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Planning Daughter's Second Birthday Party On A Budget

Category Birthday
Ideas for keeping the costs down for this important birthday. This is a guide about planning a daughter's second birthday party on a budget.


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By 0 found this helpful
August 31, 2010

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
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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
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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
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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, 20100 found this helpful

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, 20080 found this helpful

My daughter is about to turn 2 on 4-13-05. I am a single mother who wants to give her the best party ever. I work but with all my expenses I still am short on funds at this time. I was wondering if you had any coupons for kids birthday parties, or had any ideas for me to throw her the most fun, enjoyable, inexpensive 2 year birthday party she has ever had.

Thank You
Tiana Masias
C/S Colorado


Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

A friend threw her daughter a Disney Princess. Don't know if you have one where you live but she bought decorations, plates,etc. at Party City for half price. I did her cake with a little tiara and scepter. All in bright pinks and purples - really girlish. (04/12/2005)

By MamawKC

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

Consider making your own cake or cupcakes (if you have time) our public library lends out cake pans, although not all do, ours has quite the selection. You could also use a square or round pans, that's usually what my mom did, and I love looking back at the pictures of the homemade cakes. One year she made a round cake, colored the frosting, and put m & m's around it and made my initial "H" in the center on top of the cake with the m & m's. Fairly simple if you are tight on time, plus you probably could use any candy that you like, just make sure it isn't a choking hazard for your 2 year old, or give her a piece of cake without the candy if it makes you nervous.

You can do a lot with crete paper from decorating the walls to the table where you will be serving the cake & ice cream, crete paper is one of the cheapest decorations you could probably buy. Consider writing Happy 2nd Birthday "Her name here" on poster board with colorful markers or crayons, then have everyone sign or draw a picture that attends her birthday party, this would be a great keepsake for her, would be nice to hang in her room after the birthday party too. Maybe as an activity you could have everyone blow bubbles for fun, most 2 year olds love this. Good Luck! Here is a recipe for:

Basic Homemade Bubbles I

  • 1/4 cup Liquid Dishwashing Detergent (grease-cutters are best.)
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Light Corn Syrup
Mix together. Use straws, funnels, six-pack can holders, whisks,
small cookie cutters, etc. to make bubbles. Store bubble solutions
in an airtight container. (04/12/2005)

By Heidi in Iowa

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

My son is turning 2 this week also and we are having a party at a park. It's free unless you want to rent a pavillion and the entertainment is already there for you. You can just have cake and chips rather than serving a meal and buy kites at the dollar store for all the kids to fly and then take home as a party favor. (04/13/2005)

By OSU Paula

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

Why not invite your daughter's friends to bring their teddy bears and have a teddy bears picnic party at the park. Make your own lemonade, cupcakes and popcorn. The kids will play for hours together and dont need structured play and games to have a wonderful afternoon. If you really must have games, try something as simple as pass the parcel with the children singing and clapping. These are the things of which beautiful memories are made, not the dollars spent. Enjoy this next stage of your babys life you are obviously a loving and wonderful mommy and she is very blessed to have you. (04/13/2005)

By Ang

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

I'm not sure if this will work for your daughter, but if it does, GREAT! One of the best parties I ever threw was a fire truck party. I called the local fire dept. and made a reservation with the Chief who would be on duty for the day/time of my party. The dept. drove the truck out to the party, allowed everyone to crawl all over it, and gave a demonstration before they left. ALL FREE. I just served cake and my son opened presents before that and called the party done when the truck left. Good Luck! (04/15/2005)

By Martina

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

Why not have a carnival party. You can use boxes to create "stands". Have a ring toss game (fill empty bottles with colored water and buy inexpensive plastic bracelets to toss), a bean bag toss game (cut holes in a box, paint the box in bright colors and use scraps of fabric and fill with rice), a duck pond (buy a small blow up pool-can be used later for summer-and some rubber ducks-in baby section at dollar stores and mark a couple on bottom with an X-they pick until they get one with an X), hand a hoola hoop from a tree and have them throw a beach ball through it, make a fishing game (cut out fish shapes from styrofoam meat trays and attach paperclip to front-use large clips-get a dowel or stick and attach string to it and a magnet. Decorate a box with water and fish-put the fish in the box and let them fish). Use bright colors for tables-every table can be a different color. Use colored streamers the same colors as the tables. Serve hot dogs, juice, popcorn and other stuff that you would buy at a carnival. Hope this helps! (04/16/2005)

By campermom

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

When I was 2 we lived in Spittlefields London and did not have much money at all. We had a party in the garden where my friends from mother and toddlers came round and we played with slides and water toys (some borrowed). It was great and if you want to keep costs low ask each parent to bring there own food for there kids (04/18/2005)

By Hannah

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

TWO years old? Make a cake or cupcakes. et a plain one and write on it yourself or use dollar-store things or his own little toys to decorate. Use the bubble idea. Don't do anything the other Mom's have done--they will think you're a genius--aand it takes the pressure off them. Face painting with your old makeup or paints made with food coloring and egg yolk.

Save your money for when the toddler is older--you're gonna need it then. (10/18/2005)

By the Oracle

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

When my daughter was 2 we were limited on money as well. We had her party in the park with a few of her friends. I picked up some buckets and pails and let them play. I made peanut butter sandwiches from cookie cut outs and along with cup cakes. Remember they are still to little to understand so make it fun for them. (10/20/2005)

By Lisa

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

My daughters 2nd birthday is today and we have 4 kids so we also wanted to do something cheap. We are having a few people plus our family come to Macdonald's and were taking our own cake and just letting the kids have happy meals and then we'll eat cake and play. Depending on how many people your inviting this could also be a fun but inexpensive party. (11/14/2007)

By Brandie

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

I plan to have a party at home, BBQ some ribs hot dogs and burgers for everyone and have cake or cupcakes with a Little People Theme this year. For her fist birthday, last year, I did a duck theme and choose pink and yellow for the colors, I got the cake from the bakery-my mom paid for this as part of my daughter's gift- and my sister got balloons for me at a dollar store (deal's) and I had a friend help me with paper stuff (her mom worked for Hallmark so it was all free). All I had to do was get the favors and food. It was in a park and it only cost $25 for 4 hours, which is plenty of time. 2 year old's don't care much, and don't understand what the party is about. Keep it simple and it will be great! I have 3 nephews and twice they have gone to a gymnastics center for their party..I think it's around $200 for a 2 hour party for 10 kids, and you have to bring all your own stuff other than the plates and napkins and forks. I'm personally a BIG fan of the home parties. Those are my favorite parties when I was a kid. (01/25/2008)

By Liser

Daughter's 2nd Birthday Party On A Budget

My twins are turning two in August. We are planning on having a "Two Tu-tu's turning two" themed party. We will be doing a ballerina theme, and probably using Zoe monster since the girls love Elmo. Any suggestions for the favors? There will be older children at the party as well. (06/16/2008)

By karen

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