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Inexpensive 2 Yr Old Birthday Party Ideas WANTED

My daughter will turn 2 in April and I am looking for inexpensive party ideas. At this age you also have to entertain not only the kids, but the adults and it starts to add up. I am not opposed to doing the party at home, but it still gets pricey with all the food, drink, party games,or bouncer, goody bags. Any and all your suggestions are welcome.

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WOW!!!! What an overwhelming amount of ideas for all of you. I got great ideas and used many. We ended up having it at our house in the backyard. We had a bubble theme party. I bought a bubble machine at KB toys for $11.99 and borrowed another from a friend. We had the bubble machine going with blue and white balloons everywhere. I bought the balloons and then had them blown-up it was cheaper then getting the balloons already blown up. I bought bubble wrap at UPS for really cheap and laid that out on the ground for the kids to jump and pop on. We got a pinata and played hot potato. I gave bubble guns from KB $4.99 as the prize for winning the game. I bought suckers and bubbles at the Dollar Tree for 3 for a dollar and put those in clear baggies for the goody bags. I ordered pizza online the night before so I wouldn't have to remember the day of the party or try to guess what time to order it so it would be delivered on time. Got all the drinks at Smart and Final. We have a park behind our house so all the kids wanted to go there. The party went well, but I have to say I could of skipped everything, but the food if I just did the party at the park as some suggested. It would have been easier and cheaper!!!! Next year just pizza at the park for the party!!! Thanks for all of your suggestions.

Featured Answers

I have a suggestion for the gifts/goody bags-
we went to a party with a request for
"no gifts- please bring a new wrapped childrens's book and there will be a book exchange"

everyone brougth a book, and everyone went home with a book!!

I loved the idea- it eliminated that pile of plastic toys and candy that you always get in bday party goody bags!!

and do the bouncer if you have the space- it is the easiest, cheapest and most fun entertainment

1 mom found this helpful

You can find inexpensive craft ideas at discountschoolsupplies.com. I bought some great crafts that were age appropriate and the kids loved it!

1 mom found this helpful

I did my son's party at home and the most expensive part was the food (pizzas). What worked well that many friends told me they liked was I held it in the morning 9:30-11:30 so the kids would be in a good mood (including my own) and everyone left ready to nap.

For entertainment-I just put out a lot of different toys in the backyard and the house, and even with 20 kids everyone was entertained. Two year olds are so easy to entertain. I'd say don't spend money on a bouncer or games. I had out a table with crayons, borrowed a friend's slide and thing with balls, etc. The parents just had a good time playing with their kids. Good luck!

More Answers

If your daughter likes trains, I'd suggest having it at Travel Town. There is no fee to get in and the train ride is only $1.50 to $2.00 per person. There is lots for kids of various ages to do there. I didn't reserve one of the special party cars because there are plenty of picnic areas. I just got there about 10 minutes before they opened and grabbed my spot. I did pizza and salad which is one of the most inexpensive food options. You could also hold it mid-afternoon and then not need to do lunch food. - just snacks.

1 mom found this helpful

You can find inexpensive craft ideas at discountschoolsupplies.com. I bought some great crafts that were age appropriate and the kids loved it!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a suggestion for the gifts/goody bags-
we went to a party with a request for
"no gifts- please bring a new wrapped childrens's book and there will be a book exchange"

everyone brougth a book, and everyone went home with a book!!

I loved the idea- it eliminated that pile of plastic toys and candy that you always get in bday party goody bags!!

and do the bouncer if you have the space- it is the easiest, cheapest and most fun entertainment

1 mom found this helpful

Go with a potluck. Maybe you provide the drinks (try to filter your own water if you have one in a big pitcher to avoid expensive bottled water. you can float some orange slices to give it a flair) or make ice tea. try to have the party in the day to avoid a "meal time". I bought plastic headed fly swatters and cut holes in them and had a bowl of bubble solution and the kids loved making bubbles outside, but we live in Hawaii so it may be too cold for where you live? Go small on the number of people. good luck, relax & have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi!
I love throwing parties for my daughter (she's also 2). Getting a theme is the first part...that way you can plan around it.

Food:
I usually do something simple for adults; wraps, sandwiches or a self-serve sandwich station. Then you can just offer veggies or fresh fruit. For kids, the food should be minimum...most kids don't eat at parties. You can make mini corndogs (from costco) or even just pb&j sandwiches; Here's a creative way to serve them...grab a piece of bread, slather peanut butter and jelly on one side, then roll. You can wrap them in cellophane and twist the ends so that it looks like a big piece of candy! I did this for my daughter's 2 year b-day party and it was a huge hit! and cheap! I also offered fresh fruit kebobs (keep it simple, grapes, canteloupe balls and banana) they look adorable and are also inexpensive. You can also serve goldfish crackers and such finger foods which kids love.

Games:
I like setting up stations based on the theme of the party. A sandbox, a painting station, a craft station, bubble station, face painting etc. Sidewalk chalk is a great too and inexpensive. You can get really creative and not spend a lot of money. You can even use your daughters own toys sometimes. 99 cent stores and Wal-mart are great stores to get little inexpensive goodies for these stations.

Goodie Bags:
I order my stuff from www.orientaltrading.com, they have inexpensive toys and goodies as well as goodiebags. You don't have to STUFF these bags. Usually 3 toys and 2 pieces of candy are enough...moms don't particularly appreciate candy filled goodie bags if you know what I mean!
A nice touch to these bags are labeling them with the kid's names...they love that!

Decor:
You don't have to buy matching plates, cups etc. I think it's a waste of money. For instance if you're doing sesame street themed party...don't buy everything elmo and big bird. Instead buy inexpensive colored plates and cups that match the theme (red, yellow, bold colors). You can have some themed items like napkins or balloons etc.
I also use pictures to decorate...for instance my daughter's 2 year old party was "Little Einstein" theme...I made a big presentation poster filled with her "travel" pictures. Adults love going over and looking at the pictures and captions.

I also go on Google image search and save some pictures (that go with the theme) and I print them at Costco and hang them up or do something creative with them.

Anyway...I hope this helps!!

X.
Mom of 2 1/2 year old and coming soon boy!

1 mom found this helpful

How about a teddy bear tea party? Invite the guests to bring a teddy friend. You can serve little sandwiches cut into cute shapes (use metal cookie cutters) and serve lemonade and iced tea. Another fun food to serve for this age (and through grade school) is rainbow toast. Provide each child with 3 or 4 "paints" made from food coloring and a little milk. Give each child a piece of bread and a few q-tips. The kids use this to paint the bread, then you put it in the toaster. (Try this with your daughter -- you might yourself making it very often!)

The party doesn't need to be more than 1 - 1.5 hrs for a 2 year old, so you don't need much to fill the time. Kids can make simple crafts with the help of their moms to take home and will double as party favors. Some of my favorites for that age were baker's clay creations (again, your cookie cutter will come in handy!), maccaroni necklaces (you can dye the dried pasta first with food coloring), and making musical instruments, such as bean-filled rattles or jingle bells on pipe cleaners, looped and twisted together. If you must have an entertainer, see if you can get a children's singer to do interactive songs and games with the kids. BTW, w/the baker's clay, you can have the moms help their little ones make hand and/or foot prints in the clay, then bake them to take home as a keepsake. This works very well in sculpey, too, and is more permanent, but also a bit more expensive.

If you really want to have a game (kids are still a bit young, though), provide each child with a flower pot or plastic pail of sand with a couple of little toys in it (like plastic dinosaurs, play jewelry or what every your daughter and her friends are into). The kids for dig for their personal treasures, which they can keep for party favors along with the pail and shovel (the dollar store is a great place to find this kind of stuff).

I found that cake at my kids' parties went mostly uneaten. Kids prefered ice cream. Another favorite was fruit "lollipops." Get out those cookie cutters again and use them to cut fruit into shapes which you can push onto a popsicle stick (get these at Michael's). Moms might appreciate that the snacks are healthy, too, and that their tots aren't ramped up on sugar for the rest of the afternoon!

Finish off with inexpensive paper products and maybe some streames if you have a place to hang them. I always had my kids' parties in the park, so no clean up was necessary at my house. I never spent more than $100 on a Bday party (saved up for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah that way!)

The most important thing about the party is: have fun and take lots of pictures! Try not to have so much going on that your daughter or her playmates are overwhelmed and end up spending most of the event crying.

R.

1 mom found this helpful

What a great request. First of all, your daughter probably won't remember her 2nd party other than looking back at the pictures. If you feel the need to have a large party, schedule it between lunch and dinner and state "light refreshments will be served" (which would be chips/dips, vegies, appetizers and salads). If you serve kids drinks, you could use cheap sippy cups as their goody bag gift. Use a paint pen to write their names cutely on them. This way you can make big pitchers of lemonade, punch and tea for adults.

Perhaps hold it at a local park so the kids are entertained and all you have to do is have the light refreshments, one activity for the kids and cake. Parents will appreciate a quick party b/c we all have busy lives while at the same time will enjoy a brief celebration of your child's birthday.

At that age, kids usually enjoy stringing fruit loops on a string of yarn to make an edible necklace. Or oriental trading sells cheap ready-to-go- craft kits for various ages if you don't want to create your own. Instead of cake, the kids could decorate their own cookies with frosting and sprinkles. Think outside the Party City box.

Have premade thank yous made to hand out as the kids leave, perhaps enclose some cute age-appropriate stickers.

KEEP IT SIMPLE...if you choose to have a bouncer, this would be your biggest expense. You, as parents, choose whether a party gets out of hand financially or not. It's not a contest. It's a celebration of your child.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,
When my son turned 2 we got a clown (www.sparklestheclown.net) & she wore light makeup. It just so happened to be a freak storm weekend in September & the power went out, things went really bad, but the clown saved the party! All the kids & parents (suprisingly) loved her. We made sandwiches w/cookie cutters & a few people brought sides to go with the food I already made. I also made cupcakes for everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

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