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1st birthday party ideas?

(20 Posts)
Rose138 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:41:22

Hello everyone,

My son will be 1 beginning of November. I know this is a few months away yet but as we know time passes far too quickly and I'm returning to my teaching job in September from maternity so I'm hoping to get organised while I'm off for the summer!

I hadn't thought too much about his birthday yet but I went out with two of my best friends last week and they were practically arguing about their children's first birthdays! As one had gone all out and spent a fortune hiring a venue, magician ect whereas my other friend had a little tea party at her house.

Don't want this post to be too long so the questions going round my head at the moment are- should I have an open house all day or will that be too much for our son and best to give a time eg 2-5? I have a few friends with children and my husband is an uncle to 8 so do I have for example a face painter? One of my friends suggested this but my son has eczema so I wouldn't have his face painted. I'm old fashioned and think a few games will be enough to keep them all entertained? It's probably not going to be nice weather so no to the garden, I don't have a huge house but do have a reasonable sized front room and conservatory- does this sound ok? I know he won't remember but I still want to make sure he has a great time!

Any ideas and how you spent your little ones 1st birthdays would be lovely to hear! Thank you all in advance.

squizita Thu 30-Jul-15 16:07:26

I'm planning mine. I'm having a timed thing (1-4pm). Going to have some activities with prizes for kids - thinking "treasure island" (little things like pencils or sweets buried in a sand pit - enough for one each), stick the tail to the donkey and maybe one more (I have a bubble machine so thought bubbles with music and a "dancefloor" - prizes to everyone who dances nicely) or paper hat decorating with stickers etc. DD won't understand anything much so I won't bother with hiring anything/anyone.
Will have a film on in the living room for older kids who would find it boring.

Food - home made french bread pizza, veggies and dips, sandwiches, yoghurt "sundeas" - just so the tinies can eat everything without worry they're not allowed it yet.

I was going to have wine and cheese in the kitchen for mums too! grin grin grin

Justbatteringon Thu 30-Jul-15 16:11:27

Oh god dd's first birthday party is this weekend we're having a bbq, I have nothing other than that and some balloons planned. I'd better get my thinking hat one and get a few games on the go.

Rose138 Thu 30-Jul-15 19:38:31

That all sounds great squitiza- see I have to start thinking about it now as I'll leave it until the last minute otherwise!

Justbatteringon i would love to be able to do a bbq but it won't be possible in November unfortunately! smile

I hope you and your little ones have a fantastic time at their parties cake

ApplesTheHare Thu 30-Jul-15 20:42:21

We're doing tea and cake, 2:30-4:30pm, with close family and baby friends. I'll probably get balloons, a few banners... really all I want is a photo of DD in front of a cake smile

lexyloub Fri 31-Jul-15 07:55:05

Your ds will never remember this so I wouldn't go to over board any activities you plan will be mainly for other kids not your ds. Personally I'd go down the little tea party route few sandwiches cake nibbles etc between a certain time everyone gets to fuss over ds for a couple of hours then go home before your house is trashed and you've not spent a fortune entertaining everyone else's kids. Use the money to go to a zoo or petting farm something like that

Trapper Fri 31-Jul-15 08:03:49

We went to the pub. Got a room, a few kids toys and some food. At 1yr it's more about the adults than the kids.
BBQ sounds perfect (although both of ours are November babiessmile)

mrsmeerkat Fri 31-Jul-15 08:05:30

I had just the grandparents over for tea and felt it was enough and then sent a cake an treats into the childminder on his actual birthday.

If i wasn't going to do that I probably would have just had a bit of party music and colouring in for nieces and nephews.

Children's karaoke CD type of thing maybe

icklekid Fri 31-Jul-15 08:18:57

Not sure how old other children at party are but your 1 year old won't need games. We had children up to 3 but mainly close friends of ours. We had bbq, ball pool, paddling pool and bubble machine. Older children helped ds open presents and showed him how to play with them wink the more chilled and relaxed the more your dc will enjoy it!

Puffinella Fri 31-Jul-15 08:30:02

We're doing a barbecue with his GPs, aunts, uncles and cousins. A Sunday afternoon, 2 hours. No entertainment planned; there are 4 cousins, aged 1-6, so they can play together or whatever. There's a good chance he'll nap in the middle of it, as will 2 of the cousins!

There's really no point going overboard at 1 - my DS is easily overwhelmed, as lots of them are at that age. We decided to stick to a family party for that reason too - a load of friends with kids would have been too much for him, and he'd have been lost in all the fuss.

musicinspring1 Fri 31-Jul-15 08:52:44

My DC3 is nearly 1. We're having family over 3-6pm on a Sunday afternoon and I'm doing 'tea'. There is a 'theme' of Mr Tumble so easy spotty paper tablecloth, napkins, spotty cake etc. I'll do a few 'games' for the cousins that DC3 will enjoy too; dancing, instruments out, a pass the parcel, balloons. I don't go down the route of hiring hall etc until they are 4 and have buddies from preschool etc. Has worked so far! Have a lovely party. x

swallowed Fri 31-Jul-15 08:57:37

He won't remember it, he may well be asleep for most of it, or overstimulated and in tears for most of it.

Which is fine if you're fine with that, but I cannot see the point of bigging it up into a "first birthday experience" rather than what it is, which is the first anniversary of his birth.

All these stupid celebs have turned large and small celebrations into a competitive "experience". Everything must look gorgeous, everyone must behave, everyone must have fun.

We had a few friends round for tea and cake for a couple of hours after nap time. Children ran riot, adults had tea or champers if they wanted, then everyone went home.

Job jobbed.

Christelle2207 Fri 31-Jul-15 09:05:54

I would save money and energy for future birthdays tbh. Kids don't really play with each other at that stage. We had a little tea party at home with close family only. His 2nd is coming up and we will invite some kids this time- he still won't get it but will enjoy the fuss . Last year he was oblivious

wherearetheteaspoons Fri 31-Jul-15 09:15:58

Up until my eldest started school all I've ever done is have family over for afternoon tea; sandwiches, birthday cake etc. I don't think there's much point in organising anything before that, by the time they've opened presents and played with then a bit and had something to eat they've had enough anyway. We have lots of other kids who are older on dp's side and I've never tailored my dcs birthdays for them, they come and join in with helping dish out pressies, taking photos or playing with the younger ones. Don't go overboard, you'll have more memories of the day than your ds and you don't want to be remembering having to make sure everyone else was having a good time and getting stressed with the organisation of it all.

Rose138 Sat 01-Aug-15 15:16:52

Thank you all!

I definitely want it to be stress free and for my little one just to have fun before- like many of you have said- he falls asleep! smile

Thank you all for sharing!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 03-Aug-15 09:03:15

Can I suggest that you limit to 2 hours. This will be more than enough for the children and if you do 2 till 4 you will just have to offer tea and cake.

Please don't spend money on an entertainer or a venue. Like others have said, your lot won't remember and if the children are getting a little bored you could do a little treasure hunt in the garden/get them to run around outside/put a DVD on in another room. Contrary to popular belief, children do not actually need entertainment providing all day every day smile

LHReturns Mon 03-Aug-15 12:03:47

We did a teddy bears picnic from 3pm - 5pm with all the babies and parents sitting on the floor on gingham rugs eating mini baby sandwiches and sucking Ella's pouches that were in little baskets.

The only 'activity' that 12 one year olds cared about were the two miniature piglets we had running around squeaking in little pens. We did this in the church hall, not my house! The babies went absolutely nuts for was not expensive for two hours and parents got some hilarious photos of their babies standing at the bars of the pen in sheer delight and surprise!

VolumniaDedlock Mon 03-Aug-15 12:09:07

definitely focus on the grown-ups for a 1st birthday - afternoon tea/bbq, some nice booze

for a 1yo they will be thrilled simply with lots of balloons and far freer access to cake than they'd normally be permitted.

puddleduck16 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:32:49

My husband also comes from a big family where we would have to invite all or none. So we went for none.
We had a lovely day playing with balloons and toys in the morning. All her favourite foods throughout the day. Peaceful nap and then a trip to the local petting zoo. Then home for cake.
I'm so glad we enjoyed our day. I didn't have to run around taking care of people or worrying if they were having a good time, and dd wasn't overwhelmed.
I know you asked about parties, but just another perspective.

Rose138 Mon 03-Aug-15 16:03:08

Thank you all again, you've helped a lot!

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