At 2 years old, children are not quite into playing together or sharing, though they still enjoy being with other children. A party for this age is for the parents and family, as well as for the 2-year-old. Leave time for unscheduled play. Remember that at this age, children tire quickly, so make the party short enough that the children return home still happy instead of tired and grumpy.
Provide climbing opportunities for the 2-year-old children. Pile cushions on which to climb. Put chairs in a row. Create a soft landing around them with cushions and blankets. Let the children climb up and down stairs, with supervision. Cover a couch and let the children climb up and down and around the couch. Award lots of clapping and praise for children who proudly climb "high."
Create musical instruments from a variety of items found around the house. Turn an oatmeal box into a drum by taping down the lid and using serving spoons as drum sticks. A pan and a soup ladle also works as a drum. Roll heavy weight paper and tape to make a tube to use as a horn. Hang regular spoons from a hanger and tap with a table knife to make music. Make hats from folded newspaper and parade around the house or yard with the homemade musical instruments.
If your 2-year-old shows a fascination with airplanes, make airplanes the birthday party theme with airplane-focused games. Fold paper to make airplanes and help children see how far they can make them fly. Buy lightweight toy planes and fly them around the room or yard. Have children pretend to be airplanes. Lead them on flight maneuvers around the play area. Let the children color airplane pictures to take home. Also add small, plastic, child-safe airplanes to the take-home goody bag.
Have children sit facing each other in pairs. Show them how to roll a ball back and forth between them. Use different size balls, some small and some much larger. Have children stand in a circle with you in the middle. Gently toss the ball to a child. Tell the child to either toss the ball back to you or toss it to another child. Clap when a child catches the ball. Using soft balls and bats, help the children bat balls.
Let the children splash around in a wading pool. Give them squirt guns. Lead them in a parade around the yard to water flowers and trees. Hold the hose or anchor it so the children can run through it. Have towels and a change of clothes ready for the children if they get cold or when they finish with their water games.
Where am I?
Play games of "Hide and Seek." Hide an object and have the 2-year-old children find it. Hide lots of objects, letting each child find a hidden object. These might be toys or stuffed animals. Tag the object with the child's name to take home when the birthday party ends. Sit down on the floor with a blanket over your head and play "Peak-A-boo." Let the children cover their heads and play the game with adult supervisors and parents.
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