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New Balance Sneakers for the entire family!

* This post is sponsored by Superbalist. It's the beginning of a new school year and the start of all kinds of extra-murals and sports for our crew... That means shoe shopping. More specifically, sneaker shopping! Growing feet need new trainers for netball, hockey,...

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“TWO” cool for school 2nd birthday bash!

by | Sep 10, 2019 | Just Kids, Party Inspiration | 47 comments

We’ve celebrated more than one 2nd birthday, and coming up with original themes is a bit more challenging every time… This year for Ava’s party, we decided to go with something completely different. Hinting to the fact that she’s still at home, and such a “mama’s girl”. A “TWO cool for School” theme seemed perfect!

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration

I made a quick invite on (every mama’s best friend when it comes to designing your own stationary) and sent it to our nearest and dearest with an added note, this party was dress-up.

Two Cool For School Invitation2 Cool For School

Now to make things pretty!

The colour scheme was inspired by our beautiful Migi Designs picnic blanket and the rest was easy…

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration

Apples (affordable and edible decor for the win), brown paper lunch bags filled with fun bits and pieces, a few check tablecloths cut from a piece of fabric I found at a local fabric store, chalkboards, alphabet cards and good old school stationary that can be put away after the party, and used as needed by Eliana at school. It was kind of like buying school supplies in advance.

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration Back To School Party Decor

I grabbed up a beautiful photo display stand from Clever Little Monkey and added a personalised Ava’s ABC’s written on craft wrapping paper. The guests loved looking back on Ava’s past year, giggling at all the things we love about her. You’ll definitely be seeing us use it again and again for future celebrations.

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration

Add a few strings of paper tassel bunting (recycled from a friend’s birthday party, just a few weeks before) and our backyard was set!

Party Bunting


When planning our parties we always focus on the food. If people eat well, everyone is sure to have a good time.

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration

We keep sweets to the minimum, for as long as we can. Still an easy task seeing as Ava is home with me most of the time, next year, we’ll have some more treats.

Healthy Party Snacks

“Party food” included:

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration

  • Homemade Giant Choc Chip Cookies
  • Dried Fruit
  • Oh My Goodness Fruity Hoops Cereal (The Gordon Ramsay brand Checkers sell.)
  • Nuts

Diy Tuckshop 2nd Birthday Party

Lunch needed to be kid- and adults-friendly so, gourmet sandwiches! Choose what you like from a variety of breads, cold meats, toppings and sauces. Fournos Bakery always has an incredible selection of freshly baked loaves, buns and bagels.

Gourmet Sandwich Bar

The spread at our sandwich bar included:
  • Low GI, Gluten-free, Wholewheat, French baguettes, Ciabatta, bagels, plain white and even charcoal loaves.
  • Cold meats: salami, pastrami, chicken, ham and everything else on offer at the deli.
  • Cheese – grated and sliced.
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce
  • Gherkins
  • Fresh chillies
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mayonaise
  • Chutney
  • Mustard
  • and don’t forget the butter.

Easy Party Food

We borrowed my mom’s panini press for the foodies wanting to make a toasty and had good old Peanut Butter and Jam handy for anyone wanting to keep things simple.

Diy Sandwich Bar

What about the cake?

Birthday cakes are expensive and as a non-baking mama, I understand why. Baking something delicious and making it look magical is an art. That’s why I’m grateful to have a sister-in-law that knows how to bake the tastiest cakes. Every time she bakes a cake, our friends notice and if you aren’t quick you won’t get a bite.

2nd Birthday Party cake ideas

She baked a red velvet and dark chocolate layered cake covered in black fondant. What a surprise cutting into the cake.

Red and black layered birthday cake

The night before I used food gels and my best steady “teacher hand” to decorate the sides. Dusting here and there with a sprinkle of cornstarch. Artful Biscuit Co.‘s gorgeous sugar cookies and a number 2 cake topper (recycled from a previous birthday) was the perfect finishing touches to Ava’s cake.

2nd Birthday Cake Inspiration


Being winter this was an easy choice – a self-serve coffee and hot chocolate stand.

DIY coffee and hot chocolate stand

All we needed was an urn, our trusty glass beverage dispensers filled with milk. A few hot drink sachets, Milo, sugar, sweeteners, tea, honey, spoons and disposable coffee cups. These days you can find great compostable ones, so be sure to read the packaging. We also put out tiny porcelain cups for the kids to use, as well as glass drink jars with reusable straws (we use these for all our parties) and a huge water dispenser for a cool alternative.

2nd Birthday Party drink ideasCoffee Station At Birthday Party

Now for the “FUN”

Having the guest dress according to the theme already provided a good laugh whether you went all out or simply grabbed your old school pullover. Wanting to stick to our colour scheme, I borrowed a uniform from a teacher friend, she hooked up a few of us – just look closely.

2nd Birthday Party Inspiration 114

Mr. Perfect simply added a tie. Lia and Eliana played around with pleated skirts they had in their closet and the birthday girl stood out in a Mika & Cebo Kids set.

2nd Birthday Party outfit ideas

We built a cardboard “Tuck Shop“. This doubled as a really cool photo prop and play area for all the kids. Everyone took turns buying and selling “treats” to each other.

2nd Birthday Party IdeasHow to build a cardboard house

Each “pupil” received a mini chalkboard and party pack filled with chalk, play dough, star stickers, crayons and a “homework book” to use at the “homework corner”.

No Sweet Party Pack Ideas

The “Homework Corner” was a craft station. More stickers, glue, colouring pages and paper crafts to enjoy.

Easy party arts and crafts for kids2nd Birthday Party inspiration

On the “Playground” we had bean bag toss – another easy to make cardboard game. The dads had some fun with this one too. And of course our home jungle gym and swings.

Birthday Activities For Toddlers2nd Birthday Party Inspiration 222

Saying “Thank You”

We alway enjoy getting input from our friends and followers on social media and when Terri Row from Choose a Row recommended including books in our party I knew exactly what to do.

2nd Birthday Party ideas

Mr. Perfect’s handyman abilities were once again put to the test as I asked him to build a cute, corner bookshelf out of cardboard boxes. I headed over to our local Bargain Books. They always have great books on sale. There were so many to choose from. I decided on a variety but also included a few of the same titles. Books I thought Ava’s friends would enjoy the most, with more than one friend wanting to take the same story home.

2nd Birthday Party Ideas

I made a library card / thank you note on CANVA and included it with every book. Just a tiny detail, coz I’m a sucker for details.

DIY 2nd Birthday Party Inspiration

* If you like, download and use our Library Card HERE

The library was a hit with little ones and their parents reading together, choosing a favourite story to take home and keep forever.

Diy Kids Party Ideas

This party gets an A+ from all the guests.

Seeing everyone have fun, dressing up and celebrating with us was the best! Everything you want a birthday to be.

Looking back at Ava’s 2nd birthday party, we treasure the photos and video the most!

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Poppit & Finch.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – CONGRATULATIONS Mia van der Linde (Instagram winner)!

WIN a 2-hour birthday celebration photo package to the value of R2500 for your little one’s next birthday party! This package includes 2 hours of coverage with 150 images delivered to you via an online gallery. AMAZING, right?

2nd Birthday Party ideas

How to enter:
  1. Leave a comment below telling us what your next party theme might be!
  2. Follow Just a Mamma and Poppit & Finch on Instagram  AND / OR
    Liking Just a Mamma and Poppit & Finch on Facebook. (I’ll be checking so PLEASE make sure you complete this step).

You can also gain extra entries on our Facebook Page and Instagram Account.

Be sure to have a look at the T&C below and good luck!

2nd Birthday Party Ideas


  1. Competition only open to families residing in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa.
  2. Prize must be used with 12 months and date of party photoshoot is subject to availability.
  3. Please enter a valid email and contact info. If we can not get hold of you within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.
  4. This prize is not exchangeable or refundable.
  5. You need to complete all the compulsory steps as stated above. Failure to do so will result in you being disqualified.
  6. Instagram and Facebook is in no way responsible or associated with this giveaway.
  7. Winner must be 18+ years old.
  8. Competition closes on the 2nd of October 2019.

Two Cool For School 2nd Birthday Inspiration 2

Quick list of suppliers for Ava’s 2nd birthday party:

Birthday cake: Baked by my incredible sister-in-law, decorated by me. Sugar cookies added for WOW!

Sugar cookies: Artful Biscuit Co.

Giant choc chip cookies: Recipe available HERE on the Cookpad APP.

Macarons: Sweetly Detailed

Birthday Milestone board: Nectar & Ink

Birthday girls outfit: Mika & Cebo Kids and shoes from Shoo Shoos.

Photo feature wall: Clever Little Monkey

Letterboard: Fable Lifestyle

Photos and video: Poppit & Finch

Best Toddler Birthday Party Ideas

Checkout our CELEBRATION PAGE for more party inspo.

approved banner eots rect a


  1. Michelle Olivier

    Our next party theme is a paint party. It might change if my daughter changes her mind before then

    • Marlini Naidoo

      A Mermaid party for my little girl Aranya. She’ll be 3 in January

      • Madelein Koen

        Motorbikes!! Out boy is a born biker!! Looooved your party!!

      • Michelle Vermaak (Mama Theo.Ri)

        In January my boy will turn 3. He requested a dinosaur party so we are doing T(hree) Rex. We are all very excited!

    • Nadine Bronkhorst

      My Elliana is turning 1 in November! I was thinking pin wheels and teepees with a picnic vibe!!! This would be such an awesome prize to win!!!

      • Kirsty Robinson

        Our next theme would most likely be a Fireman Sam theme as my boys love him.

        • Raquel

          My little baby girl birthday is on the 6tg of December, im thinking a minnie mouse theme as she loves minnie mouse, she wasn’t breathing when she was born and was in NICU when she was born, I take my hat of to every NICU parent it is the worst experience, I want her Gordy birthday to be something special cause she is alive after the most horrible experience for our family

    • Madelyn Van De Venter

      Hawaiian, tropical party
      Would be amazing for my granddaughters 3rd birthday party 🥥🏝️🌺

  2. Michelle

    My sons will only be 2 next year August but we did a ferdinand the bull for his first birthday. Next year I’m thinking if badanamu as a theme as he loves their songs soooo much. 😊 I love choosing the themes that Noone really knows about. I strive to be different and to push my creativity to the max.

  3. Sanelisiwe Duze

    This will be our first birthday for my littlw princess and we all know princesses love 🦄 unicorns so that will be our birthday theme

  4. Tiffany Ramsuk

    We are having a Minnie mouse theme for my little princess in 2020 on the 1st of February.

  5. Lisa Dribbin

    I’ve been stumped on what to do for my sons second birthday – trains and planes were one idea – but now I’m loving the “two cool for school theme”!!

  6. Gabriela

    We just had a gorgeous donut theme for my 3 year old, but my one year old will have either a bunny/bubble or hot air balloon theme ♥️

  7. Sandra

    Our beautiful Isabella will be 1 on the 4th Feb 2020.
    Haven’t confirmed a theme as of yet but I’m thinking a Donut 🍩 theme – playing around with Donut Grow Up ….

  8. Adrianne McGluwa

    For my son’s birthday party, I am thinking of going according to the “Under the sea” theme.

    • Robyn

      I’m hoping to do ‘party like a panda’ theme for my baby’s 2nd bday – working on making her love pandas!

  9. Karomien

    My son is turning 4 in November and only wants a Super Hero party! He’s been telling everyone about it and is super excited!

    • Helena Theron

      My grand baby is turning 3 🍍🌞🌴

      Polynesian themed

  10. Dorianne Rogers Booysen

    Ons sal vir Annebelle se 3de verjaarsdag n Wild and Three doen. Woodlands tema
    Kan nie wag nir

  11. Sunel Rossouw

    My little lady will be turning one next year and we are still getting to know her but she is so wild and wonderful that we are thinking a Woodlands critter “Wild One” party.

  12. Kelly Hall

    My son is having a Paw Patrol theme in November for his 3rd birthday. My younger son will be having a space themed party next year for his 1st birthday. Would love to have photos taken at these events!

    • Marelize

      I know it has been done a thousand times over the last year but I am thinking unicorn party for our little one’s first birthday as the outfits she can wear are SO cute 🙂

  13. Calista

    My twin girls first birthday party is approaching (Feb 2020) and we have chosen PANDAS as the theme!

  14. Ashleigh du Plessis

    Our twin girls have their 1/2 birthday (6months old) they are our IVF miracles, our rainbow babies, so we will be doing a rainbow theme, with personalised biscuits, special baby onesies etc. They will be turning 1 in March and I would LOVE help on a creative and original idea to celebrate this amazing milestone of our babies, babies we never thought we would have 🙏🏻

  15. MrsFF

    Theme is always a hot topic in our household .. it changes and changes . Earlier in the year the child wanted a paint party as she thinks she is an artist. Now she has decided on a unicorn party (so not going to happen, mama doesn’t like conventional themes) so we might end up going with a unicorn painting party . We still have two months till she turns 6 and enough time to change minds

  16. Maryke

    Our little one will have a 3rd birthday in Feb next year.He us obsessed with planets so maybe a space theme will be something to consider xxxx

  17. Melissa De klerk

    We are having a princess superhero party, my daughter says she is sparkly like a princess and strong like a superhero, and can’t decide between the 2 so we having both.

  18. Elisabeth Meyer

    My sons 4th birthday around the corner and our theme is “Under the sea” as he absolutely loves sea animals! We recently took a family trip down to Durban just for him to experience Ushaka Marine World and what a hit it was, to see his face light up the way it did, winning this will light up our faces to have these memories forever

  19. Carri

    We’ve just had a 3-Rex party this week ! The next one will be for my baby & will either do “ONEderland” or “ONEderful” party!

  20. Larise

    We are having a 2nd Ice cream party in October. 🥰

  21. Larise

    We will also be having a 2nd birthday party in October. The theme will be Ice cream. 🍦🍨🍧

  22. Melanie van Wyk

    My baby girls 1st Birthday party theme would be Flamingos! Just love Flamingos!! Such beautiful birds!

  23. Keren

    Into the wild (child) 😋

  24. Marile Seyffert

    My daughter’s second birthday theme will be fancy nancy! She just love the show. Cries everytime it’s over

  25. Helizna Swart

    We will have a handyman themed party for our soms third birthday part. He LOVES tinkering with his Dad.

  26. Verouschka Van de venter

    Moana themed❤️ for my little girls 3rd birthday ❤️🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🐟🐚🐚🐚🏝️🍍🥥

  27. Christi

    Ek en my bestie se seuntjies verjaar 11 dae uitmekaar uit! Ons hou in November vir hulle n Dinosaur partydjie 🦕 🦖🎈 @danelle_kat

  28. Andrea

    We did rainbows and unicorns for her first, you are my sunshine for her second and next will be Dr Seuss for her third

  29. Karin

    Aaah wow! Ek steel sommer die theme 😂👌
    10 year old wants an outdoor movie night and the 2 year old we’ll do a piggy / peppe theme x #pickme!

  30. Karin

    Aaah wow! Ek steel sommer die theme 😂👌
    10 year old wants an outdoor movie night and the 2 year old we’ll do a piggy / peppa theme x #pickme!

  31. Shani-Lee Balie

    Ice cream party for my twin girls!!

  32. Rene

    Our LG turns 1 end of October… they call her a little busy bee at daycare, so why not al little BEE party!

  33. Leana McLean

    I have two boys, they are both obsessed with dinosaurs. Thinking of a modern dino theme for either 6th or 2nd birthday parties with digging up fossils as a game as my eldest wants to be a Paleontologist!

  34. Rozanne Steyn

    Zoe-Jane will be turning one in January!! For her first birthday we will be having a Unicorn party as she absolutely loves her unicorn teddy and cant sleep without it

  35. Michelle

    Its my first child’s 1st birthday next Feb and Im thinking of either doing a Beatrix Potter theme or ‘Wild One’ theme😊

  36. Caley

    Absolutely loved this party and theme my friend – too adorable! And I love all the school details x

  37. Anita

    VERSEKER ‘n llama partytjie 🦙


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is a space for Mammas by a Mamma. Intended to inspire, motivate and be helpful. No judgement or expert advice – just gorgeous photo shoots, fun celebrations, great finds for mamma and baby, inspirational moms I have come across, places to go and vacations to have, as well as my own journey of motherhood and family life.

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