Planning your son’s second birthday party can be more exciting than planning his first, because he is old enough to enjoy his party and participate more. Your toddler will likely enjoy playing games and relish in the attention of his loved ones. You’ll also know more about your son’s preferences, which will make it easier to customize the party just for him.
Your 2-year-old may have his own ideas as far as his birthday theme, so consider asking him what sort of party he’d like to have. If he changes his mind frequently or doesn’t understand, choose a theme based on his recent favorite characters, toys or things. For example, a planes, trains and automobiles theme would work for a boy who enjoys “driving” and “flying” his toys everywhere. Consider a superhero theme if he enjoys comic book characters. Animal-related themes, such as a jungle theme with lions, monkeys and giraffes, are another toddler favorite. Focus on your child’s favorite animal if he seems to have one. Use numbers, with an emphasis on “2,” if he is learning to count.
Your home, or the home of a friend or relative you visit often, will likely be the best place for your son’s second birthday party, especially if he doesn’t handle new places well. The local park is an option if he frequently plays there and is familiar with it. If he enjoys going to new places, consider a toddler-friendly playhouse, hands-on kid’s museum or similar establishment for his party. Your son should be at ease and comfortable wherever his birthday party is held.
Activities and games that older children and adult guests can also enjoy are optimal since the party most likely won’t consist of just toddlers. Treasure hunts are always fun for 2-year-olds as they enjoy finding special treasure and treats. Tailor the hidden treasure to your party theme and only use items safe for toddlers. Consider using a different area or color for older kids so the toddlers can find some treasure too.
Set up toys and books in a specified area for the toddlers to play with. Try to have two of most toys–and put away your son’s favorite toys–as 2-year-olds generally don’t understand the concept of sharing yet. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles are two inexpensive options that will keep the children occupied. Finger painting is another option, as 2-year-olds usually like to work with their hands and get messy. It is a way to create a special keepsake of the day for you and your guests.
Bright, colorful foods in bite-sized portions are typically best for a 2-year-old’s birthday party. The food should be simple as toddlers tend to have short attention spans. Serve sandwiches, fruit and vegetables cut into small shapes that complement the theme of the party. Create shapes easily with cookie cutters. Simple snacks are appropriate–and easier–for adult guests as well.
Keep things as simple as possible so you can enjoy your son’s second birthday party. All of the activities, toys and favors should be appropriate for toddlers to avoid any potential choking hazards. Consider keeping your guest list small, especially if your son is going through a clingy phase. Some 2-year-olds don’t like to be around too many people. If that is the case with your son, limit the guest list to close friends and family and a playmate or two. Plan the party for the time of day when your son seems to be his happiest. Be prepared for an accident or two if your son, or any of your guests, are currently potty-training.
- Toddler sitting on the grass, sticking his tongue out image by Vanessa van Rensburg from Fotolia.com