Your child’s first birthday is a really special occasion, and we know how crazy parents go for their little one’s first ever party. Whether you want to keep it simple and affordable or go all out and splash the cash, there are loads of theme ideas out there that will suit you and your one-year-old. Here we’ve rounded up some of our favourite first birthday party theme ideas for both boys and girls so that you can make the day extra special for your baby and your family.
If you want some great tips on how to make their special day go smoothly then jump to the bottom of this post.
First birthday party theme ideas
Some of your baby’s first words might be ‘moo’ ‘baa’ or ‘neigh’, have a farm-themed party to help them learn their animal sounds.
If their birthday is in the spring or summer, make the most of the outdoors by throwing a garden party.
Have you got a wild child? A zoo-themed party might suit them well.
Shiver Me Timbers! This theme is wonderful for keeping all age groups happy. And your little treasure will love it.
Create a super fun, multi-sensory party with this sandy theme.
Sprinkle some magic dust everywhere with a fantasy fairies themed party.
Rev up the excitement for their party with a super-charged car theme.
Don a cape and mask as you make your child’s superhero party awesome.
Make them believe unicorns are real at your magical unicorn themed party.
Make your party a proper Hundred Acre Wood with some easy Winnie the Pooh theme ideas.
Your kids will think this dinosaur party is ROARsome!
Planning tips for the perfect 1st birthday party
Where to host your baby’s 1st birthday?
Your baby might be frightened or feel intimidated by new places, so your home is a great choice for their first birthday. This also means that you will have everything on hand and won’t have to worry about lugging nappies and supplies to a venue, which coincidentally don’t have baby changing facilities.
Alternatively, a small, familiar coffee shop is a good shout – especially if you go there regularly with your baby. Consider booking an upstairs space or reserving a few tables so that you’re not disturbing anyone and can relax a little knowing you are not taking up regular spaces and making a mess.
Who should you invite to the first birthday?
Again, new people might make your baby shy away. It’s wise to stick to inviting close friends and family. Furthermore, a small group of people means less planning for you. You also can make really special invites that family members will cherish.
What time and how long should the 1st birthday party be?
Think carefully about your baby’s sleep cycle. Schedule the party for after their afternoon nap. There’s not much point in arranging your party at 1 pm if your baby usually has their nap at that time. This means that, come party day, they will be a bit grumpy and want to sleep. Even though it is their party and they can cry if they want to, it’s not ideal when you have a house full of guests.
Similarly, if other babies are on the guest list, check with their parents to see which time suits them best. It may not be possible to accommodate everyone, but be warned if one starts crying, they all will!
You may also want to consider the length of your shindig. An hour or so is long enough at that age.
What should we do at the party?
Birthday balloons and party poppers will have to wait until next year as they will just scare your little one. Alternatively, some gentle and fun music will get everyone in the party spirit.
Activities will be mainly for the benefit of your grown-up guests. You can find some really fun 1st birthday ideas, themes, and games on sites such as Pinterest. Meanwhile, your baby will love simple things such as Row the Boat, finding toys under hidden boxes and of course opening their presents.
Just be warned that a one-year-old may be more interested in the wrapping paper than what’s inside! No hurt feelings please from the adults.
If you have any slightly older toddlers or kids attending prepare some quiet games for them too. Again, nothing too crazy as you might upset the birthday boy or girl.
What food should you serve?
Snacks should again be kept very simple. You’ll probably be catering for both adults and babies so make sure you have an array of textures and tastes. Finger foods are great at any party, and children will love to come and go whilst they’re enjoying the other activities.
Tiny sandwiches, cubes of cheese, mini yoghurts and biscuits will suit a lot of people. Remember of course to always supervise small children when eating because if something does get stuck you need someone on hand to take the appropriate action. Also, only supply food that is appropriate for 1-year-olds.
And don’t forget the birthday cake!
Is there anything else to consider for 1st birthdays?
Having tiny guests around means that the adults will have to keep a watchful eye at all times. Be sure to store away anything breakable and put up stair gates and fire guards if necessary. Also, things go in mouths so make sure any potential choke hazards are put away out of reach.
Meanwhile, help other parents out by providing a space for nappy changing and breastfeeding if needs be.
Otherwise, just be sure to have fun and take lots of photos and videos to show your baby in years to come. Celebrate yourself because really this 1st birthday party is for you to remember the amazing day one year ago when your little sweetheart first arrived.