A baby’s first birthday party usually means more to his parents and the party guests than to the baby himself. More likely than not, the 1-year-old child will not be able to participate in many birthday party activities and may even grown cranky and confused at all the activity swirling around him. When planning a party for a baby, think of things the guests will enjoy that will also keep your little guy engaged.
1st Year In Review
Set up a slide show of photos from your baby’s first year. You can keep the slide show playing continuously on a laptop throughout the party or set aside a specific time during the party to show the pictures. You may want to show the slides at the end of the party, after the birthday baby has been put down for a nap or bedtime. If you are the type of parent who films the baby’s every accomplishment, put together a short video of your baby’s first year and show it to the party guests.
Baby Play Time
If other small children will be at the party, set up a game and activity area for them. Include toys the baby can play with and let the children play freely for an hour or so at the start of the party while the adults socialize. You may want to hire a babysitter to play with the children or enlist the help of a teenage relative to keep the small children and babies occupied. The teenager can read stories to the children or take them for rides on a wagon or tricycle.
Arts and Crafts
Have guests and the baby color with crayons or play with child-safe clay during the party. Guests can decorate a special birthday banner for the 1-year-old child, so that she will have something to look back on when she is older, even though she won’t remember the party. Roll out slabs of clay for guests and your baby to make hand prints into. Guests will get a small party favor and you will get your baby’s first hand print to treasure.
Entertain the baby and other small guests with a hired children’s entertainer. You may want to ask other friends with small children if they know of a good musician or clown to hire for a first birthday. Even if your baby loves a certain cartoon character, you may want to forego hiring someone to dress-up as that character, at least for that first birthday. A giant purple dinosaur or furry blue monster may end up scaring instead of entertaining a baby.
Serving the Birthday Cake
Your baby’s first birthday cake may be the most memorable part of his party. Save the cake for last, so that you don’t have to deal with a messy baby during the entire party. Have guests sing “Happy Birthday” to the baby if he is receptive to lots of noise and won’t get upset. A shy baby may not appreciate a group of adults singing to him. Help him blow out the birthday candle and eat the cake. You may find that serving him a cupcake is neater than serving him a large slice of layer cake.
- Birthday party image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com