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You can plan a stress free party by choosing first birthday themes that are easy to prepare and built around simple things that your baby loves such as a favorite color, special toy, or television character. Although your child’s first birthday is important to you, they are not going to remember the celebration, no matter how expensive or extravagant it may be. To make your little one happy, you do not have to spend weeks planning the event of the year. After all, birthdays should be about creating memories and spending time with the guest of honor. So, keep the food and decorations basic and the activities to a minimum so that you can relax, visit with guests, snap lots of photos, and truly enjoy your baby’s special day.
Television Character Parties
Babies love familiarity and enjoy T.V. themed parties because they can easily recognize and identify their favorite characters. Fill your home with giant Bob the Builder balloons, hang a colorful Dora pinata, or plan a personal visit from Big Bird and watch your child’s delight as popular shows come to life right before their eyes.
Elmo Party: Cut Elmo shaped faces from red paper, add a couple of squiggly eyes and a red pom pom nose, and you have the perfect invitation for your Sesame Street party. You can purchase Elmo patterned napkins, plates, and tablecloths, or simply use plain red and accent with decorations in bright primary colors. Hang a “Welcome to Sesame Street” banner and attach giant alphabet letters to the walls. Keep the little ones entertained by playing a game of Pin the Nose on Elmo, tossing beanbags into Oscar’s garbage can, or dancing and singing to some of the shows most popular songs while following a leader around a Big Bird footprint maze. After all the excitement, re-energize with mini cupcakes topped with red icing or Elmo faces.
Winnie-the-Pooh: Simple invitations can be made by printing the party details onto colorful tags and attaching them to small stuffed characters from this classic story. Decorate with red and yellow streamers, balloons, and tableware and use a large honey pot as a centerpiece. Play Pin the Tail on Eeyore, put on music and have all the children bounce like Tigger, then enjoy story time in the 100 Acre Woods. Food such as peanut butter and ‘honey’ sandwiches, pigs in a blanket, or bear shaped jello jigglers is easy to prepare and will please every guest.
Hello Kitty: Pink, pink, and more pink – with a little green and white thrown in, will help create the purr-fect atmosphere for your Hello Kitty party. Give each little one a kitty ear headband, draw whiskers on their cheeks and then line them all up for an adorable photo shoot. Play Pin the Bow on Kitty, try bowling with large pink foam balls, blow cat shaped bubbles, then finish the day off with a huge Hello Kitty pinata. Cupcakes topped with Hello Kitty rings will look great and provide a fun keepsake for all the guests.
Favorite Toy Parties
Building a party around a favorite toy will delight your child and make planning easier since you probably already have a lot of theme related items that can be used for decorations and entertainment.
Thomas the Tank Engine: Create boarding pass invitations that invite all guests to come take a trip to the magical Island of Sodor. Design a masking tape railway track that will lead children to the party room, washroom, or food table. Decorate with red, blue, and white balloons and streamers and purchase Thomas themed tableware or use plain appropriate colored plates and napkins.
Play Pin the Smokestack on Thomas, toss black beanbags into a ‘coal car’, or make rail cars from cardboard boxes and let the children be the conductors of their favorite character engines. Of course, you could keep it really simple by watching a favorite Thomas the Tank Engine episode or setting up the wooden tracks and cars and letting the little ones spend some time playing. For something extra special, you can even purchase engineer hats and whistles for a reasonable price at online stores.
Teddy Bear Picnic: Almost every child has a favorite teddy bear, so why not host a first birthday teddy bear picnic? Make an invitation using a picture of your baby holding their special friend, or attach the party details to little teddies purchased at the dollar store. Continue the theme by decorating with stuffed bears wearing party hats, cover the walls and floor with paw prints, and create a bear’s cave using a large cardboard box. Give each guest bear ears to wear and then gather the little cubs together for a picnic lunch of bear shaped sandwiches and teddy grahams. Go on a teddy bear hunt, have a bear dance, or keep with the picnic theme and play outside on the swings and slides.
Color Themed Parties
Babies love bright colors, so when planning a first birthday party it is a good idea to keep it cheerful and colorful.
Rainbow theme: From the rainbow shaped invites to the bright streamers and balloons, your baby will be fascinated with all the vibrant colors. Cover tables with plain paper and let the children show off their artistic skills, or use a variety of bright colored tableware to create a rainbow effect. Color rainbows outside using sidewalk chalk, build towers from multi-colored blocks, or have a crawling relay to deliver gold nuggets to a pot at the end of the rainbow. Allow the babies time to play with colorful balloons then enjoy cupcakes on rainbow shaped placemats.
Green Tractor theme: Use a tractor pattern to create an invitation from green paper and attach the wheels with fasteners so that they actually turn. You may even want to glue a picture of your baby in the driver’s seat. If you want something a little easier to prepare, purchase small plastic or metal tractors and attach the party information. Decorate with green streamers and balloons, hang a few farm themed posters, and pile some barnyard animals together to build a fun centerpiece. Give each child a John Deere hat (or a plain green cap), play Pin the Wheel on the tractor, enjoy a game of hot potato using a stuffed animal, or go on a tractor treasure hunt. For an outdoor party you could even include a wagon ride or spend some time climbing bales of hay. Of course, a tractor shaped cake would complete the day perfectly.
First birthday themes should be easy and simple to prepare so that you can plan a party that will thrill your child without creating a lot of stress or expense. By using favorite toys or things that are important to your child, you can make this milestone day extra special and fun for everyone.