1St Birthday Party Activites for Kids

Updated on March 24, 2008
P.S. asks from Burleson, TX
39 answers

My sons first birthday is this May and I have no idea what kinds of activities to plan for the kids. I am brand new to planning kids parties.I really did not want to do the jumping house. Any other ideas that are reasonable in cost? I do have a pinata.

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J.K.

answers from Dallas on

I say let kids be kids. My daughter is 21y.o. But i work with many young moms. They get outrageous with thier parties ie...circus animals, trains that ride the streets in their neighborhood, etc... If you spoil them so lavishly now what do they have to look forward to? Five year olds - slip and slide, pool party, skating party maybe, but i suggest keep it simple let them play outside at a park after hambergers, hotdogs and cake and ice cream.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is in a Mother's Day out program & for their Valentines Day party they had a large strip of bubble wrap on the floor. They let the kids lose on that & you would've thought that it was the world's greatest toy. For 30-45 minutes straight they were completely entertained, I was amazed!! I will definetly have some at my daughters birthday. It's super cheap & the kids all loved it, you cant go wrong with bubble wrap!

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

The first birthday party is more for the family, not the child. He won't remember it, and may even sleep through much of it. I recommend you only invite his cousins or older kids who play with him a lot. It' crazy-wild to try to have a "kids" party for a one-year-old.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

For my daughter's 1st b-day, we had only family over to our house and had each guest fill out a little card for her - "My wish for you" - it was very sweet and we put them into a box and wrapped it as a time capsule for her to open years from now when she's old enough to appreciate it.

We had only 1 1/2 hours for the party and it seemed perfect. The family had fun playing with her in the playroom. We didn't open gifts since she didn't really know what was going on anyway. The cake-face pics were the best fun! Don't go all out quite yet, I say keep it simple and small for now.

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V.S.

answers from Dallas on

Have you ever thought of picture buttons. They are so fun! They come with a border of your color with your childs name and birthday on them. You can get them in black and white or color.

I did it for my son's birthday and everyone had their picture on a button to take home with them as a gift.

If you want some info- email me.
[email protected]____.com

Val

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K.F.

answers from Lubbock on

1st Birthday's are fun...but let's be honest...is your child really going to remember this one...
We had a rather small gathering of my child friends (along with the parents), at the house...we had pictures of her during her first years...and the tape of her birth on the tv (nothing graphic)...along with all of her first year stuff...1st steps, etc...
The cake we had, well...my daughter got to touch it before anyone else did...what ever she did was fine with us...and she stuck her whole hand way inside the cake and then put it all over her face...cute stuff...then we put her in her seat...and she had her cake, then we served everyone else...we opened gifts...and visited...I would'nt do any decorating, let the cake be the decorations and most of all RELAX!!! The busy, fun birthdays start after this one...

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B.K.

answers from Amarillo on

Kids love bubbles, even at your sons age. My kids have a blast when we fill up small tubs with bubbles and give them fly swatters to dip into the bubbles. The fly swatters make so many bubbles at one time and my kids love it. You can also find different things at dollar stores for them to dip into the bubbles. Believe me, it is hours of affordable entertainment!

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

It might be fun to make snow cones. I don't know the ages of the guests, but this is pretty good for all ages. I would say cotton candy too--but that might be alot of sugar for little ones. I also had an electirc bubble machine at my daughter's first bday. It was a swimming party but the little kids LOVED the bubbles flying around. :) C.

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J.C.

answers from Amarillo on

The first few birthday parties are more for the adults than the children. Don't stress over it. Keep it simple and assign dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors...to a task for the special day. Have someone decorate, someone else pick up the balloons and cake, etc. If you feel the need to provide food, asign the actual cooking to someone else. If the weather is good, have the kids bring swimsuits and turn on the sprinkler. My daughter's parties are alwasy from 10 AM - 12 PM. She's a morning person. This way everyone has breakfast before they come and lunch after the party.

Also, open gifts first. This way the guests don't have to wait for the birthday person to be bathed after eating cake and ice cream.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I am looking for idea's for my daughters first birthday too! I am looking into gymboree or going to our local park so the kids can play on the playground and in the sand. Let me know if you get any idea's that really stand out! What an awesome time this is! Enjoy it and savor every second.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Well, call me crazy but we go all out for birthdays! We did pony rides for the first, the Big Blue Choo Choo for the second, Pump It Up for the 3rd - but if you are not wanting to spend a lot of money but and you plan on having a lot of kids at this party - RETHINK a bounce house at least! If you do a pinata, make sure that you do a pull string pinata vs a traditional pinata. Trying to get a large group of young children to participatein party games is like herding chipmunks! Don't waste your time, money or breath! Anything to get the kids worn out and out of your house is WELL WORTH the money!

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H.H.

answers from Dallas on

For my son's 1st birthday we just had some of his friends (all around the same age) over and it was like a big play date with cake and ice cream. The kids just played with all his toys and had a good time. At this age most of them are just starting to walk, so you're pretty limited in what you can do. Maybe give it another year....

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N.C.

answers from Dallas on

When my son turned 1 last May, we did a house party - and trust me, we do not have that big a house! But it was easier to coordinate, since all the family wants to be there for the first birthday, and keeps all your necessities close by. My son was able to nap, while family and friends showed up and visited. We bought him a "Kangroo Climber" - one of those small plastic play sets with a slide and little swing. We set it up in the backyard and he loved playing on it with the other kids. Then we did cake and presents. And it was over. Honestly, depending on how developed your child is and the ages/development of other kids you would invite, there is not much more you can really do.

It was a little crazy, but I believe it will be no matter where you are - and it was nice to be in our own house and have everything we needed at hand.

I did have a friend who did a first birthday at a public park - one with smaller set. That seemed to work well too.

Hope that helps!

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Y.C.

answers from Dallas on

When my son turned 1 i made such a big party then i realize he is only 1 and he did not enjoy it because he did not know what was going on i learned until he learned to walk really good then i did something big for him i say do something small so you can take the pictures he is 1 and there are foods that he can not eat cake he can so just think of something that everyone likes to eat but right now so little he would not have fun and he is the b-day boy

Alittle about me: i am a single mom to a 7 year old i lost 3 babies and god blessed me with victor so i will be 45 with a 7 year god knows when

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

My Daughter's first is in April. We are planning a short small BBQ in the backyard so she can be as messy as she wants. We don't have any little friends yet so it's just family (who all happen to be adults)and I think we'll skip games (she is just starting to stand well, she definitly won't be hitting a pinata. My advice is to keep it short and calm so your son won't get too overwhelmed with the activity- that could make a miserable day for him.

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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

First birthdays are fun, but keep it simple. A one year old is not going to want to do much of the typical party stuff so it will be more you doing it for them, and at one they still get easily overwhelmed. I would plan on having the party about 1 hour long and inviting a small group of family and close friends. Having cake and opening presents will be plenty.

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A.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

What we did was we went to Toys R Us and found a toy he loved and then went to Albertson's where they have a GREAT deal on !st birthdays $17.99 for a huge cake (which we had designed around the toy), a 9" round baby cake for our son, a disposable camera, candle and balloon. The cake was beautiful and our son went fac first into the cake I was cleaning blue frosting out of his noes for days. Other than that it was a grown up party. The babies plaied in the living room and the guys grilled in the back yard. He is not going to remember this one or the next so why stress and over spend. My son will be 3 in Sept. and we are thinking Jump for Joy but he still won't remember it, the first one I remember was my 5th.

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M.I.

answers from Dallas on

I'm doing my daughter's birthday party next week. I plan on making mini-cupcakes for the kids to eat, easier for them to hold the cake. Also, I'm providing them bubbles and playdough (making it myself). Also, provide those new crayon ball to the kids to play. Most of these items they get to take home-a party favor but it for them to play with during the party.

I've limit the time due to not wanting to overwhelm my daughter on her party. :) 2 hours is enough.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

FOr my 4 year old's first, we had a bbq at our house and sprinklers on the lawn (July 16th). For my two year old's first, we ordered pizza at the house and played with blocks and balls (January 5th).

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am about to have a one-year-old party for my youngest in just a few weeks. Of the invitees, only one is the same age, all of the other guests are older -- from five to ten -- family girls. So, I am making the activites age-appropriate for the guests. I am going to have have coloring pages to go with the theme of the party & probably a game or two. Point is, consider the ages/gender of your guests. Have fun!! :-)

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hello! Theres very little you can do for one yearolds. I had a big elaborate party planned for my little girl and a few other one yearolds and it was so overwhleming that they were all cranky. Simplicity is key with these little guys! I will say that balloons were a big hit!

Hope this helps a little!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

My youngest turns 1 also here in just a matter of weeks....I am just planning a BBQ - of course complete with cake and ice cream, because it's true - they don't know at this point what is going on, so choose something that will work best for you so you can enjoy your time as well.

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V.G.

answers from Tyler on

For a birthday tradition, I found and used a little train that held the candles ... nothing fancy, just there with the candles at the store. The engine didn't hold a candle ... just put one car on the first year to hold one candle ... then two cars the next year. By year 3, they were remembering and asking for the train and counting the cars. Thank goodness I was able to find a second one ... that stretched it out to about eight or ten candles! The train always had a little track to run on (frosting, of course) and then other theme decorations were added as the birthday boy chose. But always, the train ... their idea, not mine. Now that little train sometimes shows up, still, on their sons' cakes!

Grandma GiGi

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R.D.

answers from Dallas on

For my son's 1st birthday we did a bug theme and did finger/hand art. You can make bee's, caterpillars, butterflies, trees, boats....ect... go to this website for pictures and instructions …. http://www.dltk-holidays.com/summer/mthumbprints.htm

I also did, (big breath)

Caterpillar Cake
Make enough cupcakes for your guests or more- no liners !
Frost bottoms and sides with green or yellow frosting.
Set them side by side to form a wiggly caterpillar.
Make eyes with gumdrops, cut lengths of licorice or fruit shoelaces for legs and antennae. Add spots with sweet
tart or gumballs.

INVITATIONS
Make your own invitations using bright gree cardstock paper. Fold you paper in half or make a postcard. Cut the card into a leaf shape. Attach a few bug stickers on the front. Use a fine tip marker to make "bug tracks"
On the front write:
"What is creepy, crawly, has Twenty legs...and laughs a lot?"
On the back write the answer and the party details.
"My Birthday party and you are invited!"
Come dressed for play.

Edible Garbage Dump
You'll need:
Clear Plastic cups
Chocolate pudding
Chocolate cookie crumbs
gummi worms, fish, spiders and cola bottles
To make:
Layer pudding and cookie crumbs in the cup alternately.
While making layers hide the Gummi "garbage" in the pudding. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a gummi also. Consider having the party guests make their own as an activity!

I love doing my kids parties! I hope this helps, sorry if it’s more info. Then you wanted. I do get carried away.

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P.K.

answers from Dallas on

Contact your local McDonalds. It's quite affordable, and they assign an employee just for your party. Each kids gets a happy meal, and the employee does games with the kids. Also there is no cleanup. Because it's a public place, parents will pick up their kids instead of leaving them with you for free baby sitting. Happy Birthday!

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

I'm assuming your planning activities for older kids, right? Because your one year old is definitely too young for things like bounce houses!! It would help to know the age ranges of the children, and how many. Bounce houses can be an extreme item . . . we seem to feel the need to overdo our kids' b-day parties (I am guilty of this, and have learned from experience!). When my middle daughter turned 8 last year, she invited about 7-8 friends to our house, and they did tye-died shirts and generally ran around in the back yard, playing on the swing set, playing badminton/volleyball, etc. That was great fun, and didn't break the bank! Crafts are always good, and you can buy some really inexpensive ones through Oriental Trading.

My youngest just turned one in January, and we made it a very quiet, family-oriented event. We bought her a cake with her favorite Sesame Street characters, and she had great fun putting her hands in it and smearing the icing all over her hands and face! She got one gift from us.

Take the money you don't spend on an elaborate party and invest in your son's future . . . put it into a college savings fund!

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

The absolute best thing I ever did for one of my boys parties was get a kiddie pool at Wal-Mart for $5. I bought a bag of the plastic balls (they have some at Wal-Mart and Target rather inexpensive) and the ones at Toys r Us are a bit more. I put the 1 year olds in the pool and they loved it. They would throw the balls and jump in them sort of--everyone still talks about how such a simple thing was the highlight of the party.

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

Good Morning P.,

I have 3 children...all of their first birthday parties consisted of family and friends. A child's first birthday is very special but there is not really bunches of games for the very small kids to play.
I went to Albertsons for the cake. At Albertsons when you buy the birthday cake, they give you the baby's cake for free along with a throw away camera and balloon. I would suggest you go there for the cake.

Activities? Well the biggest feature of the party will be your little one digging into his cake and making all kinds of a mess. haha...
Cook up some hot dogs, have some chips and sodas for all to enjoy and let everyone focus on the baby.

Have a good one
L. b
mesquite tx

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W.N.

answers from Dallas on

This is a good subject to google. There are a whole lot of websites to help you out with this.

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

We just had our 1st birthday party - and it is really for the parents and the family and not the birthday boy! I had some older kids there and I gave them some sidewalk chalk and they drew all over our driveway and had a good time. A friend of mine had an inflatable pool in the living room with some of those balls in there for the littler ones. You can get the balls and pool at Babies R Us. Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

go to familyfun.com. they have some great activities on there for any age child's birthday.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Your baby boy is going to be 1-year old and won't care if you have a party or not. For the first birthday party for my children, we had a homemade cake and invited immediate family and any close friends the baby is familiar with. My children loved plowing into the cake with their hands; provided great pictures. They also loved to rip into their presents and were mostly interested in the wrapping paper. Don't let your feelings get hurt if he doesn't show a lot of interest in his gifts; he has a short attention span right now and will concentrate most on the bright and colorful. Hope you have fun...

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter's birthday is in May also and for her 1st party I went low key. I invited family and friends who also had little ones. I didn't want to overwhelm her so I just put out kid friendly toys in the living room to occupy time until everyone arrived. We did presents and cake (in that order-disasterous otherwise, unless you want cake all over the presents!!). Then we went outside where I had a small blow-up pool. The kids loved it! That way guest with no kids got to see the main party and could leave if wanted. It was very relaxing just sitting around the pool watching the kids have a blast!

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

We actually had a rather large 1st b-day for my son this past November. I started with a theme of primary colors + green and dots. I rented our church's fellowship hall, invited all our family that is in the area, his "aunties" (my two girlfriends), plus our small group at church with everyone's kiddos (ranging in age from 6 mo to 12 yr). We had food, which the grandma's helped bring in, cupcakes in my colors with picks that spelled out "Happy Birthday Sebastian" that I made, tea from Chicken Express and lemonade from Chik-fil-A, balloons, and favors that matched my theme. We also brought our two super-yards, put them together into a huge enclosure and put ball pit balls in it. This kids loved this more than anything! I had tidly winks in one corner, and a huge twister game laid out on the floor, but they really weren't used. I also covered each of my four round tables with a different color from my color palette. Oh, and we had Ratatouille playing on the big screen. When you have nearly 30 people just in your family, it just made sense for us to go BIG! It was a little stressful, but was really a lot of fun and everyone had a blast, including the b-day boy.

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C.L.

answers from Dallas on

Keep it short simple, no more than 2 or 3 kids if you must invite other children. It is best to keep it limited to a couple of children near your child's age, your friends and relatives. Just put out all kinds of play toys, put on a Barney movie or kid songs or something like that and let them play. Have cake and icecream and a few gifts. No rubber balloons, but helium celebration balloons like those at a grocery story are lots of fun to put around the room on weighted strings. He'll love it. He is too young for a bounce house, to go to a park or special place. Save those ideas for when he is older and can appreciate them. They are too overwhelming from him now. Keep it simple and have fun!

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

HI there, One thing I do for parties with little ones is I go to the party store and buy a couple of packages of those big primary color plain party hats and I go to the craft or dollar store and buy those little pom pom balls and I hot glue those balls around the bottom edge or the hat and one on the top and then I buy some of those foam shapes stickers at michaels or the dollar store and I put several of the party hats in the center of each table and a cute butket of those sticker shapes on the table and as the guests are sitting and talking at the table or as they want to they can work on making their own party hat.

I found that most parents loved it because it kept the little ones busy whole the moms were talking at the table after cake... of course the moms have to help the real little ones but its really fun and the kids have their own art project to take home...

I have found with 3 boys that the first birthday is more for the parents than the child... The baby will love running around and getting attention and the parents will love talking with each other. a Magic show is a good idea to keep some of the older ones entertained or a table with fun crafts for the older ones is a good idea as well.

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G.M.

answers from Dallas on

P.,
I remember my daughter's first birthday party. It wasn't for her it was for me! I survived the 1st year!!! and my baby was healthy and happy. I invited a few friends with baby's my age and the rest were just my friends and I had a large spread of homemade and catered foods. I held it inside and some people were outside. The baby won't remember it anyway. However my friends bestowed some beautiful gifts for her.

If you must..and ....If your friends have children older than 3 or 4 and they are all in the same age range...A jumping house is a great idea. Have parents take turn monitoring them while they jump. If they are the same size, its' not a problem.

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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

There is no need to plan anything elaborate for a first birthday. Letting him eat the cake (and taking pics, of course) is probably the only activity I'd plan. At this age the party is really for the grown-ups. Make sure that it isn't during her naptime. If he is easily overwhelmed, I'd really limit the guest list. Make it short.

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have to say all my boys had their first birthday party with family only and close family friends. Nothing fancy, casual, bbq, went to Michaels and got crafts for the older ones etc. Their second birthday parties though (the best really) was at a park. Crazy time but we picked a Sat at 9am. I brought bananas, donuts, yogurt in a cooler and we had breakfast at the park and all the kids played. It was low key, great for the nap times, still cool in the mornings and the park was not yet busy. You could rig up a pinata for this one but the park entertained them all. Good luck. Remember though that the first one the baby doesn't even care about yet so enjoy it and relax before they start to want it all like mine do now.

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