Party ideas for 2 year olds can include many different considerations such as party venue, invitations, themes, party attires, food and also the activities. All the aspects of the party should not be too overwhelming for the toddler.
Your toddler’s 2nd birthday party can be such fun. Now is the age to include games and some special friends, but still keep the day low key and short. 2 year olds get tired and overwhelmed very quickly.
It is important to start planning your toddler’s birthday party at least a month in advance. That will ensure you don’t spend the last few days struggling with the venue, guest list, menu, return gifts and decorations. Chalk out a firm plan – will you have the party at home or elsewhere? How much do you plan to spend? How many guests are expected? Do remember to call parents in advance and ask about any food allergies their child may have.
Next, you will have to consider the venue for the party. Home is still the best place, but you may be lucky enough to have a toddler indoor play area or a lawn nearby which you can hire if you have a lot of guests. Also, you won’t have to worry about the quality of food your toddler and his guests will eat, as it will be mostly home-made. Alternatively, a small, cheerful community hall can be an excellent venue — it keeps your home clean and tidy, and means plenty of space for food, games and running around. Check the venue first — some halls can be musty and bleak rather than welcoming! You may want to take some large toys, such as cars, pop-up tents and put up some colorful decorations. You could even hire a small toy train or swings for the party.
When planning for the invitations, there are many things to consider. Toddlers, especially shy ones, can quickly become overwhelmed by having a lot of people around at once. About three to eight friends is ample, depending on your social circle. Parents will need to stay, so you should have plenty of help and support. Remember, your child will only just be learning to relate to other children at this age, so don’t expect great levels of co-operation. Your child may want to help you choose or make the invitations. Making home-made invitations will while away an afternoon and be a quality structured play activity for you. Different paint effects, such as sponge painting, painting with cut vegetables such as a potato cut into a star shape or a piece of lady finger may work well. No one expects sophistication!
Opting for a theme depends on your child’s likes or dislikes. Party trends show that the jungle theme is popular with this age group — aim for animal musical rhymes, animal-shaped foods and animal costumes. An arty session may work well — drawing and coloring, play dough or sticking pre-cut material pieces onto paper to make collages. A tattoo artist, clowns and puppets can add to the fun. You may find that party supply companies have helpful suggestions for themed party packs, decorations and the like. You can also take print outs of pictures and cartoons from the internet and stick them on cardboard or thermo Cole for a personalized touch.
Most children of this age love dressing up, offer party hats and masks to every child. Wrist bands, toy watches, plastic hair bands, bangles and bracelets are other add-ons that make toddlers feel all dressed up. Hand-made paper smiley badges or stickers that match the theme can be taped to the children’s clothing. Washable glitter tattoos on the arm is another option you could consider. Balloons are great fun, but the noise of them bursting may scare more timid tots. Remove burst ones quickly, for safety’s sake. Simple but structured games with clear instructions, like Musical chairs, Ring o’ Roses, Simon Says and dancing to music are great fun. Action rhymes go down well — or consider a short story or puppet show after food to calm them down for home time.
Food will need to look colorful and inviting in small portions. Sandwiches in different shapes, mini party pizzas, jellies in little pots (you can make them at home or buy ready-made) and iced or jam filled party biscuits are always popular. Choose a bold, instantly recognizable cake, possibly of your child’s favorite TV character or shaped like one of his favorite toys, such as a train. Small hard candies, dry fruits, raisins, peanuts and popcorn should be avoided completely. Young children may be allergic to these foods and they also pose a choking risk. Serving food in colorful plastic or sturdy paper plates will make even a plain white look inviting. Coordinated spoons and glasses are easily available in most party stores and brighten up the table.
Plan the party for a time when the child doesn’t usually take a nap. Keep the party short and sweet so children don’t get bored. Three hours would be an ideal amount of time to celebrate.
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