13 Best Birthday Party Ideas for 1-Year-Old

Your baby’s first birthday is as important for us. That’s why we aim to give you the best birthday party ideas to make your toddler’s first party a day worth remembering! (Even if they don’t)

Every “first” is a special milestone to commemorate for you and your child—the first crawl, first steps, first words, and most importantly, the first birthdays. Your little one’s first birthday celebration is proof that you survived the first year as a parent, and for that, you get a gentle pat on the back.Nobody gets a second shot at their first birthdays, so we have to make it count. We collected the best food, gifts, themes, and other essential birthday elements to help you shape your final vision of your child’s first birthday celebration.

Birthday Party Ideas for the Best 1st Birthday

There are more to first birthday party ideas than the themes you set for the party. If you want the best first birthdays for your loved ones, you should view the celebration from a holistic perspective. Starting from the invitation down to the souvenirs you give out to the guests!

Let’s get started.

1. Plan Out the Guest List

The scope of the 1st birthday party starts way before the celebration even begins. If you want the best first birthday, start planning out the invitation. Why?

Because your guest list will influence the food, you prepare for the party, along with the games and activities you organize.

Planning who to invite helps you set up the best 1st birthday party.

Given the current restrictions and the pandemic still on the loose, opt for a small gathering. Limit the party to family and some close friends and buddies from your NCT antenatal classes.

  • If you have the time, you may personalize invitations by creating themed cards with all the details guests have to know, like the child’s name, the date and time, and the location. Include other information they should be aware of, like the theme, costume, or gift.
  • While for a quick online invite, create a private WhatsApp or a Facebook group chat to gather your prospective guests and invite them in one fell swoop. To avoid offending people who didn’t make it to the cut, be discreet about the party.
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2. Where Will You Hold the Party?

The second on the list of birthday party ideas to address is the venue. You have to consider that too much exposure outdoors might be riskier than it seems, especially with the pandemic.

As one wise old sage once said, “better safe than sorry.”

One birthday party idea to consider is keeping the celebration indoors or in your backyard. This way, you’re exposed only to the small group of people you’ve invited. Ultimately, you ensure the safety of the kids.

3. First Birthday Themes

The theme occupies the bulk of preparation on the list of birthday party ideas. This aspect is essential as it will set the vibe of the occasion and influence every part of the celebration, as the costumes and invitations.

Here are some examples of great birthday party ideas for themes:

  • Mickey Mouse and Friends Theme
  • Sweet Treats
  • Ice Cream Party
  • Safari Party
  • Superhero-Themed Party
  • Wild, Wild West

The first birthday theme is your prerogative but try to observe your child’s preferences. Check what they love playing with or their interests and work your way from there. For inclusivity purposes, you may opt for a gender-neutral approach to accommodate also the invited kids.

4. First Birthday Party Ideas? Costumes!

Based on the selected theme, another birthday party idea is having a costume party for the kids. Suiting up for a celebration helps children feel more engaged with their peers. Make sure to notify the parents beforehand, so they can have ample time to prepare.

If not, you may also consider having in situ accessories that kids may access at the party. This may be hats, or fun masks, anything that adds distinction.

5. Dress Code for the Moms and Dads

Another first birthday party idea is getting parents to join the club. Having a specific dress code for the invited parents might come off as unconventional, but it’s something you can do especially if you plan on throwing a special celebration. Otherwise, casual clothes would do.

6. Food Ideas for First Birthday Party

There is a high chance that toddlers will swarm the place, aside from the one-year-old guest of honor. That said, tending to kids’ culinary needs is necessary.

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One excellent birthday party idea is displaying a buffet of treats like Cheerios, Goldfish, and other cuisines kids love. You may also opt for treat cups for each one instead.

For the main meals, selecting children’s staples are splendid ideas for a first birthday party. Go for chicken nuggets & veggies, fruits on skewers, fruit salad, potato wedges. Foods that both kids and adults are fond of.

7. How about the decorations?

The theme dictates which decor would fit the motif. But if there is one thing, sure, every kid loves seeing and playing with balloons. This is a birthday party idea you can never go wrong with, as the colors add vibrance to the show and lift the spirit of each guest.

8. Birthday Party Ideas for Games

It’s always exciting to attend a party where fun games and prizes await each guest. Prepare games that will cater to both the kids and adults. This helps to liven up the mood and keep everyone at the edge of their seats!

9. Watch the Clock!

Unlike other birthday parties where kids and parents, alike, bond to their heart’s content, we have to turn it down a notch for first birthdays.

Remember that one-year-olds have short attention spans, and they love to get all nappy when they feel like it. For this reason, a party that’s around 1-1.5 hours long is good enough.

Set the time late in the morning (pre-nap time) or late in the afternoon (post-nap time) to make sure your guest of honor is awake to witness the party.

10. Perfect Gifts for First Birthdays!

What good is a birthday party without gifts? If you’re requesting presents (yes, it’s okay), remind people to give skills that a one-year-old can use and learn from. Ever thought of giving them science gadgets? There’s a gold mine of options to choose from! More than playing, encourage learning (without pressure) through toys too!

11. Kids Jolting with Energy? Set a play place!

If you invite kids, understand that they’re there to amuse themselves. An excellent birthday party idea is to set a dedicated play area where kids can collaborate with other children. This way, parents can have the peace they need to bond with contemporaries while kids play their heart’s out.

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Don’t worry, you can opt for an inexpensive budget! If setting up a play area for the kids is too much, you can entertain them with educational TV shows instead! Simply decorate a small area and play the movies! But make sure to be wise on it, or they’ll end up missing the fun!

12. Kids Feeling Sleepy? Put a Break Room!

But then again, energy eventually subsides after running all around the place. Another birthday party idea is to have a break room. Prepare a specific area where kids can sit down or nap once the adrenaline gets all used up.

Other parents can also bring their babies here to put them to sleep. This compartmentalizes the party and helps in keeping things organized.

13. First Birthday Ideas for Party Favors

The party favors or souvenirs will abide by the theme you’ve set for the party. Look for fitting souvenirs that would fit that criterion and would not end up in the trash.

Based on the themes we gave above, here are some birthday party ideas for souvenirs:

  • Tumblers for mickey mouse and friends
  • Baskin Robbins Gift Card for the ice cream party
  • Candy bags for the sweet treats
  • Keychains with animal design for the safari party
  • Superhero mugs for a superhero-themed party
  • Cool sheriff badges for the wild, wild west party

It depends on how much you want to shell out for party favors. But you may always resort to classic goodie bags if you’re going to. Nothing beats some treats to eat when the guests travel back home.

The Big First Birthday Idea

Your child’s first birthday is a milestone worth celebrating both for you and your kid. Remember that the occasion is for your child, even though they might not yet be aware of it. Put your kid’s preferences during the planning process, especially in the first birthday themes. If you need an extra hand to set the perfect party, you can always refer to these birthday party ideas to guide you throughout.