Second birthday party themes

Oct 12, 2009 at 4:26 a.m. ET

A child's second birthday party shouldn't be overshadowed by the first. It can actually be even more fun since they can now comprehend that it's a special day for them.

Second Birthday Cake

Experts suggest parents always consider a child's temperament when planning a birthday party for a two year old. If your child is going through the clinging, make-the-world go away stage, simply invite a few favorite relatives over for a celebration of cake and ice cream. On the other hand, if your child is more the party animal, and you're sure they can handle all the attention, invite a few kids and their parents over for a party extravaganza!

While it's not necessarily a requirement, many two-year-olds will be delighted by a party theme designed around something they favor. In addition to characters and toys, here are some themes that even the most opinionated two-year-old can appreciate.

Primary colors

An easy and inexpensive theme celebrating primary colors is a crayon party. In addition to a crayon cake, consider craft tables of chunky crayons, perfect for little hands. If they already show a preference toward a certain color, why not decorate the party around it? Think about red balloons, red tablecloths, red cookies and guests dressed in red!


By the age of two, children begin to acquire the ability to sort shapes. A party theme incorporating all of the different shapes, such as squares, circles and triangles, can be easy to put together and fun to attend. You can make shaped invitations at home, purchase brightly colored square and round plates, and even make decorations out of painted cardboard folded into squares and rectangles. Consider large, circular hanging lanterns for a very festive touch.


Children of many ages can appreciate the magic of animals, especially at parties. In the many children's books a two-year-old has already seen, chances are they have come across a cow, dog, sheep, horse or duck. Theme your child's birthday party to groups of animals they can relate to, like the zoo (with zebras, giraffes and monkeys), the farm (with sheep, cows and horses) or the ocean (with a plethora of fish in vivid colors).


The famous artist Pablo Picasso started painting at a very young age, so why not see if there might be another child prodigy among your chosen guests (or in your very own home) by throwing an art-themed birthday party. Invest in some washable finger paints and a long piece of butcher paper, and have each guest imprint their hands or feet for a memorable souvenir for your two year old.

The number two

Consider cutting out the number two in several different styles and prominently displaying it around the party area. String the numbers one through ten and have the number two be the focal point by it being the biggest number in the string.


Everyone loves bubbles. Maybe it's because they float or shimmer with amazing colors, or maybe it's just because they look magical. Blowing bubbles can interest almost any age group and work with any number of kids. From invitations to appetizers, the bubble theme is a popular choice for two-year-olds. With bubbly punch and bubble art, all the babies will be babbling about the "big bubble birthday bonanza."

The best two-year-old birthday parties are simple, fun, classic and somehow incorporate the emerging personality of the child into theme.

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Plan a party for multiples

What's your advice for making a second birthday party as memorable as the first?