17 answers

Advice for a 2Nd Birthday Party

My little one is about to turn two (yikes!) and we're planning her party in two weeks. We moved recently and are currently living in an apartment since our move was quick. Therefore, we're having her party in the clubhouse at our complex. My question is what kind of activities, if any, should I plan for this soiree? I made a point of only scheduling the party for two hours, and we have a pinata, but I didn't know if the pinata and cake would take up the whole time. I'm thinking we won't do presents until after guests leave (except family)so I want to make sure the kids are entertained. I just kinda need some ideas since I'll have to haul all material with us since we won't be in our home. Any advice or ideas would be appreciated.

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How about finger painting , playdough, coloring with jumbo crayons. Most parents will probably stay with the two year olds so have enough food of all.


Here are a few ideas: Musical chairs. Face painting. "Soul Train Line". Kiddie Bowling. Ring toss or Horseshoes. Balloon Race. Story time or a short cartoon.

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Cake and the pinata will be plenty. Two year olds will just run around a play among themselves. I did wonder why you were not opening gifts until the guests leave. Most people feel that if they are invited to party you will at least open their gifts and show your appreciation.

Craft ideas are great, bring some ride on toys, bubbles ,chuck,sidewalk paint if it's a small space inside, getting the kids out might work better. Have a good time.

Pinata and cake are good-- I would bring a bunch of toys down there and set them out (things she is not overly attached to). We always had the parties at home until my children got a little older and the children who came always would rather have played with the little kitchen or other toys in our playroom. If you have a small table you can set out some play dough or something like that for kids to come and play with. I would just put snacks out for the grown ups and let everyone mingle. Good luck


how about pin the tail on the donkey using tape? No one can get hurt and is fun 4 all ages.

The response you've already gotten is good and I pretty much includes all my suggestions. Just be sure to have a few activity stations that the kids can choose from or have 1 or 2 craft projects like the t-shirt suggestion or you can get kits of foam pieces to make door hangers or bookmarks. Walmart has these with the crafts and they are pretty inexpensive. Be sure to take into account the age of the kids though. Are they all around 2 yrs or is there a wide range of ages? When my oldest turned 2 we had kids from 6 months- 8 yrs at the party. His was a Thomas the Train party so I had a table set up for them to build and play with some of his trains. As part of his gift from us he got a Thomas play tent just before the party and it was set up for the kids to play with too. We had a pinata and cake and presents. But mostly we just let the kids play freely. At 2 yrs. that's what they want to do anyway (mine did at least).

Here are a few ideas: Musical chairs. Face painting. "Soul Train Line". Kiddie Bowling. Ring toss or Horseshoes. Balloon Race. Story time or a short cartoon.

When our kids were 1, 2, and 3 years old we asked the children who were coming to bring their favorite riding toy with them to the party and just let them play.

I hope you are having the parents stay. Two year olds just like to play and two hours will seem like a really long time. Plan activities like the Hokey Pokey, one we do at preschool is pin the tail on the donkey (or nose of something else, does your party have a theme?)but you don't blind fold the children. You let them put it on--it will be challenging and fun for them with two eyes. Use tape of course, not pins. Have an adult close their eyes and do it and have the children "help" them place it. Do a bing bag toss using a big bucket and bing bags. If your area is large enough, have everyone bring their wheeled toy and let them ride, or set up an area with some toys that they can just play. Being at some place different is always exciting. Good luck.

Personally, I think that unless you have told your guests not to bring gifts (or that gifts are optional) and you don't want anyone to feel left out, you should make gift-opening part of the festivities. At this age, opening gifts can be even more fun than the gifts themselves and your child's playmates might want to "help" open them, too. Plus, as the gifts are opened, they provide more things the children can look at and play with.

We didn't have any planned activities at my son's 2nd bday party and it went wonderfully. We just set it up as a fun, unstructured playdate, where children could play and parents could socialize, and the only activities were singing "Happy Birthday," having cake and ice cream, and opening gifts. All of the 2-year-old parties I've been to have been done this way, partly because it is low-maintenance and fun and partly because 2-year-olds' attention spans are not long enough to do a lot of structured activities and games.

Of course, since you're having the party in your apartment complex's clubhouse, you'l need to bring a number of your child's toys from home to the clubhouse so she and her guests will have things to play with.

I hope that helps!

hmmm, maybe go to KB toys and get a cheap ball pit or something for the toddlers to play around in (you could use a cheap baby pool I think they're 7.00 at walmart and buy 100 balls for 4.99)... you could also have a coloring book table set up for the kids to sit and color.... make your own tee-shirt with washable paints and cheap white tee's from a craft store (smeared toddler hand prints are adorable!).... maybe bubbles - all kids love bubbles!

just some economical ideas...

First, if you read books about bdays for little kids, they will tell you to have very few guests for a 2 yr old. She is very young, and lots of people overwhelm them.
So, it is really your party with a child theme. Do what you would do for adults, and the kids will go along with everything. You could set up a special table with all kinds of art things on it, cover the table with paper and let them draw.
Lots of finger snack food, bubbles to blow. You could buy a small kiddie pool and make up a bubble mix and get huge wands. My grandkids love that.

if its a club house im guessing there is a pool???? i would be swimming!

First of all You have a beautiful name! We almost named our baby A. but went with Isabella!

personally I would get a small bouncer! The kids would love it. You could also set up a sprinkler outside obviously. But if you are trying to keep it inside-small bouncer, maybe a pool filled with plastic balls. Remember she is only 2 so she won't remember the party except through the pics you take so have fun with her! Finger painting would be a ton of fun! And messy would make some great pics! You could do a small craft also. Elefun is a great party game, and you could do some toddler dancing (very fun to watch!) There is also a cute FREE water park in Smyrna, that would be worth your drive to come for a party. Its on Enon Springs Road.

I too don't open presents at parties unless its a specific person's gift. As for the gift opening, I put a sign up saying For the sake of sanity: Gifts will be opened after the party. If you would like to see the birthday girl open your gift, please let Mommy know!

How about finger painting , playdough, coloring with jumbo crayons. Most parents will probably stay with the two year olds so have enough food of all.


For our daughter's 2nd bday I had made cupcakes and let each child decorate their own. I had several different kinds of frosting and cute little sprinkles for them to choose from. You could have them decorate cookies instead. Two yrs old is a little young to understand games or anything like musical chairs or pin the tail.....cake and pinata and gifts will take up quite a bit of time. Doing nothing more would be fine too b/c they will be happy just to play with the other kids and parents can socialize.

Have fun! W.

Punching balloons, regular balloons and bubbles were a huge hit at my nieces party. Make sure you have lots of bubbles though, they were the best entertainment of the three but they tend to get spilled. The punching balloons are more sturdy for this age group and were a huge hit as well. Our pinata was a bit too hard for this age to break it, so you might want to perforate it some way toward the bottom so that they can break it. Hope all goes great and she makes some new little friends. Have fun!!!!

Not that you asked, but my son is 4 and I have tried for the last 2 years (when the party has been more than just family) to not open presents and both years I got serious backlash!!

I, too, would prefer to wait, but I don't want to deal with the hurt looks and comments I've gotten, so for party #5, I am throwing in the towel.

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