Your child’s first birthday is a momentous event. You want to recognize the special day while also truthfully acknowledging that the party is more for you than the guest of honor. Here are eight suggestions for creative ways to celebrate your child’s first birthday while making it fun for everyone.
- Look to your child for inspiration. Does your child have a favorite game? Doll? Toy? use that favorite as a “springboard” for the party. If your child loves a particular Disney character, look to her room for decorations. If your child likes Curious George, for instance, put out any Curious George toys/games/books to set the mood. Then supplement with solid color paper-goods and streamers which can be purchased at reasonable prices.
- Serve snacks in recycled baby food jars. Re-use those freshly cleaned jars and fill them with chocolate pudding, Jello, fruit salad, or ice cream.
- Have guests sign a specially selected children’s book. It’s a win-win situation. Your child’s home library will grow each year, and she will be able to read through each book and know who celebrated her special day with her. (For our son’s first birthday, we chose Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss and have continued the tradition with a different book on each subsequent birthday).
- Ask guests to leave their mark. Set up a handprint table, and ask each guest to paint his/her handprint. Make sure to paint the guest of honor’s as well. Afterwards, you can cut around their handprints and assemble them into a wreath-shape. (For added durability, have the handprints laminated).
- Use recycled baby food jars as take-home favors. Fill them with a favorite snack (jelly beans, M&M’s, Cheerios, goldfish crackers) or splurge on customized M&M’s to mark the special day.
- Play guess the baby. Ask each guest to provide a photo of him/herself at age one (or as young as they can). Display the pictures and use Post-Its to ask guests to guess which baby face belongs to which guest.
- Create a time capsule. Have the adult guests write a message to the guest of honor –words of advice, wishes for the future, memories of this first year. (Younger guests can scribble a note or picture). Place the slips of paper into a special time capsule (a decoupaged keepsake box, for example) and make sure to determine what future date the time capsule will be opened (baby’s 10th birthday perhaps?).
- Get two cakes. Make sure your baby has his/her own small cake to squish to his/her heart’s content. Or, opt for cupcakes for your guests. Some bakeries can create a “cupcake-cake” — essentially a series of cupcakes that are assembled to look like one large cake and can then be pulled apart so each guest is served an individual cupcake.