Your baby’s first birthday should be a wonderful and memorable day. There are a lot of great first birthday party ideas out there that can help you plan everything out right down to the minute, but I think it’s a much better idea to let the mother do the planning on her own so instead I’m going to offer a few tips and ideas for making your child’s first birthday party unique, fun and memorable for all who attend. Let’s just in.
10: Stick with a color theme.
You want to be able to look back on your baby’s first birthday and remember it like it happened yesterday. Choosing a theme centered on something that’s popular at the time – a movie, television show or something of the like – can make that birthday party feel dated. Besides, as your little one grows, they might enjoy looking back on those first birthday party pictures. You don’t want them asking, “Dora who?”
09: Don’t forget entertainment for the parents.
While the big day is really all about your baby, having a few fun games parents can play or games with prizes intended for adults (gift cards for coffee shops etc) can be a nice way to make your party memorable for everyone in attendance. If you intend to serve alcohol, stick with things with low alcohol content and make sure you keep the booze well out of the reach of any children at the party. You don’t want anyone getting drunk as you still need to be able to look after the kids.
08: Make it a pot luck party.
Pot luck parties can be a lot of fun because they allow guests to really feel like they’re a part of the party. More than that, they can make food they like or food they know their kids will like. The biggest benefit of making your child’s first birthday party pot luck is the amount of time and money it will save you when it comes to food. That leaves you more time and more money to focus on other things.
07: Plan activities for parents and kids to enjoy together.
Ask anyone who is bringing their children to your party to bring a short story they read to their little one to the party and then take turns reading the stories to all the kids. Remember, kids have short attention spans sometimes so make sure everyone knows to only bring a short story. This keeps the kids entertained, gets the parents involved and sets your party apart from many of the other first birthday parties your friends may attend.
06: Don’t take on more than you can handle.
While every mother wants her child’s first birthday to be perfect, the reality is that things will go wrong. It’s just the way life goes. You increase the chances of something going wrong if you try to take everything on yourself. You are only one person and while you may be able to do everything yourself, that’s going to cause a lot of stress and will take away from your enjoyment of the party. Remember, you child isn’t going to remember their first birthday. They won’t mind if you ask someone to help make sure things run smoothly. While the party may be all about your baby, in the end, the party is really more for you so make sure you give yourself the chance to enjoy it.
05: Make backup plans in case something falls through.
As I mentioned above, something can always go wrong no matter how carefully you plan. Enlisting the help of others can help but it’s always the best idea to have a back up plan in place. I know mothers who have two cakes on hand just in case something happens with the first. This is especially a good idea if you plan to bake your own cake. Buy one at the supermarket just in case you either run out of time or make a mistake while you’re baking. You also want to have a back up location in mind in case something takes place with your
04: Hand out disposable cameras and collect them at the end of the party.
I handed out disposable cameras at my wedding and suggested my friend try the same thing for her daughter’s first birthday party. It was a big hit both times. You can generally pick up cheap disposable cameras at dollar stores or you can look for “develop included” cameras at the supermarket (generally by the courtesy counter although they are a bit more expensive. Hand the cameras out to your guests when they arrive and collect them before they leave. Get the cameras developed and sort through the pictures. Scan your favorite pictures and put them on a picture CD which you can then give your friends as a fun memento of the party. You’ll be surprised at the precious memories your guests captured. After all, you won’t always be able to have your camera ready.
03: Choose decorations that are safe and baby friendly.
As I mentioned at the top of this list, it’s a good idea to stick with a color theme for your decorations but it’s also a good idea to make safety a part of that theme. Silly string is fun and can really thrill babies but it can also be dangerous to use as it could potentially catch fire if it gets to close to the candles on a birthday cake. Balloons should also be kept well away from babies as they could pop and hurt the little ones. Keep baby safety in mind at all times.
02: Have gift bags for babies and for adults.
Gift bags for babies should include fun, age appropriate things that babies will enjoy and can use. Baby safe toys from a discount store can be a good idea. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on the gift bags, even for the adults. Do your gift bag shopping at discount stores. You should be able to find a lot of great ideas there at prices you can afford.
01: Check food allergies.
Always, always, always check food allergies before you start a meal plan for your baby’s first birthday party. While hot dogs, hamburgers and cake are always a great idea, you want to make sure any snack food you serve isn’t going to cause allergic reactions. If you’re going to go with pot luck, make sure every parent on your list knows about any allergies that you need to cater around.