When thinking about your kiddo's first birthday party theme, it can be a little overwhelming! On the one hand, I sighed a breath of relief and high-fived my husband when our son turned one. I just felt like I had accomplished something big as a parent when we hit that milestone.
When it's time to celebrate, there are so many birthday ideas out there! Today I'm going to share a few looks of my son's Rookie of the Year birthday party decorations and how we set it up, but also some tips when planning a first (or any) birthday party.
Picking Our Theme
The first thing I want to mention right away- when picking your theme, pick something you're excited about. It doesn't have to be a completely original idea, first birthday themes can be challenging enough without pressuring yourself into developing something out of the box. There are so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest- find something that resonates with you and that you can customize for your family and kiddo. It can be anything from a color, a farm barnyard theme, (with a balloon barn of course!) your favorite kiddo book, to a movie or character.
I spent hours trying to make an idea fit, and when I finally came back to the Rookie of the Year birthday theme it just all came together. Our family loves baseball, so a baseball party was just fun to plan. Parties are getting more and more elaborate, but you can make a fun party without depleting yourself.
Set a budget
This one is so hard because you will see many cute ideas you want to try and it's very easy to spiral. Setting a budget can help you prioritize when you're thinking through first birthday themes. Originally I wanted to go huge with a carnival theme and had so many ideas, but by listing them out and assigning a dollar amount I realized what my priorities actually where and what I wanted to scale back on. Sorry bounce house, maybe next year. Balloon arch? You're in.
One other thing around budget- the broader you keep your first birthday theme the more flexibility you'll have. Instead of locking in on something super specific if you go a bit more abstract you can easily shift gears and change things around to match the ideas you have.
Use food as a part of the theme
Food was the most daunting part to me when it came to thinking through first birthday theme ideas. You want the food to go with your theme but don't want it to be too much work. My tip is to prep in advance or outsource as much as you can. You can also assign a friend/family member to help.
I used to make and sell sugar cookies, so originally I had planned to make cookies. Once my todo list was piling up I decided to skip them and asked my cousin who is super talented if she would make a smash cake and a larger cake for the birthday boy. She took my ideas and completely blew them out of the park! It was the perfect rookie of the year birthday cake. It saved me a lot of time and stress, especially the week of the party. Cake and/or cookies or even cake pops can double as decorations and favors for your theme too. How gorgeous is this cake? I still can't pick a favorite part and it was delicious. The smash cake was the perfect size and Miles loved it! He was a little hesitant at first but them couldn't dig into it fast enough.
Our Baseball Birthday Party Menu
Here's what we served at our Rookie of the Year birthday party! I really wanted the party to have a vintage baseball feel to it.
- Walking Tacos (bags of doritos or fritos, ground beef with taco seasoning)
- Along with the walking tacos we had toppings available like shredded lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc.)
- popcorn with seasoning options
- old fashioned cola in glass bottles
- Cracker Jacks
- watermelon, strawberries and other fruits
- cotton candy
- A cake and smash cake (my cousin did such a wonderful job!)
Plan Your Decor
The best tip I have for decor is to borrow things for your party decorations! Shop friend's homes and you'll find stashes of party stuff. You can find paper plates in all colors just by going around your block and asking friends what they have. Food can double as decor too, it can even help you pick your 1st birthday ideas! How cute would a 'let's taco about turning 1' party be?
For our party I borrowed a high chair from my mom because it was a cute vintage wooden one and I knew I could attach a balloon arch to it for a fun look and feel. Knowing I had the balloon arch and the high chair, I made that the focal point of the room. It helps to have something that centers/grounds the room and that people can gravitate towards. (Besides the adorable toddler of course!) Then you can round it out with other items. This pom pom garland would be so easy and a cute addition.
Probably the cutest decoration was the birthday boy himself! 🙂 He wore a baseball hat, pants and a shirt that celebrated him being one.
Designate a Photographer
Pick a family member or friend who has an awesome instagram and put them in charge. I would make sure to tell the rest of your guests who your designated person is that's in charge of photos. That takes the pressure off of you and everyone else and you can relax and enjoy your party.
Looking for more birthday party ideas?
- Our Going 'Two' the Farm Themed Birthday Party
- Construction Themed Birthday Party for a Toddler
- Easy Beach Picnic Party Setup
- Bubble Party Favors (Farm-Themed with paper wrappers!)
Have a Backup Plan
We planned our son's birthday party for outside, but as the day approached I realized it was going to be pretty chilly outside. Thank you midwest May weather. 🙂 So we had to pivot inside. We had a smaller birthday party, but knowing I could move things inside if needed was a huge help. I already had a basic idea of where I would set everything up.
Thanks for letting me share! If you have any other tips around picking or planning first birthday themes drop them in the comments! Be sure to check out our Our Barn Balloon Mosaic Photo Backdrop for a fun birthday DIY too.