When your baby turns 2 or 3, you may want throw him a small birthday party, with a few close friends and family members. Activities may be easier to plan for a toddler’s birthday party, since your child will be better able to focus and participate in things than he was as a 1-year-old. Don’t plan too many activities, though, as children that young are likely to get tired quickly. Also, prepare to be flexible. If the birthday toddler and his guests don’t seem interested in an activity, don’t force it.
Have the children hold hands in a circle and lead them through a round of “Ring Around the Rosey,” a classic children’s rhyme that goes: “Ring around the rosey, Pocket full of posies. Ashes, ashes, We all fall down.” At the end of the rhyme, the children should fall to the ground. You may want to take a book of nursery rhymes out of the library and learn others that you can lead the children through at the party.
Play a simple game of catch with the birthday toddler and her guests. Find a big, soft ball, such as a stuffed ball or kickball. Gently toss or roll the ball to a guest, then have her roll or toss it to another child. Keep the game going until the guests get tired of it.
Face painting may work best for slightly older toddlers, or at least those who can sit still long enough to have cat’s whiskers or a butterfly painted on their face. Invest in a book of face paints or hire a professional face painter to visit the party.
If your toddler’s birthday happens during the cooler part of the year, or if it rains on the day of the party, you can always have the guests color to keep them occupied. Set up a coloring table with crayons, magic markers and a wide selection of coloring books or blank construction paper. Let the children color quietly until they get bored. Tear out each colored page from the books for the guests to take home.
Many toddlers are fascinated by soap bubbles. Enchant the guests at your toddler’s party by blowing bubbles at them. You can also offer the wand to them so that they can produce their own bubbles. Make large bubbles by fashioning a wand out of a wire hanger, pouring the bubble solution into a wide, shallow basin and dipping the wand in. Run across the lawn to make a large bubble.
Most likely, the activities at a birthday party will get the toddlers wound up. Calm them down before sending them home by reading a story to them. Provide a selection of storybooks and let the birthday toddler choose one he wants to hear.