First Birthday Party Activities

Updated on February 29, 2008
J.J. asks from Atlanta, GA
7 answers

I am having my son's first birthday party on March 8th. Of course, there will be mostly adults, but we have at least 11 kids attending also. They range in age from 10 months to 11 years old. The party will only be 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but I'm not sure what to plan to keep all of the kids occupied. I will probably have some toys available for the younger ones (hoping that no one has purchased any of these toys for his gift). But I'm not sure of what to do for the 5, 7, 9, 10 and two 11 year olds and the adults. We will only be serving finger foods and cake so we will have some time to fill. I'm not sure if we open gifts there or wait until we get home so that the other children don't get upset. Is it inappropriate to put a (Sponge Bob) DVD in to entertain them? HELP!!! What can we do?

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answers from Harrisburg on

I'd say that most 10 and 11 year olds will entertain themselves by bringing their own games, toys, etc.. And, if it's family, it's been my experience, growing up in a very large family, that the old kids like to help entertain the younger ones, especially, when you're talking just an hour or so.

Why not have some younger games/activities and enlisting the older kids to help. Provide them a bit of incentive by giving them a helper gift of something you know they like. Indoor bowling is cool, if you have the room and a set. Pinatas are always a good time.

What about Twister. Yeah, you modify it a bit, but they like to play with the circles and moving the body around.

I think the video in the background is a personal choice. I hate television for my child, but have also allowed her to watch a video once in awhile and know I will eat my words on what i will or will not do. If it makes for a nice time, then do what works for you!

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I just had my son's first birthday party on January 26th and I had the same thing going on. I have 23 neices and nephews that range from 6 months and up. I did two different things that seemed to go over well, so here are my suggestions. I had a pinatta filled with gummies and candy and each kid got a chance to hit it- the little ones first and then the older kids. They really enjoyed this. Secondly I did a Chinese auction of toys that I bought on sale that ranged in ages and each kid was able to have three papers to put their name on and put them in the cup beside the toy that they wanted. I had about 8 toys/gifts altogether and it was fun for them to put their names in the ones they wanted and see if they could win. I know that not all the kids won the prize, but that is why I did a pinatta as well. It seemed to go over nicely. I hope you have a great party and just take a deep breath!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

My daughter is 19 months now but for her first birthday party we sent out treasure maps on the invitations and dressed up like pirates. We stages a treasure hunt and found the pinata at the end of the hunt which was shaped like a treasure chest. We filled it with plastice rings, ring pops candy necklaces and chocolate gold and silver coins. We had a lot of older kids at the party too though. We also used craft paint and made personalized eye patches and bandanas. Party city had pirate themed party supplies, we had pirate chest favors and a pirate map cake. Oriental Trading Company has lots of themed party supplies that you can order through their catalogue or website. The smaller kids just liked to run around the bigger kids loved the crafts and treasure hunt. Hope this helps.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I think the biggest hit during my son's party was that we made a bunch of cupcakes before the party and the kids decorated their own cupcake when they got there. Of course this meant that they ate cake before dinner, but who cares! They had a blast. We also covered a table white paper and brought out bunches of stickers and markers and crayons. We cut out some smaller shapes and the kids made special cards for their parents and had fun drawing all over the table. One last idea - my one year old loves to dance, so we brought my 4 year old nephew's CD player (it was kid-friendly so we didn't have to worry about someone breaking it). The kids loved listening to Hannah Montana and had a little dance party in the corner.

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answers from Allentown on

I always cover my entire table with paper and put a bucket of crayons,markers and stamps so people can color. Its great for all ages so long as the little ones dont eat the crayons! I would check with the parents before putting in sponge bob just becuase ir really isnt appropriate for all ages. Some parents might prefer something like Polar express, Meet the Robinsons, Scooby Doo?? Maybe have a board game or two for the older kids....pictionary, memory, battleship? The other parents should help entertain their kids too so dont get stressed! Have fun!

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answers from Lancaster on

Well, we just had my sons first birthday Feb10th. Had about the same amount of people and children too. I only had it from 1-3pm. Let me just warn you now: It will be hard to keep the younger ones from opening your sons presents and playing with them, things for the other kids to do, being indoors because of cold wet weather did not help and it was just too overwhelming for our son. He ended up getting hit in the face with a basball bat (soft plastic) by accident (kids not listening to me telling them to not play with his toys indoors) but it was so chaotic and no matter how hard I tried to keep it calm it was not. So, be prepared! We served finger foods but still had food all over the floor. There is nothing inappropriate about doing anything in your own home! We had Elmo on and if no one liked it well then they should know better that to attend a 1 yr old party :0) You can try door prizes like cheap bottles of bubbles for the kids or trinket toys at the Dollar Store. My advice is to give them on the way OUT as they leave! So, good luck and remember to have fun and keep it simple. I didn't (keep it simple) and I wish I did! From now on we are having parties for him at places like McDonalds, Chuck E Cheese, Bowling..etc... let someone else clean up! Lol....
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I have been doing birthday parties for 13 years now (I have four kids, 13, 11, 6 and 4). The rule of thumb is don't stress when the younger kids start screaming and running around like maniacs. With such a wide age range, this is bound to happen. And don't worry if what you plan doesn't get accmplished.

The 11-year olds are going to be the hardest to entertain because at their "advanced" age, they think everything is stupid. If they're boys, try buying them each one of those small Lego sets where they can create a monster - Bionicles. They take my 11-year old 60-90 minutes, so here's the activity and party favor all in one. You could look for similar items for the younger kids -- sort of a make and take thing. Since I don't know if there are boys or girs or both, check out the craft stores (AC Moore, Michael's) for cheap craft ideas. Have whatever video going on in the background. Ask the parents to help their child with their craft if needed.

And buy a bottle of wine for after everyone goes home. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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