Your child’s first birthday is coming up and it’s time to celebrate, not only that your child is turning one, but that you made it through the first year of parenting…Woohoo! So, let the cuteness ensue, here are some super fun first birthday party ideas to kickstart your planning.
Super Amazing Fun & Practical
First Birthday Party Ideas
First Birthday Party – Paper Invitations
I am such a sucker for paper invitations. If I can find an excuse to send out a nice card or invitation, I will do it. And I feel that 1st Birthdays count as a worthy reason.
This one is from minted.com
This one is from tinyprints.
and this one is from Etsy
First Birthday Party – E-Vites
Electronic invitations are obviously cheaper and greener but frankly not as gush-worthy cute as the ones you’ll find to buy online. I actually did both a paper and e-vite invitation for Olivia’s first Birthday because so many more people respond to the E-vites. Plus, they actually have some cute features now and for a few bucks you can send one without all the ads.
Party Food –
Go crazy with homemade, thematic snacks a la Martha Stewart or order pizza, make a fruit rainbow platter. Since your baby and his “friends” may have a limited menu, it’s hard to please everyone.
My favorite thing to do is setup a candy bar. It is super cheap and can look adorable, plus everyone loves candy. And those who don’t, well they can enjoy the fruit and veggie platter.
Another 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.
Custom Printed Signs
If you read a lot on the internet, you know that a decorated birthday buffet table with printed signs is all the rage. At first I was resistant and thought this is never for me, to be honest, they are super simple to create.
Through the Year Pictures for 1st Birthday Party!
My sister-in-law did this one and I absolutely loved it. She posted each photo she took for each month of my nephew’s first year and displayed it on this vintage door. Don’t have a vintage door lying around, me neither, so use some old frames (I feel like I have an endless supply of those). You can also display them on some craft paper or just stick the pictures up throughout your home. It makes a great conversation starter as well to have your guest see how your baby has grown throughout the year.
Themed decorations for First Birthday Party!
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.
Some Super Easy to do 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 first birthday party ideas that won’t break the bank or your back when it comes to adding pizazz to your party.
1. Classic Happy Birthday Sign with Balloons.
My friend can always make the most simple decorations look great. She says it’s all about placement. Having the balloons at different heights is appealing to the eye and makes the party look more festive.
Want to Not have to do with Helium! Blow up the balloons the old fashioned way and hang them upside down. It saves you money and a trip to the store.
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!
Rather have cute stuff for a party delivered to you in the mail? We love these customizable (and reusable!) birthday banners from Minted.
A Little Over the top Fun!
Have a Pony Party!
This seemed a little over the top to me for a First Birthday party idea, but I have to say when I went to a first birthday party the 1-year-old loved it and all the other kids were absolutely thrilled out of their minds.
Have a Mini Petting Zoo!
If you want to ensure that the kids at the party will be entertained a petting zoo is great for ages 1 to 100. We recently went to a party with llamas, sheep, turtles, mini alligators, pigs and more. All of my kids from 2-13 had a great time.
Face Painting or Balloon Animals
Having a face painter will always draw the biggest line of kids even for a first birthday party. Most kids up till about the age of 9 or 10 love the idea of getting a balloon animal or their face painted. Plus, with face painting, if you have a teenager around she can use some simple stencils to do the face painting and then you don’t have to hire anyone.
Of course, you have to do the cake smash.