1St Birthday Party - Mazon, IL

Updated on February 25, 2008
M.A. asks from Mazon, IL
32 answers

I'm planning a 1st b-day for my son. We have a big family and at least 10 close friends that we'll be inviting. I know it's easier to just have a small group, but there's really no way I can leave anyone out. Aside from all the character theme parties, what's a cute new idea? We live in the country and are having it at our home in the barn. It's not an animal barn, just a pole barn, clean, concrete floor, heated. That's really the only place we'll have room for everyone. If you have any tips for me, that would be great.

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D.

answers from Chicago on

We did the theme as just colors. My son and I painted terra cotta pots and then made balloon boquets to put inside them for the tables. I got all different colors for the table cloths, plates and cups. We gave away coloring books and crayons from the dollar store instead of a goodie bag. The cake was decorated in all different colored polka dots. It looked really cute and the grandmas really loved taking home one of the hand painted pots. Good luck and have fun!

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L.

answers from Chicago on

Hi! I do "theme" parties for my kids for what I call "the biggies" (1st, 5th, 10th, 13th etc.) and here is a GREAT website for ideas: www.birthdaypartyideas.com I have gotten TONS of ideas, from real people like you and me, for the parties I have done. We have had a Princess party (1st), a Cowboy party (1st,) a LEGO party (10th), a tea party (5th), to name a few...and they have been a lot of fun to plan. Have a good time!

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S.W.

answers from Chicago on

At one they really dont get it and are often overwhelmed. we did jay jay the jet plane had the banner and cake. I think I got a little something for the small children but that was it. It was work enough gathering all the snacks, meal, dessert and opening presents from everyone. Happy Birthday and good luck!

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L.E.

answers from Chicago on

We didn't do "themes" for either of our girls...my ideas from a theme would just keep spinning and I'd end up paying a fortune for something my daughters wouldn't even remember! We just did "girlie" colored streamers and balloons and simple girlie colored servingware. But, just know what your child would like. If he likes balls, have a little kiddie pool filled with plastic balls for kids to play in. Have a "pin the candle on the birthday cake" game. I did this for my first daughter. I literally drew/colored a three teared birthday cake on a posterboard and on the first tear wrote "Happy" then on the second tear wrote "Birthday" and on the bottom tear wrote "Morgan". Then I drew and cut out on another poster board candles in pink and purple colors to give the kids so they can "pin" the candle at the top of the cake. You can just use that sticky tack stuff instead.

Also, you can have a "craft" area depending on the kids you'll have there. You can make snowflakes out of paper or paper plates in advance and have kids decorate them. Or, you can have the kids make flowers out of the paper plates or snowmen, etc. It's really quite easy! :) You didn't mention how many kids or what ages you'd be having, but those could be fun for them. You can also bust out the good old "Bozo Buckets"! We even do this with our two girls and they love it!

Once you get ideas they'll just keep coming to you!

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B.B.

answers from Bloomington on

Your son will not remember a thing, I feel a first birthday party is more for the parents to celebrate and remember the first year. For our first born's first birthday, we just had all our friends and family over with lots of food and drink. The party started around 3 and went until 9 or 10! We also did not open his gifts until the next day so it wasn't sooo overwelming for him. I remember the day so clearly because of how much fun I had with all my favorite people there. I organized some photo albums/scrapbook albums of his first year for anyone to look at too as well as a little journal they could write something for him to read when he was older.

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L.V.

answers from Chicago on

Love the barn theme. Go with it - use John Deere Tractors to go with it. Use daisys as a centerpiece in a vase (or empty mason jar, spaghetti jar, or canning jar) on top of a red bandanna. The bandannas can be purchased at Hobby Lobby for .87 each. I did this for my sons 2nd birthday, and even bought a few extra bandanas for anyone who wanted to wear a tied bandana around their neck.
Enjoy!

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

well you can have everyone bring something for this time period and burry a time capsule for the 1year old. Decide if you want to open it when they have their golden Birthday, 16, 18 etc. Make sure you take a picture of everyone that puts something in it, then you can remember you put what in it.

You can have a scavenger hunt in the barn, put hay all over and put the pieces in the hay.

Have different farm animals as table setting name tags....Cow Uncle Larry, Lamb Uncle Mary, etc...this will show them where to sit.

Hope this helps??? Just throwing ideas out.

L.
[email protected]____.com

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J.R.

answers from Chicago on

M.,

You have been given great ideas. I love the carnival/fair idea especially if you have other children coming. Yes, your child won't remember, but everyone else will and your child's first birthday is a celebration for you as much as it is for him. I have 2 boys (ages 5 and 11 now)and we also had a large immediate family. It worked out just fine! For a thank you/ party favor at the first birthday I took a picture of each family member with the birthday boy, then created a thank you card and mailed it to them. They recieved a frameable keepsake which was very inexpensive for me and cherished to this day by my family!

Also I have used many themes for parties including pirates(we made maps for treasure hunts), dinos, monster trucks, Cars The Movie (we had relay races!), Water park (complete with face painting. My mom is an artist!), etc.. I usually make many things by hand to save money and my centerpiece is usually my cake. I hand design each cake for my children , so each one is a work of art and love. Infact I have begun making cakes for extended friends, family, and others. People have encouraged me into business. The name is Custom Cakes by Jennifer. If you are close to Arlington Heights and interested in seeing pics or getting info please email me. I can work with you to create a custom cake around any theme, size, and price range.

I hope your party is a success and I am sure you will remember this special time forever!

J.

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C.R.

answers from Chicago on

I love the cowboy idea too. Red and blue balloons, bandanas, sheriffs badges, and cowboy hats for the kids (Oriental Trading.) I'm sure you could find a horse pinata for the kids. The BBQ idea is great too.

Of course he is too young to remember, but his family and friends are looking forward to celebrating with you and him. Remember to take a lot of pictures. My 6 year old loves to look back at pictures of his parties (even though he was probably napping for half of the party!)

It is a lot of work but you will not regret it.

Have fun.

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R.R.

answers from Peoria on

I'm sure plenty others will say this but if you are doing it in the barn anyhow, I would just got for a farm or cowboy theme. Should be plenty of ideas on the internet if you type in childrens party themes/ideas or party games if that's what you're looking for. Good Luck, Have FUN!!!

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T.R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,
I am planning my twin boys first birthday party as well and I had to figure out what to do about a theme and friends and family. I decided to have two separate parties, one for friends and one for family, (my family is out of town). There is a tradition in my family that we have the 1 year old eat spaghetti and chocolate cake on their own. We let them get really messy and have lots of fun and then they get a bath!
I also just bought a few Curious George plates and napkins. I didn't really want to go "all out" because I knew they wouldn't remember anyway. The rest of the stuff just matches with the Curious George stuff.
I don't have many friends with kids so I don't know about what to do for other kids. Sorry!
I just hope you have a lot of fun celebrating this special day! Take lots of pictures!

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

M.,

We also have a large family (on both sides) & invited a few friends. I did a "carnival" theme since I wanted to have a theme but didn't want to overwork myself during the party so that I could enjoy it too. We had food like self serve Nachos & cheese (cheese warmed in a crock pot, gloves or tongs for nachos), popcorn, popped that morning with cups for guests to help themselves (If you want to go more extravagant you could get a popcorn machine), hot dogs, corn dogs, big pretzels (you can buy these in the frozen department), cotton candy (Subway in super wal-marts generally has this year round), apples w/carmel dip. Carnival games were geared toward the kids. I made my own bozo buckets. Had my older stepdaughter be a gypsy. Did relay teams with spoons & a ball & the balloon tied around the ankle game where you try to be the last one w/a balloon. Later for the big people we did have a water balloon toss, but if it's indoors, that probably won't work. For the cake we did baby blocks - really easy, 1 cake mix into to 8-9" square pans, stack on top of each other (fill if desired) & cut into 4 sections. Decorate w/candy #s & animals.

Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hello M.,

I think a country fair theme might be cute. You definitely seem to have the space for it. You could possibly set up small game stands, have a face painter, hot dog stand, cotton candy maker, etc.... I have a close friend who is doing that for her one year old son's birthday early this summer. I hope this helps!!! Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

J.
(expectant mother to be)

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M.D.

answers from Chicago on

I am not sure if you are asking about group activites for kids or for the adults you'll be inviting. Or just a theme? both?

Have the same kind of party you have for kids! Old favorites like musical chairs or sack races work for both young and old. How about a carnival theme (hang streamers from the pole?) and then you can make up some of the games you see at carnivals such as knocking down 3 bottles with a ball or basketball hoops or rings on 2-liter bottles. A table with "crafty stuff" such as coloring gives kids a place they want to stay put in for a little while, so the adults are able to talk amongst themselves. Hey! Karaoke!! I bet someone in your family has one--tell them to bring it! This is always lots of laughs for adults and kids.

Good Luck!

Here's a link for some party ideas: http://mysite.verizon.net/resrokfu/outofthehousedekalb/id...

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,

I had a Baby Einstein theme for my daughter's 1st birthday and it was very cute! Since it's a gender neutral theme, it worked well for everybody and all ages. The party favors were easy to get since it's basically just animals. I had BE plates, cups, etc, and a cake with matching smash cake. The whole house was decorated with balloons in the same BE colors. I got a pinata from "Dulcelandia" in Melrose Park. They make these huge pinatas, you take them one of the BE plates and they'll put that on the front of the pinata for about $25. You can even do snacks in the same theme. I did a caterpillar out of rolled up tortillas (with cream cheese and veggies), cut it up into pieces, laid them sideways on the plate, add pretzel sticks for legs and antennaes and raisins for eyes. There's so many things you can do with an animal theme, and since you're having it in the barn...If you like the idea of this theme, I am willing to talk to you further with ideas..Good Luck AND HAVE FUN!

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

I recommend doing what is simplest & most enjoyable for you!

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A.L.

answers from Chicago on

What out for gift overload!

We celebrated my daughter's 1st birthday with many family and friends. I didn't even think that people would be bringing gifts (duh!). My daughter is 3 now, and she loves to have lots of people over to her house - and that is how we celebrated her 3rd birthday. On the invite, I asked people to bring a memory book page, something I could put into a scrapbook for her. It could be photos, poems, children's drawings, what ever. And this is in lieu of gifts.

It worked great. Now my daughter has something to read through, and it's something she can keep forever. All Mom has to do now is get that memory book organized and add a few more things!

Have fun - keep things simple!

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

Have a Cowboy Birthday party! The barn is the perfect place to do it, too.. It would be too cute! Decorate the party area to look like a corral by lining the walls with paper fences and hay bales. Have your guests don red bandannas and cowboy hats, serve them rodeo fare like BBQ, let them test their lassoing skills on stuffed animals, and send them home with cowboy favors!

Try this link: http://www.coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com/birthday-them...

Good Luck!
J.

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

1st birthdays are the easiest. You don't have to worry about a theme yet,they won't remember. Have seperate food tables for adults and for children. Young kids will just play together and adults will talk and eat. Have fruit and jello on kids table and finger foods..dhicken stix, olives, carrot and celery sticks etc. Adult table can have fried chicken and beef sandwiches and maybe two salads. Party hats and blowers for children and things they'll need to play with. You could have a sandbox brought in for little ones for something special to remind them that summer is coming. Have fun. Having a barn is the best. How awesome. Tell adults to dress approprietly so everyone is comfy. Don't forget to decorate. Hay, ballons , farm tableware, etc. Yahoo! Wish I was there!

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B.C.

answers from Rockford on

no disrespect, your child is only going to remember what is in the pictures... the party will really be for you and family and friends..don't go overboard because later you will want to when the child can remember..take pic of the babyand his/her cake and all that fun....

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V.P.

answers from Chicago on

Everyone has given you lots of great advice about themes. One thing I did for both my boys' first birthdays was buy a frame with a big white mat and ask everyone at the party to sign it to my son. Then I added the pictures (each of my picture mats had space for three photos) from the big day and hung the frame in their room. My oldest is now 3 and loves to look at the pictures and have me read everyone's comments to him. Makes a great keepsake from the big day!

Have fun and take lots of pictures!

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S.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hello,

I have just one thing to say, that I have noticed that many new parents forget about when planning a 1st B-day party… MAKE SURE YOU PLAN AROUND THE 1 YEAR OLD'S NAP SCHEDULE! Excited grandparents, who have forgotten what it's like, or those who do not have kids yet, will not understand, or want to wait for the child to wake up from a nap, inorder to eat cake, or open presents. And you don't want to have an over tired, screaming child on your hands either. Please consider your childs nap time when planning your party. If you do that, than what ever else you do will be a great success. Good luck and enjoy, you've survived the 1st year of parenthood. Congratulations!

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K.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi
You did not say when his b-day is. If it's in th spring try having a welcome to spring with new things growing like your son who is turning one. If it's in the summer have a big indoor picnic.

A word of caution try not to make it so long the kids get crankey from all the hoopla. A set time znd open gifts later and respond with thank you notes.

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M.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hello M.,

We have held many young kids birthday parties at our studio of Music Together in Lakeview. In fact, we had a very succesfull 1 year old birthday party a few months ago..Please check out our website for details and pricing....
here is the link: http://www.merrymusicmakers.net/vlt7187.htm

If you have any questions please call:###-###-####
Tim Thileman
Office Manager
[email protected]____.com

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B.S.

answers from Rockford on

Hello M.. I would suggest picking a theme to follow and go from there. You can find many games on the internet for all ages. As for the theme I would pick one that appeals to the younger children. Such as Cars. Good Luck!

B.

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D.S.

answers from Chicago on

well M.... how does this sound....since you have a concrete floor and live in the country....and it is winter
how about a beach party type theme....you can even buy a bunch of playlot sand at the home improvement store to make a ''beach area''.... throw a cpl sun lamps and beach umbrellas into the mix... and walaa you have a beach party that everyone can have fun with... and for food serve picnic type foods .. good luck and happy birthday to the baby................D.

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

What about John Deer?

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.. We've done a kind of "non-traditional" party theme. For each of my (4) kids, we did a time capsule. So for each of their first birthdays, we asked people to bring letters, music, books, and we placed it in a time capsule that they will open on their 18th birthday. We got a great variety of items, from newspaper clippings with major world happenings, to personal items like crocheted blankets from MY grandma (who most likely would not be around when they are 18). My sister in law now does the same thing for her children too!

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J.V.

answers from Chicago on

I just went to a party where they had a temoporary tatoo station set up for the kids it was really cute and they enjoyed it!

I have a girl so my themes are girl, but there is baseball, elmo is always a cute one

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D.S.

answers from Chicago on

I know its not an animal barn but for a 1st. b-day you could have a petting zoo which all the people will enjoy. I had one for two of my kids and it was a great success!!!!
D.

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J.H.

answers from Chicago on

M.--

I definitely think that a theme is not necessary. You should make it easy on yourself because you will have enough to worry about. Since it is a barn you could do a farm animals or just do colors like greens and blues. I also wanted to let you know that I own a party entertainment company. One of the others posted something about facepainters and things like that. I have all of that stuff. I also have inflatables, clowns, balloon artists, carnival type games, DJ's and other stuff. If you wanted pony rides I could set that up for you too depending on the time of the year. My business is posted on this website it is called Skye Jumps (named after my daughter Skyler). Let me know if you would like to discuss any of that stuff.

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B.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hello M.
Lots of good ideas people have given you! Just one reminder to keep it short for your son. At least you are at home and he can still nap. We had to have our sons party in a clubhouse and kept it at 2 hours which was perfect for him! I also played bingo because the other kids were 3 and up.. we used blue M&M's for the markers so they were able eat them after! Have fun!

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