Tuesday, 17 August 2010

How did you celebrate your child's second birthday?

We went to a two-year old's birthday party the other week. The parents had brought in an entertainer for the children. It was certainly eye-opening to watch a group of children aged around 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 react to the entertainer. Unfortunately, she didn't do a great job of keeping them entertained. She was meant to be playing a character but she wasn't convincing or interesting enough to engage them. She had a few props that some children liked but not all. She sang some songs which were enjoyed by a few of the children and then she tried to tell short stories and have a bit of dialogue which was totally ignored by them all! It's a difficult job with that age group.

As this was the first of many second birthday parties to come, it was good to see what I'll have in store later in the year when my son turns two. I had no idea even that people started bringing in entertainers for a 2-year old. Based on what I saw at this recent party, I'm yet to be convinced that they are a good idea for this age.

The day of this particular party was a wet, very rainy day so whilst the plan had been for everyone to be outside (as you would hope in August), everyone was forced to stay inside in the same room. Towards the end of the party, the rain had stopped and the parents let their children go outside. That seemed to be the highlight of the party for the children, being able to run around, burn off some energy and splash in puddles!

Fine weather birthdays are definitely easier to organise and enjoy. Being outside is always a winner. As my son has a winter birthday, that's less likely to be an option so I'll have to think hard about what to do in terms of keeping the little party guests amused. I've read a few short articles and tips about planning a birthday party for a two-year old. I think one of the best pieces of advice I read was to plan activities that involve the children, instead of entertaining them. When I think of the more successful moments of the entertainer I saw, it was definitely the parts where the children had things to do that they enjoyed most, like having their own tambourine to shake to a song.

I'd love to hear what you arranged for your child's second birthday party. Did you have an entertainer? Did you plan activities or games for the children? Did you have the party at home or in a hired venue? It would be great to hear what worked best for you.

Photo credit


  1. Have had two, two year olds now and must say I am one of the old school, party food, and play. No need for all the entertainment, as you saw for yourself they are just a little to young, either they don't get it, get scared, loose interest. Best thing I think of course lol is small gathering of their little friends, lots of fun and singing and party snacks.

  2. Thanks Nat. Good to know what you did for your two and what seemed to go down well.

  3. activities that involve the children is a very sound piece of advice to plan by. i am the same as Nat. am all for free play, a few easy games (pass the parcel, musical chairs + maybe a simple art project) + cake and party bags.

    I have rarely heard of party entertainers actually keeping the children's attention for the entire time... although my neighbours did use one once and they are probably the only people I would recommend: Sharky & George.

  4. hi, just found your blog.

    i think a lot of parents get really complex about young children's parties. activities, and singing, and games. they're 1/2/3/4, they just want to run around screaming for a bit.

    best parties here is that everyone goes to a play centre. they have romping jumping soft areas, while parents can watch at tables, or join in!

    kids are happy tired by the time it's over.

  5. Urban Mums - thanks for sharing the types of games you like to play at birthdays, as well as the entertainer recommendation. I like the idea of doing a simple art project with them too.

    Mon - welcome! Glad you found me and were so kind as to leave a comment. Soft play places like you mention are great fun for children. They can be let loose and burn off lots of energy while having a good time!


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!