Few endeavors are more difficult than coming up with a novel gift for a child who seems to already have every toy, treasure and gadget imaginable. Let other party-goers give thoughtless gift cards while you dazzle the 2-year-old in your life with a present that will provide memories for years to come. Take a few minutes to really think about the birthday boy to discover perfect gift tailor-made for the special tot.
Treat him to a special outing that you two can share or that he can share with his parents. If he loves animals, a season pass or tickets to the local zoo, children's museum or an upcoming circus will do the trick. A more affordable option is an afternoon at a dog show, children's theater or puppet show. Check with the parents to ensure they are available if the tickets are for a specific date.
A Toddler Magazine Subscription
Every month he'll be surprised to get a treat from you in the mail. Many magazine subscriptions are age-appropriate for children, toddlers and even babies. Their topics include everything from bugs, animals, dinosaurs, stories and crafts. It also allows for special parent and toddler time when the magazine arrives.
His Own Book
Buy a scrapbook and make a personalized book for the birthday boy. Ask his parents to e-mail some photos of him to you, if you don't already have some. Arrange each photo on a page and write a sentence or two on each page that connects the picture to something you know he loves to do, like swimming, playing with his dogs or kicking balls. Add drawings or doodles to each page to add pizzazz. Keep it simple because 2-year-olds have short attention spans.
His First Fish
Check with his parents for approval about this first pet. If they give you the green light, buy a fish at your local pet store. Choose a simple glass fishbowl, colorful aquarium rocks and an aquarium decoration that would interest him, like a pirate ship. Don't forget to include fish food.
A Birthday Plate
Make a plate for him at a ceramics painting store. Choose a dinner plate or a large platter. Paint it with his favorite colors and paint his name and birth date on the plate. Give yourself plenty of time because you will need to return to the store a few days later to pick up your finished plate. His birthday plate will be used for years to come.
Commemorate the most memorable milestone of the past year with a shoe bronzing certificate. His parents can choose which shoes to bronze, from his first walking shoes to his favorite fashionable sneakers. The certificate comes with a mailing envelope and paid postage. The bronzed shoes will be mailed to him several weeks later and will become an instant family heirloom.