So your little one has reached the ripe old age of 1 and you want to(or think your should!) throw a party. A little bit of clever forward planning can go a long way to making sure you all enjoy the party. Here are the best 1st birthday party ideas for a stress free day for all.
#1. What Time
Your little one is likely to still be napping, as will some of the other guests. Plan the party around their nap times so they will be in the best form.
Have it at home. You have everything on hand and this really is the most stress free environment for you and your little one. Everything is familiar and your little one will be relaxed.
Keep it simple! Limit it to family and if you wish, invite a few friends with children of a similar age. You will have many years of large parties in your future!
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#4. Party Food
Cater for the adults coming and keep it simple. So maybe make a lasagne and serve it with salad. Or for a summer party you could do mini-quiche with salad. Children over 1 yrs will be able to have smaller portions of these dishes too.
For dessert a simple sponge decorated with fresh fruit can make a lovely 1st Birthday Cake. Or you could make and decorate cupcakes and lay them out in the shape of the number one. Jelly with ice-cream and chopped fresh fruit is a good alternative for younger children. Remember to check for guest allergies before the big day.
#5. Party Drinks
The little ones will all be on milk. For slightly older children consider getting small bottles of water with safety caps to avoid spillages.
For the adults you may wish to serve alcohol or if you are having a shorter party tea, coffee and water is perfectly acceptable. Avoid serving fizzy drinks as if older children see adults drinking them they will also want some!
Again keep it simple, you could put up some bunting. Little ones of all ages love balloons so consider getting some helium ones that won’t burst, that they can all have fun with. Make sure to keep a close eye on them if there are strings attached.
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It is likely that some of the children attending will be a similar age to your child. Have a play area set up with suitable toys where they can be on all fours together. Sensory boxes can be a lovely idea for younger kids at a party.
For older children if the weather is good encourage them to be outside. If the weather is unsuitable have some indoor games ready for them to play. Here’s 20 Fun Kids Party Games & Activities & 15 Fun Toddler Party Games for Guaranteed Smiles.
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Remember to take photographs. If there are a few children coming maybe ask a friend or family member to take these as you will be tied up with your guests, big and small.
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#9. Short and Sweet
Keep the party short – between 1 to 2 hours is ample. Your little one could get overwhelmed with all the attention and won’t really understand what is going on.
I would recommend putting a start and end time on the invitations. Other parents with small children will appreciate this as their little ones will have limited attention spans too.
If you have lots of people coming consider getting a babysitter or asking a teenage relative to watch over the children and keep them entertained. This will leave you more free to relax and chat with guests.
It’s probably best to open presents after all the guest have gone home, as can be difficult to remember who gave what during the melee of the party. That way you will know who to thank for each gift.
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#11. Party Bags
This is entirely up to you, but it may be nice to have a small party bag for older children attending the party. For girls maybe some bangles or hair ties and for boys a bouncy ball and a pack of current collectible cards, or bubbles and homemade cookies always go down well.
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Everyone is different. Don’t be pushed into having a large party if that is not what you really want. There is nothing wrong with just having grandparents over for tea and cake. On the other hand if you are a really social family and you can rope in family and friends to help with the organisation and food it can be a great excuse to have a celebration.
Remember when they get to school, you will have many years of big parties with lots of other children who need entertaining. So in these early years it is often better to keep it simple.
The most important thing is that your little one enjoys their big day and they will only do this if you are relaxed too.
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Over to you! Do you have any tips for a 1st Birthday Party? Let us know in the comments box below.