Children grow up quickly. It may seem like only yesterday that you gave birth to your baby, and now she’s becoming a toddler. Throw her a birthday party, but keep in mind that toddlers are different from older children. Keep the party small and simple so that your 2-year-old doesn’t feel overwhelmed by all the guests and activities.
Keep the guest list short for your 2-year-old’s birthday party. If she plays with other toddlers, either at daycare or on play dates, invite two or three to the party. Invite the other children’s parents to stay for the event as well so that you are not left to babysit three or four toddlers on your own. You may want to invite grandparents, aunts and uncles to the party or wait to have a separate family celebration with them.
Plan the party during a time when your toddler would normally be awake. You do not want to throw off her nap schedule, even for a special occasion. Schedule the party either right after her nap, so that she is bright-eyed and awake for it, or right before her nap time, so that she will be tired and ready to go to sleep. A 2-year-old’s party does not have last all afternoon. Plan on a party that is no longer than an hour or two.
Pick a theme for the decorations that your children will recognize and enjoy. For instance, look for plates and napkins with her favorite cartoon characters printed on them. Keep the decor simple, yet festive. You may want to hang a birthday banner or bunting on the wall. Be careful when choosing the decorations, though. You don’t want anything that is breakable or that a child could choke on. Balloons are nice, but they could present a choking hazard if one pops. A toddler could also get tangled in the string holding the balloon.
Birthday cupcakes may be easier for your 2-year-old and her friends to eat than slices of cake. Instead of serving scoops of ice cream, look for small ice cups to make serving and clean-up easier. Keep the rest of the food at the party simple. Set out platters of cut-up vegetables and fruit as well as bowls of animal crackers and pretzels. Before the birthday party, you may want to check with the other parents to see if their children have any food restrictions.
You may not need to plan specific activities for your 2-year-old’s party. Set up a small play area, either indoors or outdoors, and put plenty of toys that your child likes in it. Keep the guests entertained by blowing soap bubbles or by painting their faces. Set aside time for birthday cake and singing “Happy Birthday” and time so that the birthday child can open her presents.
- birthday toddler girl image by Trevor Goodwin from Fotolia.com