When the mini-Artsplorer turned 2, I wanted to host a small birthday party at home that would be colourful and charming, without making me work too hard. I decided on a music themed party, and I still think it’s the perfect birthday theme, particularly for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
I turned our floor rug into a “dance floor” using an old sheet, some felt cut outs, and duct tape (if you go this route, make sure to secure the sheet down really well along all edges to avoid little ones falling).
A few mini-disco balls (buy online or at party stores), some streamers, and music note cut outs from printed online templates filled the room.
My nod to music on the food table included sugar cookies made with a music note cut out, a “piano” of finger sandwiches, and the xylophone cake.
The xylophone cake is a perfect foray into fondant decorating (it was mine!), as it’s quite easy to make. You simply make the cake in a rectangular pan, then cut the sides so that it’s the shape of a xyolophone (I made myself a template to make sure the sides were even), and frost. Then, cover with a layer of white fondant. The fondant keys I colored with food coloring, rolled out and cut into rectangular shapes. Use those little silver balls for the screws. I used dowels and fondant balls for the drumsticks (you could also use marshmallows).
For a 2 year old birthday party, I didn’t go overboard with the activities.
When the guests came in, they were given a bag with their own little instruments – a maraca, some bells, and a ribbon streamer – which they could take home (basically, they got the favour bag at the beginning). So, between those and just putting out a big basket of all of the toy instruments we already had, the kids had heaps of things to make a wild ruckus with (maybe give your neighbours a heads up, if you live in a unit!).
I made an effort with some activity songs like “Hokey Pokey” and “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” but I think that would be better suited for 3+, unless you really like to see a roomful of parents putting their right arm in, their right arm out, while the kids ignore them!
I also turned our dining room table into a craft station, where the kids could decorate their own shakers (paper towel tubes with dried beans inside, and taped up at the ends). A lot of them just drew on the butcher paper, which is fine, too!
Otherwise, I just turned on a toddler-friendly playlist, left noise blowers everywhere, and let them dance the afternoon away.
For slightly older little ones (3+), there are so many activities you could add – musical chairs, make a parade, funny dancing. Here’s one list with some more ideas. You might even contact a local music class program to see if the teachers are available for birthday parties, if you want to outsource a bit. For older kids, a karaoke machine would be just the thing.
There are millions of ideas out there for personalizing a music themed party (have a scroll through this Pinterest page). They can be as simple or elaborate as you’re up for, and a lovely way to invite some festive creativity (and plenty of noise!) into your celebration.