My son is turning 18 months in just a few days and it had me wondering how in the heck time has passed by so quickly. I started to reminisce about his first birthday and how we were able to incorporate books into his party and started to mentally plan a few more ways to incorporate books on his second birthday. I thought it’d be fun to share it with everyone!

Create a book goodie bag

So, everyone knows when you leave a child’s party you always get a bag of goodies that generally consists of small inexpensive toys that get tossed or lost by the end of the day… and candy. For my son’s first birthday I knew I wanted to do something different. His theme was dinosaurs and I ended up tossing a little golden book (dinosaur themed), a small dinosaur trivia book from Usborne, a dino bookmark, and a mini dino rubber duck into a dinosaur drawstring bag. Overall, it ended up costing me about $9.97 per bag and one bag covered a family. We only had 3 families with children attend so it was just under $30. Bear in mind you don’t have to make the goodie bags this large. I could have stuck with a little golden book and a bookmark and it would have costed me under $3 a bag but I’m a crazy person lol. Long story short gifting a book in the goodie bags will last a lot longer than some toy or candy and I know the parents at our party were grateful. It’s a goodie that the whole family can enjoy again and again.

Substitute the card for an inscribed book

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cards, like I don’t know that I’ve ever thrown one away. I have boxes of cards at my home and in my childhood home that I’ve been gifted over the years. However, I saw this suggestion and couldn’t deny how special it was. Choosing a book that represents your child’s interests and personality at that time and writing a sentimental note along with some of the things he loves will be something your child can cherish for many years to come. If giving up the card just seems like too much, do both!

Have a birthday party book swap

This could work great for parents who are trying to stay minimal or maybe you have ENOUGH toys and clothes for your child and can’t stand the thought of acquiring more. Request in your invites that each guest simply bring a wrapped book. Your family will also choose a book to wrap. At the party create a book table and allow the birthday boy/girl to choose first. Each child will get to choose a book from the table too, gifts for everyone! Keep in mind you could do this in substitution of gifts or in addition to, whatever makes sense for your family. This is definitely something I will be incorporating at my son’s next birthday!

Make storytime a party activity

This idea came to me while I was mentally planning my son’s second birthday 6 months in advance! lol. Games are almost always a part of the birthday activities, a piñata, pin the tail on the donkey, etc. Why not grab your child’s favorite picture book, gather the kids around, and have a fun read-aloud? This is a great way to wind down, maybe doing it towards the end of the party and an opportunity for everyone to connect.