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jordym84's avatar

What are some good ideas for a first birthday party?

Asked by jordym84 (4732 points ) September 15th, 2012

My niece is turning 1 in November and my sister and I have been trying to come up with ideas/themes for the party. We’ve been racking our brains but everything seems overdone and/or too cheesy. We want it to be something simple and tasteful, yet age-appropriate. Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Also, if you need more details to help you with your suggestion, feel free to ask and I’ll try my best to provide them. Thank you in advance :)

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31 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Age approprotate for who? The birthday party is for the parents and family. The baby is too young to know what is going on. Just have family over, bake a cake, have some ice cream, open some gifts. Or, if you want it to be a big party with more substance, have it catered, full meal, and then the cake and ice cream.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Want an original idea? Here’s a thought: she’s one, she won’t remember any of it, so my advice is forgo the whole birthday celebration, get a babysitter and go skydiving instead. Fun!

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie Age-appropriate for the baby. We’re not looking to throw anything extravagant, just something cute and sweet for the family and close friends to come and help her celebrate. Having the party catered would be too expensive and it’s not really part of our culture, so that’s not really an option.

I’m aware that she won’t remember her first birthday. Not to be rude, but if you can’t make a suggestion, please don’t feel like you have to respond. I’m just looking for birthday party ideas, not a sermon on how she won’t remember her 1st birthday. I don’t remember mine, but it’s still nice to look at the pictures from my birthdays as a child.

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 Did they do anything special for your first birthday? Or, just cake and family?

Age appropriate for the baby? Cute cartoon looking animals on the plates and napkins? Or, pink cinderella if she is a girl. Thomas the train for a boy?

Seriously, I have never been to a one year old party that had a baby theme. I guess they do happen though. Aren’t the parents exhausted from having an infant? Why make it complicated?

filmfann's avatar

Hitchhiking to Mexico

Keep it simple. Just a small party with friends and family. Your child will be more attentive to guests if there aren’t jumpy houses, dancing mice and video games everywhere.

gailcalled's avatar

A cupcake, a sippy cup of milk, a song and then a nap for the birthday girl. That should take about fifteen minutes.

When she wakes up, she will be thrilled to play with one or two cardboard boxes and some wrapping paper.

One-year olds don’t need themes.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie my mom always used to throw us a little party for family and friends. She would make the cake and everything else for the party herself. That’s what we want to do for my niece as well, we’re just trying to come up with some sort of theme…something to tie everything together.

@filmfann That’s the idea, to keep it simple. No bouncy houses or any of that stuff. Just the cake, some food to go along with that, and the simple decor – nothing crazy. As I mentioned above, we’re trying to brainstorm ideas for the “theme,” which is what I’m asking for suggestions on.

gasman's avatar

Bake a small cake just for the birthday kid. Don’t bother cutting it into pieces – just let her have at it, picking up fistfuls at a time or sticking her face right into the cake. Take pictures for future blackmailing.

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 I gather your mom did not do a theme from your answer, yet still you enjoy the photos from the party.

But, ok, if you and your sister want to make the effort, I have no problem with it. Is it a girl or boy? Did I miss that information? Why not go to a big party store and just see what they have?

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie. Yes, you did. It is his niece. My niece is turning 1 in November

Choose any theme that you like. Cowboys, Barbies, candyland, puppies and kittens, flowers, dinosaurs, turtles, football…

What do you remember about your first (or second or third, for that matter) birthday.

Being female still allows you to pick whatever theme you and your sister want.

jordym84's avatar

Guys, as I’ve mentioned above, I’m aware that she won’t remember her first birthday. I get that, trust me. That’s not the point of the question. I’m kind of regretting not asking this question in the general section lol

@JLeslie it’s a girl. And yes, my mom used to do themes.

@gailcalled I’m also a girl lol

Edit: She’s my sister’s first child and she’s also my first niece (and my parents’ first grandchild), so we want to do something special this year.

JLeslie's avatar

For me it is not so much she won’t remember, it’s that I wouldn’t want to make the effort probably. There is enough effort into parenting a baby. Plus, children themes are for the child to enjoy. The baby won’t know the difference. Except maybe if the theme is some toy she loves to play with, or some cartoon or character she is attracted to. You could get a big stuffed Barney I guess, and purple plates. Or if she loves to play with blocks, do something cute with blocks etc.

jordym84's avatar

@gasman I’m really liking your suggestion! With her funny personality, the pictures would come out great, I’m sure lol

Trillian's avatar

Do you really need a “theme” for a one year old? Get two cakes, put one on the table next to little missy, let her mess it up, and take pictures, keep her away from the other one and give it to whoever else shows up.
Honestly. by the time she’s six she’ll be completely jaded and nothing you do will make her happy. Simple and tasteful indeed. And don’t complain about the suggestions you’ve gotten.
“Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! ”

jordym84's avatar

@Trillian “Honestly. by the time she’s six she’ll be completely jaded and nothing you do will make her happy.” that’s just unnecessary, honestly.
“Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!” indeed, but only as they pertain to the question. I was simply reaching out to the Fluther community for suggestions on a party not about whether or not we should throw the party. Simple as that.

Can we just live a little, people, and stop analyzing and dissecting everything? This is a very simple question, it doesn’t have to get political. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fluther and appreciate most of the input I’ve received thus far on this question, but for the first time since joining the site I’m honestly regretting having asked a question…

JLeslie's avatar

What type of themes did your mom do? That might help us brainstorm, and future jellies who come to this Q.

JLeslie's avatar

Zen had some cute suggesstions here, and an answer below him you just need to weed through some of the other answers that are similar to those on your Q.

gailcalled's avatar

“Cowboys, Barbies, candyland, puppies and kittens, flowers, dinosaurs, turtles, football…”

jordym84's avatar

Sometimes she would do color combinations (i.e. pink and white, blue and pink, etc.), or patterns (polka dots, plaid…), or a favorite cartoon theme (Barbie, Sesame Street…), or some other non-cartoon theme (lady bugs, balloons…). I guess we could just go with one of those themes, but I was hoping someone could suggest something a little different…

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for the link!! He does have some great suggestions there :)

gailcalled's avatar

She’s one, for heaven’s sake. Nuclear physics, landscape design, cake decorating, astrology, expensive automobiles…

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, after your answer I am back to suggesting go to the party store and see what they have. That way you know it will be easy to execute, instead of coming up with a theme and having to shop around to find products that match.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie That’s probably our best bet, going to a party store, see what they have and go from there. Thanks :)

JLeslie's avatar

Let us know what you decide.

Sunny2's avatar

Have a birthday party with cake for the little one. I’d suggest a theme of stuffed animals. After she goes to bed, have a party for the adults with appropriate food and drink.

gailcalled's avatar

Another thought is to take the money you might spend on decorations and other disposable tchotchkes and start her college fund at the local bank. You’d be surprised how it starts to mount up.

My three little grand-nephews get huge piles of gifts for every imaginable occasion. By the end of the day, some are lost, some are broken and some are simply boring. Now, I give these kids cash whenever I can and stipulate it’s for saving and not for more legos.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled That’s very Jewish of you. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled Other subcultures in America probably do it to, but yes, Jews give money. We give it for Chanukah and birthdays and weddings. Some people think money is lazy or not fun like opening a gift, or innappropriate. The whole gift card thing helps to make it more acceptable to give money. Wouldn’t you rather get a check/cash than a gift card you have to worry about spending in a particular place? The Greeks give money at weddings too, not sure about other events, and I know some of the Catholics do, like some Italians. But, most Christians (non Catholics) I don’t observe, unless they are in the higher classes.

When I was a kid I never spent any of the money I received as gifts, I put it right in the bank, and that was part of the savings I used when I first graduated college. Other people I know usually talk about spending part, saving part, and giving away part like it is an exercise on how to handle money. I learned how to spend and the value of money and helping others through every day interactions with money and watching my parents, but my gift money was saved for the future, unless it was specififcally given to me to buy a particular item that maybe was not easy for a relative of mine to purchase (my youth was before the internet obviously).

I’m going to ask a Q about it, to see what type of answers we get from different people. Now I am curious what the collective says.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is the Q I created if anyone is interested.

@gailcalled I just noticed you used the word tchotchkes which makes the statement kind of funny. :).

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