Games & Activities for Your Toddler’s Birthday Party

You’ve celebrated your child’s first birthday, and now that magical date has rolled around once more. Last year, your tiny bundle of joy probably did little more than smear cake and icing everywhere, but this year will be different.

They’re a full year older, and now they’ve entered that often-dreaded age known as the toddler years. How do you celebrate that momentous milestone? What ideas should you consider for your  2-year-old birthday party , and what should you avoid? What about party activities for your child and guests?

We’ll run you through some of the best ideas for your little one’s big day below.

Indoor and Outdoor Toddler Birthday Party Ideas

We’ll begin our discussion with a look at parties primarily aimed at 2-year-olds. There are several reasons for this. First, they’re the youngest in the wider group collectively known as toddlers.

Second, they often have the most energy, the most trouble following complex directions, and the least language and motor skills development. So, what can you do that’s fun for your 2-year-old? Plenty! Below, we’ll run you through some options.

Indoor Toddler Birthday Party Activities

Dance Party!

What You’ll Need

  • A radio
  • Party decorations
  • A clear space for your little one and their friends to dance, dance, dance

What 2-year-old doesn’t love to dance to their favorite songs? You can get them together with their friends for a dance break within the larger party. Create an open space with no obstructions or obstacles, no trip hazards, pop in a Kidz Bop CD, or the birthday child’s favorite album, and let the little ones go nuts.

Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas for Toddlers

Bubbles!

 

What You’ll Need

  • Enough bubble blowing sets for all the kids at the party. Consider adding a standing fan or box fan to blow them around a bit!

Seriously, who doesn’t love bubbles? Among the fun toddler party ideas, a bubble blowing party really stands out. It’s affordable, accessible for your child and all of the other attendees, and if held in the right place, doesn’t take a lot to clean up. Our recommendation is to do this outdoors, or in a space where a little (or a lot) of wetness on the floor isn’t going to be a problem. Of course, you need to watch out for slip hazards. Add a fan on a low setting to blow those bubbles around a bit more.

Break the Ice!

What You’ll Need

  • Small toys and/or party favors previously frozen inside ice cubes or other layers of ice
  • Enough squirt guns for all party goers

Having a 2-year-old birthday party in the middle of summer? Looking for outdoor birthday party ideas for toddlers that don’t involve cringe-worthy, outdated games like red-rover? Break the Ice is a fun option. Freeze the toys or other favors you have in ice, and then break them all out for the little ones. Provide everyone with a squirt gun, and let them break (well, melt) the ice and free the toys! This is definitely best done outside in the backyard, or at the park.

Piñata Smash!

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What You’ll Need

  • A piñata
  • A piñata bat
  • A tree branch or other object from which to suspend the pinata works well
  • A blindfold can be used, but may not be necessary with children this young

This is probably one of the most enjoyable classic outdoor birthday party ideas for toddlers. Seriously, what toddler doesn’t love to smash things? Let them get those destructive impulses out in a safe, fun way. Gather all the children around the piñata, and then let them take turns trying to smash the piñata to release the treats inside.

DIY Duck Pond Game

Arts and Crafts Birthday Party Ideas

Paper Bag Puppets!

What You’ll Need

  • A package of brown paper bags (lunch bags)
  • Markers, crayons, glue, googly eyes, glitter hearts – the sky’s the limit here, but choose with an eye toward safety. Toddlers are still likely to put things in their mouths, so try to avoid anything that might be a choking hazard.

This activity is pretty self-explanatory. You’ll just need to get the party goers into a single area. Then, give them each a paper bag (demonstrate a finished puppet if necessary), show them the supplies for crafting, and let them go to town.

Making Foam Bracelets!

What You’ll Need

  • Craft foam sheets
  • Glue
  • Strips of Velcro
  • Foam shapes
  • Paper edgers

This activity is fun for both boys and girls, and lets your guests make something fun to take home with them. All you’ll need is to cut the foam sheets into strips. These will form the body of the bracelet. Let the children decorate the bracelets with shapes, or color them with markers. Use the Velcro strips to create closures on the bracelets once all the glue has dried.

Self-Portraits!

What You’ll Need

  • Construction paper
  • Markers/crayons
  • Consider adding stickers and other decorative items if you want

Kids love to draw – let them draw portraits of themselves (or whatever pictures they want, really). Make sure you have them set up in an area where stray marker streaks aren’t going to be a problem, or where crayon ground underfoot isn’t going to be an issue. There’s no winner to this activity – all your guests take home their pictures, so they’re all winners!

Notes on Choosing Toddler Birthday Party Places

Thinking about having a party outside the house? Then you’ll want to know a few things about choosing toddler birthday party places.

National Party Chain Locations

You’ll have access to a number of different national chains that allow you to host children’s birthday parties, although the exact locations will vary depending on where you’re located in the country. Understand that these are often quite expensive, and you’ll need to make sure you know exactly what’s included and what’s not for the price you’re paying.

Think Outside the Box

Don’t limit yourself to venues with arcade games (they’re noisy and expensive). Think outside the box. California Pizza Kitchen does children’s birthday parties, and little ones like your toddler can even get help rolling out their pizza dough. Of course, this may not be applicable for all toddler birthday parties, depending on age, number of children, other adults supervising, and other factors.

Also lumped into this “out of the box” category are bounce locations – there are quite a few places with names based on variations of the word jump or bounce. They offer a combination of trampolines and inflatables, and they’re generally open to kids of all ages. Most also offer some sort of party space where you can do pizza or cake and ice cream.

Hard Rules and Considerations

Whether you go the conventional route with an arcade, or you think outside the box, toddler birthday parties need several things in place to be successful, and we’re not talking about games, prizes, food or candy. Specifically, you need to ensure that there are enough adults to supervise all the children. Ideally, one parent for each guest child will be present for this purpose.

The area itself should be easily policed to ensure that strangers do not interact with the children for safety purposes, as well. Finally, make sure that the area is safe for your little ones. For example, if you were to hold it at a local park, scope the area out first for wasp nests, holes, trip hazards and the like.

Finally, let’s consider attendance and cost. If you’re going to use a chain location, or anywhere else that you must pay for, then it’s best to get the parents of any potential attendees to RSVP. This will allow you to adjust your budget to meet the demand, and you can avoid costly surprises.

In the end, whether you’re in need of 2-year-old birthday party ideas, outdoor birthday party ideas for toddlers, or something else, a little care and planning is really all that’s necessary to ensure your little one has an amazing day. Make your decision based on the time of year, the anticipated weather, the number of children attending and, of course, your child’s interests and what they find fun.

Use Discount Party Supplies for Your Toddler’s Birthday!

Check out our fun boy’s and girl’s party themes to find the perfect match for your little one. We carry extensive lines of party favors, decorations and other goodies to help make your child’s party a success. Don’t forget to check out our other party planning articles and see more suggestions on party games for kids.

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