Cool first b-day party ideas?
November 10, 2005 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Babyfilter: How do I throw a fun first birthday party for my son without hiring any corny/lameass entertainment to occupy the under-5 crowd? I'd like the adults to enjoy themselves, too. Is my plan to have each parent swing their kid around in a giant game of baby-foosball doomed to fail?
posted by ericbop to Human Relations (12 answers total)
We just did a first birthday for my son earlier this summer. The most useful thing I learned is that, as long as there is cake and ice cream and party favors (bubbles, balloons and the like) the kids should have a blast. And don't worry about a mess getting made, that is inevitable so just go with it and make sure your treasures are safely hidden away.

We had music, cake, ice cream, hats, candy treat bags and didn't really get to focused on the moment to moment activities. We had a couple of "gather-round" moments but that was for the cake and presents.

I'd probably caution against a swing your baby around game, it sounds really, really tiring truthfully.
posted by fenriq at 11:55 AM on November 10, 2005

Ditto. AFAICT, the first birthday is the easiest party. You have some food the kids like, some food the adults like, and enough toys/activities for the kids to occupy themselves while the adults chat.
posted by winston at 11:58 AM on November 10, 2005

A treasure hunt! Nothing fancy -- just scatter lots of chocolate coins and big, chunky fake jewels all over the yard or main kids playroom. I've seen a dozen 3-year-olds happily amuse themselves for a surprising length of time going on a treasure hunt (especially if they're wearing eye patches and yelling ARRRRR!)
posted by scody at 12:01 PM on November 10, 2005

We met at the zoo for our first son's first birthday, and at a local park for the second son's. Both were picnics, and we provided cupcakes. Give each kid a brightly-colored ball and/or bubbles as a party favor. Cheap and fun.
posted by whatnot at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2005

Is my plan to have each parent swing their kid around in a giant game of baby-foosball doomed to fail?

posted by caddis at 12:17 PM on November 10, 2005

You can rent one of those jumpy things for less than $100. Kids love 'em and it totally tires them out, so the parents will love you too.
Plan the party's start time carefully. Parents appreciate parties that don't interfere with nap time. My 2-year-old neice's 10 a.m. brunch birthday party was a big hit - no nap issues, and home in time to enjoy the rest of the day.
posted by clh at 12:40 PM on November 10, 2005

In my wife's family they have a pretty fun tradition for a child's first birthday. You bake a cake and then you sit the child in front of the cake in only a diaper, and then you watch/videotape the results. We have kept this tradition and done this for both of our kids and it is hilarious. When we did this for our son, we had other people over and they also enjoyed the hilarious antics. (We also made a separate cake for everyone else). It is just really fun to watch a baby discover a cake and then realize that it is totally theirs to eat. Plus, I have watched the video of my wife doing this when she was one, and it is a really cool thing to watch. This tradition is much more fun to watch on video than a regular birthday party.
posted by bove at 12:46 PM on November 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

1 year old is easy. Just set out some of your child's toys and let his/her 1 year old friends play. Older kids under 5 seem to be happy running around without much additional stimulation. If the party's at your home, there's nothing wrong with slappin' in the Robots DVD after 45-60 minutes of running around.

I found a pitcher of margaritas kept the adults occupied for about 15 minutes. Lesson learned: one pitcher is not enough.
posted by GarageWine at 1:51 PM on November 10, 2005

Balloon Animals are always a hit with under 5 crowd.
posted by Gooney at 1:53 PM on November 10, 2005

Is my plan to have each parent swing their kid around in a giant game of baby-foosball doomed to fail?

when I was 3 I disconnected my elbow in an similiar sounding activity and I still remember how not-fun it was.

that said, kids like to play with balls. Also, if you make any specific plans, be prepared to change them.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 2:00 PM on November 10, 2005

Is my plan to have each parent swing their kid around in a giant game of baby-foosball doomed to fail?

Remember the Simpsons' pastiche of the Atlanta railroad station scene from Gone With The Wind after the trampoline party in their yard?
posted by essexjan at 4:07 PM on November 10, 2005

Bove has it. There really is nothing funnier than a 1 year old baby figuring out what to do with a birthday cake. It's one of the few videotaped family moments you'll actually enjoy watching again.
posted by Space Kitty at 4:28 PM on November 10, 2005

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