1st Birthday

The Ultimate Guide to planning a first Birthday Party

Parenthood is the toughest and most gratifying job you will ever experience. There will be lack of sleep, no holidays and less rest but nothing replaces a baby’s cuddles, their curling fingers, their display of love, and the baby’s smile.

Time flies, and before you know, it will be time to celebrate your beautiful baby’s first birthday party. This can be one of the most exhilarating, and equally exciting experiences of parents, but organizing a first birthday party may be easier than you think. In this guide, we look at the details on how to rock the best first birthday party ever.

In this article:

Stress management

First things first, don’t get stressed and obsessive about organizing the perfect day. Relax; it’ll be a fun and loving celebration. Everyone can take part in bringing their ideas to the table.

A family ownership of the event will make the day a memorable one. It will also reduce the stress levels significantly. After noting down all the ideas, plan a budget. Distribute tasks. You don’t want to leave things until the last minute. It is always best to plan way ahead and buy the imperishable items beforehand. When things are organized well, there will be fewer surprises.

The experience of throwing a first birthday party is great. It is also a good idea to contact other mommies and daddies who have had prior experience, to chip in their ideas and tell their stories of all the positives and setbacks they may have faced during their experience.

If for one reason or another, you want to delegate the role of party planning to other family members or maybe even hire a party planner, it is advisable to be up to date with all the information and the developments as they occur.

Décor themes and wallets

decor idea for first birthday party

It is good to consider your child when planning the birthday. Think of questions such as what toys your child loves.  Think of the colours that may suit the event. Do you want to go with the conventional pink and blue or do you want another color? Is having a themed party necessary at all? This depends on the choice of the parents. You can still have a very fun party if it is not focused on just one idea. When in doubt, keep it simple!

At the end of the day, you just want your child to have the best experience on his/her first birthday. The invitees, who may include family members, friendly neighbors, babysitters, acquaintances and their children, will also be looking forward to having a good time as well. Think of what activities will make them engaged and entertained.

 It is a good idea to throw an over the top party for your child and there is nothing wrong with that if your finances can handle that, but keeping things simple works well too. What is important is to make sure your child and other children have a brilliant time. So if you want to go big, plan well ahead and put everything on a budget. Keep a plan B as a backup. 

The theme of the birthday – if you decide to have a themed party – no matter how big or small the event is should be all about you and your child. Birthdays are about devoting a single day for you and your loved ones.

Naturally, the theme of the party greatly influences the décor and the colors. It could be something your child is obsessed with or whatever you think he will enjoy. Balloons and banners are always a party favorite and to make the theme really come alive, a photo booth for creating fond memories is a great addition.

A photo booth will allow every child to take a picture from an instant print camera that is added to their goody bag to take home.  Getting an instant photo is just great and creates unforgettable memories.

Games and fun activities

boy having fun at first birthday party

Children like games. They like to get busy and grab things so age appropriate games will be great for your child and other children around. Dancing games are a great idea, have the children do a dancing competition and reward them for their awesome moves, with the adults cheering them on, of course.

Young children have incredible energy capacity you would not believe, so get a ball pit in which they can explore for hours. A bouncing castle is another favorite. Never underestimate the fun capacity of a large inflatable bouncing balloon contraption.

There are also drawing games, a favourite which parents and children can do together is to use washable sidewalk chalk to draw pictures on the driveway. Speaking of drawing, face painting can never go wrong. This is something the children and their parents can engage in together as well.

The goal is to get the children and their parents to spend a lot of time together having fun and bonding as much as they can. These are just some ideas in a myriad of activities and games one-year-olds and their older or even younger friends could enjoy. The idea is to keep the children of various ages entertained, which shouldn’t be that hard right?

While the kids are having the best time of their lives, the adults should not be neglected either. This can be an opportunity to strengthen bonds and introduce new people to each other. Make sure there’s always a comfortable area where the grownups can socialize and get to know each other and make sure there’s enough food and drinks suitable for the grownups as well. All while in fair sight of the children.

Diverse diets, and blunder control

food for first birthday for a child

Another thing to plan is to decide what to serve as lunch and the type of cake to order. The size of the cake depends on the number of people you plan to invite. It’s good to have food that is suitable for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

The lunch can be served earlier but some people prefer cutting of the birthday cake in the end. This is usually the highlight of any party, apart from consuming food, let the party take its course and don’t stress about getting a strict agenda.

It is advisable for the new proud parents to be aware that they are dealing with small children who are not always stable on their feet and are likely to fall and get minor injuries.

The superhero parents are always on standby for those unfortunate scenes, so the first thing is to have the basic first aid kits in an accessible place for scraped knees and a paper cut or something. And maybe candy to bribe the blubbers away.

Locations and Extra structures

bday place

The decision of the venue of the party is for the parents to decide. It can be held at home or if necessary, a hall can be rented.

Having the party at home creates familiarity and it is cheaper. Still, having a party at a rented hall, for example, will save you the cleaning after, and all the extra details of planning.

 If you have a big compound where you can put up temporary structures, tents or canopies to host the guests in, there won’t be a need to rent a hall to host the party. If you don’t have canopies or tents, renting a hall is not as hard. You will have to physically be there to see what the hall looks like and how to decorate it. 

Wherever you decide to host the party, space is what is important. You want to get a place big enough to accommodate all the guests and to give the kids a large playing ground to explore.

Another thing to consider is safety. The location of the party should be in a place where everyone feels relaxed, safe and comfortable.

When is the best time to host a first birthday party you ask?

The best time to host a first birthday party is really during the weekend when more people will have the time to come by and spend an entire day with the celebrant. For the school going kids, it is best to consider them as well, because they may need a day to recover from the partying and all that candy

Although a one-year-old may not have a very packed schedule, it is good to consider the other guests and their time as well. It is not a hard and fast rule to host the party on the actual birth date but for the sake of sentiment, even if it falls on a busy weekday and you want to have the party on that day, that’s completely fine as well.  Preferably though to avoid the hassle, because mommies and daddies work too, it makes sense to have the party over the weekend.

Time management, goody bags, and more food  

goody bags for children

It is best to also decide how long this party will take. It can’t be too long and drag into the evening because it’ll be dark out by the time the kids get home and the party can’t start too early either. It has to be just right.

Children’s birthday parties’ especially younger ones are usually just a few hours long. So don’t keep it too short or too long so that everyone enjoys their time with the birthday celebrant.

Another thing you can do is to prepare goody bags for all the kids who come. These don’t have to be over the top and can be filled with simple gifts. It’s not mandatory to have these, but giving some take home gifts to young children will just make their night.

These may usually contain candies, juice boxes, plastic toys (that aren’t too small and won’t be a choking hazard), crayons or colorful pencils, dried fruit and of course a colorful fun bag to put all these items in.

 When it comes to food, in addition to the usual delights like the ice-cream, cotton candy, cupcakes and the rice sticks and couscous, it is always fun to include a variety of fruits and veggies in the mix. A fruit salad is always a fun and yummy treat and even fruit popsicles. 
sweets for 1st bday

Another personal favorite is smoothies loaded with fruity veggie, healthy yummy goodness. Healthy food doesn’t need to be gross to kids. There are many how-to videos on YouTube where parents can get recipes for the best and yummiest smoothies for parties.

While we can never say no to candy, we should also encourage kids to eat healthy. Incorporating a variety of different drinks and foods can be the highlight of any child’s day after hours of running around and face painting.

Cake! And music. And cake!

first birthday cake

The best part of eating at a party is the cake! Everyone likes cakes and the cake could reflect the theme of the party. If it’s a mermaid themed party, for example, a mermaid themed birthday cake is quite appropriate. The size of the cake doesn’t really matter as long as it is yummy and everyone gets a piece.

 What should be important though is the fact that the cake must be colorful and fun to look at? There’s something about a pretty cake that leaves mouths watering and minds re-visiting that pretty sight. So never underestimate the beauty of a cake! 

Let’s talk music! I love music. Who doesn’t anyway? Music at a one-year-old’s birthday party doesn’t have to be a tricky business. I’m sure the adults won’t mind a mix of favorite nursery rhyme songs and pop songs that are one year old friendly. Honestly, anything can do the job as long as the kids dance to it and it is child-friendly.

So that is that I believe by now, you would have gotten a fair idea of what to think about when planning to throw a first birthday party.  Taking the necessary steps will make the event a great one and bring smiles on faces whenever recalling the event or looking at the photos. Here’s to the joys of being a parent and throwing the ultimate first birthday party.

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