7 Tips for Planning a 1 Year-Old’s Birthday Party

One year.

Your child’s first birthday party is coming up. Don’t freak out- I’m here to help. Just follow these 7 easy steps and your child’s birthday will be a piece of cake! (Insert laugh tracks here.)

1) Have a theme that somehow symbolizes your child’s personality. Because our son Jack regularly speaks in a foreign robotic-sounding language and has walking skills that have just been recently programmed, we decided to go with a robot theme. My wife renamed the snacks accordingly: “computer chips” for corn chips with salsa, “nuts and bolts” for Chex mix, and “spare parts” for veggies.

2. Do it after lunch time. Jack’s party was from 2PM to 4PM on a Saturday. The light snacks and heavy desserts served as a great follow-up to whatever everyone had for lunch. Also, that time slot assured that Jack would not be in need of a nap.

3. Invite the very most supportive people. If it were up to me, I would have invited all of the readers of The Dadabase into my home. But we had to draw the line somewhere; which for us, were the people who came to visit us when we moved to Alabama. (We since moved back to Nashville.) This ended up making the total number of people around 18, but thanks to Jack being such an outgoing baby, he didn’t get overwhelmed by everyone.

4. Let the birthday kid be the entertainment. At Jack’s party, there were no games. Instead, our son simply was the show. Especially for the fact he had just begun walking a few weeks prior, it was cool to watch him play with all his random toys. This kept a good vibe going from the very beginning; which naturally helped people to start conversations with each other, since many of them had never met before.

5. Have other people take pictures for you. Three of my guests had better cameras and picture-taking skills than me. So I didn’t have to sacrifice my hosting duties due to the need to visually document the whole shebang.

6. Serve cupcakes instead of a traditional birthday cake. I didn’t want my wife to bother with making some perfect cake for everyone. So since we knew Jack loves anything with bananas, everyone got a banana (or chocolate) cupcake along with some premium ice cream from Publix. It was more fun and original with cupcakes.

7. Open the presents quickly. Don’t wait for picture op’s or for your kid to completely unwrap each gift. I started a tear in each gift and let Jack pull it along a tad, then I instantly finished the job. This way, everyone had more time to actually watch Jack play with their gift, instead of drawing the whole process out.

I have to say: Jack’s first birthday party really was a breeze. We kept it simple and organized; and therefore very stress-free. Not to mention, we had Jack Johnson playing in the background.

Well, would you like to see some pictures from Jack’s party? Our friends Jeremy and Cheryl Crawford, who are expecting their first child literally any minute now, took these for us.

Travel now to The Dadabase Facebook wall to further this adventure, where you will find the photo album, “Jack’s 1st Birthday Party.”

Here’s the invitation design we bought off Etsy from “BusyBeeDesign1.”

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  2. by Wendy

    On December 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    The robot theme is a great idea! Wondering if I could steal this idea? :)

  3. by Nick Shell

    On December 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m thinking you should!