Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

I need ideas for my 2 year old daughter's birthday party in October. I live in Michigan so you never know what the weather will be in October. I can't afford some of these party places that charge a million dollars a kid. Any thoughts are appreciated!


By Evette from Detroit, MI

August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Have a small party at home, just include immediate family(grandparents, the child's aunts and uncles, no cousins, etc., and very close friends.) A child that age doesn't realize they are having a party. Serve cake, ice cream and punch, coffee. I always plan light colored punches and drinks for family get togethers, even though my grandkids are adults and teen, they still get excited sometimes, and can spill things. Red tone drinks can make horrible stains. You don't need a lot of fancy decorations, etc. Just keep it simple.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Listen to redhatterb. Said just about the same thing I was going to say in regard to the "flamboyance" of the party. The child will never remember it you are basically throwing a party for the adults.

In regard to who attends I would recommend inviting some relatives that would show and immediate friends who have children close to the same age or slightly older. Like from 2 to 5 or 6. Don't invite a lot of them just maybe 3 or for of your closest friends with children. And maybe a few close family friends without children. After all, they may have kids in the future and the friends you have now are part of your future.

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with the other two posts; a two year old child will not fully understand what is going on or remember it years later. A fancy party is more to show off for other adults than for the child. Have a simple party and save your money for when the child is older. Even when mine were older, we chose simpler parties, but they were remembered and loved. Once we rented the city pool, once we went to semi-pro baseball game, played miniature golf, played golf on a full size course, spent the day in the park, sleepovers, etc. Mine enjoyed so much more having a few good friends and doing something they loved, than having a big party and being forced to take pictures and do things rather than just enjoying themselves. Don't allow birthdays to be another source of pressure, for you or your child.

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

A birthday party for a 2 year old is not supposed to be a lavish affair. It is for close friends and family. If your child has older cousins or playmates that are 4 or 6, these kids get a kick out of the party. You don't have to have games or anything. A decorated cake and presents and just let the little kids play and the adults visit. That's it for the entertainment.

One of my sons has his birthday on Nov 6, and when he was about 3, I think, we "themed" his party so he could wear his Hallowe'en costume again, he and his brother had been "Batman" so we had a Batman cake and they wore their costumes again.

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August 31, 2010 Flag
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I'm looking for some original ideas for my 2 year old's birthday party. Her nickname is Princess (her father's idea). She likes your typical girl things but I'm wanting to throw her an original party, on a very limited budget. It won't be a huge ordeal, just family and close friends. Any ideas for decorations, food etc? For the most part she will have boys at her party (she has only one female cousin).

Shelly from Omaha, NE


Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

As the other posters have said, doing a picnic/cookout/potluck/whatever at the beach or park is a great idea. If you want to stay home or indoors, some simple inexpensive ideas for meals include sloppy joes, tacos, hot dogs, burgers, cold pasta salads, etc. If you don't have the time for cooking then check out your local dominoes pizza for their 5-5-5 deal. Add a bag of salad and some bread sticks from the grocery store and you have a fairly cheap pizza party (depending on number of guests).

As far as decorations go, if your daughter is not requesting a specific theme then why not just get plates, cups, balloons, etc, in her favorite colors? Dollar stores usually have a wide assortment of party supplies. If you need entertainment ideas then just whip up a few batches of play dough and put out plenty of rolling pins, cookie cutters, plastic utensils, etc,, to inspire some creativity. The recipe is as follows:

Play Dough


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 package of Kool-Aid


    Mix everything but the water together. Bring the water to a boil. Add mixed ingredients. Mix well and knead together until completely mixed and dough forms. Play dough is ready when cool.

    At my local dollar tree they currently have nice 5 packs of brightly colored plastic cookie cutters (in standard kid shapes) that would make great favors. Just give each child a set and make up enough dough to give each child a couple of different colors and you have entertainment and favors all in one.

    Remember, you don't have to keep up with the Jones' and do an elaborate, expensive, materialistic party. All that is important is that she has a special day. (06/17/2008)

    By tthompson

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    I am amazed at the responses. This is true that we all would like the best for our kids. But do two year olds really care about the theme of the party? They are just happy to spend time with mommy and papa, and some friends or family. But to fulfill our own dreams and desires we throw these parties that the kids do not even understand. I am certainly for B'day parties but only when the kids are a bit older and understand what is going on.

    My idea would be to buy my daughter some toys that she can play with, ones that help her increase the intelligent quotient. In addition, I would take her to a park or for some rides and spend quality time with her to improve and increase father-daughter bonding.

    People may not agree with me, but I am a soon-to-be single father and my daughter is turning two in a few days. I originally searched for some cool ideas and now will go back to my spending quality time with my precious daughter. Good luck to all! (06/18/2008)

    By Jay

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    Go to Burger King and get enough crowns for every kid expected at the party (these are FREE). Get some very kid safe glue and jewels and let them all decorate their own crowns. (06/18/2008)

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    To all you mothers out there, go on line and print out invitations. You can get decorations and such online. If they like playhouse Disney go to that web site and look for parties, and the same with other stuff. For the parents, make spaghetti, and for the kids, hot dogs and mac and cheese. Go to the dollar store for party favors. Have fun! (06/19/2008)

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    My older daughter (now 3.5) wanted a Dora b-day party. I made my own invitations. We had a map with 3 things to do in our back yard. She loved the Dora decorations, and the older kids liked the activities. Our younger daughter is turning 2 in Feb. We're going to decorate cookies (heart shaped), color (sheets printed from internet), and do puzzles that we already have. I'm expecting her to have a blast doing the things she loves with friends and family. :) (12/27/2008)

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    I am such a party planner it is sick. My daughter is turning two in October; yes, I am planning ten months ahead of time. As I read previously, the parties we throw for small children are for our own desires which I think is insane! I am doing it for my princess, ok, enough said.

    For her first birthday, which will work for a second as well, I did a pink and white polka dot theme. I bought tracing letters from a teacher store, traced out, "Happy Birthday Madeline" on white paper, printer paper works fine, then cut out little pink dots and glued them on, then from there I cut out larger circles in pink and white paper and surrounded the happy birthday sign and filled the wall, used plain pink plates and plain white plates.

    I also bought pink plastic (ick, I know) table cloths and a pack of pricing dots labels in white and just stuck them on the pink plastic table cloth. Tulle is cheap as well, I used a ton of it!

    I made several cakes and alternated them, frosting one in white with pink polka dots and another in pink frosting with white polka dots (these look better in sets of three). Also, I bought plain pink and plain white helium balloons. I had the party outside. We have a HUGE backyard and it filled it up nicely! (12/27/2008)

    By Stephanie

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    Ok, part two of my posting. After reading the post before mine, I remembered I had a pink tutu for my princess. I took all of the tulle from her first birthday, cut it into eight inch pieces, measured her waist (and left a good six inches on both sides for growth and an easy way to tie it on), took one piece of tulle and made knots on both ends (of her real waist size), from there I took the sections and tied them in a knot once, not super tight either.

    I kept tying them and then pushing them down to one side so that it is full and before you know it, you have a tutu for cheap, and you made it, it will also double as a wreath at Christmas time (I put a bow at the top where the two ends met) and she will love it later when she wants to play dress up!

    Hope this helped all you parents (sorry I was a little late with my ideas for the first planner, only by a couple years, LOL!), now I am off to continue my search, argh! (12/28/2008)

    By Stephanie

    Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

    I just wanted to comment regarding someone's comment that 2yr olds don't care about the theme of their birthday party. On one hand, I agree - but on the other, they do LIKE certain things. My twins are turning 2 in March and they totally react to the cartoon characters they've seen. I'm going to make them cakes that look like a couple of the yo-gabba-gabba characters and I'll be SO surprised if they don't react.

    Their party is going to be a "2" theme though, since there are "2" of them... and I'm just going to have play time in the living room, balloons, and very light decorations which will be random things they really like: stars, moons, flowers, birds... pretty random, but it's what they like right now.

    I also REALLY liked that idea for the Dora party invitation showing 3 things to do in the backyard for the party - that was a great suggestion which maybe I'll use when they turn 3! This is a great blog, thank you! (01/16/2009)

    By Christina

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    June 17, 2008 Flag
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