We’ve all heard of the terrible twos, but I think that phrase may have been invented by a mom who hadn’t yet met a three- or four-year-old. If you ask me, having a two-year-old is sweet, wild, hilarious, and baffling. Your toddler has a full-blown developing personality that makes you want to burst out laughing and scream in frustration all at the same time.
To throw a successful birthday party for your 2-year-old, you will want to keep the guest list pretty small and full of familiar faces. The menu should be kid-friendly (you want them to eat, after all), and it’s usually nice to have an easy activity or game. Keep the party to a couple of hours and schedule it at a time when they won’t be too tired or cranky. Last but not least, read on to choose from our list of the best themes for 2-year-olds.
Party ideas for 2-year-olds
1. Taco twosday
I mean, who doesn’t love tacos? Set up a taco bar with all the fixings, including chicken and beef in crock pots, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and queso. Buy plenty of tortillas, chips, and some fiesta-themed party supplies, and you’re good to go. Mix up margaritas to make it a party even the adults are excited about!
2. Oh twodles!
While Disney character parties may not be your favorite, they are one of the quickest ways to get a toddler super excited and ready to party. If you want to mix it up a bit, you can go vintage Minnie and Mickey, choose a neutral or blush and gold color scheme, or have fun with a Mickey Mouse safari theme. Or you can grab those dollar store Mickey Mouse party decorations and call it a day.
3. Cookies & milk party
Get inspired with every kid’s favorite afternoon snack- cookies and milk! If you’re a little crafty and love putting your own touch on a theme, this party can be absolutely adorable. The most important part, of course, is a dessert table with cookie jars and cute milk cups with straws. For decorations, you can go with rustic details and florals, Cookie Monster, cows and milking buckets, or anything that strikes your fancy.
4. Choo Choo, I’m two!
I have yet to meet a two-year-old little boy who doesn’t have a soft spot for trains. Choose from Thomas the Train, alphabet train, a Little Goldens-inspired train party, a vintage train and railroad party, or everything transportation. I personally love this vintage train party featured over at Kara’s Party Ideas. There’s no shortage of train party ideas, games, and supplies, and your toddler will be in heaven.
5. Two infinity and beyond
For a two infinity and beyond party, you have plenty of options, depending on your child’s interests. Toy Story gives you so much fun material to work with, from lovable and colorful characters to a cloud backdrop to the Toy Story logo. If your child’s not into Toy Story yet, create their very own galaxy complete with rocket ships, planets, and astronauts. Or, my favorite, a blue and purple color scheme with gold stars and moon-inspired decorations.
6. Two sweet
Your two-year-old may not actually be two sweet, but let’s just pretend for a minute. The fun feature here is choosing a favorite dessert, whether it’s donuts, cupcakes, or ice cream. Set up a sweets bar with a variety of your chosen dessert and toppings, and decorate accordingly. Sprinkles, donut balloons, ice cream garland, what’s not to love?
7. My doll and me party
If your two-year-old carries their baby doll everywhere they go, this theme is original and more than a little precious. Invite a few of your child’s friends or cousins to bring their favorite doll over for an afternoon of play. Set up a play area with doll clothes, doll beds, blankets, and bottles. You will probably want to get some extra (and inexpensive) baby doll supplies so your toddler doesn’t lose her mind over everybody touching her favorite things.
8. Hot air balloon
Up, up, and away! Hot air balloons are exciting, colorful, and you can get creative with decorating. I’ve seen people create their own (non-functional) hot air balloons with a ton of balloons tied to a basket big enough for a kid or two, go classy with light pink and macarons, or throw in clouds and planes.
9. Petting zoo party
Petting zoos are a surefire kiddie crowd-pleaser, and this one is a great option if you don’t have a house fit for hosting. You can reserve a birthday party time slot at a local petting zoo, which typically includes full use of the petting zoo and a pavilion, and possibly other add-ons such as farm tours or food. If you’ve got the space, some companies bring farm animals to your backyard and offer pony rides.
10. Nursery rhyme party
This party theme has a timeless, classic feel that can be inspired by all of your favorite childhood nursery rhymes. You can use Mother Goose rhymes as your starting point, including Humpty Dumpty, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Little Boy Blue, Jack and Jill, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Baa Baa Black Sheep. Here’s a great list of nursery rhyme party games, and you can hand out books as party favors.
11. Moana party
Make way, make way! Throwing a Moana party is perfect for summer babies or as a way to pretend it’s not snowing again during the winter months. You can decorate with (fake) tropical flowers, coconuts, palm leaves, and bright balloons. Plastic coconut cups with straws, Moana costumes, tropical fruits, and ocean-inspired cupcakes will add a lot of fun.
12. Pink lemonade
A pink lemonade party is both simple and adorable. Bring this theme to life with lemon balloons, garland, and plates, and a complimentary pink color scheme. For the menu, go with cookout food, drink dispensers filled with pink lemonade, lemon bars, and lemon wedge cake pops. There are plenty of ideas over at Catch My Party to get you started.
13. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Due to the recent passing of beloved children’s book author Eric Carle, this birthday party theme is even more special. The rainbow color scheme and food-based story make decorating and menu planning pretty simple for you. You can easily find party supplies, games, and printables for this party theme, and for food, cupcakes in the shape of the very hungry caterpillar and most of the snacks that he enjoyed are the way to go.
14. Adventure awaits
A popular nursery and baby shower theme, this one works beautifully for a birthday party as well. Landscape decorations like mountains, rivers, and pine trees, bunting, bears, and foxes will make this party as cute as can be. It works well as an indoor winter party (think snowy mountains), or as an outdoor summer party (add tents or teepees into the decor).
15. Apple orchard
If you have a fall baby, it’s so much fun to use the season to your advantage. After all, most of us love falling leaves, crisp air, and apple orchards. Fill wooden crates with fresh apples, and decorate with red and green balloons and mini pumpkins. For dessert, have apple baked goods and apple cake pops. A cute phrase for invitations and decorating is “we love you a bushel and a peck!”
16. Swan party
While you may not want to approach a swan, their elegance and beauty make them the perfect party theme inspiration for your little girl. Bring this theme to life with pink and white swan decorations, silver stars, and simple bouquets of pink peonies. Add in some feathers, ballerina decor, and a tutu for the birthday girl. If you have some extra money in the party budget, swan cookies are almost too cute to eat. Here’s a DIY option if you’re up for the challenge.