I made the mistake of blinking and suddenly, just like that, my squishy little five pounder of a baby is a linebacker of a two year old. Simply mind blowing. I spent his first three months thinking the all nighters would never end. I’ve celebrated everything from eating Cheerios to saying Please and Thank You. All the while, I was in it. Deep in the trenches of parenting, I lose track of how much he’s growing. It’s simply baffling what he is capable of. He’s got a personality that will slay even the iciest of hearts and a will that can test even the most stubborn of folks. In a word, he’s perfect.
While mama can barely contain her excitement (or hold back the tears of disbelief), Mateo is wholeheartedly oblivious to the upcoming event. He is unaware it’s his birthday. He hasn’t a clue how old he is. He can’t sing Happy Birthday for the life of him. Basically, per usual, the adults in his life are circling around him in a whirl of excitement and he’s scratching his head wondering what the crazy people are all worked up about now.
Well, come hell or high water, he WILL know it’s his birthday and how old he is by Thursday. Or, he won’t. But I will be able to say I tried. In an effort to build excitement and prepare him for the big day, we made paper plate cupcakes. To up the ante and increase the learning element of the craft, we made two cupcakes with two candles on each – because he’s two. The craft itself was a huge hit. The sprinkles, especially, were a crowd pleaser. He’s proudly displayed his plate of cupcakes to everyone he’s seen since and – remarkably – has only attempted to eat the paper plate a dozen times. Super easy and adorable – this craft gets my vote.
- Paper plate
- Construction paper
- Ahead of time: Draw and cut out the various parts. You will need cupcake bottoms, frosting tops, candles and sprinkles. For the cupcake bottom, basically traced over a stencil I found online. For the icing, I simply made a half moon. For the sprinkles, I simply cut scraps of paper into tiny squares. To up the ante, you could use a shaped hole puncher to create hearts and stars.
- Arrange the various parts of the cupcake on your toddler’s work area so they can see what they are working with. To show Mateo what he was working towards, I made a sample one ahead of time to show him.
- Guide your toddler as he/she glues the cupcake bottom to the plate. Ask her to pick an icing color. Let her glue that on top. Then, introduce the sprinkles. For this part of the craft, I had Mateo cover the entire icing portion of the cupcake with a glue stick. That way, he could simply pick up sprinkles and place on the icing. This was, by far, his favorite part. He loved it and spent the rest of the day asking for more sprinkles.
- Finally, have your toddler glue two candles (or more, if they are older) to each cupcake and take turns blowing out the imaginary flames.
Sing happy birthday. Pretend to eat your treats and enjoy! Mateo was so pleased with his efforts that he took a bit of rest. It’s exhausting being two.