Should 2 Year Olds Have Birthday Parties?

2 year old partyAt some point in time, every parent wonders how they should approach birthdays. As a family, for the last 4 birthdays in a row, we have paid very close attention to the boys’ birthdays. I’ve thrown a Old MacDonald Party, Basketball Party, Dump Truck Party and a Train Party.

For AJ’s 2nd birthday party however, we just invited the family over for some hotdogs and potato salad. My mom let us use leftover cake from Easter, and we picked up a chocolate cupcake at a bakery for AJ. In total, we had only 5 or 6 presents tops.

No guests. No decorations. No games. No fancy cake.

And you know what? It was just as much fun! For me, it was probably even MORE fun. Sure, we did a little bit of extra cleaning throughout the day, paying special attention to a good deep cleaning of the deck, but we were probably going to do that anyways. Because I wasn’t stressed out about guests and decorations, I was able to relax and enjoy myself! I didn’t realize that a small part of me was dreading birthdays because of all the “work” involved.

And our 2 year old loved all the attention during his birthday song. He was so hilarious while he ate his cupcake that he actually had quite a large audience gathered around him for the better part of an hour. Get this– he divided the cupcake in half, right down the center, and didn’t touch the other half (not even the frosting!) until he was finished with the first half. We even tried to rotate the cupcake when he wasn’t looking, but he just reached his hand over and continued to eat from the opposite side. See what I mean about how he marches to the beat of his own drummer?

The entire time we sang, he gave us coy smiles.

Aj happy over cake

Aj clapping over cake

Once we blew out the candles, the drama began. We attempted to take the candles out, but he screamed, “NONONO!” as loud as he could muster.

AJ crying over cake 2

AJ crying over cake 3

AJ crying over cake 4

Finally, he tasted a little bit of frosting and calmed down 🙂 See if you can spot Gregory’s “gollum-face” in this next picture as he eyes AJ’s chocolate cake.

AJ eating cake with Gregory watching

AJ coy face at birthday

AJ messy cake face 3 signature

AJ messy cake face 1 signature

AJ opening presents 1

AJ opening presents 2


What about you? Do you host parties every year for your kids?

Related posts

My oldest is 5

First Birthday Parties

Gregory’s 2nd Party!

Anthony’s Birthday Party!
  • Becky @ bybmg

    This year was the first we did a combined party for our oldest. He and his cousin are 3 weeks apart, so we did their party together at my parents’ house. I had a hard time letting go, honestly. I like to go big on birthdays, but big in a not spending a lot but making it cute way. He still loved the party. I still made the cake, but I missed him having his own. I don’t think he cared though.

    • Kelly Cone

      A combined party is brilliant if it shares the workload! I think I would get sad that he was missing the individual attention. Kids love attention 🙂

  • Rebecca Hatcher

    Honestly, I LOVE BIRTHDAY PARTIES! I plan them a year in advance. I go totally overboard. That being said, I have been trying REALLY hard to take it down a notch, because I can get so wrapped up in party trappings that I lose sight of the whole point of the party, which is to have fun. If the birthday person isn’t having fun, or I (and my family) are not having fun, then the party is a failure, no matter how cute the dessert table is. I really like what you did for your two year old – he really wouldn’t have cared about decorations or theme, especially since it would have caused you stress and made you less available to enjoy him on his special day. I’ve been thinking more and more that to really do a good job celebrating a special day, you have to take a step back and ask, what would make THIS person feel special today? I think you did a really go job of that here 🙂

    • Kelly Cone

      Very true, Rebecca! The first party is kind of a party for the parents to say “We made it!” but as they develop their own little personalities, it’s better to ask what would make them happy. AJ loved all the special attention from his family members, but he probably wouldn’t have enjoyed a lot of kids running around 😉

  • Shana

    I think it is great how you celebrated! Personally I love birthdays and love planning them….so I do go all out for my kids parties. LoL It’s as much for me as for them, but I believe what is important is recognizing the day in a way that is special for your child. I have a friend who cooks her kids a special fancy breakfast for their birthdays and they get it in bed. That is awesome because it is their tradition! I think you do what works for your family and your child will be blessed with the memories you create!

    • Kelly Cone

      Oh, I like the fancy breakfast in bed idea! Sounds so special!

  • Andrea Laughery

    Such cute photos!! I planned my son’s first birthday party last year and it was a little stressful. I wish I would have done things differently. I think this year when he turns two we will just invite some friends over for a bbq and call it good. 🙂

    • Kelly Cone

      First birthday parties are a little different because they’re such a landmark! I think the idea of a BBQ is a good one (obviously?) 🙂