Your baby won’t remember their first birthday party. It’s true. You could give your baby a cupcake and they’d love it. You could do absolutely nothing different than you usually do, and they’d still love it. If you’re like me, though, the first birthday party is exciting. It’s a milestone! Your itsy-bitsy baby has transformed before your very eyes into a walking, screaming toddler.
So say you’re like me, and you’re having a party. I’m the kind of person who agonized forever before choosing a “Critter” theme for my baby shower (and not so subtly suggesting it to my best friend, who was hosting it.) That means that of course I want to outdo myself on this party, and part of the perfect first birthday party is the perfect theme. After a lot of thought, we chose a Sofia the First themed party. That’s the only TV show Critter watches, and it’s pretty cute. It’s a little fancier than just a plain “princess” party, but still generic enough that buying supplies is easy.
If your kid isn’t into Sofia, though? A Sofia party isn’t going to cut it.
I considered a lot of different themes before choosing Sofia. I’ve curated my favorite ideas here for you!
1. Tea Party
Tea parties are a classic party theme. They can be as fancy or as casual as you like! Have some tea, wear pretty dresses, and eat finger foods. This is perfect for a first birthday because it doesn’t require a lot of money or extensive set-up. Plus, who doesn’t love tea parties?
Toddlers love dinosaurs. I loved Dinos, and every toddler I know now is utterly obsessed with them. This theme can go a lot of ways, but dinosaur decorations and plates are easy to find. You can serve sandwiches cut into Dino shapes, Dino chicken nuggets, or even get creative and make “Dino” egg salad.
Does your kiddo love to have stories read to them? Why not choose a storybook theme? You can focus on a favorite childhood book, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or you can just for a general book theme. Ask guests to bring books as gifts, serve snacks from your favorite stories, and make your own decorations out of torn books, construction paper, and printables. You can use a bright primary color scheme to make this reminiscent of so many books— remember BusyTown?
4. Pizza Party
Toddlers love pizza, right? Base your party around the meal! Have your party at a local pizza place, or order in. Decor for this can be anything you like. I recommend red tablecloths to hide all the sauce stains!
5. Donut Party
I almost used this theme. I’m not even gonna lie. Have donuts instead of cake, decorate with cut-outs of donuts and donut garlands. Put your baby in a shirt with a donut on it. Buy inflatable donuts from a party supply store. Yes, they’re a thing. I promise. Use donut puns on your invitations. Heck, buy a donut tiara. (Yeah, this is a thing too.) For a fun touch, drink out of little milk bottles instead of cups. Don’t just use this theme for a one year old, although the donut is perfect for replacing the “o” in “one.” Use this theme for everyone. All is donuts.
Everyone likes Disney! You can focus on a favorite character, like Sofia. Or, you can go old school and have a Mickey Mouse party! Use red and yellow decorations, serve sandwiches cut into Mickey shapes, and have a polka dot cake like Minnie’s skirt! Instead of Birthday hats, kids can wear Mickey Mouse ears.
Choosing a party theme can be hard, but once you find the perfect theme, you’ll know. Did you do a themed party for your kid? Do you think themed parties are worth the effort?