25 answers

Looking for 2 Year Old Birthday Party Ideas

I am looking for ideas for my sons 2nd year old birthday. Iam doing it at my house but would like to have many activitys and different things. Am getting a jumper, but am looking to add other fun things, just not sure what? We have about 30 kids thats not including all the adults! The kids ages are 18 months - 6years old.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I too was going to have it at my house but we decided on My gym. Anyways, when I was going to have it at my house I was also going to do the jumper and was looking into having a "bubble guy" come perform. My daughter loves bubbles as do many other toddlers. Good luck with planning!

The 2 year olds don't have a long attention span. Maybe set up a craft table where they can make their own party hats. Also most parties I go to lately have pinatas.

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Hi M.,

If you haven't already sent out the invite to 30 kids, don't do it! I have attended many, many mega parties for kids of all ages over the years and the parent's have seldom said it is worth it. Instead, they have the added stress of constantly trying to top the experience each following birthday. I suppose it depends on your kid and your family dynamic (if you have a big family with lots of kids, then you have no choice) but my son and now my daughter seem to prefer smaller parties where they can do something really special with their friends (last year my daughter opted out of a birthday party other than with the immediate family so she could go up to the mountains and play in the snow with her best friend. She has already put in the hint to take one or two friends to disneyland for her next birthday, which in my opinion is probably still less expensive than feeding, entertaining and gift bagging 30 plus people!)

Here are some ideas that have worked for me and my family in the past.

Pick a simple theme and run with it.
You didn't say the age ranges of the kids, but if they are all around two you can keep it pretty simple.

we did an astronaut theme and made "rocket" packs that the kids decorated and the grown ups did rockets (with alka selzter or something I can't remember it was over a decade ago) - again the kids got to decorate the rockets. Decorations were easy, stars - blow up "earths"

Another year, we did a circus and the kiddie guests all brought a circus animal and did a parade- we set up a bean bag toss, lawn bowling, they did "acrobatics", you could get a clown, etc.

we did an art party where each kid got an artist apron, we set up art supplies, made slime and goop, kid's decorated their own party hats, decorated their own cupcakes.

we did a dinosaur hunt that everybody loved, grownups and kids of all ages. We had a dino egg cake, but we also made chocolate/peanut butter treats that we called dino droppings. We set up dinosaur puzzles, we set up "excavation" tables where the kids all dug for "dinosaur bones," and everyone made dinosaur decorations - pictures of dinos to color, dinosaur foamy stickers, played dinosaur movies, etc.

Of course, these were easy to do because the party size was small - maybe ten to twelve kids and a few grown-ups.

2 moms found this helpful

The 2 year olds don't have a long attention span. Maybe set up a craft table where they can make their own party hats. Also most parties I go to lately have pinatas.

HI M.,

Do you have a theme? If so, follow with theme colors and activities. For example, I just had a 1st bday party for my daughter and the theme was elmo. I used red, blue, purple, orange & yellow for the colors of tablecloths and balloons. I put a "kids" table up with elmo & sesame st coloring books, a construction pad for kids to design a bday card for the bday girl. I had "bowling" made from 10 emptied water bottles & filled them with water and food coloring. I bought goldfish and put them on each table (Dorothy). I had pre set activities for the kids. I had a word scramble and small prizes for the kids. had a bowl of goldfish crackers (count the goldfish), I hid all of the goodie bags around the yard so the kids could go on a goodie bag hunt. All of the kids had a great time and loved the games.

Hope this gives you some ideas.
If you need anymore suggestions, I'd be glad to help!

Good luck and have fun!

T.

Hi there, I suggest making some little stations similar to what they do at pre-school. There could be a coloring station with print outs realting to the theme of the party that they can color and decorate. You could also have a digital camera and printer so they could have a photo to take home that could be the thank you card for their attendance and gift. Saves you time and postage later... A photo with your child and each guest that you print is a great party favor. Maybe a craft station where they paint something - they have many tings liek wooden cutouts or ceramics they can paint and it also makes a party favor as well. If there is an older family member or friend you could have them do face painting - provide a choice of two to four and then they could all have that done on a arm, face or back of hand. Hope this helps. Have a great day and party.

Get a huge king size sheet and let the kids go to town coloring it...you can mark in the middle with your sons 2nd Birthday memorabilia...give it to him when he's older. First maybe have everyone sign in on it with permanant marker so that some of it looks nice then let the little one's go to town:)
Upon entering: Kids get a goodie bag with a hat, blower and tickets to 4 things:
1. Doll house pic with the baby(Someone(older sister)nothing fancy takes a photo of the child and gives it to them Polaroid
2. fish 4 a prize
3. jumping house
4. paint/tatoo yourself

buy the time they did it all, they got to have dinner/ cake and go home.

There were 2 lines for food:
Adult--Chinese cuisine
kids---- chips/ hotdogs/ chili/ pizza

Less waste and a lot of fun. Magic show/balloon man and the train ride to follow.

The easiest and the best to me is the water slide. Kids are occupied the whole time and parents can sit around.

Wading pool for babies.

your child is 2...

In know it's impossible sometimes to keep the party list short...

Remember to have your little one take a good nap before party starts.

Know that if child gets too tired, all presents may not be able to be opened when child is present... instead, open the Grandparents gifts in front of them and then have a private open present time with few people. This way your child can enjoy with you.

Have fun, keep it simple and relax and enjoy your child.
Ask a neighbor to help cut cake and take pictures, so you can enjoy this magical age.

Hi M.,
My boy just turned 2 in January. He has an older sister 5 yrs old. We hired a clown and she was terrific - totally entertained all ages. She dressed down the clown make-up so as not to scare the younger kids - perfect. She did balloons, face-painting, games and magic! Her name is Ella and her number is ###-###-####. I thought her rate was great for all that she did. We also purchased an empty pinata and filled it with toys from Cost Plus World Market - things like music rattles, bath toys, air blowers/whistles, lots of stickers and stamps and little trucks. I didn't want to fill it with candy. It was a bit more expensive to fill with toys, but I was wholly satisfied. We did cupcakes (I love Vanilla in Santa Monica - yum!) because they are just easier - no cutting no prep and look beautiful especially if you turn a box upside down and cover it with tissue or wrapping paper to make a tier of cakes... And cupcakes aren't that expensive really especially if you get a bunch of the mini-cupcakes for the little ones. I set the time for after his nap of course so it was a late afternoon party in our tiny front yard. I set up the baby/young toddler area in our living room. I hope you have a fun time however you do it - just try to be sure not to be hostessing the party during the party so much so you can watch your baby having fun! Ask a friend or relative if they will do that part and you can do the same for them next time! It made all the difference for me to be a part of the party!

Enjoy, L.

If it's in your budget, you may want to get a company like JW Tumbles to come out and lead some games or we were just at a 2nd birthday party with a clown who had bubbles, a little ball game, a parachute and did balloons for the kids too - they really enjoyed it.

Otherwise, for do-it-yourself options, bubbles are always a hit with this age range. Set out some larger containers and provide the big wands that you "swing" to create big bubbles. You can set out a table with craft supplies, have a section set up with age appropriate toys for the youngest guests and of course have some fun music playing so that the kids can dance!

We have wonderful clowns for parties! Our rate is $135 for an hour, then $35 for each additional ½ hour; and she does games, singing, dancing, and acepainting and/or balloon animals for the children. We would also lead the happy birthday song and pose for pictures if you would like. Please see our website for photos and recommendations and call or email if you have any questions or would like to reserve one of our wonderful performers.
We can also arrange for the jumper for you. Just take a look at our site and see what we can offer.

You may book by calling us or requesting a booking agreement by fax or email. We do require a small deposit to GUARANTEE your character, date and time.
Thank you for letting us help make your child's birthday a special and memorable day!

S. Parzik
`*.¸.*´ Parties by S.
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ (¸.•´¸¸.•¨¯`*.
www.partiesbystacey.com
###-###-####
Founding President of Team Women
San Fernando Valley-West Chapter

For my son we had a cotton candy machine which the adults really loved too. You could also look up trackless trains they will come to your house for a min of two hours and take kids on short ride around your neighbor hood. My son is two and is really into trains right now. Also a piñata has been a hit at both of my sons parties so far. Good luck, I hope these ideas help you.

A theme definitely makes planning the activities easier. For my son's 2nd birthday, we had a Thomas the Tank Engine party. The jumper was a Thomas one and I painted boxes to look like the Thomas characters that the kids could step into and "drive"around the yard. I had playdough and crayons with train pictures I downloaded. I sat down and had parachute fun like we do at Gymboree, too. Make it easy for yourself by preparing as much as you can way in advance. You don't have to spend a lot to make it fun for the kids.

We did a puppy party for my son's 3rd birthday party. It was soo much fun. There is a company called Puppies and Reptiles that brings a bunch of puppies to your home for an hour. They set up a pen for all the puppies and kids can go inside and play with them. The younger kids had about a 10 minute attention span with the puppies which was great because everyone had their turn with the puppies (even the adults). We also had a bounce house so the kids that were not playing with the pups, they were in the bounce house. It was so much fun and EVERYONE loved it. I can't wait to hire them again for my younger son's next birthday!!

I bought some cheap plastic fly swatters and cut holes in them and got bubble solution and some big bowls for the solution and it was easy bubbles for the little ones.

A great thing to try is a Junior Olympics.

Opening Ceremony:
Make a fake torch, or buy a cheap plastic one from a crafts store. Pick 3 or 4 kids to "carry the torch" from a point about a half block from the house (handing it off to each other - make sure you video). Parent/child guests should line the sidewalk on either side cheering for the torch runners. Have the birthday boy or girl be the final person to carry the torch from outside to the main party area in the house or yard (to major applause, of course).

Events:
gunny sack race

Balloon Catch (use lightweight laundry basket, inflated balloons, 5 kids to toss balloons in the air, each child has to try to catch as many balloons in the laundry basket before they touch the ground)

Ball toss (get small/soft round balls and have someone holding anohter laundry basket a few feet away as each child tries to toss balls into the basket)

3 legged race ( tie legs together and pair kids up with parents for this one)

Race holding legs (small child has legs held by adult or older child while using hands to move forward)

Party favors:
Every child should leave with a medal on their neck given at the finale "medal ceremony" where each kid's name is called and the medal placed on their neck.

Prizes:
You can have prizes for each event if you like

Mock an Easter egg hunt! You can purchase foam balls and paint them or buy a big package of fake bugs, lizards, etc. Whoever finds the most wins! I did this at my eldest son's fourth birthday party ( i decorated foam balls as pokemon balls) and it was a big hit! I've been doin it since, just finding anything that matches the theme. Have fun!

M., A jumper will occupy the 4-6 year olds and the
little ones could play in a baby pool filled with sand (you could use it all year) But at this age, your son may
be taking a nap most of the time. Don't go overboard, in these economic times it's tacky to spend so much on
stuff. The parents will welcome a nice conversation and
the be busy with their kids. Simple food and cake is enough This is your opportunity to take photos of the children and send them off as a "goodie bag" instead of
spending hours creating a bag of candy and junk.
Take a word of advice from a Mom of two late teenagers.
Save the money and put it in a 529!!! D.

I haven't had time to read the other responses but I would recommend setting up various stations. One with finger-painting, one with play-doh, etc. Some other ideas: paint and stamp it yourself T-shirts (just buy cheap Hanes t-shirt packs), and a fishing station (get a big tub of water and get those magnetic fishing rods). Kids also love to play with and pour water.

Given the wide age range and large number of kids, I'd exercise a lot of caution if you choose to get a jumper. It should be supervised by a designated adult at all times. The 6 year-olds can definitely trample the little ones and there can be a lot of tears.

Also given the wide age range, I'd recommend against hiring any "characters." They would have a hard time knowing what age group to play up to. Also, a lot of them (esp. clowns) are scary to most kids.

Hi,

I had just a jumpy for my son's 2nd birthday--we had kids ages two through twelve in attendance--no other activities were needed--a jumpy is so great because all kids love it (the big kids help to monitor the little kids to--a nice touch). You can always get one of those slide-plus-jumpy things if you want to increase the jumpy fun.

Don't stress about too many activities--a jumpy works great. (I had other activities at my son's 3rd birthday party, and only one of the bigger kids participated--it was jumpy-palooza the rest of the time.) Remember, eating and cake take up party time, too, especially if you're having a 2-3 hour party.

:-) D.
P.S. 30 kids plus adults--wow--if I were you, I'd consider doing the party at a park (you can still have a jumpy there, and there are built-in activities for all ages too), or at a Pump-It-Up or JW Tumbles/My Gym place to help handle the large numbers....

This is a toughy for many moms new to smaller children birthday parties.
The first thing to understand is that that is a vast difference in likes of 18 month olds to 6 year olds.
You got it on the nose to suggest offering several or at least a few different activities. The good and easy thing to remember is that this entire age group really love and adore animals. So once you've figured out your budget and your theme, maybe consider adding animal to the overall.

SUGGESTIONS:
Puppet show ... you may either hire a professional or just get a few inexpensive puppets and a cute table top stage or doorway pull down screen stage setting as a play corner.
Petting zoo .. you may either hire an attendant to rent from.
They usually bring about a dozen small animals like goat, sheep chickens, ducks, rabbits, geese and guinea pigs or you may set up a stuffed animal zone within a child's gated area under a canopy and call it the animal zone or cuddle spot.
Games ... You just have to games for at least the 4-6 year olds. relay, prize passing, there are many, even if you set up games booth areas. This too you may hire or set it up old school backyard style and do it yourself.

What ever you choose, please keep me in the loop, I'd love to find out what you chose.
For your own sanity and proof of effort, make sure to either hire a photographer and filmster or assign someone with fully loaded memory and batteries. It would be nice to edit later and send a link to your friends and family as a reminder of the good times shared at the party.

Step mommy to 3 (ages 8, 11, and almost 13)
Auntie to 12 (all ages)

Thanks much!

____@____.com
- Artist Entertainer with a Twist of Charm -

http://www.CharmandHappy.com
877-725-6967 office
###-###-#### cell
Whittier (Los Angeles) CA

I too was going to have it at my house but we decided on My gym. Anyways, when I was going to have it at my house I was also going to do the jumper and was looking into having a "bubble guy" come perform. My daughter loves bubbles as do many other toddlers. Good luck with planning!

Here's a few of the things we did with our daughter when she was little:

Set up a "fishing hole" using a hula-hoop for the pond, consturction paper fish each with a paper clip at it's head, use any thing that will work for a "pole" and tie a string to it. At the end of the string attach a magnate. The kids can see how many "fish" they can pick up.

Bean bag throw is also an easy construct.

If you have the room in your yard, set up a blocks and/or legos table.

I also set up an art table, I used the kids' Little Tykes table and put glue sticks, glitter, construction paper, safty sissors, pipe cleaners, old scraps of ribbon etc, and just let them create.

Get a large box (like from a TV) and tape all the edges to reinforce. Cut a door in. Put baskets of crayons next to it and tell the kids to "decorate the house".

The more "kid powered" the activity the more they seem to enjoy! Have fun. L.

Hi M.,

Here are a few ideas.....have you asked some friends and family to help because this will work best if you have a few helpers.

1) You can hire a petting zoo to come to your house.
2) Set up stations where kids can bop around and either play games for prizes or play with stuff....examples: a bubble station, a jewelry making station, a face painting station, a "go fish" station with a pool and poles with magnets to 'catch' sea creatures with metal washers attached, obstacle course, cupcake/cookeie decorating station and whatever else your imagination can conjur.

Have fun!!!!
A.

Hi,
For my son's 6th birthday, I hired ponys, a petting zoo, face painters, and a clown. We had the jumper, don't forget the magic show. The kids had a great time, but I could not get rid of their parents. You can hire most of this stuff for 2 hours or so, and have them comming and going so nothing gets stale. You can also get some video machines, or pinballs. Have them placed in various locations about the house.
It was something. Enjoy, it only comes once.

In my experience, it was hard to get kids to do planned activities. However, we had my 3 YO party at a small farm and there were about 23 kids. The wranglers discussed the rules in the beginning and then had a couple of magic ropes for the kids to wait at. They actually didn't move from the rope until called. I was pretty amazed. Perhaps that will help the kids keep contained much better. Personally, I love the old games, Red Rover Red Rover, Red Light Green Light, Wheel Barrel Racing, Sack Racing, etc.

face painting would be fun. I know I have a daughter only but my nephews loved face painting or even water balloons. Only if you dont have kids that like to still put things in their mouths. You dont have to get a professional face painter...the kids will never know.

H.

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