My little baby is now 3 years old! I can’t believe what a toddler I now have! Jack is talkative, smart, silly, active and full of personality… and now that he understands the whole birthday party thing, he was eager to help plan his 3rd!
One of Jack’s very first favorite characters was Daniel Tiger. In fact, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was the first TV show he ever really watched. I love the amazingly simple ways the show teaches little kids about everyday experiences and promotes emotional intelligence. Jack still loves Daniel and I thought it would be the perfect theme for his 3rd Birthday before he outgrows the sweet little tiger!
Since his newborn days, Jack and I started spending lots of time in Mommy & Me classes. The classes have evolved from baby yoga to crawlers classes to toddler music. These days our current favorite is The Little Gym. We go to our gym a few days a week and I’m very impressed by the philosophy behind the curriculum. They instill confidence and teach social skills without stress on competition (big scores from this Social Worker Mama!) Jack has not only grown physically attending The Little Gym but he’s also learning a lot about socialization.
So Jack’s 3rd Birthday Party was an easy choice: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood at The Little Gym!
It was awesome to see Jack with new friends his own age as his party guests (the first time, since his 1st and 2nd birthdays were mainly adults and family friends.) We had a ball shopping for and planning the party together…I highly recommend letting little ones help with the plans since it gets them excited and helps them understand how to be a good host or hostess 😉
Jack had fun putting together party favors with me. I found these awesome trolley boxes online. They folded together easily and were beautiful! Jack helped me fill them with a handful of toddler-safe, unmessy treats… PlayDoh (his alltime fave!), crayons, noisemakers, stickers, little kid sunglasses, etc.
I put the favor boxes at each place setting to keep the kids busy at meal time, along with coloring pages I set out at the table. Why should 2 and 3 year olds have to wait for favors til after a party?!
The kids spent 45 minutes in the gym bouncing, running, and climbing like happy little monkeys. The parents were all involved and there were a lot of laughs from kids and grownups alike!
We sang some of Jack’s favorites like “Wheels on the Bus” as we lifted the colorful parachute (my favorite!) above the giggling kids.
The air track was a big hit, and it was such fun to see these littles bouncing around.
The cutest was that Birthday Boy Jack got to go for a ride in the middle as the big bouncy inflated!
Birthdays don’t mean a lack of whining! lol Jack must’ve said, “I want cake!” twenty times before it was time to cut the masterpiece! Here he is bolting the moment the teacher announced it was time to leave the gym and “GO HAVE CAKE!”
In the party room, I decorated with “Daniel colors” (red, yellow, and blue) and rainbow polka dots to resemble the streets in the Neighborhood of Make Believe.
I found Daniel party goods plus some great rainbow items at Party City, including paper serving cups which were perfect vessels for tiny toddler treats like rainbow Grr-ific Goldfish, O The Owl’s Organic Cheese Puffs, and Prince Wednesday’s Pretzels. Jack even helped me come up with the alliteration food names 😉
Jack couldn’t stop sneaking nibbles from my beautiful table 😋
The kids devoured the pizza and had fun playing and “mingling” in the party room. (Ever watch toddlers mingle? It’s a riot 😋)
The cake was the star of the food table. It was another beauty by Mrs. B’s Cakes based on an idea I came up with. I wanted the cake to feature those trademark rainbow dots from the streets of the Neighborhood of Make Believe and the iconic trolley…with my Jack riding on it! Mrs. B’s did a fabulous job bringing my trolley idea to fruition. Now my little guy really is edible!
I threw on some Daniel Tiger character toys and get a load of this beauty!
I loved watching Jack blow out his candles now that he’s old enough to know what to do… and loved that he still needs some help from Mama 😍
The cake didn’t just look great, it tasted great too! Both flavors of cake were “yum yum yummy in our tum tum tummies”: the white cake filled with strawberries and cream, and the chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse. Jack gobbled his up!
I cut and painted a trolley photo prop for Jack and all his friends to take pictures in before the end of the party. It came out really cute and the best part was that Jack helped me with it. Every chance to involve kids in the party planning is such a special learning experience for them… and amazing bonding time for parents too!
I’m so happy I was able to throw this party for my growing baby. A week after his party, we were leaving class at The Little Gym and Jack smiled from ear to ear pointing at the party room and said, “Look Mommy, that’s where my party was!” I felt so good that I was able to give him that special day to remember. It’s moments like that that make it all worth it 😍
Photos by Jac & Jules Photography