So where do you start? Well...having four kids, I've had a lot of experience planning a two year old birthday and I have learned a lot in the process. I've gone from spending a lot of money and inviting every friend and their child, to just having a simple birthday celebration with immediate family. All worked out well. But from a two year old's perspective, all they wanted was to open up a present, eat some cake and ice cream, play with a balloon or two, and then run around and play.
Below are a few suggestions to start with. Have fun and take lots of pictures!
- Pick a theme. We did Minnie Mouse this time. It was a toss for Elmo or Minnie and because she's a little girl, I thought the Minnie toys and theme would last longer. In the past, I've done Thomas the Train and Disney Princesses. All still a huge hit in my house! With Thomas the Train, I used blue paint tape to create a train track around my house. Then I turned on the song, Locomotion by Kylie Minogue. The kids had a blast dancing and marching to the song around the track. This time, we sang Happy Birthday a few times, opened up her presents, ate some cake and ice cream, and then headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.
- A matching themed cake is always fun. But truthfully, it doesn't matter what the cake looks like as long as it has some fun kid colors on it and has a candle on top. I couldn't find a Minnie cake that I liked, so instead, I ordered a Disney princess pink cake from the local grocery store and asked them to hold off on the cake toppers, saving me $8. I put a pink kids ring on it. She loved licking and wearing the ring. You can also use small toys that you find online or at local stores. Once I ordered Mario Bros. small toys online and used them as cake toppers.
- Location doesn't have to be anywhere, but your home. They truthfully could care less. All they want is to be with you, open a few presents, and eat some cake and ice cream. We celebrated Isabella's birthday party at our house with immediate family. I've had friends who have gone to Chuck E Cheese. In my opinion, why spend hundreds of dollars now. They really are content with having a small party at your home with people they know.
- Balloons are a must. And all you need is one helium balloon for the birthday boy or girl. But if you have other kids at your house, I always order enough, so each child can take a balloon home with a little treat tied to it as their gift bag.
- Entertainment is always a fun thing to add. It can be as simple as music, which is all we did this time. And then we headed outside to ride her first tricycle, which is all she really wanted to do. It was one of the most relaxing and fun birthday parties that I could have planned. You can also hire a clown. But again why invest a lot of money right now. I'd go this route when your two year old is three or four. Instead, buy some some stickers, tatoos and face paint, which isn't that expensive. Then play some fun hip hop music and add an outdoor game. That's all you really need.
- The best time for the party is an hour or two before your child's nap or right after they wake up. We had ours at 4:00 pm. She napped from 1:00 pm to 3:45 pm. This gave me time to decorate and get everything ready.
- You don't have to go overboard with presents. Two year olds are happy with a handful of presents. The fewer the better, so they don't get overwhelmed. This year we got Isabella the following gifts:
- Minnie Stuffed Toy: I purchased a three foot Minnie at Cosco for $19.99. It was perfect! Minnie is now eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with us. LOL
- Doctor kit: Isabella loves checking to make sure all of her stuffed toys and dolls are healthy. We purchased a Doc McStuffins doctor bag toy from Target. This is her favorite toy! The stethoscope lights up and talks. It is so darn cute. The only thing is the bag is useless. Top won't stay on.
- Minnie plate, bowl and cup set. I found one at Target.
- Tricycle and helmet: I found one online at Toys R Us. Toys R Us was having 20% off toys and free shipping. I was able to get her a Disney Princess tricycle with matching helmet.
- Other birthday present ideas:
- Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag
- Stroller so they can stroll around their baby
- Tent or plastic house they can go in and play
- Table and chair set
- Art easel
- Plastic outdoor folding slide
- Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster (this was my three oldest kids favorite toy!)
- Picture books like Goodnight Goodnight Goodnight Baby Blue (Splatter and Friends)
Enjoy this special time, have fun, and remember to take lots of pictures!