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1st Birthday Party Activity Ideas

Fun First Birthday Party Ideas: Theme Decorations And Activities

1st Birthday Preparations, Crafts, Ideas!

Whether youre planning a big bash for your tot or fancy something a little more laid back, weve got oodles of first birthday party ideas for you to take a look at, from cake to party inspiration.

First birthday ideas can feel like a real minefield to navigate and it can be tough to try and not compare your plans to celebs glossy photos on Instagram.

Just remember that whatever it is that you decide to do, the main thing is that you are taking the time to celebrate the first year of your beautiful baby boy or baby girl’s life, and all the memories you’ve shared so far.

Unique First Birthday Party Themes 100 Creative Ideas To Celebrate Your 1 Year Old

Looking for unique ideas for babys first birthday party? Weve pulled together a massive list of original 1st birthday themes for both girls and boys. Happy celebrating!

Can you even believe that your baby is almost ONE?!

Getting to the 1-year mark is a momentous occasion, and definitely one to be celebrated not only to shine a light on your sweet babe for hitting a new milestone, but for YOU for surviving that first year!

Throwing a fun 1st birthday party for your little girl or boy is a wonderful way to celebrate with friends and family, and although they wont remember ityou sure will!

Choosing the theme for babys first birthday party can be a hard decision, especially if you dont want to go with the more traditional ideas of princesses and trucks.

Luckily, thats where we come in.

Weve rounded up some of the most unique and creative ideas for a 1st birthday party, with themes that are baby-friendly, but also fun for grown-up guests. These party ideas include themes with a play-on-words of one and first, plus more unique ways to celebrate for both girls and boys. And weve included lots of inspiration images to give you ideas for food, cake, venue, supplies and more!

So whether you want to host a backyard bash, or will be stuck inside in the winter, youll have no problem finding the perfect 1st birthday party theme for your big 1-year old!

PIN for when youre ready to choose your babys first birthday party theme:

Play on Words

Joint First Birthday Party

If youre part of an NCT crew, its likely your babies will all have been born around the same time. This is a great opportunity to think about holding a joint party for whichever parents fancy taking part. You can share ideas, food prep, decorating and costs, making it a cheaper option all round. Just be sure youre all on the same page first.

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St Birthday Party Ideas: Games And Entertainment

Keep planned activities to a minimum at your babys first birthday party. One-year-olds are unlikely to have the attention span or skills to participate in lots of games, so dont worry too much about organising anything, unless you have some older children coming too.

  • While they might be too young for pass the parcel, a fun party game for babies involves wrapping up a small individual presents in several layers for all the little ones. They can then try to unwrap it themselves. Its a great way to keep them entertained!
  • Finger painting goes down well with babies, but youll need to be organised and ensure youve cleared space and that theres adult supervision at all times.
  • If there are older children there, you could provide activities like hula hoops, ball pits, colouring books, crafts, and soft toys
  • For crafting ideas, why not take a look at our easy rainbow craft projects for kids? Theyre sure to brighten up their day!

St Birthday Party Ideas: Decorations And Themes

1st Birthday Party Activities

A 1st birthday party is such a special time in any parents life, and youll no doubt want to commemorate this occasion by taking lots of pictures. There are lots of things you can do to get your party Instagram ready, so you can easily look back on your childs birthday.

Weve put together some helpful tips to help you prepare.

  • Clear a space in your living room or garden for the partys main setting, make sure its baby-proofed!
  • Put down a selection of mats, cushions or other soft furnishings for little ones to play on and ensure theyre safe and comfortable.
  • A themed buffet area with paper plates and other cute decorations will brighten up the space without you needing to spend too much time on it.
  • Cute pictures of your baby will go down well with friends and relatives and can complement the other decorations you decided to go for.
  • You can bulk out the decorations with balloons, bunting or paper chains especially if its popular cartoon characters or a familiar animal that your baby loves. But these should be placed out of reach, to prevent them from bursting and scaring your little one.

There are all sorts of popular themes for kids parties out there, with decorations to suit just about any taste. You might want to go for superheroes, princesses, pirates, dinosaurs the possibilities really are endless! Or, you could opt for a colourful theme, like bright and sparkly or spots and stripes.

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For Adults And Older Kids

Your toddlers first birthday is more of a fun time for the guests than it is for him, therefore have a couple of fun activities such as games for parents along with the children.

1. Time Capsule

Older kids and adults can only grasp the fun part of a time capsule. This should be included in your babys 1st birthday party games so they can open it at the age of 20.

How to Play

  • Pass along a note pad to all the guests so they can write something in it.
  • Collect pieces of confetti, balloons, gift cards or anything that can be sealed off for a long time.
  • Get a plastic container or a decorated storage box with a sealable top and add everything in it.

2. Musical Chairs

This game never gets old! Its a must-have on your list of 1st birthday party games for adults.

How to Play

  • To play the game, you will need teams of people, 6-8 chairs and a music system.
  • The game starts with the same number of players and chairs with everyone going around the chairs in circles.
  • When the music is paused, everybody scrambles for a chair.
  • In the second round, one chair is removed, so somebody gets out.
  • The last person still in the game is the winner.

3. Building Blocks

Construction and demolition!

How to Play

4. Parent-Child Craft Game

Parents and their children team up to build something creative.

How to Play

Festival Fun First Birthday Party

If you’ve got a summer birthday, how about giving your outdoor celebrations a festival theme! Childrens tipis are hugely popular so get guests to bring them along if they have them and set up a garden festival where you can play music for the babies to boogie to and offer fun food options and a face paint, edible glitter or even a temporary tattoo station.

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What Is A Good Time Of Day For A 1st Birthday Party

Babies rely heavily on routines, so its a good idea to plan their birthday celebrations around nap time and feeding time. You know your baby better than anyone, but experts suggest hosting it at around 10am, if thats possible.

A 10am party means you can serve brunch for your guests, and little ones will be wide awake and ready to enjoy the party fun. It also means you can wrap things up earlier, so you can set the baby down for their nap and get on with the cleanup. Of course, that might not always be possible if you have guests travelling some distance or youre unable to set up at a booked venue.

Trivia Game For The Birthday Boy Or Birthday Girl

First Birthday Party Ideas: Smash Cake

This trivia birthday party game for kids is a perfect way to kick off the party and get to know the birthday boy or girl! Ask your child to fill out a series of prompts such as My favorite color is, My favorite food is, I like to Then ask the party guests to guess what the answers will be. The kids who get the most answers correct receive a special prize! You can also use the personalized storybook All About Me at My Age to start this game. With this custom birthday book, your child fills in the blanks about their likes, wishes, and hopes for the future. A perfect birthday gift for kids, this personalized childrens storybook is the perfect way to celebrate your childs year.

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Fun Babys 1st Birthday Party Ideas

Steal our tips and tricks to make babys first birthday party stress free. A little extra planning before the party will make this a sweet occasion filled with cute birthday decorations and activities. We have everything you need to host a fun-filled first birthday bash, from invitations to banners to cupcake toppers and more.

What to Know Before Hosting Your Babys First Birthday Party

Your baby is 1, and its time to party! Our darling Gracies first birthday was in January, and it felt like a celebration for us for making it through our first year, says Tori Horne of Tallahassee, Florida. We asked Penny Warner, child development instructor and author of more than 12 party and activity books, including Baby Birthday Parties: 20 Fun Theme Parties for Babies 1 to 3, for ideas on hosting that first milestone party. Theres a lot to jugglethe unpredictable mood and schedule of a toddler, appropriate themes and snacks, even the number of guests. Her seven stress-free tips will have you and your kiddo tossing your party hats into the air.

1. Watch the clock. Plan the party to last an hour to an hour-and-a-half. Babies have short attention spans and run out of energy and interest quickly. Plan the party for late morning or late afternoonpre- or post-napwhen baby isnt tired.

2. VIPs only. Scale back the guest list to avoid overwhelming your babe and keep costs down.

1 of 25 Image Credits: Minted

First Fiesta

First Birthday Party Activities

Celebrating the first-year milestone is usually as much about the parents surviving their first year of parenthood as it is about the babys big day. But that doesnt mean you shouldnt plan an age-appropriate activity or two for your little ones first birthday. The key at this age is to keep things simple and choose a time of day where your baby is at their best . Attention spans and patience are low at this age, so dont overwhelm the guest of honor!

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere!

You can entertain the young set for longer than anyone can imagine with bubbles. You can make your own big vat of bubbles , 1 tablespoon Dawn Original dish soap , and 1 teaspoon of glycerin , which you can buy at craft stores or online) and purchase various styles of bubble makers at the drugstore or toy shop, from the simple classic dip-and-blow types to the bigger motorized kind. Babies dont care they just love those bubbles! Have adults take turns blowing them for the little ones and wait for the squeals of delight.

Treasure Boxes

Baby Orchestra

Create a music room for your baby and friends to explore. Place age-appropriate instruments in a circle, play a fun CD of kids music, and let them create a baby orchestra! Make sure to have multiple instruments of the same type so sharing isnt a problem. And if you set aside a room for this, make sure the room is baby proofed.


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Oh The Places Youll Go

Turning one is just the beginning, and this theme celebrates your childs future adventures, based on Dr. Seusss classic book Oh, the Places Youll Go. Have guests sign a copy of the book as a special keepsake.

Photo sources and inspiration links: Karas Party Ideas 1& 2, Cherish 365, Oriental Trading,

Tips For Throwing A Unique First Birthday Party

First Birthday Activity Ideas  A Well Crafted Party

Keep the party brief, recommends O’Malley two hours is plenty of time to do an activity, serve cake and open presents. “Then let people get on with their day,” he says. “Really close friends and family can linger.” And schedule the start-time wisely a party that lands in the middle of naptime could result in tears and crankiness from your little one.

Don’t hesitate to enlist help on the day of the party, too. Take advantage of offers from in-laws and close friends, or use services like Task Rabbit and TAKL to hire help. The result of accepting or paying for another set of hands on baby’s big day: “You will actually enjoy your day and have great memories yourself,” says O’Malley.

A big reason to throw a first birthday party is for the memories. “Focus on the pretty photos early,” says O’Malley after you’ve captured your photos, baby is free to have fun and get messy without you feeling any stress. Take pictures during the party, too. “Those will be the fun candid shots you break out to embarrass them with on first dates and they will use in their wedding montage,” O’Malley says.

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St Birthday Party Smash Cakes

Oh, I love a good birthday cake and these are my very favorite first birthday cakes and cupcakes. Most of these can be made ahead of time, there are ones to make for kids with food allergies such as eggs and dairy, and all of them are yummy enough to share with the rest of the family too.

I made these for my middle kiddos first birthday and they were easy to make and fun to eat. The cream cheese frosting is so easy and so good!

Make It An Open House

Instead of a two-hour party with a set agenda, make the event run a little longer but more like a graduation-party open house. This is one of the most unique 1st-birthday party ideas. It lets guests drop by for a short bit whenever they choose and gives each person more one-on-one time with you and your baby. Another perk of an open house is you can get away with not serving a meal. Just set out cookies, salty snacks, lemonade, and cupcakes in lieu of one big cake. Your baby wont notice.

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Guess The Babys Weight

Every guest will want a turn holding the birthday baby anyway, so make an easy game out of it. Have everyone guess your 1-year-olds weight, down to the ounce, and write their guess on a slip of paper that they drop into a hat. Then pull out the bathroom scale, gently sit the kiddo down, and give a prize to whoevers guess was closest.

St Birthday Party Ideas: Invites

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Before you consider anything else, you need to think about who you want to invite to your childs birthday party. This will influence everything else, including what food and drink to buy and prepare, and what kind of entertainment or games youll want to organise. In this section, we take a look at how to write a guest list, invite ideas, and how to deal with any awkwardness if you need to limit the number of people coming to your childs birthday.

When it comes to a 1st birthday celebration, its best to limit the number of people you invite. Your baby might get overwhelmed with the sheer number of strange faces and therell be even more for you to do on the big day. You might want to limit the party to close friends and family only, so the baby is familiar with everyone in the room and theres not too much going on. *Guests could obviously include grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and a few baby friends from any playgroups and NCT classes.

Limiting numbers does come with the risk of upsetting people, and whilst its hard to avoid, a party planner recommends getting around this by inviting people face-to-face instead of online to keep things more low-key. Michael Rossini from Froggle Parties says, You can never fully avoid upsetting someone, but you do much more damage control by inviting people face to face.

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Other Fun 1st Birthday Party Games

Build a Ball Pit: Babies and toddlers, both boys and girls, love the sensory experience of playing in plastic balls, thus this makes a great 1st birthday party game, just dont go overboard with it. Order this 200-pack balls, inflate a kiddie pool in your rec room or living room, and fill er up. Besides keeping your baby and other under-2s entertained, itll serve up awesome photo ops for your guests.

Treasure Box Game: Simply get together some shallow boxes or any container you may have handy, like an ice-cream container. Collect a variety of objects, usually no more than 5-10, and place them in the treasure boxes. Present them to your guests and their bub and keep one for yourself.

Then sit down with your little one and present them with their box. Start with taking out an object from the discovery box. It is up to bub whether they play with it or not. They lead the play and you are there to support them.

St Birthday Party Gift Ideas

Make a childs first birthday extra special with thoughtful birthday gifts. Weve compiled a list of 1st birthday gifts for boys and girlssome generic and some monster-themed. Delight little ones with party gifts they can enjoy and treasure.

  • Open This Name Book: This interactive, personalized book helps kids learn their names and features a cast of hilarious monsters!
  • Inflatable pool: One-year olds will love splashing in their own shallow pool!
  • Baby instrument: Mini instruments made for babies and toddlers are perfect for little hands to play.
  • Monster plush toy set: Delight the birthday boy or girl with soft plush toys that make adorable one-year-old gift ideas!
  • Wooden Toy Puzzle: Putting the shapes in the correct spot can help develop a babys hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
  • Rocking Horse: A traditional toy that never goes out of style! This fun toy helps children learn balance and coordination.
  • Noise machine: Babies often have trouble sleeping. Soothe little ones with a noise machine that helps both parent and child get a peaceful nights rest.
  • Personalized birthday books: Spark a childs imagination with personalized childrens books that feature the childs name and photo! If you want to raise a little reader, custom books are especially engaging and special.

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