Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Throw the Perfect First Birthday Party

Your child’s first birthday party is a special occasion! Here’s how to make the day fun for baby and guests.

First Birthday Party Tips

Keep your guest list small. Of course your child’s first birthday is a big deal. And of course you want to invite a hundred people to share the day with you. But think about trimming your list in order to make the day happier for the birthday girl or boy. At 12 months, some children experience anxiety around strangers or become upset in the midst of too much activity and noise.

Pick a kid-friendly time. Schedule your child’s birthday party at a time of day when he or she is likely to be awake and happy. Schedule the party during nap time, and things are likely to turn sour. Parties should probably only last 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Choose age-appropriate party activities. A group of one year olds probably won’t appreciate anything too elaborate. Think of ways to keep festivities fun but simple. Plush toys, sandboxes, and sing-alongs can be a good choice. Save the clowns for later, as people in costumes can be a little disconcerting for youngsters.
Birthday Party Hats

Serve finger foods for children. Having snacks on hand can help keep hungry children from getting cranky. However, avoid any foods that could present a choking hazard like grapes, small candies, and nuts.

First Birthday Party Checklist

  • Set the venue
  • Order and send out party invitations and purchase corresponding thank you notes
  • Plan and prepare appetizers, food and/or drinks
  • Order birthday cake or cupcakes, candle and pinwhirl toppers
  • Choose a birthday banner
  • Select plates, napkins, cups, and utensils that go with your party theme
  • Order party hats for each guest
  • Select games or activities
  • Find coordinating party favors
  • Mail thank you notes to guests

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