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20 Fun Baby's 1st Birthday Party Ideas
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Your baby is 1, and it's time to party! "Our darling Gracie's first birthday was in January, and it felt like a celebration for us for making it through our first year," says Tori Horne of Tallahassee, Florida. We asked Penny Warner, child development instructor and author of more than 12 party and activity books, including Baby Birthday Parties: 20 Fun Theme Parties for Babies 1 to 3, for ideas on hosting that first milestone party. "There's a lot to juggle—the unpredictable mood and schedule of a toddler, appropriate themes and snacks, even the number of guests." Her seven stress-free tips and theme ideas will have you and your kiddo tossing your party hats into the air.
1. Watch the clock. Plan the party to last an hour to an hour-and-a-half. Babies have short attention spans and run out of energy and interest quickly. Plan the party for late morning or late afternoon—pre- or post-nap—when baby isn't tired.
2. VIPs only. Scale back the guest list to avoid overwhelming your babe and keep costs down.
3. Ask for help. Consider hiring a babysitter or asking a family member to help you balance your hosting duties with enjoying your baby's big day.
4. Babies love balloons. Opt for foil, or Mylar, balloons instead of latex to avoid choking hazards for kids under 8. Try saving some money by buying Mylar balloons and a helium kit at Party City. ($55, partycity.com)
5. Create a play place. Many of the babies in this age range are still on all fours, so baby-proof a play zone filled with age-appropriate toys for your little guests. Set chairs around the zone for parents to relax and watch.
6. Check your treats. Ask your guests if there are food allergies to consider. Keep snacks simple, like chopped fruit and graham crackers for the kids, and more grown-up versions for the adults to munch.
7. Don't stress. You're still a few years shy of hiring a D.J. and hosting pony rides. It won't matter to baby whether you throw the party of the season or just celebrate at home with your immediate family. As long as they’re with you and feel love all around, that's all that matters.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles Theme Party
Oh the places they’ll go—spark their imagination with a transportation celebration.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Theme Activity:
Expect oohs and ahhs when you set up this airplane along with finger paints and smocks for pint-size artists to decorate. The final handprint-laden masterpiece makes a great party favor too. ($16 for 12, orientaltrading.com)
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Theme Birthday Party Invitations
All aboard! These fun digital invitations from Punchbowl are sure to put a smile on your guests’ face when they open their email. As an added bonus they’re free to send so you won’t break the bank.
- Jon Whittle
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Theme Birthday Decorations
Hang paper airplanes made from colored paper and yarn from the ceiling for a modern mobile effect. Use two to three different patterns/colors of paper that match the party's theme. Have fun with color combinations, but be sure to balance them for a refined edge to your fun decorations.
Disney-Themed Birthday Party
From the legacy characters that we all know and love to more modern heroines, a Disney-themed birthday party is always a hit.
Disney Themed Party Hats
Try this super-cute party hat for your baby. Use it as the perfect addition to their smash cake outfit for family photos that will be treasured for years to come. ($11, etsy.com)
Disney-Themed Birthday Party Invitations
Invite the people you love to the party with an invitation that showcases the characters your child loves. These invitations from Zazzle are an adorable touch to a first birthday and can even be customized with a picture of the birthday boy or girl. ($3, zazzle.com)
- Jon Whittle
Storybook Birthday Party
As far as first birthday ideas go, we think this one will have a fairy tale ending. Turn children's books into a birthday wonderland and have baby’s favorite fairy tales and stories come to life!
- Jon Whittle
Storybook Birthday Themed Cupcakes
Hire a local baker to create cupcakes decorated with your baby's favorite characters. Glitter frosting adds a magical touch. If you want to add a more personal touch try making these tasty treats at home or add a fun cupcake topper to homemade or store-bought cupcakes.
- Jon Whittle
Storybook Birthday Themed Activity
Ask a dynamic friend to read a favorite storybook aloud, or hire a storyteller from your local library. Sing-along nursery rhymes are optional.
Storybook Birthday Themed Party Hats
Enchanted party hats set the mood for any little prince or princess. These adorable crowns add a touch of magic to your child’s storybook themed party. ($8, walmart.com)
Storybook Birthday Themed Favors
Little Golden Books make great takeaways. Build everyone's book collections with a few that match the party's books. This party favor is one that guests young and old will cherish. ($4, amazon.com)
Storybook Birthday Themed Birthday Party Invitations
Set the tone for your party with an invitation that has characters on it that match the theme of the party. These so-sweet Corduroy online invitations are sure to add an extra-special touch to your child’s party.