1St Birthday Jitters

Updated on November 08, 2006
K.H. asks from Middleburg, FL
14 answers

I am looking for some great party ideas for my son's first b-day. I was thinking about having a friends band come and play since there will be mostly adults but I am not sure what to do. I need ideas about games, food, themes, pretty much everything. HELP!

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So What Happened?

Well, the birthday party was a hit. We decided to go with a train theme since he wouldn't really remember it. We are going to save the Rock and Roll theme for when he is older. We had about 40 people show up. YEAH HUGE! We played a game where you stuck small pieces of paper in balloons with the word coal or the word prize. The balloons were blown up and taped to a board. The kids got three tries throwing darts to pop the balloons. When they got a prize paper they stopped. Then they picked a prize out of the prize box. We had a simple menu of hamburgers, hotdogs, various salads, and chips and dip. We transformed our riding lawnmower into a train engine and hooked a trailer to the back. All of the kids got "train" rides. I made a cardboard cutout of a train engine and spray painted it. I took polaroid pictures of the kids with their heads through the engine window. Then I wrote with a sharpie "Thanks for coming". The kids got to decorate a popsicle stick picture frame to put their picture in. I also made some train shaped cookies and had a decorating station set up so the kids could decorate a cookie. I had lots of yard games so the adults would enjoy themselves. We had horseshoes, Bocce, and crochet. Horseshoes and Bocce were the biggest hits. No one played crochet. As it started to get dark, we built a bonfire for everyone to sit around and get warm. It was freezing outside. Both my husbands family and mine drink so we had a keg and some margaritas. The kids got sodas, water and juice boxes. The take home goodie bags were "hobo bags". I took red bandanas and filled them up with goodies and then tied them to a stick. I also gave out conductor hats for the "train ride". All of the kids got a chance to break the pinata. Then we went inside for cake and opening presents. It was an all day affair only because all of the family had come in from out of town. The friends who came from in town just left when they needed too. All in all it was a great party. Thank you so much for all of your tips. I really appreciated them all!

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W.B.

answers from Tampa on

I am right there with you. My son will be 1 in Nov and he does not have any one toy or character that he loves. He will not sit still long enough to watch TV and he plays with all his toys at once. LOL. I chose a sports theme. At Party City there is a section for 1st bdays. And one of the themes is just footballs, baseballs, etc on a blue background that says 1st bday. My husband is really into sports and my sons room is done in teddy bears and sports. I am going to get a bouncy house for the kids(we have a lot of older kids coming) and I saw a sports arena bouncy house. I also like the other posters idea of a ball pit. No clue what to do for food or anything else yet though.

W.

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R.H.

answers from Tampa on

I had a party for my 1 year old. I invited kids that were about the same age as my daughter. What ended up being a hit was this: I put a plastic table cover on the floor. Then, I put the cake in the center and the babies around it. The babies basically ate the cake, stuck their foot in it, played, and had fun! We got some great pictures! The parents were entertained also while watching.

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J.

answers from Tampa on

We had a Nemo theme for my son's first birthday. I found plates in fish shapes. We had lots of appetizers. If you make them yourself, Allrecipes.com is a great place to find good recipes. Google is a great search engine to help find party ideas. A theme really depends on what baby likes I think. I purchased personalized mini chocolate wrappers on ebay, half with my son's photo on them and the other half with Nemo on them (you could make these yourself if you want to invest the time) You could have a movie playing on the tv of his first year, a compilation of photos. If there is a movie that does with the theme, check the bonus features of the DVD. Many have a screensaver type option with music you can let run. W

I also made up a game for adults testing them on their knowledge of my son and the Nemo movie. You can also get a photo mat for people to sign and put a picture of your child in it. I have seen them at Target and party stores. You can also ask people to bring a small item for a time capsule and assemble a time capsule at the party. I made these great magnets that were a hit making them from the mini-locket photos that I had gotten from his first year photo sessions. You get the little glass stones from the craft department, cut basically only the head out. Glue the photo head on the stone which will magnify the photo. Then get the little round magnets and hot glue them to the back of the photo. I still have some on my fridge from 2 years ago. I love them. So did everyone else. You could also make magnets on the computer printing them out on magnet sheets that you can buy from walmart. I love birthday parties. If you want some more ideas, feel free to e-mail me, [email protected]____.com..have a great party ! ! ! !

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A.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi K.! I reccommend going with something the majority of the party-goers will enjoy. An older crowd may not see the fun in a character themed party, and I am sure your little one will be happy just having the excitement of visitors, food, cake, etc... My son's 1st bday party was great because we just all hung out, family and friends, eating, opening gifts, and concentrating on keeping him happy. The one thing I can tell you is a definite must...make sure he has a NAP before the party!! You don't want a cranky baby for his birthday! My friend's little girl had a miserable time at her party because it was late in the day, she never had a nap and was completely overwhelmed by decorations, people in her face, etc...
Go with what you would like most and are most comfortable with. It takes a relaxed and happy hostess to make the bast party, no matter what you end up doing. Good luck and have fun!

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M.R.

answers from Pensacola on

I don't know if I am to late to help, but i have too children. Travis (6) and David (2). When Travis turned 1 I was freaked to. I thought I had to have games and fun and stuff. It turned out that I didn't. I jst grilled up some food, turned on the radio and let every one do there thing. I keep the guest list to family and close friends. That takes the nerve off a little to!! I hope that helps and it isn't to late. Just sit back relax and njoy the moment of your child turnigng one and having cake!! Remember they only turn one once! If it is going to be mostly adults at your party then they can take care of themslefes. Show them were the drinks are and sya "get it your self".

Best of luck
M. r

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A.K.

answers from Jacksonville on

what i did for my son was make cupcakes and i printed little pic of him hot glued them to tooth picks put one on each cupcake then got a blow up pool filled it with those balls for a ball pit and had balloons everywhere and had his favorite baby einstien dvd playing and let him have a ball with the balls. it was a family party with his cousin they are a day apart. i think im glad i did not go all out for the 1st bday party because i thought he would get over whelmed but he had a blast with his own cupcake!! OH YEAH FOR GOODY BAGS GO TO THE DOLLAR STORE AND PICK UP RUBBER DUCKS OR BIG BALLS OR HAPPY MEAL TODDLER TOYS.

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C.J.

answers from Tampa on

Hi K. -

Congratulations on approaching your son's 1st birthday...how exciting! :)

During my son's party (we had it in Hawaii where first b-days are a HUGE deal), most of his guests were also adults. We had a few kids, but they were mostly pre-teens.

What we did was organize a party through Dave and Buster's...not sure if there's one in your area, but something along those lines like Gameworks in Channelside could be another option.

For the menu, we chose something really tasty yet nominal in price - a pasta bar and free refills on tea and soda - and each guest was given a $5 reloadable game card that he/she could use at the arcade. We brought our own sheet cake from Costco. For doorprizes, we purchased some logo items from the gift store, and for the biggest prize, we purchased a gift certificate for two to attend the restaurant's Mystery Dinner Theatre (at the time, I think the value was like $50). The door prizes were awarded to various winners of a multi-level quiz show type game based on fun facts about Isaac. Each guest was given a fact sheet that they had to read and then put away before participating in the game. They all really got into it.

Even though we had about sixty guests, we had SO much food left over from the party that we ended up going across the street to Ala Moana Park, Oahu's version of Central Park, and gave the extra food to the homeless.

All in all, we had a great time and because Isaac was so young, he didn't miss having his favorite theme characters present. The adults had a great time and actually stuck around until the very end...of course, we made sure to play up the coming game and doorprizes so that they'd have an even greater incentive to stay. ;)

All in all, I think we spent about $1000, but that was a very reasonable price considering that most first birthday parties in Hawaii average around $2k - $5k!
Plus, Isaac made about half of that back with the generous gifts he received.

Have a great time! Blessings to you and yours.

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T.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi K.,

Do an internet search for "1st birthday party ideas" and find something that really suits you. I am not a Theme person either. Make sure to have something for the adults and children to do to entertain them. A BBQ, band, and "barn-yard" get together would be fun. Take bandanas and use those for paty favor bags, Good Luck!

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M.S.

answers from Tampa on

I didn't have any theme at my son's first b-day. We hung up a Happy 1st Birthday Banner from the party store, got him a hat with the #1 on it and called the house decorated. All the pictures of him eatting his cake looked great right in front of the banner, with him in his little party hat! If its going to be mostly adults, your friends band sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure what games you would play with adults at a kids birthday party. Usually the games are geared toward the children that are in attendance. Maybe you could do the children's games anyway! If everyone is having a good time they might just add to the enjoyment of your party. Who doesn't want to play 'pin the tail on the donkey' or smash up a pinata, maybe even Limbo? If you do find any games you actually want to play with the adults, Lotto scratch-off tickets are a huge hit as the prizes. They cost a dollar and everyone loves them. I don't have any advice as far as food. Especially since I'm a 'keep it as simple as possible' kind of person. I cut up fruit, veg's, mix together a few dips, throw chips and pretzels in bowls, and layout necessary items to make sandwiches. I hope some of this helps. Good luck!

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A.L.

answers from Pensacola on

We had a birthday themed party for my oldest sons 1st birthday. We had lots of balloons and streamers and our main goal was to be colorful. He LOVED it.... and so did the adults. The adults should know that this is a childs party so it will be geared towards children. Also, I found that instead of a cake, serve cupcakes. That way your child can have his very own and even adults seem to eat them better than cake. As far as food, we served adult food, but also had some treat for the kids (butter cookies, jello, ice cream, etc.). Even though the child will not really remember this party, the pics need to show that this party was all about him.

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F.N.

answers from Tampa on

My daughter's 1st bday is approching in November and we are having a small intimate party at our home. I am theming it with "pink poodles" since that is the theme in her bedroom. maybe you can do a theme of that nature, or maybe focus on a favorite toy. I am making the decorations for the walls and I plan on making a cake in the shape of a poodle. Luckily I am kinda talented when it comes to drawing and crafts. I plan on having an area that is for the little ones to play in which will include a stackable Eifel tower that I plan on making from boxes. Also, with regards to games I am thinking about doing "Baby Bottle Bowling" and having a guess when sheet with questions about when my daughter did certain things for the first time. Also, I saw an idea online about having your baby sit on the floor and have your guests do a portrait of him/her, and every 1-2 mins you rotate the drawings and you save them for the baby's scrapbook.

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A.A.

answers from Sarasota on

My daughter will be turning a year old in November and she will be the oldest child at the party so it will be mostly for adults as well. We are having at the local park near the playground. I'm going to grill up some hot dogs and have some cake. I believe my theme is going to be a girl's butterfly theme from Party City and my mom is going to make a cake in the shape of a butterfly. There is one game that I heard about that seemed good for adults. All you do is have everyone stand up in the middle of the "room" and you say something that the child can either do or not do. Those who think she can do it go to one side and those who think she can't go to the other side. This is a good way of showing off all of your child's talents! Hope this helps!

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L.B.

answers from Tampa on

One game I played at my daughter's first birthday - You will need: a large bucket, several plastic or rubber ducks, and black magic marker.
Take the magic marker and place a number on the bottom of the duck. Put water in the bucket and set the ducks in the bucket. Some year olds are still learning to walk, so this will be an interactive game. Have the children choose a duck, and you can have a prize for the child and adult with whatever you have marked for that number. This way the children get a cute prize and the adults still have FUN!
Another game you can play - Have he adults bring an item that start with each initial in your child's name - the person that has ALL different items {NOTHING repeated at all} wins a prize.
Just a few ideas - I have all teenagers now so I know the times have changed. I hope these ideas help you!

Have a great day!

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J.

answers from Jacksonville on

hi K. - for my daughter's 1st bday, we had a jungle animal theme. i was in ny at the time (last year)...so we rented a hall and hired a mc/dj. our centerpieces were piggy banks but instead of the piggy,it was a jungle animal. we had animal print balloons tied to them. every child got a different animal mask and a goody bag with all things themed jungle (orientaltrading.com). we played a game every 1/2 hour...musical chairs, the dancing game, etc. and the winners got a really cool prize (board game, fingerpaints and paper, etc.). the cake was awesome...it looked like a forest with pond in the center and different jungle animals all around. the best part of the party was the live animal show i had because the animals were very uncommon...we had a chinchilla, snakes, lizards, etc. and i had clown/animal face painter/balloon sculpterer. everybody had such a good time.

we have since moved to orange park and my younger daughter who just turned one didn't have a party because we bought her a rainbow play system instead. but we were planning on having a carnival themed party...which would've been fun. i think potterbarnkids.com has some birthday ideas. good luck!

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