1st Birthday Party Ideas

April 2, 2008

party roomAs with any mom, when my son turned one I wanted him to have the best party ever. After I had looked at several party themes, I finally decided on the Sesame Street Beginnings theme. It had baby Elmo, baby Big Bird, and baby Cookie Monster with a big one. Not only was it cute but it was way more in my budget than any other ones I had looked at.


That is the most important thing to remember when planning a party. You can end up spending a small fortune if you don't keep yourself at a limit. The theme I used was relatively inexpensive, and I was able to find several table clothes and other party supplies for little to nothing that matched just as well.

The second most important thing to remember is to make it colorful and fun. Don't just stick to one certain color, mix and match with all the colors of the theme. That's what I did with all the party supplies and it turned out really great. Everyone absolutely loved it. The last thing to remember is just to relax and don't stress out over the party. With any party, you can sometimes get wrapped up in it and make it into a not so fun thing. But just keep your head on straight and it will turn out to be a terrific party!

By Heather from Stanton, KY

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22 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

June 14, 2006

I'm looking for ideas for my niece's 1st birthday party, there will be older kids and mostly adults. Themes? Games for the smaller children? I'm planning mini finger foods, appetizers, etc.

W from Pasadena, CA


By Knitter (Guest Post)
June 27, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had not given any thought to this till I read your request and had a couple of instant ideas. 1. Mark numbers on ping pong balls, corresponding to numbered prizes. Let child pick a ball out of a bucket of water, and he/she gets prize that goes with number. 2.


Put prize name or number on a small piece of paper, put paper in a small balloon, blow up balloons and attach to a board or put in a group with a string on each one and hang them somewhere. Let the child poke a ballon with a pin, winning prize in that balloon.

June 27, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

We held my son's first b'day party at the park. At that age they love to just run around loose and play on the kiddie toys, slide with an adult and be pushed in the baby swings. All the little ones had a blast and the adults were at ease too. And the best part was no extra cleaning before or after. we just decorated the shelter and threw everything in the trash can when we were done.You could call it "a day at the park", maybe have some pets for a petting zoo type thing.


Personally I think birthday parties have gotten a little crazy over the past several years with all the money people are willing to spend on one birthday party. I told my daughter, if you start out big...where you going to be when it comes time for that special big sweet 16 party.

We don't do big parties in our family unless it is a special year, otherwise its just cake ice cream and gifts with family. So the 1st b'day, 5th, 13th, 16th, 18th, and 21st are what are the big bdays in our family.

There are a lot of things little ones can do that don't cost a lot of money. For example bubbles, what kids don't like bubbles? Bubbles could be your favors too, that they can play with while at the park, then take home with them.
Brenda- OH

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August 27, 2004

I posted a few weeks ago about ideas for a 1st birthday party for my son and I have decided to use the little diecast cars like hot wheels and matchbox. I know that I am going to buy the cheap die cast cars. I found somewhere that I can buy 50 of them for like 5.00 which is a really good deal. I am going to put a little car on top of each cupcake, but I was wondering does anybody have any more ideas that they would like to give me using this theme? Plates, cups, etc.? If you do have any ideas please post them. Thank you very much! I love Thrifty Fun!



By Linda (Guest Post)
August 30, 20040 found this helpful
Best Answer

Putting the little cars on top of cupcakes sounds like fun, but I would want to know that no lead based paints were used. I would be wary of the paint on the very cheap, made in China, type cars.


Since 1 yr olds put everything in their mouths, these might be a bad idea for them to handle. They could decorate the table, tho.

By (Guest Post)
January 28, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Get a big roll of freezer paper and cover the coffee table and draw a race track on it with a black marker. Give your guests packs of crayons and start coloring. When the get their cars those little boys will have a place to go with them, instead of down your walls. (Nascar fans in my family)

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March 23, 2011

I am trying to throw a 1st birthday party, but can't find a nice hall that is not so expensive. Any help?

By alyssa


March 24, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I agree, have the party at home. But, if your home isn't big enough and you live in a community with a club house inquire about renting it for the day. Typically your community clubhouse will be inexpensive and the money goes back into your community fees.

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November 18, 2004

Hello, I'm planning my daughter's 1st birthday. Her birthday just happens to be on New Year's Eve. She has two older brothers ages 3 and 2. We are planning on having something in the mid-morning to afternoon. I'm thinking of simulating New Year's at noon instead of midnight and having the children jump on bubble wrap and yell out Happy Birthday instead of Happy New Year.

I was thinking they could make their own blowers and hats as something for them to do. Most of the children invited will range from ages 1-4. If you have any other suggestions I would greatly apperciate them.

Thanks for you time :)

Trish from MD


By stef (Guest Post)
November 18, 20040 found this helpful
Best Answer

I read your article and thought I could help. 1st birthdays are always special because it's the 1st so first you could invite all her/his friends family and yours and maybe have a puppet show and little fireworks(new years eve) and just have fun. I hope my advice is successful!

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November 29, 2009

I need suggestions on what and how to decorate the house for my Princess's 1st birthday.

By Hannahsmom from Eagle River, AK


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December 2, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I agree with suntydt they won't remember much about what's going on. My niece Jordan only cared about the little cake that was just for her and the balloons. Go to a dollar store you can get Disney princess stuff there or even just generic princess stuff. Jordan likes princess stuff too so we decorated with stuff that she and the other kids could play with and she could keep afterward as toys, like balloons, wands, a tiara, etc.

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July 8, 2019

I need help finding a place to have a year old birthday party. Any ideas?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 9, 20190 found this helpful

Most childrens party places will accommodate a one-year old. Personally, I think a party like that is overwhelming for a young child. I always had it at home with family. I do have a very small family, however.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
July 9, 20190 found this helpful

Do you have any family or friends that have a great property for entertaining?Often the first birthday is catered to the adults as much as the child.A great outdoor space in warm weather,or indoor open concept for flow.These venues end up being very cost savvy and memorable. Also as a last thought a park with picnic tables and benches( some parks come with grills to use at no charge).


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July 9, 20190 found this helpful

Do you have a local park with shelters and grills? We have been to baby's first parties at parks. That venue is good for all ages. In our town, they can be reserved without cost. You are only charged if you don't clean up after. You can bring your own food or if you have the budget, there are reasonable ways to tacos or burgers and hot dogs. Happy birthday to your punkin!!

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May 27, 2012

I am looking for ideas for my son's first birthday celebration. Should I get away with my family, or find a way of celebrating here with everybody?

By Denis


May 31, 20120 found this helpful

It is really up to you. How about having two parties if you can't decide you could have one the weekend before with everyone at a park (that's what I did with Nick's first birthday) and then go away on his birthday. It will be like a little surprise.

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February 17, 2012

I'd love to throw a fun, low budget, first b-day party for my son. Our guest list has been limited down to about 50-60 guests, mostly young children. Any ideas? We live in northern New Jersey.

By Gina C


February 17, 20120 found this helpful

At your son's age, he isn't even going to know what a party is. Why bother having a party at that age, limit it to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and if any of those people have kids include them. Eliminate everybody else, that way, the kids can just play or whatever, and the adults can visit, while supervising the kids.

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January 18, 2010

My son is turning 1 soon and this is my first time organizing a birthday party. I need some ideas for how to go about doing that.

By maata from Auckland, New Zealand


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,394 Feedbacks
January 22, 20100 found this helpful

I would say don't over-plan the allotted time. My daughter-in-law simply let us guests enjoy a nice visit while we admired my grandson. (If I'm repeating my previous attempt at a post for this, I apologize!)

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March 27, 2017

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 29, 2009

I would like some tips for a birthday party for a 1 year old baby girl.


March 30, 2009
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