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Hello all!

My son, James, will be celebrating his first birthday on Saturday, June 18th this year and I'm just curious to know what you did for your child's first birthday.  I have some ideas of what I'd like to do for him, however, I'd like to hear your thoughts.  My husband and I are trying to keep the weather into consideration too (June will be HOT).  I'd love to hear about your locations, party favors, cakes, games, prizes, etc.

 

Thanks!

Karen

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For the 1st birthday, I like to keep things low key. They are still just a baby after all and have no idea what is going on. And more than anything, might be overwhelmed with too much and end up having a terrible time. So I'd suggest keeping it at a place the baby is familar with, do it at a time that works with the baby (not during naptime or too close to bedtime), and keep the guest list small.

 

For my older son's first bday, we had it at our house at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon. He usually woke from naps at 4 and didn't go to sleep till 7ish, so that time was great. We just had family (the 4 grandparents, my sister and her huband, nephew, and my aunt) and a few close friends (3 of our couple friends along with their children who were the same age. All together, it was 5 children ranging in age from 10 months - 3 years). It worked out well. We played, talked, let him "open" gifts, had pizza for dinner, and did the smash cake and party cake. His nursery was safari themed, so we had an animal themed party. Gift bags for the children were a box of animal crackers and a few other things I can't remember now, animal related. For the adults, we had just taken him to portrait innovations the day before and got that huge package with a ton of wallets, so I got wallet-sized magnet frames at a craft store and put a pic of him in them. Since it was family and close friends, they all liked that.

 

His bday is in August, so I get you on the hot time of year. Even inside, it was hot with all those people in my house. But he was fine. I sometimes think it could have been even smaller. For my baby's 1st bday, we may in fact have it smaller with just family and our one best friend family. We'll probably do the same timing and have it at home as well. We did not do any games. Did have appetizers set out in addition to the pizza for dinner. I made the cakes - a regular rectangle cake for everyone with a giraffe drawn from the #1 and a little lion cake for him to smash into. It was a lot of work to do that, but it was fun. I got the ideas off a kid bday planning website found from google. can't remember it now though.

 

Anyway, I'd say the best thing is to keep the child in mind first and think about what he would like best/be most comfortable with. Kind of funny to say that about a baby, but you know what I mean. But while he won't remember it, you will! So do make it memorable for you!

We also had the first birthday party at our house with a small group of family and close friends with kids. I had gotten really close to two others moms in our hospital classes and we did a lot of things toigether, so my daughter and each of their sons were already "friends" and they came. We had a total of 12 adults and 5 kids including the birthday girl and us. We used a jungle theme (same as her nursery) and decorated the entire house with stuffed animals that fit the bill. I made a monkey cake for her myself plus a little one for her to smash, although not much smashing occurred! Then we changed her clothes and opened gifts. No games - kids are too young. We did do favors bags with a bottle of bubbles and an inflatable beach ball as we had a summer (July) birthday to celebrate!

 

A fun idea for a first birthday is to have all the guests write a letter to the birthday child about his or her first year. You won't open them now - you save them until an 18th birthday or some time well in the future. But what a fun keepsake! Also write a letter yourself.

 

 

I somewhat disagree with Katie. We had a HUGE party at my house. Cooper's birthday is June 2nd so we can relate. We had his party from 12-3, outside at our house. We had a total of 73 people. It was HOT, but we made it work.

We put a few EZUp tents out for the adults to sit under, have a large shaded porch with rockers and chairs, and tons of water things for the kids to play in/with. I had a silly sprinkler, spraying water ball, and 3 or 4 baby pools. Cooper was walking at the time and I felt comfortable letting him climb in and out of the pools. Of course there were plenty of adults around so I didn't have to worry about him falling in and no one seeing him.

We served hotdogs, slaw, baked beans, and of course cake and ice cream. There we tons of drinks to choose from as well. My husband didn't get to enjoy the party for staying at the grill the whole time, so for future food parties we will have another family member work the grill.

We had a camouflage theme. My husband hunts and it was very fitting for a boy, different too. I like different. We had a huge cake and smash cake made at Publix. They sprayed the cake to look camo. We didn't play any games. It was all about Cooper and he was too young for games. Party favors were camo bags with bubbles and water balloons.

Cooper was NEVER overstimulated. Some kids will though. Cooper was never one to take good naps or sleep a lot as a baby so I knew he would be fine. We are always on the go and he's used to being around a lot of people. You will have to decide for your child what you think is best for him. James may do better than you think he will. If not, take it as a learning experience.

Whatever you do, HAVE FUN!!! If he starts to melt down, don't feel like you have to open gifts at the party. You can take them home and do it after he gets a good nap. I prefer to go to a party where the gifts are opened there so I can see their face when it's opened. But if the child isn't happy, I'd rather them get opened when they can enjoy seeing what they got!

Have fun, and happy planning!
I agree with the others.  They are still very much babies at 1 and can get overwhelmed at big bash parties.  We had a small family gathering at our house for our daughter's first birthday.  We didn't do much in the way of games or prizes, just had some light snacks and cake.  We got Madelynn her own mini version of her cake so that she could dig into it (most bakeries will do this for free when you buy a regular sheet cake) and then we did presents.  It was more a time for the adults to socialize then it really was for Madelynn since she really didn't know what was going on anyway lol!  This year is actually the first year we are not having her party at home.  We just did simple things at home for her 2nd and 3rd parties as well.  She will be 4 next week and on this Sunday we are having family and a few friends over to my mom and dad's horse farm for pony rides - if, that is, it does not rain!
My daughter has a summer birthday as well, which I love. It's just easier to plan things when you can plan outdoor activities. For her first birthday, we actually had it at my uncle's house. He has an inground pool and a great backyard that would have been perfect. But, of course, it was pouring down rain when her party started. That's one of the negetives of planning an outdoor party. Always have a back-up plan! But we just moved the party inside and let her open her presents and do the birthday cake. The weather cleared up at the end so the kids were able to get in the pool for a bit, which was really cute. We got lots of cute photos of McKennon and all of her little cousins in their swimsuits. We only invited family and close friends. For us, it just worked out better that way. Even with just close friends and family, it was still a bit overwhelming for her. One really cute thing we did was buy her an adorable tutu online. She wore a white onesie with it with her name and the number 1 on it. It was a hit, and she felt like "big stuff" in her little tutu! As long as your little one has fun on his big day, that's really all that matters!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!  My husband and I have tried to have a baby since we were married in 2006... and so when we found out about our pregnancy with James we were so incredibly thrilled.  Of course, we want the whole world to clebrate his 1st Birthday with us... however, Dave Ramsey may not be happy (lol).

 

From your recommendations I plan to keep the party here at home, a familiar environment for him.  I also like the suggestion of scheduling the party around HIS schedule (e.g., meal time, play time, nap time)... so late afternoon may be better opposed to early afternoon.

 

Maybe hamburger/hotdogs or finger sandwiches, etc. will hit the spot for both adults and kids.  Unfortunatley, I'm not much of a cook... does anyone have recommendations for a cake?  Preferably a place that will include a small cake for him to 'smash' into?

 

Also, I can't remember when it gets dark outside in June... I'd like to place a large white sheet across the back of our two story home and project a disney movie onto the sheet for all of us to watch in the backyard.  I'd decorate the backyard with light lanterns.  We could make smores and the kids could bring lawn chairs, bean bags, and picnic blankets.  We could make smores, etc!  Maybe this activity would be best when he's older - or we can start an annual tradition with is birthday?  What do you think?

 

I sincerly appreciate your feedback.  I don't want to 'overdue' it, but I certainly want it to be a day for everyone to remember... but more importantly, I want him to have fun and enjoy himself.

 

Karen

Publix has THE BEST CAKES!!!  They will incluse a free smash cake with the purchase of a sheet cake. 

 

Not sure when it gets dark either, but I htink the movie idea is a good birthday tradition to start!

 

ENJOY!

I love the movie idea! We got my daughter's cake from Spartan Bakery, and they did the free smash cake as well. I usually love their cakes, but I wasn't too impressed. The cake was a bit dry.  And for her smash cake, we had her initials in the middle. The picture I showed them was really cute, but the cake didn't look anything like the photo. Her initials were even off-centered. So now we usually use cupcake creations now for any event we have. They are in Boiling Springs. Their cakes and cupcakes are delicious! If you check them out, be sure to try the wedding white cake. It is the best cake I've ever had. But that may be out of the way for you, not sure where you live.

Thanks Shanna and Ashley!  I've seen some great cakes from both Publix and Cupcake Creations.  I live in Duncan Park, but my son's daycare is near Cupcake Creations (I think).  I'll need to stop in to see what they have and try the wedding white cake!  I love the look of fondant, but don't think it would be very appetizing for the kids.  Maybe a cool whip type icing would be best.

 

Please post pictures of your kiddos birthday cakes/cupcakes that you loved and tell me where you got the cake/cupcakes from.  Oh, and about how much it cost.  : )

 

Publix has great cakes. They will do a free smash cake for baby's first bday too. I know Spartan Bakery does too. Probably a lot of bakeries do for the 1st bday if you buy the big cake from them. Just ask. Publix is going to be a lot less expensive than the bakeries of course and just as good, I think. They will also do a cake they dont' have in their catalog if you bring a picture. I made my son's first 2 cakes, but with his 7 week old baby brother for his 3rd bday, well, Publix made that one! He wanted a Backyardigans them party and I wanted one of those cupcakes cakes (very cute - a bunch of cupcakes put together to look like a cake. you can pull them a part to give to each person). I found a pic of one online since they didn't do backyardigans stuff and they made it perfectly!

Here's the site I used to get ideas:

http://www.coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com

Use the search at the top to look for anything - ideas, cakes, etc. They have some fun outdoor ideas. Like people writing in what they did and what worked and what did not. I got some great ideas for my son's 2nd bday "splash bash" backyard water party there like "bubble alley" - using the side yard btwn house and fence to make an alley filled with bubbles using bubble makers. And a drawing wall - put up large sheets of drawing paper on the fence and put out paintbrushes and water colors.

 

For his first bday, Here's the giraffe #1 cake I did:

http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/birthday-cake-photo.html#c6

And I did a smaller version of this lion cake for his smash cake, but made him more yellow in the face, while using orange and chocolate brown for the mane

http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/lion-picture.html#c2

I can understand why you want to really celebrate your little cutie....and you should!  :-)  Publix has THE BEST cakes ever.  Even though it is across town and totally out of the way from where we live, we always get our cakes from there.  They do include a free smash cake for the 1st birthday to match the big cake. 

Karen L said:

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!  My husband and I have tried to have a baby since we were married in 2006... and so when we found out about our pregnancy with James we were so incredibly thrilled.  Of course, we want the whole world to clebrate his 1st Birthday with us... however, Dave Ramsey may not be happy (lol).

 

From your recommendations I plan to keep the party here at home, a familiar environment for him.  I also like the suggestion of scheduling the party around HIS schedule (e.g., meal time, play time, nap time)... so late afternoon may be better opposed to early afternoon.

 

Maybe hamburger/hotdogs or finger sandwiches, etc. will hit the spot for both adults and kids.  Unfortunatley, I'm not much of a cook... does anyone have recommendations for a cake?  Preferably a place that will include a small cake for him to 'smash' into?

 

Also, I can't remember when it gets dark outside in June... I'd like to place a large white sheet across the back of our two story home and project a disney movie onto the sheet for all of us to watch in the backyard.  I'd decorate the backyard with light lanterns.  We could make smores and the kids could bring lawn chairs, bean bags, and picnic blankets.  We could make smores, etc!  Maybe this activity would be best when he's older - or we can start an annual tradition with is birthday?  What do you think?

 

I sincerly appreciate your feedback.  I don't want to 'overdue' it, but I certainly want it to be a day for everyone to remember... but more importantly, I want him to have fun and enjoy himself.

 

Karen

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