Although your 2-year-old may not really understand what his big day means, a birthday party can mark the occasion with fun and laughter. Entertaining a bunch of 2-year-olds can bring a mixture of excitement and fear to many parents. Keep the toddlers at your party entertained and content by planning some age-appropriate activities. With their short attention spans, your group of young revelers requires constant supervision and frequent adult interaction.
Although they require help opening gifts, toddlers enjoy the excitement of receiving toys. Provide each of your little guests with a separate, wrapped gift to open at the same time. Avoid jealousy and misunderstandings by keeping each child busy with his own present while the birthday boy opens his gifts. Purchase gifts geared toward this age group, such as small, stuffed animals, balls or toddler books. Keep all surprises the same color and variety to limit fighting.
Abilities and Interests
Toddlers love music and moving to the beat. Play some fast-paced tunes and encourage your group to dance and move to the music. Help them clap and stomp to the rhythm of the tunes. Include songs that contain animal sounds and encourage them to mimic and sing along. Turn off the music after you finish dancing and singing. While older children may enjoy background music during the entire party, your 2-year-olds may experience difficulty trying to concentrate on other activities.
Hunger pangs may cause your group of toddlers to feel cranky and fussy. At the same time, you may want to avoid feeding the children too much sugar. Supply drinks in toddler cups with lids to minimize spills. Provide healthy snacks, such as small pieces of fruit and toddler toast or crackers. Although older children love decorated cakes with candles, toddlers are too young to appreciate this type of display and don’t understand the danger of fire. If you worry that you can’t have a party without the cake, try substituting healthy muffins for traditional cupcakes or decorated cakes.
When possible, schedule the party on a warm day that allows the children to play outdoors. Supervise art activities, such as finger-painting and drawing with chalk, or take turns rolling and kicking a ball. Supply noisy toys, such as small hand drums and musical instruments that they can rattle and shake. Encourage the children to take turns and share the toys and instruments.
Keep your party short to avoid fussing and fighting. Children this young tend to tire easily. An hour provides plenty of time to celebrate the special day. Plan your party to make the best use of your limited time, keeping the children moving from one activity to the next. Encourage parents to stay for the fun and help with the activities.
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