1St Birthday Party HELP!!!

Updated on July 15, 2011
K.C. asks from Saint Charles, MO
12 answers

Hello everyone!! My son will be turning one in September and I really want to throw him a fun and entertaining party!! That is why I am looking for ideas in July so I can start buying things now and not have to buy everything at the last minute.... I haven't came up with a for sure theme yet and I also need to come up with some ideas of entertainment at the party??? I know there will be other children there from ages 1 to 9. I guess the questions I have for you guys are 1) Any ideas for a good theme? 2) Ideas for entertainment at the party? and 3) Anything else you have had experience with at parties or think I might need : ) All the help and Ideas is very much appreciated!!! Thank u much : )

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answers from Des Moines on

The ONE thing I MOST wish someone had told me about first birthdays is that they can be depressing-- I spent the day wondering where in the HELL the year and my little itty bitty BABY had gone.....

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answers from Richmond on

Don't go overboard. SO many parents do this. Your 1 year old can't handle an overwhelming amount of people, presents, and new experiences. You'll be disappointed and the baby will be miserable! Keep the people to immediate family and close friends. Your child won't remember any of this. They won't wear the birthday hat. They won't get the theme. They'll be overwhelmed and frightened if you do too much outside of what's normal for them. Keep it short and simple. Doing more than that, and you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Keep gifts at a minimum too; baby's outgrow almost every toy they get for their 1st birthday within a few months! I'm not trying to sound like a party pooper, I just don't want you to be bummed :) Happy almost birthday little one!

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answers from Naples on

If your baby is social and is ok with being in large crowds and being passed around, GO GOR IT! For my daughter's first, we had it at a Chuckee Cheese. There are all kinds of ways to get extra coupons for deals there, and coupons for bogo tokens etc. We were in the "party room" for about an hour and half, had pizza, gifts etc, my daughter met Chuckie Cheese and loved it. (and she did wear the glittery bejeweled birthday girl crown that I made for her, really cute pictures!) We had to move out of the party room for another party which ended up being fine, because we moved to the main area, got a couple of booths together and the adults sat and chit chatted while the kids of all ages had a blast. The older kids would check back in at the table to get tokens, the younger kids would be with a parent trying out all the different stuff and occasionally pass by the table and switch to the other parent. The gift that we gave her for her birthday was by far one of her favorite things EVER....a plush rocking horse that had buttons in the ears to whinney, wag tail, gallup etc. She didn't outgrow it until she was almost 5, and when she was 1 1/2 I incorporated it into her Halloween costume by buying her red boots and hat, making her leather chaps and vest, pairing it all with a white turtleneck, jeans and red bandanna. I had a board cut slightly larger than the rockers, made wooden wheels for it (mounted on heavy dowels and secured underneath with brackets), tied the horse to the board with zip ties though holes and around runners, spread some straw around to hide the zip ties, added a heavy rope and viola! My vision was for her to pull it around like an old fashioned wooden pull toy, but she insisted on riding. She was very sure of herself on the horse, so we took her to the mall costume parade/contest/ trick or treating, strangers were taking her picture and saying it was the cutest thing ever! She was horrified when I put the horse in a plastic bag to put in storage. She doesn't remember the party, but she did have fun and so did the other kids there. She does remember the gift and she didn't outgrow it too fast! I gave a similar horse to my niece's baby on her 1st....and she was equally thrilled and is still riding strong at 2 1/2. For my niece's daughter's 1st she had the party at a park, with a Minnie Mouse theme, red, white and black everything, mouse shaped cheese (store bought pkg section) red and black m&ms etc. The party was set up in a pavilion, the big kids spent most of the time on the playground, checked in to eat, watch gift opening and have cake..baby spent most of time inside pavilion toddling around and being passed to everyone who wanted to play with her have pictures etc.....everyone had a blast! For my daughter's 2nd...I had it at a park, food in pavilion, kids on playground or riding hand led ponies that I hired.....everyone had a blast ...b'day girl and big kids, grandparents etc.... For my niece's baby's 2nd....she made invitations that looked like Crayola crayon boxes....party was all primary colored theme, tables covered in white paper, inexpensive plaster things to paint, buckets of crayons, markers etc on the tables....and black card stock/construction paper and sidewalk chalk......baby had a good time and so did older kids!
I hope that this gives you some ideas, have fun!
Oh....and at those 1 year parties, the gifts consisted of a few toys, but mostly 18 month - 2T clothes which is so necessary and greatly appreciated by mom and dad. If you have it at a park, don't forget the high chair or booster and baby cake, lots of wipes, and a change of clothes!

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answers from Rapid City on

Does your son like any character in general? He may be a little young for that though.....how about Handy Manny, spongeBob,or something like that? I wouldn't worry about the entertainment part too much. The party is for your son, not the other kids. Just buy favors and put into bags to give to kids. That's what I did.
Remember your place will get messy along with your child, esp if you let him play in his little 1st birthday cake and he should be able to play in it. I'm sure he'll love it although you might have to persuade him to do it at first. If you plan to have drinks and snacks/food. I think the simplest thing would be is to buy chips and make a veggie tray and make kool-aid and maybe some cheap pop. Don't worry about a actually meal. (Not at least until later if you do when it's just your family.) Relax, enjoy, and take pics is all that matters for the day. I was just like you and realized I needed to calm down and relax! :) I hope you both enjoy his birthday! My daughter's birthday is also in September.



answers from Tampa on

One of all the kids favorites was reading aloud from a book. They all gathered on the floor around me and listened. All the ages liked it. She had a "pink poodle" theme and we found a children's book about a poodle that fit the theme. I agree not to go overboard or have it too long. My daughter was crying during presents, just too much. Plan around his nap time and have fun! Oh, we also had a bubble machine going, that was a hit!



answers from Topeka on

Just remember that your 1 year old isn't going to be impressed with much. He'll like the extra attention for a little while, but at his age he has no clue what a birthday party is. Get loads of balloons - I'm sure he'll like them and so will the other kids. Don't plan on anything longer than about 1 - 1 1/2 hours - he will get too frazzled. At http://www.1stwishes.com/CategoryPage/e682_0.aspx?REF=AFC... you can find themed packages. Our grandson loved the the birthday hat we got him and at almost 3 still likes to wear it. You can buy a birthday banner - if you don't include the age you will be able to use it for years to come - from the same place. We did Winnie the Pooh for the 1st birthday - might now appeal to a 9 year old, but pretty appropriate for a 1 year old. Also - don't be surprised if he doesn't want to spend more than a minute or two opening presents - he'll like the ribbon and paper best. I think 1 year old birthdays are really more for us grown-ups than the babies.



answers from Los Angeles on

I threw a big party for my son, and it was really for the adults of course, but we had fun. :) It was fire truck themed because he loves fire trucks, is there something your son really likes, like cars or animals? He will get excited by those themed decorations. I didn't have any activities for the other children (well, I had a couple of games) but we didn't end up playing them. I did put toys out though, like a water table and basketball hoop, and gave treat bags when the kids came in with toys and books and games for them. As far as the other post, regarding the presents, I agree that people will tend to give you baby toys. I felt it was a bit tacky and I really didn't want to, but I ended up doing a wishlist at Toys R Us, and I put a bunch of stuff on there for older babies, like toys that he can't use for a while, and I'm so glad! First of all, people bought stuff from the list, and therefore remembered gift receipts, and I took a lot of it back and now have a lot of store credit for a big gift at some point. Also, I have a ton of toys to store away to give him later. No point in giving 50 new toys all at once and then him getting bored of them within a month. :) Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Honestly, the party is for you and your family and friends. Worry about them having fun more than your son. And if your son isn't good with crowds, etc., don't do a big party LOL - you'll all just be unhappy. Kiddos don't care about parties till they're in school, so it's all about the family before then. :)



answers from Oklahoma City on

A party for a1 year old is for the parents benefit. The child won't remember it and most likely just enjoy the cake and fall asleep for the rest of it. Have something small and intimate, family and close friends. Then as the child gets older, the 3 and up, birthdays are the ones they care about.



answers from Philadelphia on

We had a great first birthday for my son at a local park/playground. I'm not sure what the weather is like there in September, but if you can do it I'd totally recommend it. There was stuff for kids of all ages and I didn't have to do anything to entertain them. My son got to play in the dirt for hours and he couldn't have been happier. We did a monkey theme and I made a cake from Martha Stewart. We used books that he already had about monkeys as centerpieces on the picnic tables and had balloons. We also asked people not to bring presents. I didn't need anymore stuff in my house and he wasn't really all the into opening them at the time. Just remember that at 1 year they can get overwhelmed pretty easily and the party is supposed to be about them having a good time.



answers from St. Louis on

We did a baseball party for our daughter's first. It was of course more for her older cousins. Pin the baseball on the field. Musical bases (downloaded take me out to the ball game sung by kids for free). and a baseball pinata. Baseball cupcakes. Ball park fare - nacho cheese from Sam's, hot dogs, etc. Invite said something like "Peyton is turning the bases to her first birthday". I did it thru Snapfish and had three pix with her in her Cardinal's outfits throughout the year (one at 3 monthsish, one at about 6 and one taken right before I sent the invites out holding a baseball). I am not artsy but the cupackes turned out cute. White icing with red slashes for the stitching. Party turned out really cute, want to do it again when my kids are older and can enjoy it themselves! Have fun and congrats on making it a year!



answers from Kansas City on

one of the best things I did at one of the parties was to hire a clown. I knew him of course, and we discussed things he would do. We had a magic show, and he did the balloons and such. He was there for quite a while, but this was also a long time ago, so I can't remember it all, lol!!! But yes this is mostly to entertain the guests, so just have fun!!

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