View Full Version : Second Year Party

09-06-2002, 08:49 PM
I am planning on throwing my daughter a second birthday party in November and I would like to make the party child-centric, although there will be parents for each child in attendance. What I did for her first birthday was a lot of fun, but I am wondering if there is anything specific I should include/do with entertainment or games since the attendees have matured considerably since last year. Any suggestions?

11-24-2002, 12:18 PM
Well obviously this thread got a lot of attention! Not! :-)

So my daughter's birthday and party were yesterday so I'll fill everyone in on how it went (since it seems no one has 2nd year party ideas).

I had 7 children and 9 parents in attendance (including my family of 2 parents, 1 child). It helped a lot that my husband was there, he and I would trade off hosting and child-watching duties. Every child was watched by a parent at pretty much all times.

I turned our downstairs into a giant playroom, taking toys from all over the house and putting them in appropriate locations. I even took our IKEA child table/chairs set and nestled it into an unused corner with a few stuffed animals sitting at it. Since my husband is into electronic music, we took our drum player and mini keyboard and filled them with batteries (no cords to pull or trip on) and left them on the coffee table for kids to bang on. We also let some of them bang on the big piano.

Kids arrived about 12:15ish, we ate at 12:30. I made a huge pot of chicken vegetable soup, and for the kids I just scooped out the cooked, flavoured veggies and chicken (with a few pasta pieces) as their main course. I also had side trays of carbohydrates (crackers, snack bars, Goldfish, etc.) and chopped fresh fruit and dried fruit. The table was set for the kids only, with a bowl, sippy cup, spoon, bib and party hat for each child. These items were brand new and had only been washed; the kids got to take them home as party favors. The wooden table was covered with a paper tablecloth that had a plastic lining to make it mostly waterproof. This tablecloth turned out to be an awesome investment (well worth $3!!!).

I had stated in the invitation that each child should bring a seat to eat in, so those who needed booster seats brought their own.

Adults had pizza, and could partake of the soup and fresh fruit, but they served themselves in between feeding their kids.

After lunch, the kids were antsy sitting still so I let them run around and play while I cleaned up the kitchen. Then I set up a coloring contest at the table. Every child got a piece of paper and some washable crayons. The paper tablecloth served as a backup in case the kids got too expansive with their creativity. We had the kids each color a picture (alternating, some were too enthralled with toys to be lured away with crayons right away), and then every child got a prize. I was creative with the categories. My daughter got the 'birthday prize', one child who used only orange got 'best use of orange', one child who only drew vertical lines got 'best use of vertical lines', the kid who drew the least got the 'minimalist' award, etc.

Then then kids ran around some more while I cleaned up again. I managed to keep all the crayons at the table (it's a miracle) so I didn't have any wall cleaning to do.

After another 20 minutes or so I brought out the cake, we sang, everyone had some. Then there was more hyperactivity while the icing sugar rush wore off, after which I got everyone together and brought out the gifts. Guests obviously brought gifts for my daughter, I had also gotten gifts for every child. BEFORE my daughter opened her presents, I explained that she thanked them all for coming, and wanted to show her appreciation by giving them something. Every child got a decently-sized gift. This way they were all playing with their new toys while my daughter opened her motherload of presents and no one tried to grab her things away. It worked out well, because the birthday girl was too happy to be ripping at wrapping paper to notice that the other kids weren't watching her.

After winding down, everyone went home. 3 hours, start to finish. I was exhausted, and so was the birthday girl who immediately went down for a 2 hours nap while we cleaned up the house.

FYI, all the stuff I bought (bowls, spoons, gifts, crayons, etc.) was purchased up to 90 days in advance at the TRU Baby/Toy sales they have been holding this Fall. By planning ahead I could pick up nice toys on super cheap sale, and I bought whatever dishes/spoons/sippy cups were on sale with the coupon books. I will admit that I went slightly overboard, but I probably spent $100 on the entire party, which is WAY less than my Mommy friend who hosted kids at the Gymboree.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing next year, but everyone had a great time at this party.

Flora Mom
07-26-2003, 09:15 PM
Thanks for sharing on this topic. I am getting ready for my son's 3 year old party. I skipped his 2 year party since I was pregnant and not feeling well.

Just attended two different 2 year old parties. One was outdoors = summer time on the deck and grass with a kiddie pool, and sit/driving toys, crayons, paper, balls. Kids and parents enjoyed it. Parents/guests brought pasta salad, salad. Hosts provided grilled burgers, hot dogs. Being outdoors made a big difference for the kids.

The other was indoors not kid centric at all.

07-27-2003, 05:11 PM
Yes actually it's only another 4 months now until her third birthday and I am starting to think about what I want to do. I am going to combine it with a party for her brother's 1 year birthday, which is 4 weeks after her birthday.

Since most of the guests will be three year olds, I am thinking of doing something similar to last year, but with a few more interactive things. I'm thinking perhaps a singalong or storytime, similar to what they do at Gymboree or my daughter's preschool. I'm also going to look around for other games that kids this age would enjoy. Let me know if you come up with anything!

08-13-2003, 01:56 AM
Great topic. I am starting to think of my son's 2nd birthday in November. Last year went okay but I was way too stressed out. We had family and friends over to our house, but it poured rain (which it never does) so instead of the nice party I'd planned to use both our large (and leaky) patio and indoors, everyone was crammed indoors.

This year I am thinking of one at a children's play place (like Gymboree, but not). It depends on how many children we'll invite as it's totally kid-centric and the adults are just spectators (unless the children are young). They don't do the presents during the party, though, which I think is a good idea for a 2 year old but I am wondering how the adult guests will think of it.

08-13-2003, 05:29 PM
Gymboree is kind of expensive, although I don't know exact $$$.

I was at a party for a 3 year old last week. The big things were a clown who did a puppet show and balloon animals, as well as an Astrojump. My daughter LOVED the Astrojump and once she got in she only came out to eat. She weas even in there when all the other kids were getting balloon animals! So now I am thinking of renting one of them for her party. There is a place near us that will host a birthday party for up to 25 kids for $225. This includes 90 minutes in a huge room with multiple Astrojumps and other inflatable play structures such as slides and tunnels. I'm not sure this is cost effective for me since I will only have about 10 kids at our party. They recommend it for ages 2 and up.

08-25-2003, 03:46 AM
It turns out that our baby gym party would be $300 for up to 30 kids, and since I'd be hard-pressed for even 10, we're not doing it.

Any other ideas? Maybe we should just have a birthday playdate with his friends and then a family party...I'd like to do something to mark the date for him, perhaps a special outing (zoo? beach? children's museum if we had one?).

I'm stumped.

08-25-2003, 02:22 PM
I'm planning a second birthday party for Arielle at the beginning of October (a bit early, since I'm due at the end of the month, when her birthday is...she won't care:) ). I'm going to combine family and kids and will invite 3 toddlers (plus one youger sibling, probably) and then about 15-17 adults. That'll be a tight squeeze since we live in a small apartment and we had only 13 last year (no kids besides Arielle) and it was pretty packed!

I'm thinking of starting out with coloring and stickers (maybe on a birthday sign). Then a little art project (making placemats--I saw this on the Birthday Express website, looks cute), some prizes, and perhaps storytime. I'm sure the kids will just run around and play with our toys mostly though. I'm doing a Rubber Ducky theme so Duck Duck Goose would be cute, but I don't know if they're ready for that!:) And we'll have pizza and cake (hopefully in the shape of a duck, if it comes out well!) too of course.:)

So it sounds pretty much like the birthday playdate you mentioned, except that we'll have family over too. The zoo outing sounds like a great idea, Arielle loves the zoo.

I'd be interested in hearing more ideas too!

Mom to Arielle Jill, 10/30/01
#2EDD 10/24/03-Another Girl!:)