able to get them on time. They are really simple, but super fun and kid approved. The ONLY downfall was, I forgot to mention them to guests as they were leaving, so no one actually got any. :( Major party fail on my part! Make sure you put them in a place everyone will see as they are leaving...

Well, that's it for this birthday extravaganza! All in all, I think everyone had a really great time (at least that's what they told me). It's really flippin hot in July, so we've got to work with what our situation is. I was actually inspired to throw this party from a birthday we went to the month before. They had a very similar them/style and I thought it would be perfect for our home too, because we have the fenced in back yard and very little mingling room inside our house (70's split level). I know my son passed out happy and enjoyed every bit of the day. In the end, it's his party and all that matters is that he had fun and is happy. <3 Amanda

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