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First Birthday Party Ideas

baby-girlA first birthday is a big deal; well any birthday for our children is a big deal.  First birthday parties can be as extravagant and whimsical as our imagination will allow, but really do not have to break the bank. It is an opportunity to celebrate the birth of our child and their first amazing year of life – full of growth, milestones and fun. Here are some ideas for birthday themes that can be simple to put together.

Ships Ahoy Nautical Theme

  • Grab blue and white thick-striped fabric and red felt. Cut out the letters of your child’s name (or initials) in the red felt and glue or sew onto the striped fabric as a backdrop to the treats table. Affix it to the wall with removable hanging strips;
  • Build a big cardboard box sailboat with items you have laying around at home (cardboard box, old pillow case or leftover fabric, a broomstick, etc.) and let the children set sail;
  • Craft a lifesaver using a white foam craft ring and thick red ribbon for a decorative welcome sign;
  • Use blue and white striped fabric for tablecloths and red and white for placemats or napkins;
  • Spread seashells and miniature sailboats across the center of tables for fun décor;
  • Make shortbread cookies in the shape of seashells, crabs, anchors and any other nautical themed cookie cutters you can find. Ice them with white icing and sprinkle with blue sprinkles;
  • Give small blue or red plastic buckets and shovels as favors. You can use permanent marker in blue or red to write a note or the child’s name on the side of the bucket and include a sample of your nautical shortbread cookies;
  • Have goldfish snacks in a fish bowl with a small sand shovel as the scoop.

Ice Cream Social – for the child who loves ice cream

  • Bake cupcakes, once cooled, pop them out of the cupcake liner and into the top of an ice cream cone (some shaping may be needed to fit the cupcake into the ice cream cone). Then ice the top with homemade icing or dip in melted white chocolate and cover with sprinkles. Let cool in the refrigerator top down on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper so the icing/chocolate hardens;
  • Grab a white t-shirt or onesie and find an ice cream cone iron-on.  Once the iron-on is affixed to the shirt, set aside this cute little T for the big birthday boy or girl;
  • Use small fruit baskets like the ones you see at the farmer’s market as containers for your ice cream sundae station toppings.  Make sure you put a spoon in each for easy scooping. Liquid toppings could go in mason jars;
  • Place waffle cones filled with special treats that won’t melt and place in a favor bag closed with a twist tie.  Send each child home with one.
  • Create a pin the cherry on the ice cream cone game.

Winter ONEderland – for a winter baby or if you’re dreaming of snow and cold, winter air

  • Have mugs setup and ready to go with mini marshmallows and hot cocoa mix (for summer, pre-make iced hot cocoa);
  • Have a large coffee maker ready with a pot of hot water for the hot cocoa. (adult supervision needed here);
  • Make a snowflake garland with white or shiny vellum paper and twine;
  • Play pin the carrot nose on the snowman;
  • Make a snowman sheet cake;
  • Give small, plastic snow globes as party favors;
  • Use small foam craft balls as snowballs on top of fake snow for decoration;
  • Make snowflake and snowman PB & J sandwiches with cookie cutters;
  • Write “Thank you SNOW much for celebrating my birthday with me!” on the favor bags or on a large sign hung on party guest’s way out.

What did you do or do you plan to do for your child’s first birthday party?