1. Bubbles - Decorate with clear helium balloons, placemats made of bubble wrap, and start up the bubble machine. You can buy an inexpensive battery operated one or splurge and rent the commercial kind. Every child responds to blowing, breaking, chasing and watching bubbles.
Small wading pools with rubber duckies are optional.
2. Sports - Of course, your two year old is not actually rooting for his favorite team. But if he likes being around Dad when he watches the game, then this birthday theme might be the one to capture his enthusiasm. In fact, Dad might be interested in helping with ideas and even offer his sports equipment, baseball cards and team jerseys for decorating.
3. Princess - or Prince - Yes, your little one is definitely destined for royalty and easily rules your heart. Celebrate that fact with this theme. You can keep it simple with paper crowns or go all out with fake jewel tiaras, dressing up like monarchy and building a play castle out of boxes for the event.
4. Construction - If your 2 year old likes to dig or gets excited when he sees a dump truck, bulldozer or back hoe, then this party will make him happy. Arrange to have a pile of dirt or sand deposited in your yard or driveway. But be sure to warn the parents to dress their kids in old clothes. Add orange cones from the home improvement store, toy construction trucks, shovels and pails and you're in business.
5. Teddy Bears - If someone 'beary' special is turning two, then this is a good choice. You can have a teddy bear tea, picnic or parade. Have each guest bring a stuffed animal friend. Every child's bear can win a prize: one for the fuzziest, another for the cutest, most cuddly, biggest or smallest. Don't forget to serve the Teddy Grahams.
6. Under the Sea - Make a wall of blue balloons to resemble water. Add fishing nets and inflatable fish to decorate. Offer gold fish crackers as a snack. This party can also be tied into Sponge Bob, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo or Shark Tale.
7. Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Maybe your child responds with exhilaration whenever he sees an airplane overhead or a train zipping by. It might be fire trucks or racing cars that capture his attention. So if you notice that he likes these things, you can build the whole birthday party around the vehicles of his choice.
8. Animals - If your child goes crazy when he or she sees a fuzzy critter, then this is a great theme party idea. You could feature one animal, such as cats, dogs or monkeys. Another choice would be to make it about a whole category of animals, like those from the farm or the jungle. Take the group of kids to a petting zoo or farm. Or you can have it at home with face painting and dressing up the kids to look like their favorite critter.
9. Dinosaurs - This is a favorite of kids of all ages. Decorate with green crepe or craft paper streamers, hung in various lengths to look like you're in the jungle. Add construction paper dinosaur prints all over the house. Use dinosaur toys or cut out pictures to complete the look. You could even provide a sandbox dig for dinosaur bones or eggs for all the budding paleontologists.
Simply pay attention to what your toddler reacts to with enthusiasm. If you choose a theme that features something your little one really likes, then he's sure to have a wonderful time at his second birthday party. Though he may not quite remember the celebration, you will take tons of photos, which will serve as a lasting reminder of your love. And isn't that what the fuss is all about?