Your gorgeous baby is reaching a really significant milestone, they are going to be two!!
How do you celebrate this momentous occasion where you leave sleepless nights behind and enter a new world where your baby is everywhere and into everything??
It is tempting to throw a large bash, particularly if this is your first child but even the most outgoing toddler can find big parties overpowering.
Follow our steps to planning a perfect two year old’s kids birthday party and you won’t go far wrong
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″]Who to Invite?[/x_custom_headline]
In the future your child will have very definite ideas as to who to invite and the type of party they will want. However at this age the party is as much for you as theirs so family members and your friends are more important than inviting a nursery class of mums you don’t know. If you do want to have the nursery class consider having “two parties”, toddlers are at their best in the morning so a party from 11am until 1pm would be great, with the family party starting from 3pm allowing a nap inbetween.
The other alternative is to have a “gathering” for your friends with toddlers another day, (preferably pre 1pm) and then have a family party on the day so not overpower your toddler and to make it more enjoyable for you. having a fractitious toddler when they are meant to be centre of attention is no fun for anyone!!
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″]Venue[/x_custom_headline]
Home gatherings are particularly popular at this age just be mindful that toddlers are not great at sharing so either remove their favourite toys for a bit or provide other entertainment for them for the duration of the party. Other options are venues like ours, we will reserve tables by our under 2 area and provide buffets for both the adults and the children so all you have to do is book, we deal with the shopping, cleaning and clearing up for you. Church halls etc are best left to when you child is older and there are more kids to invite to create an atmosphere.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″]Theming[/x_custom_headline]
For your childs second birthday you can really go to town on the theming, it is the one birthday where you can decide what theme you want because after this your toddler will have very definite likes and dislikes to be taken into account. Depending on how artistic and creative you are, the theme can carry through the party decorations, cakes, party bags, balloons, fancy dress and tableware.
The theme can simply be a colour, or a generic theme like fairies or dinosaurs or you can buy from a huge array of TV and film character tableware. Party delights is a great website for party tableware and favours and has just about everything you can buy. I like to stick to bright colours and real pre-school themes that can appeal to more than one age group and are not so specifically girl /boy. Generally for a two year olds party you will have older siblings / cousins there and in my experience boys of 6+ do not like sitting at a party table of pink or peppa pig no matter that it is their baby sisters birthday! A more generic, happy birthday theme works well.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″]Food[/x_custom_headline]
For a successful party for a 2 year old, as much consideration needs to be paid the the adult’s food as to the kids food. As space will be limited in your home, thought is needed as to what to serve that can fit on one plate for both the young and adult guest. No-one is able to juggle both a child and two plates and forget it if your guest has more than one child! You will also not have all the highchairs required for everyone so people invariably end up with their child on their knee whilst broaching eating.
Non-messy finger food is definately the order of the day, I think cold food is best so people can keep picking throughout their stay. I like to use paper plates for many reasons; they can be thrown away once they have been used, they can be themed and if anyone drops one the little shards of broken plate are not all over your kitchen floor with little ones crawling all over them.
Have a think about rice salads and the like. They look and taste great but they can end up on the floor and walked into all the carpets in the house. It is also a devil to sweep up so it is difficult to clean as you go too.
Have a thought about the drink selection. Offering drinks with caps on like fruit shoots saves alot of spillage and the kids really do like them. There is a reason why most of the drinks in Kidzplay are those with sports caps!! We also don’t offer any drink that is in a glass to cut down on breakages and accidents too. Do have a thought on the drinks you will serve and where you will place the drinks. I always put coasters in high places to encourage people to put the drinks there rather than on the floor. Hot tea for example is incredibly damaging to young skin and needs to be where a youngster cannot even swipe at it.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″]Party Bags[/x_custom_headline]
Party bags and I find this the hardest aspect of a 2 year olds party. Just what do you give? Do you bother at all? The biggest problem is finding toys that are CE marked for under 3’s. Most toys aren’t, even large piece jigsaws are tagged over 3 and above
I have found different people have different attitudes to this. However I always think it is wise to err on the side of caution and pay attention to the markings on toys, you don’t want to give out a toy that hurt a child no matter how suitable you thought it would be. The other problem with under 3 toys is generally they are quite expensive. For the manufacturer to go to the cost of getting his toy CE marked for the under 3 they have to charge more and this is reflected in the price of goods.
The most successful party bag gifts we have include books, balloons, bath toys and soft toys. We never give out lollies or anything with a stick with our party bags. They present both a choking risk and a child can poke another with them. Also they are not eaten quickly so invariably mum is strapping the child in the car seat with the lolly whos remnants are smeared around the back seat of the car. You will not be popular and it will ruin all your hard work!
The other thing I have tried is to give the mum a gift bag rather than the child. At this age they are not expecting a party bag and for mum it is an unexpected treat. The last option is to not bother at all, I am however a pureist and I think a party without a party bag is not a party.
Consider all your guests. Kids who are six will not appreciate a cardboard “big words” book so do tailor your party bag to your guest. Here at Kidzplay we create bags for the different age ranges and genders, I have a family of eight children and I appreciate it is difficult to make your older child seem grateful for a baby’s party bag even when you are doing your upmost to make them seem grateful.
Just make sure that any guests with allergies don’t have a piece of cake in their party bag. It is also a really nice touch to have a “special treat” in their bag just for them. Ben, my son, has a gluten allergy so my daughter loves him coming home from parties so she gets the extra cake. One thoughtful mum had bought a special gluten free muffin for him instead and he absolutely loved it and I really appreciated the thought.
If this all seems like really hard work we can do this for you even if you don’t have a party with us, simply click on this link to pick the party bags you want and we will deliver them to you or you can come and collect them from us.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″]My Top Tips for a Successful Party:[/x_custom_headline]
1. Don’t bank on your two year old allowing you to get on with things on the day.
With your menu party bags etc start to create and shop for goodie up to three days in advance so you can be sure everything will be fine on the day. Even the most sunny toddler maybe teething on their birthday or be ill and you need to think through that eventuality. My daughter, Olivia, came down with chicken pox on my wedding day!
2. Organise the cake up to a month in advance.
If you wish to buy a home made themed cake the best suppliers tend to be booked up months in advance. Put your order in early and pick it up the day before. If you are making your own cake make it and ice it at least the day before. Don’t do want I did and tried to finish my son’s cake on the day, I rushed it and ruined it and was upset about it all day.
3. Organise where you want people to change their babies. Put a bin, baby wipes, nappy bags and a baby mat where you intend them to change their baby. Tell people as they arrive where the changing facilities are. It is also a good idea to have a change of clothes at the ready in case of emergency. If you don’t do this the more polite of your guests will be forever asking you where to change their baby; the less polite will just use your floor even if it is a cream carpet.
4. If you want everyone to have the run of the house then go for it, otherwise shut off rooms you don’t want people in. I like to shut doors as it acts as a deterrent to everyone, kids included.
5. Put any valuables away and out of harms reach. You won’t be able to supervise everyone and you will relax more knowing that people cannot break anything that is precious to you.
[x_blockquote type=”left”]About Lisa and Kidzplay[/x_blockquote]
Lisa is the owner and founder of Kidzplay, yorkshire’s largest chain of Kids playcentres. We host and run loads of kids parties and work really hard to create the perfect one for you.
[x_button shape=”rounded” size=”large” float=”none” href=”http://kidzplay.co.uk/kids-party/” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]See our party packages here[/x_button]