19 answers

Birthday - Saint Charles,MO

Hello! My husband and I are trying to figure out what theme we want for our sons 1st birthday. It isn't until Feb. but we are trying yo start buying stuff now so we don't have to spend all that money at once. I don't want the usueasl barney or sesame street themes. I want something different. We talked about Darkwing Duck or maybe hockey (we are big fans) but I can't find anything. My husband wants Teenage Mutan Nija Turtles, do you think that is ok for a 1st birthday? I just don't know. Can anyone help us with some suggestions or websites that have lots of different varieties?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone who responded. After talking to my husband and reading all of the responses we have decided on a blue/yellow blues theme. This way we can have the hockey cake and some decorations, but be able to have just blue and yellow plates, cups, napkins, etc. And I am just going to make the invitations! Thank you again :)

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i am a mother of a 5yr old little boy and the company i have used for ALL of my son's birthdays is birthday express... they are very reliable and have everything that a child could want for their birthday. I get the catalog roughly about 5 times a year and allow my son to look through them to pick what he wants. they also have a wonderful website that can accessed at celebrate express.com---hope this helps

It really does not matter what you choose. He will not remember or care. His main focus will be the wrapping paper, bows, boxes, and exploring the cake with his hands. Pick something you both like and don't worry about it. Hope you all have fun celebrating this milestone!

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How fun,
This is what we did for some of my grandson and granddaughter 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th birthday parties at grandma/grandpas house, we did a cowboy theme one year and all the family invited dressed up in cowboy stuff, mostly from garage sales, because none of us are cowboy, they had hats guns, rifles, sheriff bages, and then we took black & white pictures of the group and then individual family and we all had so much fun. then we did a dalmation party and every one was to wear a white t-shirt or white shirt, and I had cut out black dalmation spots to stick on everyone when they got there and of course the cake is in the theme also, then we did a castle cake and princess party, then legos, dinosaur party, train party, now they are all grown up, but my last little granddaughter last year we did a purse cake with necklace cupcakes next to it, fun to decorate, with different candies and colors. Anyway what ever you chose have fun they grow way to fast.

1 mom found this helpful

The mom's are right here...this is really for you, and pictures of him...choosing the theme based on him at this point is only about what he is interested in. I would recommend scouring sights like Birthday Express, PartyAmerica, or for more general stuff Oriental Trading. The first two suggestions have large party options online that you can look at...I'd also look around to see if you can get coupon codes or even purchase things cheaper on ebay (I've been able to do that multiple times). Hmmm, for my son I've done TMNT, Ben 10, Pirate theme, Spiderman, Star Wars, dragons/knights. My BFF has done yellow ducks (rubber ducky), Thomas, Trucks, Elmo, etc. My suggestion for a first B-day is to make it a more general topic...there is plenty of time for more themed parties like TMNT/Star Wars.... if you are looking to save a few bucks do something like say Rubber Ducky and only buy the rubber ducky napkins and just buy the yellow or blue plates instead (they're cheaper than the registered trademark plates)...if you go to a party store or $1 store you can get the utensils cheap, cheap, cheap and sometimes even colored!

If you are looking at a pinata I would recommend making sure it is one where they pull the strings. You're kiddo won't have the strentgh it takes to whack it and make any progress...items like bubbles/bubble blowers, noise makers, confetti, etc. were a HUGE hit at our parties at this age.

Another thing we discovered was that if you have a cake made at Wal-mart or your local grocery store (mind you; you have to mention this ahead of time) tell them this is the 1st birthday and they will usually make you an additional little cake to present to the child, usally for little or no charge. This is the one where you get the legitimate pictures of them literrally plowing themselves into the cake and making a mess! It's awesome and they will be the BEST photos of the party! It won't be the same "theme" as your big cake for the guests but once he plows into it, it won't matter.

My recommendation is not to make a big deal about the party in front of your kid (he will feed off it). This means also not pumping him up about what is to come. Act like it is any other day, make him take his normal nap and plan the party around that and his normal bedtime...limit the amount of cake/ice cream he has or you won't be able to pull him off the ceiling. I know this is something to get excited about and I'm not trying to dampen it for you, I'm just reiterating what we've all been through in being disappointed because our child didn't act the way we wanted them too (they were cranky which made us cranky/angry, etc.) and possibly ruined the party/day. You're building up a lot of expecatations for that day and it's great you're going all out...but if you want to make it pleasant for everyone, try to stick to as much of your normal schedule as possible. It'll save your sanity at the end of the day and truly make for the best party kid you could imagine.

1 mom found this helpful

R.: Before getting the second mortgage on your house, stop and try to remember your first birthday party. Buy two cakes, one for the adults and one for the children to grab and tear apart. Film/video the party and use some restraint.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,
The first birthday is an interesting endeavor. It is more for older folks that for the kiddo, they usually don't know what is going on. We didn't want to do a theme that didn't relate directly to his interests, so we just did primary colors. Blue plates, yellow napkins, orange cups, all colors balloons, etc. It worked out great, the party was really cheerful looking and he was drawn to bright colors. We weren't weighed down by trying to find matching everything, we just picked bright stuff and had a blast.
Good luck! D.

1 mom found this helpful

wow, you surprised me with mentioning very dated themes... 1980s to be exact! If you're truly trying to avoid cliches & commercial advertising....then what about choosing a theme & totally running with it?

For example: balloons for the theme. Balloons on the invites, with one in the envelop to be blown up....you could even write the invite on the balloon or have it printed. Post balloons on the street signs on your street, at your driveway, on the mailbox, the front door, & ALL over the house. The paper products & the cake could also be based around balloons. One word of caution- in our home, children are not allowed to play with balloons until they are school-age due to choking hazards. We are the only ones in our family/friends to follow this rule.

Other themes could be: animals- either farm, circus, or zoo based. Old-fashioned teddy bear picnic, a snowman theme or something else to celebrate his winter bd would also be fun! Lots of choices out there, & trying to think outside of the box always is fun!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know if this would fit your likings but boy oh boy was it a HUGE hit for my son's 1st, all the kiddos and the adults, not to mention it made for amazing photos and a big pocket book savor! If you are in the local area, I would highly recommend you stop by Ari's Greek Restaurant in Olathe (Mur-len/135th street). They will work with you on exactly what you want/your price range and request "The Dock" which will give you pleanty of table space, playroom floor space, a cake table and room for small buffet!
Since our baby is a boy, the colors of the room being Greek where perfect- Bright Blues not to mention the hand painted murals of boats and water which are fantastic. We had drinks, small buffet and space for right at $250... pre-pricing for a party elsewhere was the same but the activiest to old for our 1 year old. We also loved having the party away from home saving us lots of deep cleaning and food prep time!

Good luck!

i am a mother of a 5yr old little boy and the company i have used for ALL of my son's birthdays is birthday express... they are very reliable and have everything that a child could want for their birthday. I get the catalog roughly about 5 times a year and allow my son to look through them to pick what he wants. they also have a wonderful website that can accessed at celebrate express.com---hope this helps

I felt the same way when my son turned 1. I didn't care for the Elmo or Barney junk either. We ended up going with Legos. It wasn't the easiest because we ended up having to make a lot of the stuff, but it turned out great. I bought things from Oriental Trading that were primary colors which went along with the Lego theme and then dressed our boy in a Lego outfit (they actually make lego clothes). I also bought some inexpensive Lego kits as giveaways.

TMNT would be fun. What did your hubby like when he was growing up? That might give you some ideas.

Hello I'm looking at these sites bc my son's 5th birthday is in Nov. and they have alot of Ideas for all ages the sites are the following www.birthdayexpress.com ,www.partypop.com ,and www.partycheap.com . Hope these help! I'm trying to find motorcycles for my son lol so if you know any sites please let me know!

Try looking at birthdayexpress.com they have tons of themes

if money is an issue i would suggest waiting till more like his second, or even third birthday for the big theme party. my son just turned three and it's really the first birthday where he actually UNDERSTOOD everything that was going on, from the balloons, down to the presents. at your son's age it's fun because it's all new and you want to do a big bash, and that's cool...but it's really more for the grownups at this point, he's not going to really get it. just my two cents!

I agree that you should let your child dictate your themea little more. Pick something that he's into...we did a dog theme for my daughter's first birthday b/c she was really into dogs and other animals. The balloon theme is a really fabulous idea and you could have tons of fun with that! Plus kids that age LOVE balloons and you'd have lots of cheap entertainment for the kiddos. If you pick a more obscure theme instead of a commercial one you'll also spend a lot less money on theme based products like plates and napkins. The ones with characters/designs are a lot more expensive. Besides, you'll have lots of years ahead ofyou where your child will demand those character parties, right now he doesn't know the difference, so go with something fun! You can get solid color party things through US Toy or Oriental for a lot less.

It really does not matter what you choose. He will not remember or care. His main focus will be the wrapping paper, bows, boxes, and exploring the cake with his hands. Pick something you both like and don't worry about it. Hope you all have fun celebrating this milestone!

Hello, for my son's first birthday we went ALL out and he ended up being cranky, i think it was overwhelming and he didn't enjoy it much. We had an Elmo theme for him. I wanted something different as well but at his age the only thing that ever caught his eye was an Elmo toy he had (he hadn't watched tv). Since it made him smile and respond so much that's what we went with and he loved the party favors and cake! For our daughter I found a simple, very cute pink teddy bear plate and napkin set at a party store and we just found other things to coordinate at the Dollar stores around here( balloons, decorations, etc). She actually still has the pick bears we found and loves to carry them around. I would check Oriental Trading Company. They have several themes and packages to choose from as well and are pretty reasonable.
Hope this helps, I'd just choose a theme that'll hold his interest for a few minutes! Also, if you could find stickers for your fav. hockey team, I'd just print your own invitations, make your own treat bags and use a plain colored plate/napkin that matches your team colors. Then decorate however you wanted with stickers. Most cake places will custom make a cake if you show them what emblem you want on it.

Please consider the US Toy store or website and/or birthdayexpress.com . We have had great success at both locations. Thank you.

You might try the oriental trading company. Orientaltrading.com they usually have tons of party stuff. I personally wouldn't go crazy on his 1st Birthday. He's not going to remember it and they are usually pretty cranky at their 1st birthday parties. I have an 8, 6 & 4 year old and they were all crabby at their parties. I think for my boys we did Scooby Doo. We just got them their own personal cake and let them go to town! Whatever you decide, I hope you have a wonderful time.---J. C

I would theme it after his favorite book or nursery rhyme.

Do a pirate theme. Have a pirate shaped boat cake made. Or you can even do it yourself. http://thecookduke.com/pirate-ship-cake/
They even have games such as pin the pirate patch on the pirate. Your baby may be too young for the games, but it was just a thought.

Hi R.,
I totally agree with the other mamas. My daughter turned one just a few months ago, and we tried to keep the theme to something very simple. I had read a magazine article about choosing a theme that your child would at least somewhat grasp - like balls. Then serve cheese balls, cupcakes, have balloons, a ball pit, etc. Maybe think of something your son can identify (a toy, color, or cartoon character) and go with that.

Since our family is Irish and we choose a traditionally Irish name for out little girl, we decided to do a shamrock theme. We got St. Patty's day decorations from a party store and then I made heart shaped cupcakes and laid them out in 3's to look like shamrocks. Everyone had green derby hats to wear, and that was about it. She liked the cake and thought everyone's hats were silly.

Next year, we'll get more involved, but for the first party, we wanted to keep it simple and not too overwhelming for her (and us).

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