Advice for parents planning a child’s 1st birthday party.

5 Ways to Make 1st Birthday Party Theme Idea Come True

March 2nd, 2020 by

Hollywood movies and television glamorize the 1st birthday party theme with ponies, over the top backdrops, guest dressing in costumes to support the theme, and outlandish cakes. All of this is achievable with a bag full of 100 dollar bills, which very few people have.  The question is, how do you make a 1st birthday party theme successful.

5 Ways to Make a 1st Birthday Party Theme Idea Come True
    1. Budget – Define how much you are willing to spend.  Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s spent $200,000 Jungle Island Part. The two megastars rented a wildlife park/botanical garden called Jungle Island in Miami, Fla. Anything is possible when you have the cash. Creating a realistic budget will control expectations on all levels and keep things real, unlike a Hollywood movie (and even Hollywood has a budget for a film).
    2. Expand the Theme – If your child has a favorite program/movie, don’t be surprised if there are few options for decorations.  Every year my son requests a Halloween costume that sounds reasonable; after all, it was popular two years go, but nobody locally or on the internet is selling the costume.  Party stores and supplies only license current or famous characters.  If the movie or TV show is old, the odds of finding decorations to match become an exploration of unknown merchant outlets on eBay, don’t go down this rabbit hole. The trick is to expand the theme idea allowing you creative leeway to develop a plan without forgoing the overall party theme.
    3. Advance Planning – Like Hollywood, you are going to have to design, build, or craft these DYI 1st birthday party theme ideas.  Look at Pinterest, and you will see many excellent party theme ideas.  Problems are many of these ideas are hand-made and require time to make.  Advance planning allows you to purchase all the supplies you will need to make those 1st birthday party decorations.
    4. Envolve Your Guest – If you want your guest to participate, have them put some skin into the game and build one of Pinterest’s 1st birthday party theme ideas.  Having a team working together can tackle more complex problems than individuals and thus have the potential to gain more expertise and become more engaged.  Have family or friends that are good at building, sewing, cooking, drawing, or researching ideas assist in planning the 1st birthday party?  These are the people who you need to get involved, thus making it a family experience, and after all, a 1st birthday party is all about family, friends, and the support of raising a good child.
    5. Invite Fun People – Not everyone likes a theme party, and some people are just stubborn and will not participate. Kids, teenagers, and some adults won’t play along as they are just too sophisticated for this “themed” party stuff.  My advice, narrow down the guest list to only people who will play along with the theme.  Nothing like having Uncle Bob in a black AC/DC tee shirt holding a beer and everyone else participating and wearing fairy wings drinking fairy juice at the party.  If you want to make your 1st birthday party theme work, invite-only fun people, leave the stick on the muds at home, where they belong.

Kids Cooler

February 6th, 2020 by

Each year parents are looking to make their child’s 1st birthday party unique. They work hard at planning a theme that is exactly right.  Hours spent searching through Pinterest, looking at pictures trying to make everything perfect for your child’s 1st birthday.

While balloon twisting at a 1st birthday party, I came across a simple, practical, and straightforward way to distribute the children drinks. 

I’ve seen coolers, tubs, and drinks display on the table, but at this 1st birthday party, the mom used an infant pool to hold the kid’s drinks.  Little waters, fruit juices, and small soda cans nestled together in infants pool filled with ice. 

kiddy pool used as a kids cooler for s 1st birthday party.

This unique ice bucket was easy for kids to reach their drinks. Held several bags of ice, and moms did hot have to worry about kid’s fingers getting smashed in the ice chest.

The small inflatable pool cooler was a hit with the kids.  They could dig around for the drink and play with the ice.

After seeing the infant pool as a cooler, I did do a little research on pool coolers and found Mikes Hard Lemonade had the best design.  I also found a DIY fountain pool cooler.

Mikes Hard Lemonade Ad that has a pool cooler at a childs birthday party

If you are looking to make your child’s 1st birthday party different, go for it.  It just takes time, research, and a little crafting to make the coolest party decorations that will have your guest talking and remembering your child’s 1st birthday party for years to come.


How To Have A Happy Child on Their 1st Birthday

April 10th, 2018 by

1st birthday party child napping

Parents, do you want your child happy for the first birthday?  Then you have to make sure they take their nap before the party.

I can see the look in the parent’s eyes as I walk through the door.  They are stressed, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why? The birthday child has the expression as if they sucking on sour patch kids candy.  This child is having no part of their 1st birthday party.  They are tired and need a nap.


Easy Way To Prevent A Major Birthday Party Mistake

March 24th, 2015 by

Pretty is nice, but tastier is better.

1st birthday girl in high chairThe first birthday party cake sits in its glory; a thing of beauty created by a Master Baker. You feel guilty cutting into those layers of colored frosting and fondant, but once you have scraped off the sugar, food coloring, and decoration, you’re left with cake.

If you want to have a memorable first birthday party, have a delicious tasting cake.

I cannot tell you how many times a family member has bitten into a cake and instantly their taste buds remind them of other birthday party cake experiences.  “Do you remember (insert name here) birthday party?” “Wasn’t that a terrible cake,” utters a family member.

Cake, that sugar-coated, butter filled, flavored delight is the most memorable part of a first birthday party.  It doesn’t matter what the birthday child wears, the food you serve, or how fancy the appetizers are, it’s all about the taste of the cake.

Stated, White, Chocolate and Marble are the most popular cakes.  Veer from these choices and the approval rating drops.

It is exciting to buy a fancy birthday cake with decorative design, colors, and unique shape. But it’s the cake. And yes, sometimes it’s the filling, that makes a birthday party memorable.

Over the years I have tried private bakeries, homemade, and store-bought cakes and found some of the best tasting cakes come from the local grocery store.  Are they over the top, eye-catching, painstakingly decorated by a confectionery artist? No.  But they taste great, and people ask for a second helping.

Think of all the birthday parties you’ve attended in your life. The main memory of the party is how the caked tasted.  It wasn’t the pirate ship, Elmo, or covered in pink frosting cake you remember; it’s the taste.

The key to having a great 1st birthday party is to make sure the birthday cake tastes great!

DIY to a 1st Birthday Photo Shoot

February 20th, 2015 by

I am the type of parent that likes to do crafty stuff.  For my son’s 1st birthday party I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he was the birthday boy.  I, of course, looked around on the internet for fun pictures.  I found one I thought was fun and put my spin on it.  This is what I did for my son’s 1st birthday invite.

1st birthday party invite

  1. For the backdrop, I used two old sheets.  You need old sheets to do this because it gets messy.
  2. I positioned it so that both sheets acted as one big backdrop.  I had some of it on the floor and some or most of it behind him.  I needed to have it held up by something so we used a couple of ladders.  Two utility clamps fastened it onto the ladder creating a vertical backdrop.
  3. “For abeyance, I blew up some balloons and lucky for me my husband has a helium tank, but you can get helium balloons at your local party store.  I found blue balloons with the #1 and happy birthday on them.  Balloons can be purchased at the local party supply store too.  I have seen them at  Wal-Mart or Target, just check the birthday cards. Arrange the balloons at different levels around the backdrop. This formed the backdrop for my son’s picture.
  4. I added a spotlight for more light in the room. It was not a professional spotlight, but an automotive spotlight that my husband had in the garage.  When taking a digital picture you want to make sure you have enough light in the room. Adding too much light will cause dark shadows, so play around with the lighting.
  5. I bought a hat for him, it was a little something that I was going to have him wear for his party, but thought he looked cute in it.
  6. The most important thing, besides the birthday boy, was the cake.  It was a one-tier cake I bought at the local grocery store.  You can make one, but for all of the effort necessary to have it look great, it’s just easier to buy one.  I know it is a little cheaper to make it but time is money too.

1st birthday baby photo with smash cake

Those are all of the things you will need to do the photoshoot.  Now, for the pictures.  We stripped him down to his diaper because, frankly, it was cuter. Also, I did not have to get more cake into his hair when I needed to take off his shirt. Something to remember at the birthday party.  It’s cute to see them full of cake, but it just more messy later for me to clean up.

When he was down to the diaper, I plopped him onto the sheet and tried to get him to stay there until I brought the cake out.  He sat still because he had no idea what was going on.  When I put the cake in front of him there was no hesitation.  He dug right in.

Start taking pictures and don’t stop.  I took so many pictures and I had a blast doing it.

By the time I was done taking pictures he was full of cake and needed to take a bath after. However, it was worth it.  Make sure that the bigger part of the sheet is covering the floor, because you DO NOT want cake frosting on the carpet. Unless you’re getting new carpet, which I wasn’t.

Well, that is how I did my own DIY photoshoot.  I hope that this encourages you to do your own 1st birthday party invites.  It was fun for me my husband and hopefully, it will be fun for you too.

I have an extra invitation set aside for my son when he gets engages, just to show his fiancé.  Oh, what fun I will have showing off this picture and remembering the memories made that day.

About the Author
Michelle Obrochta is a mother of two boys, a wife to an entertainer, and runs a balloon business. Planning is a passion of Michelle’s and is always quick to volunteer to help in planning an event, participate in a school function, or help make the event special.

What do you get a 1 year old for a present?

September 18th, 2014 by


Here is the scenario; your cousin invites you to their child’s first birthday party.  It is going to be this weekend, and you have no idea what to get.  Well, join the club. 

It is a tricky thing, a birthday present.  You never know what the parents are expecting.  Do you buy something for the outside?  Do you get an educational toy?   Do you buy clothes?  Well, all of the above are good ideas.  I usually do the following.

Gender toys really do not matter.  If you have a boy that likes dolls then get the boy a doll.

If you know the child, it is a little bit easier.  Remember, they are just children.  Gender toys really do not matter.  If you have a boy that likes dolls then get the boy a doll.  If the girl likes cars then, by all means, get her cars.  You just never know.  In addition, if you do not feel comfortable getting them those specific things then do this.  Get the girl a girl car.  I know that one large popular movie has girl cars on it.  For the boy, find a cartoon that has a boy character.

Here are my tips on finding the appropriate gift for the specific child.
  1. Do Not, I repeat Do Not get anything they can put in their mouths. They are getting teeth and EVERYTHING goes in the mouth.  No really, everything.
  2. Take into consideration the living space. You are not going to want to get a large toy if the house they are living in is not large.
  3. Ask the parents if they would like something specific for the child. I always do this.  If the parent says he/she is going to need some new summer clothes or bathing suit then wham, your shopping trip is going to be so easy.
  4. Ask the parents again if they want educational toys or something for outside or specific movie toys. I have a cousin that just wanted stuff for outside play.  Then another one that said, only educational toys.  I am sorry but for a 1-year-old, everything is educational. (Well that did not help now did it?)

I hope this clears up what you should get a 1 year old for a present.  You just have to remember they are little ones.  Everything is new.  Everything is fun. Always ask the mom and dad for ideas as they know the child the best.

Disaster at Babies 1st Birthday Party

July 10th, 2014 by

Birthday cake on the floor, family members show up late, and restaurant over books the room, the birthday child is extra cranky, and the parents have the flu.  First birthdays have become a stressful event for parents with many things they cannot micromanage.

1st birthday party - child in high chairThe pressure to plan the perfect party with all the trimmings has increased over the years.  For over 27-years I have been entertaining at 1st birthday parties and have talked with a lot of stressed-out parents.  All guests want is good food, drink, and cake.  If the décor is cute and the baby is dress adobe, you’re halfway to having a successful birthday party.

Don’t let the things you can’t control stress you out. Things you can control don’t micromanage. The purpose of the 1st birthday is to celebrate your child’s 1st year of life.  Sit back, relax and enjoy this day.  The child only has one 1st birthday and before you know it, their 21.

About the Author- Magical Balloon-dude Dale is a professional kids entertainer who has been entertaining at 1st birthday parties for decades and has seen it all.  He is now sharing his experiences with his readers.

Keeping it Clean at Baby’s First Birthday Party

June 19th, 2014 by

baby cake covered with 1st birthday party balloonsThe fun of a 1st birthday party is watching the guest of honor smash a birthday cake into their face, hair, and clothing. Cameras are flashing; the family is laughing, all while the baby is reaching for another handful of cake. The audience cheers for the baby to get messier and the more they do it, the happier the crowd.

Have you noticed that everyone wants to hold the baby except when the baby has a diaper full or has birthday cake frosting from head to toe? Dads magically disappear with some project that prevents them from the baby cleanup.  Therefore, it all falls on mom to do the dirty work. Moms now have to struggle to clean the baby, but also keep themselves from getting dirty doing it.

Moms have a change of clothes ready – you are going to get dirty cleaning up that bundle of joy.  Kids squirm, faucets splash, cake frosting, gets everywhere, and just the confines of a bathroom make cleanup a problematic task.

Mothers plan and have extra clothing for the baby, but often forget about themselves. Prepare to have a second shirt or outfit ready for you. This way both mother and child will look their best for the remainder of the party.