First Birthday Party Ideas For A Memorable 1st Birthday Party

Fun And Fabulous First Birthday Party Ideas
That Are General In Nature; Not Theme Specific!

As you know, a 1st birthday party is primarily for family and friends. Nonetheless, it deserves an A-1 special celebration. You will want to capture all the awe and wonder your little one will experience on his or her special day. A first birthday is like no other. It truly is a milestone event that you will cherish, especially during those trying teen years!

Due to the young age of your party go-ers, you'll want to keep the party short and sweet so you can try and avoid the tears of tiredness. Too many people might overwhelm the birthday boy or girl, so try to keep the invitees to a minimum.

Another consideration you'll want to factor in when planning your party is the time it will be held. Be sure to plan it after naptime so everyone is happy and fresh.

Below are some general ideas that are not theme-specific, except to be centered around turning one. You may use any of these ideas to create a party that will stand on its own, or use them to compliment any of the themes listed in the 1st Birthday Party Section.


SCRAPBOOK KEEPSAKE PARTY INVITATIONS - Create invitations out of a folded piece of scrapbooking paper that goes along with the theme for your first birthday party. Choose something attractive. Fold the piece of scrapbooking paper into an invitation shape. On the inside, write all of the information for the birthday party. Leave the outside of the invitation blank. Include on a note inside that asks guests to write a fun memory about your little one, which can be done on the front of the scrapbook invitation. They could include a memory, a quote or even a cute poem. Have them mail back the invite with the RSPV information or they can bring it to the party with them. Then, place all of the invitations in a special book as a cool keepsake.

BIRTHDAY CAKE INVITATIONS – Cut out large circles from white or cream colored cardstock. The circle will be the top of a round birthday cake. Using markers, decorate the cake in whatever way that you desire, adding a big one in the middle of the cake. Write “Happy Birthday, (Name of Child)” on the cake as well. Then, on the back of the “birthday cake” you can write out all the party details for the first birthday party. When you are done, it should look almost good enough to eat.

FUN OWL INVITATIONS – Cut out a piece of brown, slate blue or gray cardstock, in the shape of an owl. Draw on the eyes and facial features of the owl. In the middle of the owl put a big #1. On the inside, write, “Who, Who is turning 1? (Name of Child) is turning 1! Then, add all of the rest of the party information on the inside as well. These are adorable invitations that guest are sure to appreciate when they see them.

First Birthday Party Ideas For Invites

CARTOON CHARACTER INVITATIONS – What is your child’s favorite cartoon character? Maybe your little one giggles when watching Baby Einstein shows or when watching Barney or another fun character. Whatever your child’s favorite character, create invitations out of cardstock. Fold them in half and then use stickers of your child’s favorite cartoon character to decorate the front of the invitation. On the front of the invitation you can write “I Can’t Believe I’m Turning 1!” Then, be sure to include the details inside of your adorable, cartoon character invitation.

CANDLE INVITATIONS – Purchase #1 candles, making sure you have enough for each of the guests that will be attending the party. On small pieces of pretty cardstock or construction paper, type or write all of the information for the party, such as the location, date, time and contact information. Then, using a hole punch, punch out a small hole in the corner of the card. Pick pretty ribbon that goes with your party colors and use it to tie the card to the candle. Place in small boxes and mail to guests or deliver these fun invitations by hand.

PLUSH TOY INVITATIONS – Little ones love little plush toys that they can touch and cuddle with, so consider using small plush toys to make first birthday party invitations for your guests. Purchase some small plush toys, considering toys that may go along with a specific theme that you have chosen for the party. Then, write all your party details on cards or buy some small premade invites that you can attach to the plush toys with a bit of ribbon. Place in small cupcake boxes to send or deliver to guests by hand when you see them. Little ones will love having a new toy to enjoy.



If you opt to not have a "theme" like Elmo, Sesame Street, etc. you may just decide to lean towards a cute outfit in the party colors. This will make for great photos to have your baby's clothes coordinate with the surrounding decorations.


To create a festive atmosphere you can decorate the party room using traditional pink and white or blue and white, or opt for a color combination derived from some of the party packages listed below. To get your creative juices flowing, check out the following first birthday party ideas for decorations:

  • Decorate ceilings with twisted streamers and clusters of balloons with curling ribbons in any combination of your party colors.

  • Glue photos of your baby to pieces of construction paper that coordinate with your party colors and hang them in chronological order on the walls. Be sure to include photos of milestone events. These photos can set the stage for a trivia game for family and friends who attend the party.

  • Create a photo collage of your baby's first year of life and hang it on a wall.

  • Place a photo album of baby's first year for everyone to look through.

  • Use stuffed animals to decorate the party room.

  • Use your baby's favorite toy(s) to create a fun centerpiece. For example, place the toy(s) on a tray that is filled with colorful shred. Add some curling ribbons to hang off of the tray. Tie a bunch of balloons to the toy(s).

  • Cut out large #1's from construction paper, cardstock, or poster board and hang on the walls. You can also decorate the edges with glitter. Punch a small hole at the top, thread some fishing line through and hang the #1's from the ceiling.

  • Hang a "Happy Birthday (Name)" banner on the wall.

  • Cover tables in one of your party colors and use a second color for the plates and plastic ware.

  • Decorate your baby's highchair with one of these fun high chair decoration packages.

  • Decorate food table with building blocks, curling ribbons, shred, and balloons.

  • Attach colorful helium balloons to each of your guest's high chairs.

  • Create party placemats by laminating pictures of building blocks, numbers, animals, etc.

  • Create a photo-op corner by covering extra-large boxes with different primary colored wrapping papers. Cut 2" to 3" wide strips from coordinating primary color of poster board and glue around box edges for accent. Add letters and corresponding pictures on the blocks. Stack blocks, place babies on floor in front of the prop with regular-sized ABC building blocks.

  • Lay a blanket in a corner of the room to hold various toys like stuffed animals, picture books, trucks, etc. for the little ones to play with as they arrive.

  • Tape some baby-sized footprints on your walkway to the front door.

  • Attach balloons to mailbox, hang from tree, or tie to car antenna to alert your guests of your baby's 1st birthday bash.

  • Attach helium balloons to wood stakes and line the walkway to alert guests of the party location.


Here's an entire page with nothing but 1st Birthday Games, such as:
  • Guess Baby's Weight
  • Ball Rolls
  • Organized Free Play
  • Musical birthday bear
  • Baby Trivia
  • Time Capsule
  • Sing-A-Longs
  • Who's who?
  • Edible Play-Doh
  • Hand Prints


You'll want to have some baby-friendly foods, along with food for older kids and adults. Here's a few first birthday party ideas relating to food options you might consider for the little ones:
  • Fish-shaped crackers
  • Teddy bear-shaped graham crackers
  • Teething biscuits
  • Cherrios
  • Fruit kabobs
  • Animal crackers
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt
  • Bread sticks
  • Small grilled cheese sandwiches with crust cut off
  • Cubes of soft cheese
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Gerber Graduates
  • Punch, lemonade, and milk

Here are a few first birthday party ideas relating to food options for the older kids and adults:

  • Submarine sandwich cut into small little sandwiches
  • Veggies and Ranch dip
  • Mini meatballs with a spicy catsup or dipping sauce
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Fruit kabobs
  • Chips, pretzels, and dips
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Pizza
  • Hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs
  • Beans
  • Macaroni, potato, or green salad
  • Punch, lemonade, soft drinks, coffee, eta.


TINY CUPCAKES - Buy or bake mini cupcakes. Decorate in party colors. Use theme cupcake liners, and add color sprays, sparkle gels, edible confetti, etc. to adorn them.

CUPCAKE STAND - Make or buy colorful cupcakes and place them in a wire cupcake stand. This can also serve as your table centerpiece. You can add a #1 to each one using decorator gel.

#1 CAKE - Bake a sheet cake and cut it into the number 1. Frost it and then pipe out frosting around the edges and decorate with various edible confetti.

ABC BLOCK CAKE - Bake 3 square-shaped cakes. Frost in various primary colors. Pipe on "A", "B", and "C". Place two cakes side by side and one on top straddling the two.

ABC CUPCAKES - Make cupcakes and frost in various primary colors. Pipe on the letters of the alphabet.

ALPHABET BLOCK CAKE - Bake four 8-inch square cakes. Trim tops and sides to level and make them all the same size. Stack all the cakes while applying frosting between each layer. Frost each side in a primary color. Decorate top and each side with a letter of the alphabet.

PHOTO CAKE - Take a picture of your baby and have a bakery put it on the cake.

For some more 1st birthday party ideas for cakes, check out our 1ST BIRTHDAY CAKES photos and how-to tips. They are nothing less than fun and fabulous!


Fill a brown Kraft handled bag or decorative cellophane bag with any of the following: teddy bear, baby sunglasses, bubbles, alphabet book, alphabet coloring book with crayons, or ABC wood blocks.

YOUR Favorite First Birthday Party Ideas, Cakes & Costumes

Do you have some favorite first birthday party ideas, cakes and costumes? Do tell! Please share all your party tips and ideas for invitations, decorations, games, etc., along with your first birthday cakes and costumes.

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