When planning a 1st birthday party it is easy to go crazy and plan all kinds of games and activities that your 1yr old simply can’t even join in with. I know I did exactly that the first time round. We had all kinds of things going on including a pinata and a bubble machine. I thought was a fabulous idea and I was really excited about the bubble machine, but by the end of the party said machine was full of grass thanks to little hands and that was that! I learnt my lesson and now my kids 1st birthday party is all about simplicity and making memories.
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My top tip is therefore keep it simple. My hints and tips for not going crazy and first birthday party planning are:
- Make at least some healthy food; even though its a party other parents will appreciate being able to give their baby something nutritious. I go for fruit, wholemeal bread for sandwiches, homemade oat and fruit biscuits and humus. I still do the more ‘fun’ party food too. If there going to be very little ones there you could also have some of the fruit pouches available. They last for ages so won’t be wasted if not eaten.
- Remember its a kids party and don’t worry too much about the adults. In fact I typically have not catered for the adults at all. Although a glass of Prosecco always goes down well! As they become toddlers a glass of fizz will be less feasible as you will be chasing after them; so I say do it now!
- Only make the cake yourself if you really do have lots of time. It always seems to take longer than they say in the book 😉 You can always just buy or make a simple iced sponge and get a great cake topper to go on it. You can even get them personalised for an additional touch. Another really quick idea is to just make cupcakes and put them in the shape of the number 1.
- If you do want to order a cake then check out your local supermarket as many of them offer this service and in my experience the cakes are awesome!
- Don’t worry too much about theming the party the babies won’t notice if the napkins don’t say ‘Happy Birthday’. However, if you do fancy a theme I suggest keeping it simple and choosing something easy to do like Pirates, Fairies or Princesses or a mix of them all. That way you will be able to easily buy what you need and won’t have to make too much yourself unless you want to.
- If there are older siblings also at the party remember this when it comes to party bags. They will be looking forward to these. I fully recommend the pound shop or Wilkinsons for these and if you are in the US Target has some great cheap bits and pieces. Previously I have also ordered a large stock of party bag items from a wholesaler and then used them for multiple parties. This is much cheaper, but I do have 4 kids so it is easier for me to bulk buy. If you want to stay away from plastic toys then books are a great option. I have other no plastic party bag ideas here
- For baby party bags I recommend a little bath toy, a book, a healthy snack (bear paws, plum teenies or something similar) and a piece of cake
- If there are older children coming I think you need an activity so I recommend playing a simple game such as pass the parcel or pin the tail on the donkey
- I don’t recommend letting your little one open presents during the party as it just takes ages and they don’t know what is going on. It also means that you will need to be trying to keep track for thank you card purposes whilst everything is going on.
- Arrange the party for after your baby’s main nap so that they are happy as it is all a bit overwhelming for them. Don’t be surprised if they get cranky or don’t seem to be having as much fun as you had hoped. It is a lot for them to take in.
- If older siblings will be coming put away most of your kids toys and only leave out the sturdy stuff. Toys lead to no sharing and then fighting!
If you do want to go down the theme route here are some ideas of products that you might like. I must say I do love a bit of decoration for a party and tend to buy these things in rather than go down the home made route. Sometimes life is too short!!
No to single use plastic
If this is the first kids party you are arranging you will quickly notice that there is a lot of single plastic typically involved in children’s parties. I have been trying not to use it in my children’s parties and if you are interested in learning more and getting some ideas then head over to this post:
First Birthday Party Planning Checklist
To give you an extra hand why not download my 1st birthday party planning checklist so you know everything is done and you can relax and enjoy the party with your baby.
Try to enjoy the day. It will only happen once for that little one and it is a really special time.
Oh and one more thing remember there will be photos so take a second to wipe off the baby snot – I speak from experience having forgotten this 🙂