Awesome Role Play Ideas For 2-Year-Olds (Practicing For Their 2nd Birthday And What’s To Come)
Roses are red, violets are blue, my toddler is a terrible two…
What started off as a – dreamy, I can’t wait until you wake up and play with you baby, has now turned into a – is it nap time, I hope she doesn’t wake up yet child.
I’ve been struggling with temper tantrums since my toddler was 16-months-old. Since then, it’s really amplified to a toddler who is 24/7 attention-seeking and what’s becoming the terrible two’s.
It went from cute to annoying quickly, and while she’s been on a streak of temper tantrums, she’s really affectionate at heart.
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My toddler will be turning 2 soon and aside from the temper tantrums, I’m expecting it to be a fun year because of what’s to come – blowing birthday candles, opening gifts, potty training, and slicing a cake.
Did she say; slicing a cake?!
In light of that, I thought it would be awesome to create a potty training station and a 2nd birthday role-play space in my toddler’s playroom for her to practice and prepare herself for those tasks.
I was inspired because I had already owned all the items to create the space and I hope to inspire some of you who already own a few items that will help you to create one too.
Keep in mind, this post does not offer tips on how to potty train a toddler. These are just tips on creating a role-play space for 2-year-olds.
So if you’re looking for new creative role-play/pretend-play ideas for your 2-year-old, keep reading!
What to expect: Milestones for children who are 2 years old
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are important milestones your child should reach by the end of their 2nd year of life.
To name a few – your child will be more defiant/independent, able to say sentences with at least 2 to 4 words, follow 2-step instructions, can walk up/down the stairs while holding onto the railing, climb onto furniture, etc…
Check out CDC, for their complete list and what to do if you find your child has not reached certain milestones by the end of this age.
Aside from all the cool gross motor and language skills they’ll be developing, there are a couple of other things to expect as well, such as blowing a candle and potty training.
What to expect: Your child’s 2nd birthday
When your child was 1, he/she probably wasn’t able to blow their birthday candle, open their own gifts, and cut their cake.
Luckily, my daughter was gifted a wooden cutting cake (thanks ShayShay!) last Christmas that will help her to practice cutting her own birthday cake this year.
In addition, I remember purchasing a Thomas & Friends Birthday Wish Push Along Train And Light Up Birthday Cake sometime after her 1st birthday. I was sold at the fact that you’re able to blow the candle and the light will go out once blown. It was the perfect toy to teach my daughter how to blow candles.
However, it was actually her flute recorder where she really learned how to actually blow. It was then, where I decided to reintroduce the Thomas & Friends Birthday Cake. She now is able to blow the light out, but still struggles a little.
So we’ve just been practicing since. Now that my daughter will be turning 2, she’ll hopefully be able to make-a-wish!
Okay, not quite…but she’ll be able to blow her candle and cut her own cake using these 2nd birthday role-play activities I have displayed for her.
What to expect: Potty-training
I don’t know about most parents, but why is it that some of us can’t wait for our toddlers to be potty trained? Is it because some of us can’t wait to stop buying diapers because of the cost? Or how about the need for daycare and how some places won’t take children who are not potty trained?
It was the latter that led me to rush potty training with my firstborn. Now that I have my second child, I feel laxer about the whole potty training thing.
It was actually a mixture of the pandemic and me not wanting to bring in unnecessary stress because I knew that regardless she would eventually not want to wear diapers.
Now that she’s almost turning 2, I felt the need to start introducing her to the potty. In addition, It’s nice just thinking about not having to spend money on diapers/wipes and not having to pack them either.
Role play ideas for 2 year olds
Potty training station
What I used:
1. Ladder – The “ladder” in the back was taken from my daughter’s Ikea Sniglar crib. I just decided to use it as something to hang things on since we weren’t using it. It was one of those things I couldn’t bear to throw away.
2. Hanging book shelf – Because I already owned this piece and was not using it for anything else, I decided to use it to display her potty training book and pull-ups. I found this little bookshelf at a local Goodwill and just tied it onto the ladder.
3. Toilet paper – For role-play: wiping after using the potty. I also tied this onto the ladder.
Mom Tip: Hang toilet paper the “wrong way” to make it harder for your toddler and pets to roll it out and waste it.
4. Pull-ups – For role-play: pulling up underpants and to change into in case of an accident
5. Potty training toilet – For role-play: to go potty. I am using the Summer Infant My Size Potty, White – Realistic Potty Training Toilet Looks and Feels Like an Adult Toilet. My daughter loves flushing the toilet.
Again, I already owned all of these items and just found other things around my house that would work for this space.
Preparing for my 2nd birthday
What I used:
1. Montessori weaning chair – I use this chair for majority of my daughter’s holiday/seasonal role-play activities but you can use anything.
2. Thomas & Friends Birthday Wish Push Along Train And Light Up Birthday Cake – For role play: blowing out the candle
3. Wooden Birthday Party Cake for Toddlers 2 3 Years Old – For role play: cutting the birthday cake
4. Books on what to expect at 2-years-old and about my daughter:
- Graham turns two – A book about a boy celebrating his 2nd birthday. I already owned this book from Lovevery and I love it because it also exposes my daughter to diversity, which the majority of Lovevery’s books and toys do.
- Dear Little Aries – A book about my daughter’s birthday month zodiac sign. My awesome sister (thanks Che!) gifted this to my daughter on Christmas and my daughter loves this book because she likes knocking on the little treehouse doors. Seriously the cutest children’s zodiac book and I definitely recommend them.
- Happy Birthday from The Very Hungry Caterpillar (The World of Eric Carle) – A book about celebrating your special day. I love this series of Eric Carle books (definitely check them out) and these books are great to give as a gift to anyone as a holiday card with a cute message.
- OLIVIA On the Go – I love this set because it includes Olivia, the character, playing different roles. It teaches my daughter all about role-play and pretend play. Olivia is also my daughter’s name so I also use this book to spell out the letters of her name. This set was given to my daughter as a gift (thanks Richie!)
I didn’t purchase anything new here. I was inspired by our Thomas & Friends birthday cake and Dear Little Aries book, which made me remember that I had already owned the World of Eric Carle Happy Birthday book, Graham turns two, and Olivia on the go set.
Again, I just used whatever I had and browsed through my daughter’s books to see what else I can add. I actually recently added Lovevery’s “Bea get’s a checkup” as something to expect for when my daughter goes to her 2-year-old well-baby doctor’s visit.
Also, I didn’t add opening gifts as a role-play activity because my daughter already learned how, but this will also be another role-play activity you can add into your space if needed and are items you may already have around the house.
Celebrating your child’s 2nd birthday is equally as fun and exciting as their 1st birthday. Blowing out a candle and using the potty are just a couple of things to expect when your child turns 2 and/or throughout their 2nd year of life. Some children may even have figured it out before they turned 2, which is super awesome!
However, mine hasn’t and because I had these items on hand, I thought it would be fun to introduce these tasks through role-play for my daughter. If you have these items on hand, hopefully, this post will inspire you to do the same using these role play ideas.