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When you are in the mum groups on Facebook you tend to notice a great deal of questions and conversations about planning and hosting a first birthday.

Last year we attended at least 20 first birthdays so I have put together a few little handy hints to help with planning your child’s first birthday party.

Where to have it?

Things to consider when choosing a venue:

  • How many people will be invited?
  • What age are the children who will be attending?
  • Will you need space for prams?
  • Is there adequate nappy change facilities?
  • Can an area be baby proofed?
  • How many tables and chairs will you need?
  • What kind of entertainment are you choosing?

One of my least favourite parties last year was one that was in a space that was just inappropriate for young children. There was nowhere for them to sit or play safely. I actually had to hold my son for the whole party when all he wanted to do was walk around and play. Even if you are someone who believes first birthdays are for the adults, it is so important to factor in children if you are inviting other parents.

What to serve?

Kids are messy eaters. They will find a way to make a mess. In saying that, here are some easy options for what to serve:

  • Sausage Rolls
  • Party Pies
  • Sandwiches cut into quarters
  • Cheese and Kabana
  • Fruit
  • Pizza Scrolls
  • Pizza Slices
  • Mini Quiche

Food that little kids can feed themselves is always handy. I went to a first birthday party where they had a selection of baby food squeeze packs available. While that isn’t something that I feed my children, it was appreciated by the other parents. I have been to a first birthday party where they had an amazing buffet of Indian food. The food was absolutely delicious but slightly awkward to eat considering there were no tables to eat at, no high chairs to keep the little ones still and I didn’t bring my husband so no extra set of hands to help out. One party we went to served chicken nuggets for the children and that was the only option. We don’t eat chicken nuggets so were left with no food. For a children’s party I believe it is always nice to offer at least one healthier option.

Special mention for the strangest food for a first birthday party last year was soup served with crusty bread. I never would have thought to serve that at a party but it was absolutely amazing.

What will they do?

First birthday parties are different to other birthday parties. The children are too young for organised games. You also tend to have a wide age range of children attending. There are many options to consider but it depends on the location you choose. My top tip is to check if you have a toy library nearby. The yearly membership works out to be very reasonable and you can borrow toys to suit different ages. My local one also hire out jumping castles, ball pits, tables and chairs for an additional cost on top of your membership.

What are your top tips when planning a first birthday party? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Comparison is the theft of joy, do what you and your family enjoy and can afford ☺️????

    Reply

  • We were planning my bubs first party when COVID hit and she didn’t end up getting anything!
    I was just going to have it at a function centre with a clown, Dorothy the dinosaur and finger foods.
    Looking at the list above, I love the idea of a jumping castle and ball pit! Definitely stealing these ideas for the next baby.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  • My top tips would be make a plan and be organised, thanks a great read and very helpful.

    Reply

  • All 3 of my kids 1sts have been more of a catch up with cake, still pretty hectic and full on. No games or party food, but I went all out on the cakes!

    Reply

  • I had a limit of 6 of their closest friends because their parents used to come as well. We live in a small country town and most children live out on farms hence the parents stayed or went visiting for a while. We also had it in the backyard so the kids could run around and make a mess without anyone panicking about carpets being ruined. Clean up is a breeze so I got to enjoy myself and could mingle. One suggestion I would make is to prepare everything possible the day before which takes a lot of stress off the day as well

    Reply

  • I always prefer to invite few people, So you can enjoy the moment.

    Reply

  • Keep it simple. The first birthday is more for the parents than the child as they don’t really remember. So keep it simple, don’t stress and enjoy. I remember after my son’s 1st birthday telling my hubby I didn’t enjoy it at all. We were so busy, so many people, that we didn’t get to enjoy it.

    Reply

  • For this birthday think more about the guests than the birthday child.

    Reply

  • Party in the Park – no mess at home and lots of room to move without being on top of each other!

    Reply

  • What great tips. I am going to pass them onto a friend who has to plan a 1st birthday in a few months.

    Reply

  • great tips. Never made one before

    Reply

  • Great tips here. I know a lot of planning never is 100% the best but this will give me a good start

    Reply

  • Have it in a park, that way you avoid having a huge mess in your home to clean up. Also try and keep it simple. It’s more for the parents than the baby. After all, they won’t remember it


    • Yes, I like to organise them in a park too !

    Reply

  • I think play centers are also a good option because there at least kids can play without needing a lot of attention from their parents and also the food is already sorted by the center.

    Reply

  • I think first birthday parties have got way out of hand. They’ve become massive productions more for the parents then the kid. A few pressies with family and friends, a few snacks or a BBQ is enough.

    Reply

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