While all birthday celebrations hold a special charm, the first birthday party often reigns supreme as it is a celebration of the first, change-filled, year of a child’s life. To ensure that your child’s first birthday celebration is an adequate reflection of the joy associated with this first year, careful planning and attention to detail are required. By dedicating yourself to the planning of this event and including an array of uncommon features, you can separate your celebration from the pack and create an event that is truly memorable.
Make your invitation memorable by trading the standard birthday invite for an attention-getting party announcement. Provide your guests with a pictorial representation of your kid’s first year by creating a 12-photo spread, consisting of a photo from each month of your child’s short life. Or integrate the tiny hand and footprints captured around your child’s birth into the invitation, and pair them with a more current hand and footprint pair to show just how much he has grown during this first year.
Focus on Theme
The easiest way to create a cohesive event is to select, and plan around, a central theme. Consider popular children’s shows as you can often find decorations based upon these popular themes easily. Also consider crafting a theme based upon your child’s nursery decoration scheme. By doing this, you can create party decorations that you can later re-purpose and place in the nursery as added decorative elements.
Because your tot is too young to engage in games, you may elect to forgo competitive birthday activities. This does not, however, mean that you can’t include organized activities at all. Instead of games, plan some creative birthday party options. Arrange a finger panting station. While children are the most prolific finger paint artists, adults can still have fun getting their hands dirty and crafting some tool-less art. Or allow guests to use fabric markers and create shirts. There garments can serve as a wearable reminder of the event.
Catch the Action
Don’t rely on your memory banks alone to store your remembrances of the event. Instead, create a digital memory book by snapping digital photos and later combining them into a slide show presentation that you can review at a later date with friends and family members. Or create a less characteristic memorabilia piece by crafting a hand-print quilt. To create this piece, cut out fabric squares and ask each guest to dip his hand in paint and leave his impression on a square. Label the squares with the names of the hand print makers and, after the event, fashion them into a quilt to hang on your child’s wall as a first birthday party token.
Post-Party Finishing Touches
The end of the party is not the end of the celebration. As a first birthday party host, you have obligations post-party. Create and send out thank you notes to guests to show them how much you appreciated their presence as well as any gifts they gave. Take detailed notes of who gave what during the event, and create customized thank you notes instead of sending out generic cards of thanks. To make your notes really special, photograph the child using or playing with each gift, and include the picture in the card as visual evidence of how useful and appreciated the present was.