This past week we celebrated Emilia turning one year old by throwing her a unicorn themed first birthday party. We didn’t want to throw a huge party but we knew we wanted to do something to celebrate. We decided to host a small get together and invited the kids from her Sunday school class (along with their parents and siblings) to our home for dessert.
Since Emilia is my first child, I’ve actually never hosted a kids birthday party before. Because of this, I definitely had to do a bit of research about how to throw a one year old birthday party first. What makes a first birthday party tricky is that you are essentially throwing a party that is just as much for the adults as it is for the kids. Truthfully, your one year old will never remember her first birthday party but it’s still so fun to celebrate this huge milestone.
So now that Emilia’s first birthday party is over, I’m sharing everything I’ve learned about how to throw a first birthday party for your little one. Here are 5 tips for throwing an amazing first birthday party.
How to throw a first birthday party for your baby boy or girl:
First birthday party tip: Plan a menu with little ones in mind!
Although we had planned on only serving dessert, we wanted something that even our littlest guests would be able to eat. As a less sweet option, we decided to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into miniature star shapes. To our surprise they were a huge hit – and not only with the kids! Adults were just as keen to snatch the mini sandwiches from the dessert bar.
Another baby friendly item we chose to serve were cream puffs. Compared to goodies covered in icing, cream puffs are relatively low in sugar and easy for small hands to grab. For the remainder of the dessert, we served a unicorn decorated funfetti cake, cupcakes and sugar cookies. While sugar cookies aren’t my favourite dessert, the older kids loved the fun shapes. The unicorn decorated cookies especially were a big hit!
First birthday party tip: Open presents early!
We ended up opening presents pretty quickly after everyone arrived as some of our guests had to leave early. In hindsight, I’m so glad we opted to do that. First of all, letting a one year old open gifts is not a quick process. They are so easily distracted and excited for every new toy. Secondly, the kids loved playing with Emilia’s new toys (and lets be honest, at 1 years old she was just as happy to play with the boxes and wrapping paper as she was with the new toys).
First birthday party tip: Plan a simple activity
We tried to think of an activity that kids from age 6 months-4 years would be able to enjoy. Although we tossed around quite a few ideas, in the end we decided to create a colouring station. We created custom colouring sheets featuring unicorn motifs and happy birthday messages. In order to prevent mess we printed the colouring sheets on Crayola Color Wonder paper. Then we gave the little ones Color Wonder markers so they could go to town colouring without us having to worry about them ruining our walls or furniture.
First birthday party tip: Keep the party short.
Let’s be honest, kids have short attention spans. While I would never consider stating an end time to party I would typically host with adults, with kids parties it’s nice to have a scheduled start and finish time. Knowing how long a party will last helps parents plan better for the day. Keeping the party to around 2 hours helps avoid temper tantrums due to tiredness or boredom.
First birthday party tip: Schedule the party around nap times.
Before choosing a time to host my daughter’s first birthday party I asked a few of my friends when their kids napped. While my daughter usually naps from 10-12, I found out most of the little ones we had invited usually napped from 12-2. With that in mind, I chose to host my party starting at 3pm so parents wouldn’t have to cut their child’s nap time short in order to arrive on time.
So, were these tips helpful for helping you plan your own kid’s first birthday party? Let me know you thoughts in the comments. Keep scrolling to see all the pretty photos from Emilia’s unicorn themed first birthday party.