Perhaps Mom’s out of town or you have custody for the weekend of your child’s first birthday, and you want to throw a little get-together in honor of this first crazy and exhausting and wonderful year of your child’s life. Now, these things are supposed to be colorful and cute, right? But you have a problem: You’re down-to-earth Dad, and you don’t have a creative bone in your body. Haven’t a clue where to start? Well, don’t worry-here are a few ideas to help you out and make your child’s first birthday one to remember.
Secure a Sweet Venue: Home is the place where your child will feel most secure, but if you can’t have your party at home because your gathering is too big or for some other reason, you can look at other options like a friend’s house, a park, a zoo, or an indoor playground. Reserve in advance, if possible.
Tackle the Theme: If you want a theme, something like bright colors or cute characters can be easy and festive. There are lots of great easy party decorations available at your local party supplier or online. You can get a great professional look without too much effort on your part.
Get Game: The great thing (and sometimes the hard thing) about one-year-olds is that they do their own thing and don’t really care to cooperate for party games, so you don’t have to plan any! If you will be inviting slightly older children, however, you can have something like crayons and paper available to keep little hands busy. Make sure the crayons are non-toxic, of course. You can also supply some snacks; a few simple things like popcorn and pretzels and chocolate candies will do.
Take the Cake: It’s fair to say that the cake is the centerpiece of the first birthday party, since one of the classic first birthday activities is to give the one-year-old a cake to happily destroy and spread everywhere and then capture the whole lovable mess on camera. Thus, you have a few options here as far as cake is concerned: 1) Buy a small cake from a bakery; 2) Have a family member or friend make a cake; or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, 3) Make it yourself. If you choose option three, remember that cake mix is your friend and that your one-year-old really won’t care whether the frosting is store-bought or homemade. Grease the cake pan well, let the cake cool thoroughly before frosting it (if you don’t, the frosting will melt), and don’t worry about making the cake too artistic-it’s just going to get smashed anyway! Festive sprinkles are a fun and easy way to add color to your masterpiece.
Don’t stress too much about this occasion. The goal is to celebrate your child’s life and make some memories to look back on for years to come. So relax, have fun, and don’t forget the camera!
Guest Writer – Jenny Franklin
Jenny Franklin is a children’s party planner and loves making kids’ dreams come true. When she’s not planning parties, she does some blogging and writes for the party supplier 1stbirthdayparty.com.
Photo credit: viviandnguyen_ on Flickr.com