Essential tips and the best 1st birthday party ideas

6. January 2024 - Anika Semmer

1st Birthday Party Ideas and Tips Everyone Should Know


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Your child does not remember the first birthday. But you do! With these sweet and beautiful 1st birthday party ideas and essential tips you can not only celebrate a wonderful 1st birthday but create memories of this important milestone for the birthday child.

The 1st birthday is a big milestone. For us parents, it is quite natural that we want to make the very first birthday of our little one super great. And that is also right and good! And I say that even though the baby won’t remember its 1st birthday party – except through photos and birthday videos that create lasting memories. But we remember. And the 1st birthday may also be the birth of a very special family tradition in any case, but the opportunity to celebrate your baby properly.

We’ve put together lots of cute 1st birthday party ideas and tips here to help moms and dads to throw a fun and beautiful 1st birthday party.

Best 1st Birthday Party Ideas and Essential Tips

How should we celebrate the 1st birthday? What to think about and how to make this important milestone absolutely unforgettable? Which guests must absolutely come? What program and games do I need to prepare? Will it be a theme party?

Most birthday celebrations for the 1st birthday take place at home. Here is the changing table, the birthday table is in the familiar environment and can take a rest in his crib and you can prepare everything quite relaxed. That’s why most of the tips and 1st birthday party ideas are for the birthday party at home.

1. How to Celebrate the 1st Birthday?

You can celebrate the 1st birthday in two ways: either with a nice birthday party or with a nice activity with the family. For the baby, it is actually less important how you celebrate the 1st birthday, because it is still too small to make something out of parties or to have wishes. Above all, we parents want to celebrate this milestone properly, because our little treasure is 1 year old – wow! So the genius is that we can make this very special birthday whatever we want – but absolutely essential is that we create memories!

10 Special Ventures and Activities for the 1st Birthday

  1. Make a trip to the zoo
  2. Make a trip to the beach or swimming pool with picnic and baby swimming
  3. Make a trip to the park with lots of toys
  4. Make a trip to the countryside and visit a farm with lots of petting animals, fruit to pick, a maze or the chance to ride on a donkey cart or tractor
  5. Go to an amusement park with offerings for babies and toddlers
  6. Book an overnight stay at a family hotel and celebrate a very special birthday
  7. Make a crazy photo session with you and the child
  8. Go camping to celebrate the 1st birthday very special!
  9. Visit a special water, forest or adventure playground where there is plenty for the birthday child to discover
  10. Make a teddy bear picnic
  11. Take a train and bus ride (how exciting for your birthday boy!) through the city, visit a children’s café and go on a discovery tour for eyes, ears and senses with your birthday boy
  12. Make a family photo shooting with the professional photographer

2. What Should I Definitely Plan for the 1st Birthday Party?

For the 1st birthday party is: less is more! For the 1st birthday party, be sure to include a birthday cake, squishing it and eating it is great fun for any baby.

You should definitely plan for decorations – and preferably ones that the birthday child can play with, like balloons, a big number, a ball pit!

You can do without games and a birthday program! The baby doesn’t notice anything yet and a single birthday activity such as a ball pool, a playhouse (which can also be made out of a cardboard box) or an exciting adventure box with rattling, squeaking, colorful toys is completely sufficient.

Especially nice is a birthday ritual that is made at the 1st birthday for the first time and celebrated every year as a fixed tradition. For example, a birthday throne on which the child sits, a crown is put on, with which you can celebrate it together 3 times. Or make a polonaise through the apartment to his favorite song.

3. How Long Should the First Birthday Party Last and Which Guests Should Definitely Be Invited?

Keep the birthday party short and invite few guests! Because at one year old, your child does not yet have a long attention span, and the baby should not be all over the place when the birthday party is over. A good duration for the baby is 1.5 to 2 hours.

There is a rule of thumb that to any children’s birthday party is best to invite as many guests as the child grows old. Invite the best friend, that’s quite enough – still a baby does not play with the other children anyway.

Family is incredibly important, especially for very young children. The 1st birthday should be celebrated, if it goes after the birthday child, in any case with the family. The guests that we parents like to have with us are marked with +.

Party Guests for the 1st Birthday

  • 1 other baby / toddler: the best friend / girlfriend
  • of course the parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Cousins
  • Uncles and aunts
  • Baptism godparents
  • Babysitter
  • + Friends from the toddler group
  • + close friends
  • + Friends with young children

4. 1st Birthday Party Ideas for Decorations

"Cute ideas for decoration for the 1st birthday party"

Cute ideas for decoration for the 1st birthday party

There are really a lot of cute decorations for the 1st birthday. You do not need to overdo it, but birthday decorations make the room festive and special and at least a little colorful decoration is definitely worth it just for the souvenir photos. At amazon* and in the party store I could store dead. It’s important to make sure you don’t buy any toxic decorations, as they can sometimes get in the mouth of the baby or other toddler who is a guest. It’s also better to avoid small decorative items and go for the largest possible decorations, because no one is guaranteed to choke on them. I also like to invest in durable decorations that can be used every year.

Edible decorations are absolutely brilliant, balloons should definitely be purchased, because the baby loves to play with them and I’m a big fan of these large number balloons, because they are also a great photo motif! I generally like to buy decorations that look great in photos – after all, for our baby these photos remain as the only lasting memories of this milestone in his life!

If you want to celebrate the 1st birthday with a theme, you should of course choose the decoration to match it.

Decoration Ideas

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Keine Produkte gefunden.

5. Tradition Start With the Very First Birthday

Every family has special birthday traditions. For children, rituals are incredibly important, they provide support and a secure framework, and the joy of a birthday is even greater when the child knows that there will be his favorite cake, a decorated table of gifts, and first thing in the morning when he grows up, his birthday begins with his favorite song.

While celebrating your 1st birthday, think about a custom of your own for your little family, maybe even a tradition that just fits you and is individual and not what everyone is doing.

8 Ideas for Beautiful 1st Birthday Traditions

  1. Start the day with a nice breakfast together, highlighting and lifting the birthday child on his colorfully decorated child seat.
  2. Birthday train, in which each birthday is added a carriage with candle
  3. Decorated gift table with a fixed time when the gifts are unwrapped
  4. Birthday Serenade: A song as a family tradition
  5. Turn the children’s chair into a colorful throne.
  6. Wake up to a certain song on your birthday morning and do a polonaise through the apartment.
  7. Craft or buy a necklace on which a new pendant is hung every year
  8. Future game: on a tray you put different objects that have a special meaning. What will your child reach for first? Coin: your child will be wealthy. Book: your child will become very smart. Playing card: your child will become a gambler. Crayon: your child will be creative. Cross: your child becomes religious. You can, of course, think of more items with meanings and do the game every year. Then the meaning applies in each case for the coming year of life.

6. Create and Hold On to Memories of the Very First Birthday

Absolutely indispensable is your smartphone or digital camera when celebrating the 1st birthday. Take lots of pictures and videos, because those will be the only memories your child will have of their 1st birthday. Researchers say children’s memory starts around age 3. Everything that happened before that, they only know from photos and family videos.

Make sure you think about the motifs beforehand, buy the necessary decorations or accessories and have them ready and plan a time when you want to take the photos. Time flies and not infrequently the mood of your sweetheart tips and then no beautiful photo with party hat is possible.

Ideas for Beautiful Motifs and Special Memories

  • Large number foil balloon with the birthday boy
  • Birthday cake with the burning number candle blowing out the birthday boy
  • Birthday boy happily smashing his birthday cake
  • Birthday boy with his friends with party hats
  • Birthday child playing with the party decorations
  • Laughing birthday boy being lifted up on his colorfully decorated throne
  • Birthday boy with his birthday crown
  • Funny photos with grimaces and funny faces
  • Birthday child unwrapping gifts
  • Birthday child with his favorite gift
  • Create a photo album for your child for each year of their life, starting with their birthday and ending the day before their next birthday
  • Collect memories like dried flowers from the decor, a favorite burst balloon, a design from the napkin and create a scrapbook of mementos

7. Birthday Cake and Party Menu

In no case should not miss the birthday cake at the birthday party! Anyone who likes to bake or who cares about a healthy diet can bake a sugar-free delicious birthday cake. Or even a birthday cake! Since my kid especially loves bananas, I made a raspberry yogurt cake for his birthday, for example. But there are countless delicious recipes on the Internet where banana is mostly used as a sweetener!

Since the 1st birthday lasts no more than 2-3 hours, you don’t need to plan a big menu. In addition to the birthday cake, you can simply set out bowls of child-friendly finger foods and serve a pasta salad – it’s delicious for kids and adults!

Recipes for Sugar Free Birthday Cakes and Snacks

8. 1st Birthday Party Ideas for Games and Activities

"1st birthday party games and actions for one year olds"

Free play is always a good idea - or you prepare one or two birthday games for one-year-olds

You don’t need to prepare a real program with birthday games like pot banging and egg races for the 1st birthday. However, there are nice game ideas that even one-year-olds can play and have fun with.

Games for 1st Birthday Party

  1. Blow up giant sized balloons, fill them with confetti and release them to play. You can also fill a playpen with balloons and put the child inside, it’s great fun
  2. Get a canvas and paint a picture together with the baby
  3. Birthday swings: The birthday child lies down on a blanket and is swung back and forth by two adults. After that, the other little guests may also.
  4. Make a cake fight! The birthday boy loves to smash the cake – why not do it right? Have photo ready!!!
  5. Makes fingerprints of the hands and feet of the birthday child and his guests with finger paints and creates a picture
  6. Fill a children’s paddling pool with plastic balls as a ball pool
  7. Make lots of bubbles to play with the bubble machine
  8. Lay out a large sheet of white paper and have the kids paint a piece of art with finger paints
  9. Build a small course with tunnels and obstacles to crawl through
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9. 20 1st Birthday Theme Party Ideas

A 1st birthday theme party sounds crazy, but it’s a great way to set up a unique celebration. Theme parties are actually not really more elaborate especially with small children and great ideas for orrginelle decoration comes practically by itself. I advise choosing a theme that is easy to implement and creates a special memory for the baby and the family. Does the baby have a favorite children’s book or stuffed animal right now? Does it love a game in particular?

20 Recommended Themes for the 1st Birthday

  1. Cuddly toys
  2. Toys
  3. Teddy bear
  4. Caterpillar glutton
  5. Balloons
  6. Bubbles
  7. Sun, moon and stars
  8. Astronaut
  9. Petting animals
  10. Zoo
  11. Princess
  12. Superhero
  13. Unicorn
  14. Rainbow
  15. Underwater
  16. Wonderland
  17. Flowers
  18. Tea party
  19. Pink and white party
  20. Blue and white party

10. Make a Plan for the 1st Birthday Party!

A rough schedule helps enormously that no stress arises during the celebration or you forget anything. You must take into account that the little guests of honor still have a nap, usually at a certain time. Be sure to plan for this!

Baby, just like toddlers, gets the most out of a short party. So don’t plan too much and keep it short with one or two highlights.


  • When and at what time? – Best from after the nap!
  • Where should the guests put the gifts?
  • Where should the guests stay until everyone is there?


  • What do the guests get to eat and when? – Plan 1h for the meal
  • When will be served the birthday cake?
  • What snacks and drinks will be where throughout the parties? – Think about refilling

Games and activities

  • Prepare a maximum of 2 games already
  • Don’t wait but let the kids play right at the beginning as long as the mood is good
  • Photos and memories
  • Request 1-2 guests to take photos
  • Before the party, think about which subjects you want to take photos of and when
  • Take photos of the birthday boy or girl with beautiful subjects and family pictures

before the party starts.


  • Set a time when the party is over when you invite
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Looking for even more awesome 1st birthday party ideas – even for the older guests? Be sure to check out our kids’ birthday party ideas with instructions for games, craft ideas and party tips! On our blog you’ll find leisure ideas for families for special occasions and every day.

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