Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
This is a guide about planning a daughter's second birthday party on a budget. Ideas for keeping the costs down for this important birthday.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
My daughter is turning 2 years of age in May. I want to throw her a birthday party, but I really don't know any toddlers to invite. What do parents do in this situation?
Veronica from San Antonio, TX
Join a play group.
Sign her up for daycare or preschool one or two mornings a week (you can be a room mother too)
Sign up for a gym that has child care while you work out.
You need the socialization too !
Invite your friends. If she goes to daycare, invite some of those kids as well. Playdates? Relatives?
I wouldn't think that the invitees would have to be toddlers. I think any age child would love to be invited to a birthday party. Do you have friends that have older children that would like to be invited? I'm sure your toddler would have just as much fun. I know my 2-yr-old granddaughters would love that!
When my oldest son was two, I had the next door neighbors over..."Grandma" Leiso and her two teen age daughters whom Tommy knew. He just loved the cake with the candle and all the attention. You do not need toddlers to have a birthday party of a two year old. If Grandma and Grandpa are close they would be nice. Otherwise just someone she knows like a babysitter would be great.
I worked in an athletic club daycare for 10 years (by the way, the joining a gym suggestion is great - I saw so many little friendships develop in that setting, & it also encouraged friendships between the parents!), & I noticed something very interesting about toddlers. Before age 3 to 3 1/2, toddlers do not play WITH each other - they play BESIDE each other, or they observe each other. Developmentally, they are not yet equipped to initiate play with someone their age. Instead of a toddler party, just get together with people whom your child loves and cares about, no matter what their ages. Also, instead of a party, you could take her someplace special, like the movies or the zoo.
Just an opinion - I have observed so many parents pull out all the stops for birthday parties for little kids - they spend tons of money and they do this to impress other people instead of doing what the child would like. Your two year old will probably not remember much about it, so you might have some fun photos, but you won't really be making a memory. Keep it simple & just show your child she is loved. That is the most important thing! Save the big party until she is older and can really enjoy it.
My son is going to be 2 on 2/15/2009 and I am at a loss for what to do for his party besides having the theme 'Cars'. He loves that movie! He will only have a few cousins there for kids, and their ages range from 8 months to 11. I'm looking for ideas that might be good for games for the kids, and ideas on how to make sure the adults are not bored either!
Amanda from ME
You could use the basic idea my daughter used for the baby shower for her dau.-in-law. Her theme was trucks/construction equipment. They made cheap chocolate cakes in sheet pans, but can use any pan. Then they crumbled the cakes into disposable aluminum pans about the size of steno tablets, maybe a bit larger.
They found small plastic construction signs, fences, trees, etc. Put some in each pan (were used as center pieces). Add small Matchbox size trucks and construction vehicles. The kids could each have some after the party to keep, or just the birthday boy could keep them. Buy kid size plastic "hard hats" for kids to wear.
Games: get pix of construction vehicles and copy. Have list of the names on paper. Kids have to match names with the vehicle. This is a start. Let your imagination run wild. Have fun with party.
Kids love card board boxes! Collect different sized boxes for the kids (and parents) to make into cars. Stick paper plates on for wheels, aluminium foil plates for headlights etc, a cardboard steering wheel attached with string (or held freely in the hand). Little ones can sit in their box car and pretend to drive, bigger kids can drive theirs around. Open the bottom of the box, cut/punch small holes front and back of the box and thread thin strips of material so the kids can wear the box (like braces on pants). Make a raceway or street complete with stop signs. Parents can change the lights (red/orange/green circles of cardboard). Including a tunnel is easy (sheet etc over a table)etc. The only limit is your imagination. Have fun! Rosie - Melbourne, Australia
My niece had her birthday here and I had ages 2- 14 in my house. It was a halloween birthday so I made a pin the wings on the bat you could pin the bumper on lightning mcqueen. I drew a bat body on poster board and made one set of wings for it. You could print a picture off the internet to use.
Instead of having a set of wings for everyone I traced where they put the wings and put there names on their lines. It looked really neat when it was finished and my niece took it home to put on her wall as a poster. I also had a ton of magazines lying around the house. So we had a scavenger hunt with them. I made a list of Halloween themed things for the kids to look for. I had me and two other adults walking around the table to verify the things the kids pointed to and to help the younger kids read or help my 2 and 3 year olds find them. The 3 year old was really good at it. She almost won.
lol! 3 months to the day my son will be 2 yrs it goes so fast. Well anyways what about setting you pone of those rugs from walmart that has the cars race track printed on it and some little matchbox cars the kids could play with, you could buy a pack of t-shirts and google lightning mcqueen iron on and buy transfer paper not too much money and print it out on printer then iron it on. Great take home goodie plus a lil matchbox car maybe red or you might even find a little lightning mcqueen, make "cars" printables on computer at target in dollar area the yhad "cars" crayons don't know if it's the same everywhere? what about buying red plates,,plastic silverware, and buying "cars" napkins & cups t otie it in. Sit kiddo's in a circle and play hot potato using a "cars" pillow or soft toy,have little prizes. Buy a "cars" poster and take the kids picture in front of it send it home in thank you card..I like the boxes ideas from the other's. Kids do love boxes & climbing.
Does anyone have any ideas for a 2 year old boy's birthday party and presents?
By Mckell from Lafayette, IN
Party: mama, daddy & siblings and a cake & you will have a party. Might invite grandma & grandpa's if they live near.
Presents:, start now as you intend to continue might select something that is meaningful. One of mine loves shoes (it seams from birth) and the other money (the same). So I have added nice little collection for them over the years.
Cake: I always fixed mine the same cake each year. Now both of them are grown and get highly upset if they think they won't get their special cake (because I'm not there). Both say their cakes mean birthday. My daughter's is a cookie cake and my son's a dirt cake. Last year a girlfriend had to call to find out what a dirt cake was so she could make it.
The child will never remember their 2nd birthday so consider older kids that will be guests and pick a theme they will appreciate. They will have more fun and the result will be they possibly will look forward to the child's next birthday party (at 3 & 4 & 5 etc.)
Gift idea - A piggy bank with a $5 gift for each year of age up to age 5. So at 2 it has $10 put into it. You could even put in the $5 for year 1. After age 5 you give them $1 for each year. Start the habit of saving early in a child and they will have a better chance of saving as they get older.
You can also tell them it would be good for them to save 10% or at least $1 ( or half the amount) from other money they are given from other people. And of course you can tell them they can always put money in because they want to.
When they start to ask make it clear that no money can be taken out until they graduate high school.
Keep is simple, it's a 2 year old and they won't remember much.
I'm pretty stumped. My son's going to be 2 in November and for his 1st party we just threw a little get together at home with family and close friends. I want to do something more this year, but it is going to be so cold out it's left me clueless what to plan for his special day. Any ideas? (Haven't got a big budget.)
My daughter's birthday party will be held on February 4th, a Saturday. I have no idea what to do. I live in Los Angeles and need some ideas as to what I can do besides having a birthday party at home.
By TC from Los Angeles
Can anyone give me any ideas for a 2 year old girl's birthday party? I don't have much money.
By rocknrollmom from Los Angeles, CA
Just have cake and ice cream with kool aid. The cake can be home made with just two candles on it. She won't know the difference or care either one. You could have a few balloons for decoration. Keep it small. I am a firm beleiver that parites don't have to be big show type things, seeing which family can outdo the other.
The best birthday party ever:
lots of balloons on the floor when she wakes up
streamers hanging from her door when she wakes up
open gifts one at a time all day long and play with each gift as it is opened
those blow out party thingies (have a race to see who can blow the fastest)
stroller race (let your child sit in the stroller, and put another 2-y-o or baby doll in the other stroller; form 2 teams; on your mark, set, go; each team has to race to a destination and back with stroller and tag his/her teammate, who then races to and from and tags the next teammate until all the teammates have raced; the team whose last teammate runs back first wins--tons of fun for everyone)
It does matter if you have a good birthday party for your children. They may not remember the exact stuff, but what they remember that day is how they felt, that you made a big deal. It is a great way of creating memories each year, my mom always makes my birthdays special. By age 4, the child will begin anticipating his/her birthday party and all the ways you make it fun. My child's party was very inexpensive, but it was very memorable and fun. We took lots of pictures and talked about them for a couple weeks afterward (cementing the memory in her mind and reliving the feeling she felt). Next year, we will pull out those pictures again in anticipation of another, but different, party.
My son will turn 2 in February. We live in Sacramento, Ca. and the weather may still be too cold and rainy to have an outdoor party. I would like to know if anybody has any ideas. He loves the Wiggles and the Disney Playhouse. I can get party items but I was wondering about entertainments. Any ideas?
Tess from Elk Grove, Ca.
what about a puppet show? you could make your own decorative puppet stand or I think toys r us sells one. And you could borrow other friends kids stuffed animals that he has not seen before to use as puppets. Just place a sock over your hand so its not visable while you are holding up the stuffed animals. You could even print the wiggles characters on paper glue to hard stock and use them as the puppets, maybe make up a song with your sons name in it to sing and even make a little cloth draw sting bag for the puppets to hold out to the kids audience to let the kids reach in for a treat. just an idea, hope the party is a great one for him. Bean bag toss is also fun, decorate a box cut 3 differant size holes in the bottom front side slant the box at an angle give them socks filled a bit with rice and have fun!
download an mp3 of "The Hokey Pokey" the adults can help the younger ones and the older children can join in. well theres about 15 min there. lol "Popcorn" is a fun dance for kids to do too.
Don't they do a lot of dances on the Wiggles? Just burn a CD and get the kids in a circle.
Ever hear of an "Air Band?" If there are 4 (or5?) older people who are willing to perform (parents, older siblings/neighbors, aunts and uncles, etc), Have each one wear a different color shirt, cut out a guitar shape from a cardboard box for one of you, color it red, then YOU can be the Wiggles. Just play a video or cd nice and loud while you mouth the words and lead the moves. Once they see you do it, the kids may want to wear a bright shirt and be their favorite Wiggle character. They can be in the band. Public libraries usually have Wiggles DVD's and CDs for FREE.
I'm planning to have a safari animal theme party for my son's 2nd birthday. It is next month, June 20th from 1-4pm, at a playhouse for kids 6 and under. Is this a good theme for a boy and is the time OK? We did his 1st birthday outside last year and it was too hot and it also rained. I want to keep it indoors this year and keep him entertained, but my husband wants to have it outside again.
My little girl is turning 2 in May. She is 4 days older than her cousin. They both like Minnie Mouse and the mother doesn't want to throw a party together and I don't want to do the same theme as she is. I have no idea what kind of party to throw for a 2 year old. What should I do?
My daughter is turning 2 in August, and I've been trying to think of ways of celebrating her birthday. Her first birthday was uneventful. I really want her to have something a little special this year, considering that she's been attending everyone else's party. However, the big issue is that my boyfriend (her father) doesn't get along well with my family. There have been a lot of issues in the past, and I would like to avoid all of that. I've been considering two separate small celebrations, but I can see that is accumulating unnecessary cost. Any suggestions, tips or ideas? I'm drowning in stress and the day is approaching fast!
By Khadija C.
I have to make a birthday for my 2 year old son, but I have way too many people. Any ideas on where and what to do?
I just moved to France and my daughter will be two years old on the 26th of this month. We want to celebrate her birthday, but we don't have a lot of money and I am not too good with house decorations. We invited some friends over and I need advice on what to do about the decorations and on how to make our invites happy on that day?
I need ideas on a birthday party for a 2 year old. Please? Thanks.
By Mommy is the best from Baltimore, MD
I'm having my son's 2nd birthday party. It's a Disney Car theme and for the food I wanted to do cut out car shaped sandwiches. Does anyone know where I could get car cookie cutters? Can you suggest any games I could play? (It's snowing out here.) Any ideas will help. Thanx :)
By Alexiss from Denver, CO
To be honest, if he is two years old, you are doing all of this "theme" stuff for you more than him. He won't remember the sandwiches were in the shape of cars three hours after they have eaten. The games he may remember. Here is one that will last a couple days.
Get fairly good size boxes. Decorate them as cars that the kids can wear. You cut a hole in the bottom of each box for the kids to put there body through. Use straps for them to wear the box on their shoulders. Use paper plates and those brass hooks that have a button end and two wings that spread out (help me out here, haven't done crafts in years). Poke the things through the paper plates and then put the pointy end through a hole in the box. Reach inside the box and spread the wings to hold these things one. using saucer size paper plates might work best as headlights.
Let them use markers or crayons to color the cars, add doors, red break lights, etc. When done you can play "Red Light" with the kids or just have them drive around the room like they are in the city or a parking lot. You could also do the "Red Light" type game with music, move around till the music stops and then they all stop.
Anyway, each kid can take his "car" home and play with it later that day or week.
I found a good Disney Cars page. I used this site when I planned my sons Disney Cars/Thomas the Train party. And whether he remembered it 3 hours later or not did not matter because in the moment he loved it! And the joy he expressed when he saw all those decorations was worth it and in that moment it was for him!
I am looking for new theme ideas for a 2 year old kid birthday party?
By Mohit from Nepal
What does your 2 year old like?
The 2 year old in our family likes Thomas the Tank Engine. What a bout a train party?
Everyone could wear striped overalls and a conductors hat. Decorations are train shaped. I drew a train onto drawing paper and colored it in for Elijah. One the engine I put a big 2 indicating he was turning 2.
For a girl, what about a teddy bear picnic? Bear shaped cookies, bear shaped gummies, have guests bring a teddy bear, serve bear shaped pb&j sandwiches, etc.
For my two year old girl's party, I used an ice cream theme. It is very easy to find treats for goodie bags to go along. I also found a huge ice cream cone penny bank to use as decoration on ebay. I found a cake pan in ice cream shape at Michael's.
I have a 1 year old sister who is turning 2. She loves the Wiggles and Barney and I thought about a Wiggles or Barney party, but I want to do something more because it's her golden birthday. I'm also in charge of the party. What should the theme be and where should the party be?
By Luna P.
Can anyone give some ideas for a 2 year old birthday? She is also in remission. I just want this to be a special day for her.
By Nita from Williamston, NC
We are having our 2 year old's birthday party at our town's Country Club this year because we are in the process of moving and can't have it at our house. I'm looking for ideas on activities for the little girls to do at the party since they won't have a bunch of toys to play with. Keep in mind this is winter and inside. Thanks!
By Kristin from IA
2 year olds can't sit still for long so I would have lots of active games:
Dancing to music with streamers and bubbles
Circle games like Ring a ring of Roses, and the Hokey Cokey
Sleeping bunnies and The Dingle Dangle Scarecrow (where they get lots of chances to jump around)
Then something quieter like Pass the parcel
I need some ideas for a 2 year old birthday party or something to do around at home.
By Stacey from Hempstead, NY
Select a theme and work according to the theme.
Make a cd or dvd with nursery rhymes to handover to kids.
Get a clown if you can afford.
Get red noses.
Paint on their faces.
Make party packs.
Make some colourful hats.
Play simple games.
My son is turning 2 in Nov. It's a sports theme. I need ideas.
What can I do with my daughter for her birthday? She will be 2 on May 31, 2013 and I'm on a fix income and live in NYC.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I have a 1 year old and he will be two soon. I'm trying to figure out how to plan his birthday and also the theme. Does anyone have any suggestions?
By haja from Woodbridge, VA
Use any of the kid themes that are popular right now, or else just use bright, solid colored paper plates, etc. You don't necessarily need to have a theme. I would just serve cake, ice cream and punch/kool aid/whatever. (01/09/2011)
I need ideas for a 2 year birthday party.
By Laqunta from Augusta, GA
Serve finger sandwiches and water. They will have a good time with friends, good luck. (12/05/2009)
Keep it simple. Planning games they can do is hard for 2 year olds, maybe just roll a beach ball around the room. The kids aren't going to remember anything so just do a couple things to appease the parents and get a few good pictures. (12/05/2009)
My son will be two years old in August. I have quite a few questions. Please help in any way you can. Is a pool party acceptable for this age group?