It can be easy to get carried away with themed parties. These simple tips on how to throw a simple 1st birthday party will minimize the stress and allow you to enjoy the day!
Simple is still special.
I love to throw themed parties! This dates back all the way to middle school when I would put on Halloween parties for my friends. I have a three Pinterest boards dedicated to themed parties inspiration. Also, as an event planner, organizing themed events is just in my blood.
However, putting on a themed and super detailed parties can be stressful. As fun as I have with it, I always want to make sure the theme is pulled through every detail of the party which takes a lot of work, stress and time.
When it came to my son’s 1st birthday party, the last thing I wanted it to be was stressful. I thought of so many cute themes, and no doubt they would have been fun to do. But this time, simple was still special.
Keeping things simple allowed me to enjoy the day. It allowed me to not stress about the preparations, and I knew Patrick (my son) wouldn’t have any physical memories from the day, only what was in pictures and home videos.
If you have a similar event coming up, and you want to make it special, but yet don’t want to stress about the details, here are my tips on how to throw a simple 1st birthday party. Remember, simple doesn’t have to mean undecorated or not “cute.”
Keeping the menu light and enjoyable is the goal! Think about serving things like finger food (less need for silverwear). Think about serving classic items everyone will enjoy.
Here is what we served to keep it simple:
- Hot dogs and buns with condiments
- Watermelon (Patrick’s favorite)
- Individual bags of chips
- Water, Root Beer and Sparkling Water
And of course a smash cake for the birthday boy!
Chances are if you are wanting to keep things simple, the last thing you want to do is stress about all the food you need to make, worry about it will turning out. Keep it simple and enjoyable.
3 simple decorations
As previously mentioned I love theme parties. I could have gotten so creative and gone all out for this party. But because I wanted to keep it simple, I relied on a few ordinary but just as festive decorations. You too can keep things simple with adding these 3 simple decorations to your party.
Primary color balloons just scream “party!” When I see the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, I think Fisher-Price toys.
Balloons are a great way to decorate for a party. Here are some places to tap or hang up balloons to make the guest experience festive:
- Hang up balloons on the fences leading up to our front door or driveway to announce “The party is here!”
- Hang then in arch ways or across a door way for a welcoming festive entrance.
- Around the birthday boy or girl’ss high chair. The big 1 balloon was hard to pass up, too.
Balloons are also an inexpensive way to decorate. A pack of 12 balloons at target for about 6 dollars, making it a fairly inexpensive addition.
The second decor item that is easy are streamers. I have so many fond memories of having streamers at all my birthday parties! They are still a joy to decorating with them for my own birthday as an adult.
Streamers are extremely cheap. A few dollars a roll that could last you a few parties makes streamers a no-brainer for a simple and inexpensive party.
Here are a few ways to decoarte with streamers:
- Unrolling the streamer and twisting it to make a banner across a door frame
- Wrapping them around a chair adds a nice touch.
- Hanging streamers down a whole door way from top to bottom, which gives the party-goer’s a fun festive experience walking through them.
3. Party Hats
While most kids won’t keep a party hat on for more than a few minutes, they are too cute and festive to pass up. Not only are they also an inexpensive addition, but I also found they are a great table centerpiece.
At my son’s birthday party to incorporate the party hats into the decoration, I put a white table cloth down on one of our tables, took some left over blue wrapping paper (to keep in the theme of the primary colors), and cut it into a square. Then I placed the square in the center of the table and lined up the party hats down the middle (see the picture below).
It really added a little pop of festive decor to the party atmosphere, again for a small price.
Simple decrations like balloons, party hats and steamers are always a win!
Lastly, the cake is another area to not stress about. Keep it simple! There are so many beautiful cakes on display on Pinterest and Instagram, but something simple will still be special for your little one.
I am someone who really enjoys making special cakes. It was a hobby I developed in the pandemic. I bought all the cake supplies and had such a fun time with it. As much as I would have loved to make a beautiful cake for this momentous birthday of my son’s, once again, I wanted to keep it simple.
You can’t go wrong with a simple box cake mix! We made cupcakes for all the guests, and then I made a special small smash cake for Patrick.
Decoration Pro Tip: To make your party look put together and “themed” without going overboard, pay attention to the details. For example, these cupcakes you see above. I could have put them in any old cupcake liner that I found at the store, but instead, I intentionally chose the primary color liners to go along with the theme. Also, when picking out sprinkles I chose the primary color sprinkles. These small details may seem like not that big of a deal, but really help to pull off a well-put-together and thoughtful look.
In summary – Tips on how to throw a simple 1st birthday party
If you are hoping to throw a simple birthday party for one of your children or a special child in your life, I hope this was a helpful guide and encouragement. Keeping the decorations, menu, and cake simple is so easy and can still turn out beautiful and special for your little one.
I have put together a quick checklist of food, decorations, and supplies if you would like a quick grab-and-go “birthday party in a bag” list to help you plan your next birthday party with ease. Let’s be honest. This would work for most kids or adults of any age.
- Hot dogs
- Package of 18 individual bags of chips
- Box of cake mix
- 2 cans of frosting
- Primary color sprinkles
- Bottled water
- A few cases of sparkling water
- A case of rootbeer
- 1 Package of primary color balloons.
- 1 Big number balloon (of whatever age your little one is).
- 2 packs of white and a primary color streamer
- Package of party hats. I bought something like this at walmart.
- Paperplates. I like these oval ones for serving hot dogs.
- Dispoable silverwear
- serving bowls and utensils
Have a wonderful party and lovely time celebrating the special one in your life!
What are your favorite ways to make a celebration simple yet special? Leave me a comment down below!