A second birthday party can be more geared towards the birthday boy or girl. ‘A party for a 2-year-old should be made up of a small group - little ones can often feel overwhelmed by large groups and won’t necessarily enjoy being the centre of attention!’ says Maddy Carrick of Dreamcatcher Parties. ‘Multi sensory parties go down well – try singing nursery rhymes, playing with soft toys and blowing bubbles!’
Who to invite
Family and your friends' children - or anyone your little one sees regularly at classes or nursery.
Guarantee the 'wow' factor by using a cake mould. The fabulous selection at cakecraftshop is worth a look for great ideas for boys and girls. To decorate, try your local supermarkets - you'll find everything from flowers, butterfly sprinkles and fairies to pirates, zoo animals and cars, or try JaneAsher fpr a great selection. You could also just use icing pens or Smarties to create a giant '2' on the cake! 'Or if you're short of time, go for a no-bake fridge cake - it'll still look fab decorated,' says Annabel from Hats & Bells
A game of Pass The Parcel with mum helping unwrap is fun - just make sure everyone gets a turn. 'I put little treats like a pencil or keyring under each layer, so everyone gets a gift,' says Georgina from Plush Parties. You could also organise different activities, such as face-painting and dressing up. It's important too, to have lots of opportunity for free play.
By now, toddlers are old enough to sit at the table for a proper tea party. Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches into fun heart or star shapes. Or thread chunks of strawberries, grapes and melon onto straws, and you could do this with veg like cherry tomatoes, peppers and cheese, too - they look fab displayed on a table with party food.
'If you don't have a theme, pick two colours for your balloons, cups and plates,' says Georgina of Plush Parties. 'Try pink and red for girls, or pale blue and dark blue for boys. Our polka-dot balloons look fantastic. Paper bunting is also fun and easy to decorate with, as you can zigzag it around the garden if you're having a party outdoors.'
A tablecloth in the same colours or theme can also help to jazz up the look of your party - take a look at partydelights.
Alternative party bags
- Buy some simple fabric bags for kids to decorate with fabric felt tips to double up as party bags. Try JellyandBlancmange
- Gold-coloured treasure trunks, from Kidzcraft, can be filled with chocolate coins and hidden around the garden as a fun treasure hunt
- Helium balloons tied with ribbons look great on the table held down with a weight and double up as gifts. Try SimplyBalloons
Make a big jug of cordial or squash with plenty of plastic cups, so you don't spend all your time making drinks
Six big family moments that matter – and the products that make them easier to navigate
These products from John Lewis & Partners help support the memorable moments of family life.