A 1st birthday party is such a special thing, but it doesn’t have to be anything super elaborate. Remember that birthdays are for making memories, but the birthday baby won’t remember anything from their first couple parties at least. So you can do whatever you like! That said, even though most of the children at the party (assuming they are around the birthday child’s age) won’t actually remember anything….they do still need to enjoy themselves! Think simple and fun. Below are some ideas from my children’s first birthdays.
For my 2 children, the theme of the first birthday party was “FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY”! No extra themes needed, in my mind. Time enough for that when they can participate more. Neither of my children were even walking yet at the time, and neither were regularly eating solid food even, so I just tried to keep it all very simple and baby friendly.
Ok, let’s talk decor….Like I said, don’t go crazy. If you find some cute decor for a first birthday party at a reasonable price, go for it! I did actually find some cute blue 1st bday themed hangy things for my son’s party, but I stuck with just the basics for my daughter. By keeping decor cost to a minimum on the years that there’s not an involved theme, I could spend more money on the entertainment items.
Streamers are always the best and cheapest way to decorate for any party.
Use streamers for the bulk of your decor!!
They’re inexpensive so you can buy rolls and rolls of them in coordinating colors and get really creative with them and go crazy around your house or party area, bringing color and festivity for just a few dollars! Then you add accents to the streamers later, as appropriate. Balloons here and there, a purchased cardboard cutout hangy thing here and there….but the bulk of your decor should be streamers! LOTS and LOTS of STREAMERS!
If possible, I use streamers colored to the theme of the party (like the Construction Party, where we used lots of yellow and black…or the Minecraft Party that used brown and green)…but more often than not, there’s not really colors that go with many of my children’s themes, so I stick with their favorite colors. For my daughter, when she was little it was lots of pinks and purple. Now that she’s older, it’s purple and turquoise. For my son, it was always green and blue. And this allows me to stock up on streamers, not worrying whether I’ll finish them each year, as I know that I can use them again in subsequent years. I do the same color schemes with all the partyware: plastic table cloths, paper napkins, paper plates, plastic utensils, etc.
For even more great ideas on how to use streamers, check out Pinterest! Here’s a great board to start with!
And streamers coupled with balloons is a very festive combination!
You can put them up all over, just hang them or tape up to the corners of things!
I found a balloon kit for my son’s first birthday party that included stickers to make faces! (I couldn’t find the exact kit we used online, so I’ve linked to something similar. And here’s a site that sells printable monster face stickers that are super cute.).
The kids and grownups alike enjoyed making faces! You could also do something similar by having multiple colors of permanent markers to decorate the balloons! I like to get a disposable helium tank and have helium balloons to decorate, as it just feels more fun and it has the added bonus (just like the bubbles), that it gives you something to send home with the kiddos.
Here’s some balloon products I found on Amazon that look like they would be great for a First Birthday Party…
Bubbles bubbles bubbles and more bubbles!
Bubbles were such a hit at my daughter’s first birthday party (pictured above). Babies and toddlers just love them!
They are pretty cheap to purchase and come in lots of different colored bottles. You could also go no-spill, group bottles, cool wands, and more! Get an automatic bubble blower if the kids are all too small to do the bubbles themselves. Here’s some options on Amazon:
Added bonus: Kids get to take their bottles (refill from a bottle of extra bubbles as they leave!) and wands home as a party favor.
Hats and party blowers give kids more fun things to do…Get plain party hats and give them stickers to decorate! And make sure to get the noisy party blowers.
Click on the pic of the girl with the scooter to purchase sidewalk chalk on Amazon!
I have lots of reviews over at my other website, Homeschool Realm.