20 answers

Toddler's 2Nd Birthday Party

Hi Everyone,
I need some tips on some activities/games for my daughter's upcoming birthday party. She will be turning 2. My dilemma is that I have a huge age range for the kids that will be there even though it is not a large group. The ages range from 2 to 10. About half of the kids are under 5 and the other half are over. I am mostly concerned about having activities that the older kids will enjoy but the little ones won't feel totally left out of. We are having the party in my parents large backyard.

On a side note, the toddlers are all VERY active! My daughter started walking at 9 months and now climbs everything she sees. The other little ones are exactly the same way so activities that expend energy would be great. Also, most of the kids know one another and my daughters loves and is very close to all of them, so yes they need to be there. All of the older children are also older siblings so they know how to behave around toddlers.

Any suggestions you all have are greatly appreciated. Again it is not a large group but it has a crazy age range.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Can the kids get wet? How about a slip n' slide with a kiddie pool for all the kids to play in throughout the day. If not, one of those combo bouncers with a slide are fun for all those ages.

We got a jumpy for my sons 2nd birthday and it was a huge hit with all the kids. We got one that had a slide that ends up back in the jumpy so the little ones would not have to keep climbing in and out. That is all they did the whole party and into the night!

More Answers

Can the kids get wet? How about a slip n' slide with a kiddie pool for all the kids to play in throughout the day. If not, one of those combo bouncers with a slide are fun for all those ages.

Hi C.,
Those blow up jumpers are pretty inexpensive. LA Parent Mag lists a bunch of places to get them. They deliver, blow it up and pick it up at a certain time. All kids love the jumpers. Also all kids love Pinatas. You can let the smaller kids go first then the bigger kids go last and usually are able to get them open. Keep some extra candy around for any kids that don't get enough.

Hope this helps.

just last week- we had bounce house, but older girls (10 - 15 yrs) helped & entertained themselves by making these animal-face balloons my mom found at Target. Michaels also has lots of crafts. I think the older ones would enjoy doing something creative and getting the very excited, appreciative response of the toddlers.

I always have a large variety of ages also.......the biggest hits so far.....(my oldest is 20 yrs. and my youngest is 1 1/2 yrs. so that is a whole lot of parties with age differences!) Anyways....renting a big inflatable jumpy house is tons of fun (I give big kids a turn, then little kids a turn).....or a petting zoo with pony rides everyone loves (they do a fantastic job with all ages.)

We had the same issue but found that a giant bounce house was great fun for everyone including the adults who had a blast inside it.

Very interesting place to eat according to the toddlers at my son's party!!!

Would DEFINITELY go with a BOUNCE HOUSE!!! :)

Have a baby pool filled with squirting toys, plastic fish and nets to catch them with, measuring cups and funnels, etc. That will keep the little ones busy. I have always had good luck with craft projects for the older ones - nothing too canned, just get a bunch of stuff from the dollar store, colored craft sticks, feathers, googly eyes, ribbon, etc. and have a bunch of socks so they can make sock puppets, then maybe do a sock puppet show! At one party I went to, the mom crunched up balls out of newspaper and had a contest to see who could throw the most balls into a cardboard box from a distance. This was a big hit! Then the kids formed teams, and had different ways to throw the balls (blindfolded, backwards, etc) The balls were different sizes and shapes, so they did not all have a predictable trajectory, which added to the fun. Have a great party!

We usually have the same situation at my children's birthday parties. I would suggest a bouncer also. For a two year old party I don't do structured games because they don't have the attention span for that. I have bubbles, chalk, big bouncy balls and things like that for them to all play with. That way when they get bored of one thing they can just move on to the next thing when they are ready.

Good luck and have fun!

the theme for my daughters 2nd birthday was bubbles and balloons. I went to Target and got a package of bubble making implements for about $5.00. There were about 30 different wands and blowers. They have some great big bubble wands in their dollar bin too. Kids love bubbles, the older ones can blow them while the younger ones chase and pop them. Make sure to get like a gallon of bubble stuff and lots of trays so everyone can do their thing and they don't have to fight over stuff. Good luck! L. Robb

Hi, I am a mom of 6 daughetrs and a SAHM. Children love the old fashioned games - Pin the tail, Hot Potato, Musical Chairs If the older children are to "good" you can put them in leadership roles - playinhg the music, handing out the prize (if you have one), My oldest is now 17 and my baby is 3 years old, so we always have a wide age variety I think the thing that our society pushes, is that our children need to grow up fast - and I totally disagree. I think children find a sense of relief that it is OK to be a kid! Oh - they love that pinyata too - line up youngest to oldest, and no child can run for candy until you count to three, so everyone has a chance to pick up some. Or have a parent on the side dropping candy by the little ones to "find"

We have a bounce house the is always a party favorite. If you don't want to purchase, there are lots of places that rent them. Just google for your location! Good luck!


Hi C.,
We just had our son's 2nd birthday party and while it was decorated in the Elmo theme, we had it in our backyard and made it a water party. We had a small wading pool, a wiggling water toy attached to the garden hose for running through, and lots and lots of water balloons and the "super soaker balls" for throwing around. The kids loved it....the toddlers and the older kids enjoyed getting wet and it was safe for everyone. They were so into getting wet that we didn't even have to play the traditional party games; except we did have a pull-string pinata (safer than a traditional pinata. The kids went home tired, the adults had a chance to visit and enjoy the patio, and clean-up was easy. I hope this helps. One more thing, we purchased a "Happy Birthday to You" book and had all of our guests sign it so we would have a momento of our son's birthday that we could read to him later and to remind him of how many people thought his birthday was a very special day, just like him. Good luck to you and Happy Birthday to your daughter!


If you can swing it a jummper...also what I have done in the past is have Tot races where an older kid partners with a yonger kid and does all sorts of racking like running and maybe taking a water balloon from one side of the yard to the other without breaking. That way the tot and older kids are teams so they are both included.

Good Luck

Hi C.,
My Mom is probably the best at this type of thing, but I thought I'd give you a few ideas I came up with for my son's previous birthdays (he will turn 4 this coming July).
How about creating an obstacle course in the backyard... with varying degrees of difficulty. You could have a race and everyone races against their own time (that way it's not a competition). You can use cones, hula hoops (older kids have to actually use it... younger kids have to crawl or jump though it). Oriental Trading Company online had some great inflatable traffice signs that would be fun for this type of activity.
Another idea is to have dress-up clothes (or some adult clothes) the kids have to put on themselves... one at a time (make it a race to see how close they can get to being completely dressed before the timer rings). Include shoes, hats, jewelry, a tie, etc. The more accessories the funnier it gets.
You could tie into this activity by taking a photo of each child after they've dressed themselves... then provide some inexpensive, unfinished wooden frames the kids could paint themselves (either at the party or later at home). Then you can either print out the photos for the frames, or email the photos to the parents, so they can print them and put them in the frames another time.
I had fun at my son's 3rd birthday party using bubbles. We had an assortment of trays with bubble solution in them and a bunch of different types of bubble wands, etc. The kids had fun blowing bubbles for a while.
We added some tempura paint to the bubbles (each color in a different jar - we used old baby food jars and poured into larger plastic bowls or plates, so all the kids could access them at the same time). Once the paint is mixed into the bubbles (you don't have to use a lot of paint)... the kids blew the colored bubbles onto a sheet of fingerpainting paper and create their own unique bubble art. When the painted bubbles hit the paper they explode into neat colors and shapes making for a neat take-home gift and the activity kept them busy and happy for a while. Keep in mind this project can get a little messy, but if you let the parents know ahead of time... they can make sure to bring a change of clothes or dress their children in older clothes they don't mind getting paint on (though most tempura paint comes out of clothes, it's better to be safe than sorry).
Last year we had a super hero themed party and I ordered some plain white canvas capes and plain white card stock masks from Oriental Trading Company. We were planning to have the kids create their own super hero capes and masks at the party, but ran out of time. They were included in their take home party favor bags. However, the make-it-yourself simple crafts available at JoAnne's, Michaels or Oriental Trading Company are a great way to keep the kids occupied and you can find so many different types to choose from (most are not expensive and you can save if you buy in quantity).
When I was a toddler... I remember playing limbo at my brother's birthday parties with the older kids and just loved being involved in the activities. We used a broom as the stick.
My parents threw a fishing themed party for my brother once that I'll never forget. They made a "wall" from flattened cardboard boxes... decorated it to look like water. Then made a fishing pole from a stick and a string with a magnet or tape on the end. Each child would cast their hook over the "wall" and when they pulled it back over... there would be a treat on the end of the pole. One of my parents hid behind the wall with a bag of goodies and tied, stuck or magnetized the treat to the hook. This one might be too time consuming, but thought the idea might inspire new and exciting thoughts for your upcoming party.
There's always the old favorites, like ring toss, water balloon toss, lawn bowling or pin the tail on the donkey type games... they never get old!
Whatever you choose... have fun and don't get too wound up in the activities. Sometimes the kids just have fun playing and we wind up not even doing the activities we planned to try at the party. Hope this helps!
Best wishes,

Hi C.,
Remember, birthdays are fun. No matter how much we put into a project as parents, the kids may find something else there to be much more entertaining.
One suggestion I have is decorating things, (cookies, pictures, a cup to take home and use). It's not very active but it is creative. For activities, maybe have obsticle courses or bike races...age groups of course. They could race for little prizes to add to goodie bags, or you could make home made prizes, (certificates, cups with 1st place on it, etc.). They'll have fun just going to a park or a pool too. You could do a water party with slip-n-slides and kiddie pools and water toys. Have fun, I know the kids will.

Party rental companies are hurting right now. You can get a large bounce house for only $60-70!!!

You could do a scavenger hunt where you pair up the older with one of the younger and sinse the party is for your Daughter than put in all of the different areas of the scavenger hunt dress up clothes. The number of pairs of items should match the number of pairs of children you are having if for some reason you end up with more children than you can make pairs for (example you have 5 older but you have 6 younger than pair the extra up with an older adult) For example you have 5 sets of teams on each team there is an older child and a younger child. For each team at the different areas you have 5 dress up shoes, 5 princess gowns, 5 neckless', 5 lipsticks, 5 purses and either the older has to dress the younger or visa versa and the team that gets to the finish line wins. But each team has to have all of the items on. You can get all of this stuff from the 99 cents store or the dollar tree store. This will be fun. You can also use what is in grandpa and grandmas give away bags or maybe you have stuff that is old in the closet anything works. I just thought sinse it was for your Daughter that maybe princess stuff would be better.
Happy Birthday and Hope you have fun.

We got a jumpy for my sons 2nd birthday and it was a huge hit with all the kids. We got one that had a slide that ends up back in the jumpy so the little ones would not have to keep climbing in and out. That is all they did the whole party and into the night!

Hi C.,
My son's birthday parties seem to have the same issue with the age range of the kids we invite. For his second birthday- it was Sesame Street theme- we had a bouncy and that was a big hit. Also, I got one of those wall back drops from the party store and had the kids stand in front of it eithery by themselfs or with mommy or daddy or whoever, and took their picture (I still have a polaroid lol) and then I had foam picture frames with foam cutouts and some glittler glue for the older kids and they all got to decorate their own frame for the picture they took. We then glued magnets on the back and the kids got to take them home. That was almost 2 years ago and I still have the one of my son on my desk at work =) It got a bit messy but it was a lot of fun.
Hope this helps,
Take care,

I know it doesn't fall in the active catagory, but one thing I did for my daughter's 2nd birthday was let the kids decorate sugar cookies. We had a luau theme so I baked cookies in the shapes of surfboards and palm trees. I was suprized how much the kids enjoyes this, including the older ones. Little messy, but so cute to watch.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.