1st Birthday Party Ideas

1st birthday
Mommies and daddies become so excited when their baby’s 1st birthday arrives. Any doting parent knows how important birthdays are for children, especially if it’s their first time to celebrate one. First birthday celebrations are always special, memorable, and exciting.

Of course, to have a perfect 1st birthday bash for your child, you must take note of several important party aspects. Here are some tips and reminders you might find useful.

Planning Basics

Before you start buying decorations, invitations and party favors, you must take care of several primary considerations for your baby’s special day. Take note of these primary factors for your child’s celebration.

  • Guest List – Is it going to be a small celebration or a large bash? Most first birthday parties are limited to only the closest family and friends of the parents, and their kids. Set a guest list that you think will be manageable for you. Remember, you’re also going to have your hands full with caring for your little one.
  • Budget – Set a realistic budget for the party. It’s not very advisable to have an extravagant celebration if you can’t afford it. You can go a little over the budget, but not too much that it’ll cripple your allowance.
  • Venue And Time – Unless you’ve got a big party, have the celebration at home. It’s more meaningful, more relaxing and less expensive. Keep the party short, about 1 to 3 hours, and schedule it between the nap times. It’s also practical to have a weekend party, because the adults won’t have any work to worry about.
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    Guest list for family friends
    Budget for party
    Venue for party
  • Guardians – Make sure every kid you invited to the celebration has a guardian to look after him or her. It’s also great if you can ask someone to assist you with the event, like your sister, brother or your mom.
  • Baby-Proofing - Keep in mind that young guests will be at your celebration, and neat as it may seem, there can still be many hazards in your home. Go through your home, and check for sharp corners, electrical wires they can trip on, or chemicals they might accidentally swallow.
  • Theme – General kiddie parties are fun, but it’s better to have a theme to keep everything together. Having a theme unifies the whole event, making it easier to plan. The celebration also seems more special.

One last tip: be flexible. Remember, children and babies can be very unpredictable, so be ready for minor accidents, tears, squabbling and a little mess. Relax and don’t lose your cool.

As soon as you’ve decided on these factors, you can now move on to other important party details.

Choosing A Kiddie Theme

Kiddie birthdays are more fun and exciting when they’ve got a kiddie theme to hold them together. Since your baby can’t decide yet what he or she likes, it’s up to you to decide which one to use. Usually, parents choose according to their kid’s gender. Here are some fun suggestions you can try.

Princess party theme
Baby Girl Themes

  • Barbie Doll Theme
  • Dora The Explorer Party
  • Disney Princess Party

Baby Boy Themes

  • Disney Pixar’s Cars Theme
  • Superman Theme
  • Robot Party Theme

Neutral Themes

  • Under-The-Sea Party
  • Mother Goose Theme
  • 123’s And ABC’s Party
  • Color Party

Make sure the theme you choose fits your set budget, otherwise, you might not get the right feel for the party.

Invitations First

1st birthday party invitations
Weeks, or even a month or two before the baby’s special birthday party, you should let your guests know about the event by sending the invitations. Since you probably have a lot of things on your hands, you might not want to waste too much time on these items. The best solution is to go to a party supply store and pick out some that suits your celebration’s theme. With the many designs available today, you can certainly find one that fits what you’ve got in mind.

It’s also a good idea to send electronic invitations. These don’t take much effort or money. If you think you’re out of time, these are also recommendable. Just send the invitations to the parents’ e-mails, and wait for them to RSVP.

If you still prefer special traditional invitations, it’s great if you can make homemade ones. These aren’t costly, and you just need some craft materials for them, but they can take up some of your precious time. Even so, they’ll entice your guests better with their unique and heartwarming appearance.

One idea is to make a diaper invitation. Get a piece of square paper and fold in half to make a triangle. Then, fold its corners towards the center. Put a safety pin in the center to hold the triangles for a real diaper look.

Another idea is to send baby blocks with the number 1 on them. First, get square cardboard boxes and paint the sides in different colors. On one side, draw a big number 1 and on the other sides, write the different party details.

Be creative when writing down the details for your invitations to make them more special and impressive. Write something like “____ just turned One!” or “You’re invited to our ONE-of-a-kind celebration!”.

Baby Decorations

Even if your kid and the guests are young and they won’t mind the decorations much, it’s still a crucial aspect of your celebration. You have to set the right ambiance for your event, otherwise, they won’t really feel the theme. Here are a few ideas you can try.

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    Streamer for party
    Pick out a motif. If you have a theme, base the colors you’re going to use on it. For example, an under-the-sea party can have green and blue hues. If you don’t have a theme, then just settle on bright hues, like yellow, bright pink, red, and sky blue. Kids become more enticed and excited with these bright colors.
  • Never underestimate balloons and streamers. They may be the most basic and most inexpensive party supplies, but they can surely bring a wonderful atmosphere to your place.
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    Deck your place with memories. Get mementos and pictures of your baby’s past year and put them around the place. Blow up memorable pictures and hang them around in a chronological sequence.
  • Get tablecloths in the color motif you choose.
  • Have a guestbook at the party entrance, where the guests can write in their messages. Another idea is to have a Wish Box. Hand out small slips of paper to the guests, and let them write their messages and wishes for the baby on these. They then place the paper in a box. The parents can keep this locked up and let the child open it when he or she is older.
  • Don’t use small décor, like confetti, buttons or sequins. These look great, but they are too small and can cause choking hazards for kids.
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    Use baby toys and stuffed animals or dolls for your table centerpieces. You can also place a cardboard or (unlit) candle in the middle, shaped like the number 1.
  • Hang a large “Happy Birthday!” poster on the wall. You can make it big enough so the guests can also sign in their messages and greetings on it.
  • Baby-proof your decorations. Make sure there are no hanging wires, no screws lying around or no streamers unattached that babies can tangle themselves in.

Games And Activities

Kids become very irritable and bored quickly, so make sure you’ve got lots of fun activities to keep them preoccupied during the party. Here are some ideas for your little angel’s bash.

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    Pin the tail on the donkey game
    Kiddie Parlor Games – If you’ve invited toddlers to your party, it’s great to have exciting games in store for them. Here are a few popular and classic examples kids will love.
  • Pin The Tail On The Donkey – Everyone knows how this party game goes. You can change it depending on your theme, like Pin The Tail On The Fish, Pin The Wheel On The Car or Pin The Tiara on the Princess.
  • Hot Potato – The kids stand in a circle and pass around an object while music plays in the background. When the music stops, the kid holding the object is out of the game
  • Musical Balloon Freeze – Give all the toddlers a balloon, and let them dance along to music while bopping their balloons in the air. When the music stops, they must grab their balloon and freeze.
  • Check out this video for some fun 1st birthday party games.

    You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

    • Adult Party Games – Adults like to have as much fun as kids do, so let them play these games during the event.
  • Guess Baby’s Weight – Let the adults stand around in a circle, then very gently, pass the birthday kid from one guest to another. Each of them guesses how much the baby weighs. Put the baby on a weighing scale, and the guest who guesses closest wins a prize.
  • Baby Can, Baby Can’t – Write down a list of tasks your baby can do like “Eat with a spoon”, “Touch her nose” and “Watch TV”, and those she can’t do yet, like “Brush her teeth”, “Tie her shoelaces” or “Say the alphabet”. Read all these to the guests and let the guess which one she can do and which one she can’t do yet. The person who guesses the most wins a prize.
  • How Well Do You Know Baby? - Ask trivia questions about your child, like “What time was he born?”, “What’s her middle name?” or “What’s her favorite food?”. You can also pass around pictures and mementos and let the guess match each one to specific milestones or dates.
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      Cake blowing
      Cake-Blowing – No kiddie party will be complete without this special tradition. Have everyone stand around the party cake, and sing “Happy Birthday” to your baby. Help him or her to blow out the candle.
    • Picture-Taking – Don’t forget to capture the event. Take photos of everyone during the party. You can even set up a background where the guests can pose and have their picture taken. After the party, collate these in a photo album. You can also give them out to the guests as memorable party favors.

    Baby Party Food

    Serving good food is a must for any event, even for a first birthday celebration. Of course, you must remember that it’s not like any other party. You have to cater to two kinds of guests, adults and children, so you might need to prepare two different banquets for them. Here are a few guidelines to help you out.

    • It’s not a good idea to serve full heavy dishes for this kind of party, like rice or pasta. Remember, the adults are going to have their hands full with the children, so they might not have enough time to sit down to dinner.
    • Settle on finger foods for the adults, like mini-sandwiches, nachos and dip, fruit and vegetable platter, and cupcakes
    • Fruit punch and soda are great beverages for adults. Don’t serve alcoholic drinks. Remember there are kids around, so all adults must be sober to take care of them.
    • For toddlers, serve treats like soft cookies, pudding and ice cream. Mini hot dogs, cupcakes with frosting and fruit slices are also delightful treats.
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      Pasta for food
      Yummy sandwich
      Fruit juice for drinks
    • Some of your guests might bring very young babies to their party, so prepare baby food like applesauce, mashed potatoes or soft cereal.
    • Serve fruit juices, milk or chocolate milk for the children.
    • Presentation counts. Serve your food in delightful containers that look enticing to the guests.
    • Use plastic cutlery, plastic glasses and paper plates for eating. Not only will you get rid of broken china dilemma, but you’ll also have an easier time cleaning up.

    Party Favors And Gifts

    You can’t let the party end without a little thank-you present for your guests. Party favors like blowing bubbles, dolls, picture books and finger puppets are great giveaways. You can also get goody bags and fill them up with items like candies, chocolates, baby bibs, and small toys.

    Suppose that you’re not the one throwing the party, but an attendee. Aside from wearing the right party clothes, you must bring a birthday gift for the celebrant. It’s good party etiquette and a heartwarming gesture.

    • Toys – At his or her age, learning toys like building blocks are most appropriate. Before picking one out, check if it’s suitable for one-year old babies.
    • Clothes - You can pick out different types of clothing, whether shirts or skirts, pants or pajamas, sweaters or beachwear. Just make sure the design and color suit the baby’s gender. It’s also advisable to give clothes that are at least a size or two too big for the child, since babies can grow pretty fast.
    Toy bear for favors
    Baby shampoo
    • Baby Products – Baby lotion, shampoo, moisturizer, and powder are simple, but wonderful items the mom and dad can use for their little angel.
    • Gift Basket – If you can’t settle on one item as a gift, then this is a great solution. Throw together a basket containing different kinds of baby products, including baby food, baby toiletries, toys and clothes. Wrap it up with cellophane and a fancy ribbon, and you’re all set.

    Any loving parent wants his or her baby to have a memorable first birthday celebration. If you want to plan this type of event for your child, then keep in mind these tips. You’ll surely end up with a bash everyone will enjoy and your kid will be proud of even as he or she grows up.

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