Idea No.


Hide & Seek Party 2yr



January 2001


Karin in Bryan, TX, United States



Hide & Seek For a Toddler's Birthday Party  My son is turning 2 at the end of this month.  We wanted to throw a unique birthday party for him that would be something keyed in to HIS interests.  He has an older brother who usually tells him what to like.  His favorite game is Hide & Seek, so we decided to have a party with that theme.  We've had so much fun setting things up and "practicing" the games already, we can hardly wait for the actual event to take place!  Invitations:  "Gingerbread" boys/girls with arms folded to hide their eyes - party details on bodies  Games: \*\*Hide & Seek\*\* Toddlers love this classic game!  They often hide in the same place, giggle a bit too much, or just cover their own eyes, but, boy, is it fun!  You can have the adults (or an older sibling) be "It", or you can reverse it.  Have the adults hide and the guests seek.  \*\*Jack in the Boxes\*\* How many times have you spent money on a great gift, and the kids would rather play with the box?! Toddlers loved this game at our party.  Get enough of toddler-sized cardboard boxes for each invited guest (we got ours from a local appliance store, but you can resort to purchasing good sturdy boxes of many different sizes from a moving company like U-Haul)  Decorate them with contac paper, crayons, paint, or wrapping paper.  Let the kids help.  If the boxes are large enough, you can cut windows and doors in them.  We learned the hard way to keep the boxes intact (not to actually remove the doors/windows) because the toddlers wanted to be COMPLETELY "hidden".  If the box had an open side, my boys didn't want to use it!  Let the toddlers "hide" in the boxes, trading places on a signal like turning the lights on/off or playing music and stopping it.  Then "find" each guest inside the boxes with an enthusiastic "I found you!"  If the guests are old enough, they can take turns finding each other.  If not, then it's up to the energetic parent to be "it".  You can also play/sing Pop Goes the Weasel, and have the kids "pop" up/out of their boxes at the appropriate moment. (Be prepared to sing this one over and over....I recommend taped music...)  \*\*Toddler Treasure Hunt- No Reading Required!\*\* Hide a prize (enough small prizes for each guest - or one large prize they can all enjoy - like a piƱata) in one part of the play area.  Tie one end of a ball of yarn/string to the prize.  Then unravel the ball all over the house/yard in every direction.  Have the guests follow the string to the prize.  \*\*I Spy/Mini Treasure Hunt\*\* Hide some small prizes around the party area.  Guests can find them on their own, or you can play "I Spy" or Hot/Cold to guide them to the prizes.  Be sure to hide the prizes in obvious places to make it easier for the kids to find them.  \*\*Roar!!\*\* Make a tent out of a card table and a blanket or set up the camping tent (or use a play tent).  Let the kids "hide" and surprise each other.  Our boys LOVED pretending to be lions, dinosaurs, etc (any animal that roared!) and popping out of the tents.  \*\*Hidden in Ice\*\* If your party is held outdoors, you can make favors out of frozen water balloons.  Insert small plastic prizes into fairly large balloons.  Fill with water until the balloons are the size of a large apple.  Freeze overnight.  Remove the balloon (very easy to do after it is frozen!  Just snip the tied end with a scissor, and the balloon will peel right off.)  Give each guest their frozen ball and let them thaw it in a small wading pool to retrieve their prize.  (Remember, be sure to use toys that are safe!  They must be large enough so they cannot be swallowed and they must not have little parts that can fall off.) Favors: Give each guest a small ball of play dough with a small plastic prize inside.  (We are using cookie cutters in dinosaur shapes).   Other Ideas: Eye Spy Board Books, Lift the Flap Board books, magnifying glasses, Cracker Jacks (they have a surprise inside!), the box they played with for the Jack in the Box games, mini Jack In The Boxes, flashlights (to help kids feel secure when hiding in "dark" places, number magnets (for counting to 10 while the kids hide)  Cake: We are planning to use cupcakes, one for each year of the our son's age.  We will frost and stack them in a tower (in our case, a tower of 2).  We will "hide" a candy treat on the bottom cupcake after we frost it.  Then we'll cover it with the top cupcake.  We're planning to take lots of pictures with at least one of each party guest to send with our Thank You cards.  We think the boxes will provide wonderful opportunities for some great pictures.

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