Birthday Parties for 2- and 3-Year-Olds

By Carol Band

Activities for Ages 2 and 3

1. Water and sand play

2. Riding toys

3. Simple musical instruments
– bean shakers, oatmeal box drums, etc.

4. Balls of various sizes and materials

5. Blocks of various sizes and materials

6. Pretend play – dress-up, stuffed-animal parades

7. Food decoration – cookies, cupcakes, English-muffin pizzas

8. Circle time with stories and songs

9. Supervised crafts – Play-Doh™, finger-painting, pudding-painting, pasting magazine pictures, simple bead stringing

10. Dancing – Let them “shake their sillies out!”

As the parent of a 2- or 3-year-old, you can still get away with minimal party hoopla. While some families opt for a celebration with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, others invite a few playgroup friends for an hour or so of play and snacks.

Cover the table with white butcher’s paper and let the guests create their own tablecloth with crayons or markers. Provide plenty of opportunities for parallel play with Play-Doh™, water toys, sand, blocks and, if you have the room, riding toys, a pretend kitchen, dollhouses and dress-up.

“For my 2-year-old’s party, we invited three of her friends with their moms,” says mom Molly Fein. “I got an old refrigerator box, cut a few holes in it for windows and they had a great time coloring on it and hiding inside.”

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