15 Fun Birthday Party Activities for Toddlers and Young Kids

Planning birthday party activities for toddlers can help make your little one’s party a bit more organized and a lot more enjoyable.

Depending on who you ask, the toddler stage goes from about ages one to three. This stage represents a wide range of abilities, with younger children just learning to walk and older children being able to do pretty much anything they can get away with.

That means most of your little guests will probably have the motor skills needed for basic games, but they will also have short attention spans.

Simple activity options that are short, easy to understand, and loaded with movement are ideal for this age range.

Girl laughing at her birthday party. 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

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You might wonder if toddler party games are even necessary for your two-year-old’s birthday party. Honestly, at these ages, you can get away with not having a party agenda. Picking fun places (like a petting zoo or park) or just setting up a playing area in the backyard will suffice.

However, I’ve found that both kids and adults have more fun when there are specially planned activities. Plus, if you choose crafts, the finished product doubles as party favors.

Picking a Birthday Party Theme

Picking a fun theme for your toddler’s birthday party can help you to choose what kind of activities you want to do.

I have a great list of 83 punny 2nd birthday party ideas that are also great for twins and a list of 10 unique first birthday ideas that can help you decide on a theme and games.

Clever 2nd birthday party ideas for two year olds birthdays or twins birthdays - with puns - Press Print Party!

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I also have lots of adorable printable party themes in my shop and a fantastic party planner.

Ready to learn about some activities? Here are some great ideas for birthday party activities for toddlers.

Birthday Party Activities for Toddlers

Any of these fun ideas can be a great time on their own. However, a great way to engage each kid’s short attention span is to offer several options.

Set up stations that match your overall theme for the perfect toddler birthday party.

A kid’s birthday party can be hectic. At least fun activities add some structure. Kids will remember the activities and if they had a great time, they’ll tell you about them for days after the party.

1- Piñatas

Piñatas are a classic party game. Two-year-olds may need a little assistance but they will certainly have fun.

little girl wacking a pinata -15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

Be sure to have your party guests line up from youngest to oldest so that the little kids have a chance to take a swing before the older kids (or adults) demolish the piñata. The smallish piñatas available in the large box stores are very weak and ideal for little kids.

If you want something stronger, I have instructions on how to make piñatas. Be sure to check it out if you’re looking for a way to customize your party with a themed piñata! 

2- Dance Party or Freeze Dance

Kids at this stage love to wiggle and dance. With both of these games, kids have to freeze when the music stops. Finding songs that are appropriate for this age group can be challenging, so KidsActivities.net made a list of 55 Fun Toddler Songs. It’s full of nursery rhymes: some classics and some lesser-known songs.

One of my favorite kid’s albums at the moment, though, is “Don’t Forget to Remember” by  Ellie Holcomb. There are only six songs in the album, but it’s one I could listen to again and again, which can be a godsend with small children. 

3- Bubble Mania

Hand out bubble wands, turn on a bubble machine and encourage guests to fill the air with bubbles.

Two-year-olds may not have the hand-eye coordination to make the bubbles themselves without spilling all the bubbly juice, but they will love chasing after them.

2 toddlers playing with bubbles - 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

You could make giant bubbles for them to pop for fun or you can make a contest to see who can pop the most bubbles.

If you’re looking for another DIY project, Living Well Mom offers instructions for making colorful bubbles.

4- Play Parachute

These parachutes, which are covered in different colors, will engage young minds, and provide tons of fun while also teaching great lessons. You’ll need the help of older kids and adults to use a play parachute but younger children will be enthralled with it once it’s up.

play parachute - 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

Kids will practice listening, color recognition, and fine motor skills all while having lots of fun. The other great news is that play parachutes are pretty affordable! This is one of the best toys for a child’s party. 

Play parachute party games for toddlers:

  • Each holds a handle and brings the parachute up and down one at a time taking turns to make ocean wave motions
  • Place popcorn or plastic balls in the middle of the parachute and have the kids shake the parachute to watch them bounce around.
  • Have adults bring the parachute up and down and have the kids run under it one at a time before the parachute comes back down.
  • Have the kids opposite the parachute switch places while the parachute is up in the air.
  • Have everyone lift the parachute up, then scoot underneath and pinch down the edges letting the colorful dome slowly descend around them.
  • Give commands like fast, slow, high, and low for the kids to follow.

5- DuckDuckGoose

This classic party game is a classic for a reason. The smaller party guests might need help understanding when to get up and run and who’s chasing whom, but their smiles and squeals will make it clear that they are having so much fun. If you have a play parachute, you can set it on the ground and have the kids sit on the edges.

6- DIY Stomp Rockets

Stomp rockets are an activity kids and parents can get into. I recommend having a few launchers built ahead of time, and then your guests can make their own rockets. Just follow my simple stomp rocket instructions to build your own.

diy stomp rocket launcher and galaxy backdrop

This is a great game for kids of all ages. If you have several older kids, consider holding a few competitions based on age group. You can test whose rocket goes the highest or farthest and then have a small prize for the winner.

7- Finger Painting

If you don’t mind a mess, collect some cardboard boxes, and let kids go crazy with paint. You might want to warn parents by including a little message on the invitation like “Clothes your little one can paint in are encouraged.”

toddler finger painting - 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

8- Coloring Pages

Coloring pages are a low-key way to entertain little ones. I have lots of free printable coloring pages in my shop. You’ll probably find one that fits your theme.

15 Free Printable Fish Coloring Pages for Kids of All Ages - fish coloring book, fish coloring sheets for under the sea fun - Press Print Party!

9- Water Table / Sandpit Treasure Hunt

Place small toys in a water table and fill it with sand or water for a treasure hunt. This simple game is ideal for little kids. Small groups will only need one water table, bin, or kiddy pool, but bigger groups might need more than one.

With a little imagination and themed decorations, you can transform your toddler’s birthday party into an archeological dig site for a dinosaur party, a pirate’s buried treasure for a pirate party, or an underwater shipwreck for an under-the-sea party.

girls throwing confetti - classic games for kids parties - press print party

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10- Obstacle Course

You can make a toddler obstacle course out of household items, a piece of chalk, or some fun obstacle items like a tunnel. At this age, they will probably need guidance through the course a few times.

11- Gift Hot Potato/ Pass the Parcel

This great idea might remind you of a certain Bluey episode “Pass the Parcel.” Whether or not you decide to let every player win a prize is up to you. You can wrap a little prize in a few layers and make sure the music stops on every child, or you can have one big prize in the end.

When the music stops, the child holding the “potato” gets to remove a layer.

12- Puppet Show

This is a great opportunity for older siblings to get involved and present a puppet show to the little ones. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated and basic sock puppets raised above a table will work just fine.

puppet show - 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

13- Petting Zoo

You can have a small petting zoo come to your place and set up in your backyard to the delight of your little guests. We had a safari party with an exotic animal show, but our kids were a bit older. For toddlers, some bunnies, chickens, and little goats would be amazing to them.

petting zoo - 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

14- Balloons Stay Up

Blow up several balloons and gather your little guests. The idea is to play together to keep the balloons from falling on the ground without holding them. You can play a song or count to 10 and see how many balloons are still in the air. Or just let them play with the balloons if the point of the game escapes them.

15- Throw Balls in Basket

We all know that toddlers can throw. The idea is to get some light plastic balls (like the ones for a ball pit) and set up some colorful baskets for them to throw them into. You can make it a game where they get a treat if they get 3 balls in the basket.

throwing balls - 15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

I hope this article helped inspire a terrific birthday celebration for your two-year-old! Please leave any thoughts, comments, or questions! 

If your kids are a bit older and able to do more, check out my list of classic birthday party games with our silly twists on them as well as my list of 15 competitive water balloon games.

If you’re looking for an adorable invitation that is editable, check out the birthday party invitations in my shop! They are super easy to edit and print and come in an array of designs.

Be sure to check out my other helpful party planning blogs, like The Secret to Getting RSVPs to Your Kids’ Birthday Parties and How to Throw an Unforgettable Party – The Secret 3 Steps Formula. Each one of my blog posts is full of tips and tricks I’ve learned from my own party-planning experiences. 

Happy party planning! 

Don’t forget to pin these fun birthday party activities for toddlers:

15 fun birthday party activities for toddlers and young kids - Press Print Party!

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