Creative, Simple 1St Birthday Ideas

Updated on February 01, 2008
H.T. asks from Farmington, MI
15 answers

Hello Everyone,

I know it is early...but I am ALREADY being pressured to throw this elaborate 1st birthday for my son in June! Well, I have already disappointed many family members by telling them that I don't BELIEVE in having an elaborate party for a 1 year old who won't remember a thing...so I need to do small things to make it special. I am planning to do a BBQ at my home for immediate family and close friends (about 15-20). I am looking for creative ideas for decorating, invitations, etc. so I can make his 1st birthday as special as possible without going overboard. I am a very laid back person and I understand the importance of the 1st birthday, but I intend to save the expensive parties for the future when my son can really enjoy himself. Any ideas are greatly appreciated! Oh.....and the theme will probably be either "Barney" (Uggg....but he LOVES it!), Barnyard or Doggies. Thanks so much!

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R.M.

answers from Detroit on

Dear H.,

Please go to website: www.noahsarkworkshop.com and you will see an exciting birhtday party idea. If you want to order product, I can get you a 35% discount.

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M.V.

answers from Detroit on

Stick to your guns! A BBQ with family (a barnyard theme sounds like it would be fun!)... something laid-back that won't stress you out. Just be sure to let your son get frosting all over his face for his first piece of birthday cake (it's some sort of rule I found out with my own two! :-) and get lots and lots of pictures. Your son won't remember it, but the kids absolutely LOVE to see pics of themselves years later, and know that you spoiled them even at 1 year.

Have fun!

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J.G.

answers from Detroit on

Are there going to be other kids at the party? How old are they?

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K.T.

answers from Detroit on

H., I'm a great fan of downloading images from the internet and using them to decorate. Color them yourself if you don't have access to a color printer, cut them out and paste them to construction paper for place mats, cardboard for standup decorations, etc. You can make old fashion ring garlands to tape ballons to, use crepe paper streamers in bold colors, etc. The sky's the limit. For one of my son's parties (when he was a bit older than yours), I blew up a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine and made "Pin the Funnel on Thomas" instead of the old donkey game. It was both cheap and a big hit. Oh, and one thing I did for his first birthday (it was Pooh's First Birthday theme - really just plates and a Pooh cake), I printed out a birthday picture of Pooh and asked the guests to write their wishes for the birthday boy on it to put in his memory box/scrap book. That way he had something besides pictures to remember the day by when he got older.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

A BBQ is great. My son was born in March so we couldn't do that. The big deal is the cake. Make him his OWN cake. Everyone can ooh and aghh as he gets it everywhere and then you can hose him off or throw him in the tub quickly. I didn't want my son to have a lot of sugar at his first b-day so I made him a large cupcake and used cool whip instead of frosting.

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T.W.

answers from Detroit on

Keep it all about the # 1 1 BALLOON,1 Gift each we all know how grandparents can be, 1 Streamer with the # 1 on it.

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H.K.

answers from Detroit on

We felt the same way - keeping it simple. He had a BBQ (hot dogs only) with chips & pop. We borrowed a tent from a friends church....tables & chairs from my parents...and put all our outdoor toys for our friends/families kids to play with. Including a jump house that I had gotten my nephew for Christmas (bought at KBToys for $25. That's about it! Easy cleanup after our son ate his own b-day cake! :) Cost us....$30-$40 total?? Oh...and people brought their own lawn chair for the campfire! :)

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L.B.

answers from Detroit on

Definately do what your son likes - which may change again by June!! I agree w/keeping it simple as well. At that age, decorations mean nothing to them - but balloons are always great. I think the most important decoration is the cake - besides your son, that's what you are going to take the most pics of. And, I like getting the kids a special birthday boy/girl shirt to wear (they won't keep a hat on).
You are so lucky you have a summer bday!! Both of mine are in the winter, and my third one will be born any day now!!!

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C.C.

answers from Detroit on

I was under the smae pressure. I just did a fun, family birthday party -- we did a tropical/fish theme... that's what she was obsessed with at the time (she's almost three now) We did easy foods.. veggies, crackers, some dip, fruit and cheese. I think the most important was for me, the little cake for her to smash -- I made her own little fish. She didn't even like the cake -- not a sweets girl -- she made her mess, had a good time and we have great pictures that now she loves to look like.
Do what you are comfortable with --- I sent out pictures to alot of family and friends afterwards, since we didn't do a big party -- it was appreciated and I was good with it.
Go with the Barney theme if that is what he likes -- you can go easy on it --purple ballons and a barney cake -- as long as there are one or two Barney's he can recognize -- no need to go crazy -- like you said -- you can get bigger as he gets older.
Have a great time planning and enjoy it -- the first only comes once.

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M.Z.

answers from Detroit on

I am with you 100% on the simple, fun party. One game that I used for my son's first birthday that worked well for all the ages of kids there was a little duck pond. I just bought a cheap kiddie pool and bag or two of rubber ducks. Put a number or color on the bottom and have a "prize" that matches those (I think I actually had identical gift bags with different colored ribbons, but it made each "prize" seem special). They also kept their duckie. What was good was that the baby/guest of honor could "play" the game over and over (because he just loved taking out the duck and throwing it back in) but the bigger kids had a "game". I'm sure we did other things, but it was 9 years ago now (it's true, the time flies -- enjoy the moments!). Oh -- don't forget bubbles. They are such a mesmerizing activity. Get a bottle for all the kids and a refill bottle and bigger wand for a grownup or two. Again, the baby/birthday boy will enjoy watching them and any bigger kids will chase them. Make it a contest by counting how many they pop -- again, everyone can win. It's just fun to chase and count. And nothing turns a grown up into a little kid again quite like bubbles!

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V.T.

answers from Detroit on

One thing I did for my girl's 1st b-day is not do a major theme which cut cost. But went with color instead. You could go the barney color and maybe just get plates with Barney on it. or Dogs whichever you choose. Also with decorations it was easier to find stuff that was less expensive (that seemed expensive) to find to decorate with. I used dollar store vase/glasses with colored rocks and used color paper as the place mates with balloons. Anyway just a thought.

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T.C.

answers from Detroit on

Barnyard would be the easiest becasue you can decvorate with all his stuffed animals! keep your eyes open for tractor toys at the dollar store or salvation army. Another great place to look is freecycle.org. Everything is free and in your area, you can just post what you are looking for and if someone has it they contact you! You could go one step further and get a couple bails of straw from a local farmer or landscape store. If you cant find things you are looking for, dont be hesitant to ask to borrow things from friends. They are always more than willing to help! Good luck

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K.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, Here are some of my ideas. I have 3 girls (14,10 & 5).
Have a smaller version of the cake just for your son to eat(wear!), and a stuffed dog or other animal for everyone to sign. Tape a short message from each guest, like people do at weddings. that way he can look back later and see who was there and what they wished for him. If there are older kids there a cake made up of many cupcakes together is fun and a little wow. take lots of pictures of the day, relax a little and do what you feel is best. In my family we serve dinner at the "milestone" birthdays and just cake at all others. Good luck and dont cave. your right and all a big extravigant party will do for your family is stress you out and spend all your money LOL. Good Luck!!

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N.K.

answers from Detroit on

We did a Barnyard theme for my daughter's first B-day. She loves all animals. I'm somewhat creative and I think its more fun when you do some of the decorations yourself. My husband made a barn out of cardboard and he got a few 2x4 to nail it too and then some spray paint. I have pictures too. He went and got bails of hay and we set it out on the front lawn. It was really cute. I printed up simple pictures of a pig, chicken, and a sheep off the internet or I guess you can get them from anywhere. I then freehanded the drawing onto poster board. One pig was made out of 2 poster board. One for the body and one for the head. For the sheep I did the same thing only it was one poster board and then I got 2 bags of cotton balls and glued them on the poster board. That looked awesome. And for the chicken I got feathers from Dealer Discount(I got almost everything from there and a dollar tree) Dealer Discount is on 10 mile bt. Vandyke and Schoenher. I glued(with just a gluestick) all the feathers on the body of the chicken. I found a nice size wall in the house to put all of these animals on. Now for the best part.....I went to Holcombs Knowplace(the teaching store) and got a paper background of a blue sky with clouds ,you know the kind that they use to put on bulletin boards at schools? That was the background. Then they had a fence that was also for bulletin boards and I bought that. That was $5.00 and I had to cover a wall that was 6ft tall and 13 ft. long and it only cost $12.00. Very cheap. I also made hills out of green poster boars and I took my scissors and cut half and inch down on the top of the hill to make it look like it was a grassy hill. It really looked awesome. I have all the pictures if you would like to see them. I got while paper bags at the dollar store and drew cow prints on them and filled them with popcorn(Gordon's is cheaper than Sam's and Cosco). I got white table cloths from the dollar store and put them on the tables and cut out cow shapes out of black construction paper and just tossed them onto the tables. You can even get a red and white checkered table cloth and toss it on the gift table. I made her a cow girl hat . They are also at dollar tree. Bandanas are very cheap and you can put them on tables and put your chip bowl on them or something. You can get really creative with that theme. Sorry I talk to much but it was fairly inexpensive and extremely easy and let me tell you the best part.......My daughter loved it the most. She did enjoy looking at the animals on the wall and we also ordered mylar ballons of a horse, pig, lamb, and cow,(they were 28inches..very huge) at $5.95 a piece on Birthday Direct.com. You can fill them at Meijer for only .25 cents. Yes, that;s correct.25cents only. No matter how big the balloon and doesn't matter if you bought it there or not. I have a bunch of other things we did so if you want to know more let me know I would be so glad to help!!!!!

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E.A.

answers from Detroit on

I agree stick to your guns. You want simple, stay simple. If you have a Dollar Tree near by they always have party supplies. (Go with purple plates and cups for Barney or Red for the Barnyard and maybe a few balloons.) Ya don't need much for a barbecue.
The idea of his own cake is something I did for my daughter. It worked great. We took a TON of pictures. Frankly, watching her apply the cake to herself was all the entertainment needed!!

--Elizabeth

P.S. Spending on kids Birthday Parties is SO out of control! Remember what YOU enjoyed as a kid. Chances are you child will too.

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