Last Updated: Mar 17, 2017
Can you believe your baby’s already turning one? If you’re a mom or dad searching for 1st birthday party ideas, themes and more then you know first hand what the phrase ‘time flies’ means. Time really does fly. You may feel like you just brought your little bundle of joy home and now you are already preparing to put your party planning hat on and throw an unforgettable first birthday party bash.
Don’t stress, you’re still a few years away from pool parties and pony rides. Your child’s first birthday only happens once so as a parent, you’ll naturally want to plan something fun and memorable. Between selecting a fitting birthday theme and 1st birthday party location ideas, we have you covered on all things essential for throwing a kids birthday party that will be one for the books.
1st Birthday Party Themes
As you are creating your party planning to-do list, do yourself a tremendous favor and make sure that deciding on a party theme tops the list. Not only does having a birthday party theme add some excitement to your child’s debut year celebration, but it also makes the rest of your planning a little easier. Your birthday party supplies will be uniform in terms of color and design which will offer a cohesive look. You’ll be able to put everything together and do so in a timely fashion. Look, you’re making the party planning easier on yourself one step at a time. These party themes for the youngsters are some of our favorite picks and are perfect for your little birthday boy or birthday girl.
Ice Cream Social: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. We’re all screaming for it so there is no doubt that this party theme will be cool enough for your guests. Set up an ice cream cart that is sure to steal the show complete with an aluminum tub filled with ice and gallon jars of different ice cream flavors that way your guests have options. The table can also be filled with different flavored cones as well as candy toppings. The cone zone can feature different platters offering sugar cones, waffle cones and chocolate covered waffle cones. As for the candy toppings set out a few bowls filled with rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, crushed up Oreos, gummy bears and an assortment of syrups. Plus, don’t forget the whipped cream and the honoree’s favorite topping. How sweet! Get the word out and give your guests the scoop with some adorable ice cream invites. Stick to bright colors that represent various ice cream flavors. This party is sure to be the cherry on top of an amazing year.
Slumber Party: Throw a party the little guests will love especially after all of the socialization and once they are a little tuckered out. Establish this theme with cool colors like greens and blues that will remind guests of a calming setting. Activities for the little one’s could include ‘bath time’ and story time, two before bedtime essentials. Set up a kiddie pool filled with large bouncy balls with a sign reading bath time next to it. Ask an animated friend/parent or hire the local librarian to come do story time at the party. Cloud and sheep shaped sugar cookies are a party treat must for this theme.
1st Birthday Party Ideas for Boys
Animal Theme: Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! An animal themed birthday soirée is an ever popular theme for the youngsters parties and we can see why. This cutesy theme is very versatile and no matter if the guest of honor prefers animals found in the jungle ( jaguars, monkeys and tigers,) or animals found on the farm (pigs, horses and chickens) an animal theme will suit well. This celebration is characterized by pastel hues and the birthday boy’s favorite four-legged friends. Show these elements off in your baby animal birthday card that will most definitely set the tone for the festivity. You can really go with any color palette that you prefer just make sure it’s incorporated in the party décor like table cloths, balloons and banners. A jungle animal party will incorporate more vibrant colors like reds, purples, greens, pinks and yellows. While a farm animal themed party should feature red, yellow and green hues. Lay out animal sugar cookies, hang monkeys around the venue or set up a barn yard play pin, in preparation for the big day.
Circus Theme: Get ready because the circus is coming to a town near you. In fact, the circus is coming to your little one’s 1st birthday celebration. This birthday theme is identified by bright colors including red, yellow and blue as well as stripes galore. Have fun with the party decorations and food items by incorporating a circus tent, animal cookies, bags of popcorn and of course a card board cut out of a seal balancing a ball on it’s nose. The way your circus party turns out will be sure to amaze the audience.
Camp Inspired: For this party theme, incorporate very natural hues like green, blue and brown in all of your party planning decisions. With your color selection think of the colors you’re reminded of when you go on a camping trip. Set up an adorable little tee pee tent in the back yard and create a banner that reads welcome to camp (birthday boy’s name.) Other design elements include camp fires, brown bears, back packs and pine trees. Set up a s’more’s station for the parents and you will be well on your way to having a great time at camp.
1st Birthday Party Ideas for Girls
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: Whether your party venue be your home or elsewhere, go ahead and decorate the location with star shapes galore. Shiny gold star-shaped balloons and pink hues are a great place to start. You are going to want your party décor to really shine. Think gold shimmer and sparkle when it comes to party colors. Set up a chalk board sign and draft the phrase ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ on it for an eye appealing element. This will cue your guests in and leave them sure about this spectacular theme. The birthday girl is sure to love her celebration.
Dreamy Under the Sea: We sure do love a party that makes a splash and with this theme we are going under the sea. This theme is characterized by the colors blue, green and purple. An easy décor idea would be to cut up circular shapes of paper in these colors and adhere them together to look like scales, then put this fun pattern up on a wall. It wouldn’t be under the sea without some fish details now would it? Encourage your guests to have fun with their little one’s by having a bubble blowing station and crafting pretty mermaid tails that also make for great party favors.
Princess Party: There is nothing as royal or as girly as a princess celebration. Decorations for this glamourous soirée will be frilly and elegant. An easy trick is to take pink streamers and twist them together then drape them around the party venue. Not only should you incorporate shades of pink, but also jewels. Think tiaras, wands and castles. Have the party goers decorate their own tiaras for a fun game you can also build a cardboard castle for the princesses’ to explore. Pink and gold are the perfect combo to stick to for this fancy theme.
Where to Have a 1st Birthday Party?
Once you have selected the most fitting party theme as well as matching first birthday invitations for your number one, it’s now time to pick a location. Plenty of parents opt to host the birthday party in their own homes. This way your child doesn’t feel too overwhelmed and the surroundings are familiar. If you don’t have the space at your home to accommodate the guest list, choose an open clubhouse or a park for your party venue. This way, you know you’ll have plenty of space for all of your birthday bash festivities. These areas also usually have accommodations like picnic tables and coverings for these types of celebrations.
1st Birthday Party Activities
No matter what theme you select, everyone will be able to enjoy these activities on the big day. When it comes to party games for the youngsters keep in mind that the star of the show and some of the guests may decide that anytime is nap time so try to keep the party activities as simple as possible. The following five games should be able to keep the little ones entertained while not wearing out the parents too much.
Create a Ball Pit:Fill a kiddie pool full of large bouncy balls and depending on the guest list you may need to fill more then just one. Let kids climb in and out and play inside. Trust us, this will be a big hit.
Cut out Cardboard Shapes:This party game is fit for an outdoors celebration. Cut out cardboard shapes and provide smocks as well as some finger paint for the mini party-goers to create a masterpiece.
Story Time: Ask an animated parent or friend to read aloud during the party story time. You can also hire someone from your local library to attend and host story time at the party. If the party venue takes place outdoors set up a tarp on the grass with a blanket spread over. Add some customized pillows for a sophisticated touch.
Bubble Blowing: There’s really nothing quite like bubble blowing to capture the little tykes’ attention. Commercial bubble solutions may be fine for general use with a few kids, but that can also get expensive. For the best homemade bubble solutions, you can use dish soap and water. Joy and Dawn are considered to be the best detergents to use.
Dancing: It’s time to get your boogie on. Set up a dance floor and a disco ball with kid friendly tunes and be prepared to smile while your party goers get their groove on.
1st Birthday Party Decoration Ideas
Your party décor style will be dictated by the party theme you have selected. For instance, a princess party could include cut out tiaras and maybe even a cardboard castle. On the other hand, an animal themed party will include hanging monkeys around the venue. More go-to party décor items include balloons, table cloths, streamers and custom banners. One of our favorite 1st birthday party decoration ideas is to create a personalized poster for the birthday boy or girl. This will include the guest of honors name and random facts like items he or she loves, favorite foods, first words, nicknames, and other interesting things he or she can do. You can even personalize this poster the match the party theme. This let’s your guests in on what the birthday celebrity is all about and not to mention, makes for a great photo.
Image via Pinterest
Smash Cakes for 1st Birthday
The signature smash cake tradition not only makes for the perfect photo opportunity of your little one, but is also a great way to incorporate your child in his or her party (aka a great way to avoid the guest of honor falling asleep at their own shindig.) Throughout your party planning you must have heard about the smash cake and know your party would not be complete without one. If you haven’t heard, a smash cake is a frosted mini cake just for the birthday baby. Place the cake in front of the little one and let them dig in. It’s safe to say that all eyes and cameras will be on the birthday boy or girl during this fun activity. Oh, and it gets messy but, that’s the fun part.
The proof of this memorable day will be in the pudding and by pudding, we mean the photos that captured the endless smiles. Happy party planning all and if you are seeking some more inspiration, take a peek at these birthday party ideas for kids.