Before we get all in a tizzy about first birthday parties and the cuteness you are about to behold, allow me to confess that I think the first birthday party is optional. Parents doing something momentous to celebrate their own first year of parenthood also seems like a fine idea (first overnight away?) and well, if baby is sleeping at home or at Grandma’s house, terrific.
Ok, now that’s out of the way. Ideas from around the web:
This one is from tinyprints.
This one is from minted.com
and this one is from Etsy
Electronic invitations are obviously cheaper, greener, but frankly not as gush-worthy cute as the ones you’ll find to buy online. I couldn’t get over my own obsession with having a mailed invitation as a keepsake, so I put one together on Shutterfly when Julian turned one. Kid #2? She probably got an email. I don’t even remember.
Rainbow fruit: FunFindsForMom
Go crazy with homemade, thematic snacks a la Martha Stewart or order pizza, make a fruit rainbow platter and call it a day. Since your baby and his “friends” may have a limited menu, it’s hard to please everyone. My personal go-to for parties at my house is my local taqueria. I order a pint of black beans, grilled chicken, spanish rice, and carnitas. We put out tortillas, cheese, salsa, and guacamole. Everyone can make their own burrito and the babes can eat black beans, rice and shredded cheese with their fingers. In the backyard, please! Add some bowls of diced fruit for color.
If you read a lot of Internetz, you know that a decorated birthday buffet table with printed signs is all the rage. Don’t let this make you feel inadequate, but I am posting a few pictures that none of us can ever live up to — because we are hosting a party and have a 12-month old to take care of!
John and Sherry at YoungHouseLove provided complete explanations on their printed food cards at baby Clara’s first birthday.
The site One Charming Party is a great resource if you want an amazingly beautiful, coordinated party. It’s an online store that sells party plans which detail the decorations, food, activities, and more for a number of different themes from superhero to mermaid to country fair-themed.
This is a preview of the 50-page manual you receive as a pdf with all your instructions, including cupcake toppers and invitation templates.
For one-year olds, I am most in favor of a simple theme, such as their first initial or polka dots because really, are they passionate about Dora or football yet? Unlikely. I met a professional party planner who told me that children’s books are her favorite source of inspiration for a theme. I like the intent, and the Hungry Caterpillar party pictured above is beautiful, but it seems overwhelmingly complicated.
Three do-able decorations
Now that I’ve intimidated inspired you with pictures that are literally out of Martha Stewart’s media empire, I leave you with three ideas that won’t break the bank or your back when it comes to adding pizzaz to your party.
1. Rainbow streamers above the door. Wendy made this special doorway for Augie’s birthday and it’s delightfully simple.
2. A string of balloons. I always hit the party store and get a bunch of balloons on the morning of my kid’s parties. They fill up any dull space in your house or yard and toddlers go nuts for them. (They are also terrible choking hazards, so keep them up high and monitor any interaction with balloons and one-year olds closely.) This one is from the Young House Love first birthday party.
3. Pinwheels. Buy them at a party store, dollar store, or toy store — or make them if you are super crafty — and use them as decorations. My cousin stuck 20 store-bought pinwheels in the grass to create a festive border for her son’s party at a park. Then, send them home with the kids as favors. Double duty!
Do you have any easy first birthday party ideas to share?
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