2nd Birthday Party Ideas

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? If not, what are some other ideas that don't cost a lot. Our house is too small for any type of party.

Also, themes, my son loves Barney, but I can't find anything to do with Barney anywhere. He's not into Dora, Diego, Elmo, The Backyardigans, or really, anything else popular.

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Also, one of his cousins is allergic to milk, and one of his friends is allergic to everything, including: dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, rice, corn, etc. What can we serve that can fit everyone, and not go way over budget? How many kids are too many, and is there a polite way to tell people no if we're asked if someone else can come? If you have any ideas, please help. Thank you.

Julia from Indianapolis, IN

Answers:

2nd Birthday Party Ideas

I guess it all depends on who you are throwing the party for. Developmentally, the rule of thumb is to have as many guests as the number of years that is, a 2 year old would have 2 guests. That is, if the party is for him. If it is for the family that's a different story.

I certainly think a pool party is appropriate as long as the other grown ups realize they are responsible for their own children. The parents of other 2 year old's should not be dropping them off and leaving. They need to stay so they can "lifeguard"; their own children, if it is a full-sized pool. If it is a baby pool, you don't need one on one so much.

Activities can be kept simple, maybe get some rubber duckies from Oriental Trading and float those in the water. I have yet to meet a 2 year old (and I work with birth to five) who did not like bubbles. You can find a lot of fun ways to blow/make bubbles. (If fact, that might be a fun theme.)

For food, I would offer cupcakes, pretzels, fresh fruit, juice, and maybe Popsicle. I would let the parents of children with special dietary needs know what I will be serving. If they want cake that their child can have, they can bring it. You could put purple frosting on the cupcakes and use Barney stickers to make "pictures" for the cake. Last time I noticed, our grocery and Walmart bakeries still had Barney themed cakes.

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I always liked baking the cupcakes in an ice cream cone; but you cannot bake them far ahead (or the cone softens too much by the party), so that may or may not be feasible. (I always did it the morning of the party.) I also don't think 2 year-old need more than a smear of frosting and some sprinkles.

Just make most things (that you can) purple, and add Barney stickers or images that you've printed from the internet. A toy Barney could be the centerpiece, with some purple, yellow, and green balloons tied on. Purple plates and napkins, etc. You could get some Barney coloring pages online (just google "Barney coloring pages" there are tons), and make "coloring books" for favors, and give each child a small package of crayons. You could make purple play dough. You could get small bottles of bubbles. And let each one take a rubber duck from the water. "Fishing" games (they lower a magnet on a string into a bucket with paper fish (or Barney cut-outs) with a paper clip on it's nose) and a few balls are always fun. Two-year-old's don't need to win prizes, just get the favors.

They're two. Try not to buy into the idea that it has to be fancy and big and have tons of games. Also bear in mind they won't last for hours and hours. We end up having the parties for the adults, and that's OK as long as we don't lose the 2 year old's pleasure in the process. And don't run yourself into the ground, you should be able to enjoy it with your little guy. Make sure the other parents understand they need to manage their own kids.

As for others; set an arbitrary age limit (say...2s and 3s only, or whatever works for you); and if others say something to you, just politely remind them that he is only 2 and you don't want to overwhelm him so you are keeping the party very small. If it is family asking, suggest you have a family picnic at the park the following week, or something like that. Try not to let them guilt you into making it bigger than you're comfortable with. (02/08/2009)

By Jilson

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