Many parents spend months and months (plus a lot of money!) planning their child’s first birthday party. It’s undoubtedly one of the most important milestone birthdays, so it’s understandable that you want it to be amazing and memorable. (Even though your one-year-old won’t remember any of it.)

But an unforgettable and fantastic party doesn’t have to cost you tons of money or all of your precious time. We’ve rounded up some of the best birthday party theme ideas for one-year-old boys and girls, along with popular food picks, games/activities, and party favor inspiration. From tried-and-true favorites to some updated classics and unique additions, our list has something for everyone.

You can plan the perfect party without getting overwhelmed, so you can enjoy the big day instead of fretting about it. So before you start stressing about your baby’s first birthday, take a breath, and keep reading for all the inspiration you need.

1st Birthday Party Themes & Decorations For Boys

Since they’re turning one, your kid might not articulate what they’d love for their party theme. But you can certainly draw some insight from what they gravitate to, whether it’s dinosaurs, trucks, painting, or books.
You also might opt for something you love personally, hoping your child will share your enthusiasm as he grows. Of course, you can use these ideas for boys or girls, but here are the top picks for one-year-old boy birthday themes.

1. Mr. ONE-derful

Mr. ONE-derful

Image source: Dazzle Creations by Vicky

Bring out the bow-ties, top hats, mustaches, and monocles for this classy first birthday theme. It’s the perfect way to celebrate your little gentleman. Dazzle Creations by Vicky opts for a stunning black and gold theme, but you could also opt for a black and white affair.

You can have lots of fun with this theme, going vintage or modern, and dressing the birthday boy in his own tux. Go all out with bow-tie pasta salad, top hat cupcake toppers, and mustache-shaped cookies. Print out a giant picture of the birthday boy and play “Pin on the Mustache.”

SHOP: Mr. ONE-derful Birthday Decorations

2. He’s A Wild One

He's A Wild One

Image source: Sally Shin at Pretty Little Events

Here’s a theme that offers lots of possibilities. Sally Shin at Pretty Little Events decided to keep the color palette soft and sweet for the baby’s big day. But this theme also works for zoo animals, a jungle theme, or a desert safari.

You can use animal cut-outs, decorate with animal prints, and add in lots of greenery. Give out animal masks to your little guests, or let them make their own. Hide different stuffed animals around the space and have a wild animal hunt. So much fun!

SHOP: Wild One Birthday Decorations

3. A Day At The Circus

A Day At The Circus

Image source: Jenny Collier

Everyone loves the circus! This colorful theme lets you do all sorts of fun things, whether it’s clowns, circus animals, magicians, or more. Jenny Collier uses a fun red and white stripe pattern reminiscent of a circus Big Top, with a bright aqua color mixed in.

You can use the classic circus font on your signs and games and add personal touches throughout. Hand out clown noses to all the guests and get ready to play lots of games. Hire a magician or a clown, or convince a willing family member to play the part.

SHOP: Circus Birthday Decorations

4. Sesame Street

Sesame Street

Image source: Bizzie Bee Creations

Everyone will want to know how to get to Sesame Street when they see this fun first birthday theme. Bizzie Bee Creations shows off a colorful display featuring classic kid colors of red, yellow, green, and blue.

You can mimic the idea using the colors throughout your decorations and incorporating some of the popular characters. Set up a cookie bar complete with Cookie Monster and a photo op featuring a cardboard cutout of Elmo.

SHOP: Sesame Street Birthday Decorations

5. Little Lumberjack

Little Lumberjack

Image source: Belly Sweet

This theme is too cute for words, especially if your little boy’s birthday falls in the winter. Belly Sweet decorates with buffalo plaid and evergreens. You can dress the birthday boy in his own flannel shirt and substitute the smash cake with a short stack of pancakes.

Moose silhouettes, paw prints, and other fun shapes help tie the theme together. You can also add in some smoky treats like s’mores, roasted marshmallows, or pigs in a blanket.

SHOP: Little Lumberjack Birthday Decorations

6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Image source: CIBY Parties

Eric Carle’s classic storybook becomes an incredible theme for a one-year-old’s birthday. It certainly opens up the door to all sorts of fun food possibilities and a rainbow of colors. CIBY Parties adds a caterpillar balloon garland to the decorations, making an extra cute statement.

You can get mini board books of the classic to give as your favors and have a butterfly craft for your little guests. Dress your little one up in a caterpillar costume, do storytime, or act out the classic with puppets.

SHOP: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Decorations

7. It’s A Home Run! Baby’s One!

It's A Home Run! Baby's One!

Image source: Cake Tables Miami

If you’re a baseball fan, then this is the party for you. Go all out with everything about America’s pastime, including bats, gloves, and baseballs. Cake Tables Miami puts a bit of a vintage spin on the decor, but you can go with any style you like.

Baseball decorated cupcakes, a backyard tee ball tournament, and “Bases Loaded Nachos” are just a few more ideas that come to mind. You can also include your child’s name in the theme; for example, “Jake hits a home run! Today he’s one!”

SHOP: Baseball Birthday Decorations

8. Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss

Image source: Divine Party Display

Dr. Seuss is likely one of the most beloved children’s authors, with tons of memorable characters. His colorful books make the perfect backdrops for a child’s birthday. Divine Party Display highlights one of the author’s most famous characters, The Cat in the Hat.

Colors for this theme are typically red, white, and light blue. It’s also an excellent option for one-year-old twins, who can become Thing #1 and Thing #2. Other fun characters are the Lorax, Horton, and even the Grinch for a Christmas birthday.

SHOP: Dr. Seuss Birthday Decorations

9. Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

Image source: Veronica’s Enchanted Decor LLC

One of the most popular kid’s characters has to be Mickey Mouse. And if you opt for this party theme, you can put your own spin on it. Veronica’s Enchanted Decor LLC goes with classic Mickey and his red, white, black, and yellow color scheme.

But you can also mix it up with animals for a Safari Mickey theme, go with black and white vintage Mickey, or do Mickey Mouse’s Club House. Keep it strictly Mickey, or add in some of his friends like Pluto, Donald, and Goofy.

SHOP: Mickey Mouse Birthday Decorations

10. Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Image source: WOW My Party

Here’s a great idea if you have a little animal lover. You can do the ultimate farm theme with a red barn backdrop or a tractor like WOW My Party. Do wagon hay rides, pass out bandanas, and have an animal sounds contest.

You can also set up a photo booth with farm animal masks and props. If your baby’s birthday is when the weather is nice, this is a great outdoor party theme too. (Always a plus if you plan to have a lot of kids at your house).

SHOP: Old MacDonald Birthday Decorations

11. Thomas The Train

Thomas The Train

Image source: Cherry on Top Parties

Thomas the Tank Engine is engine No. 1, so he makes the perfect choice for a first birthday theme. If your little man is into trains, then Thomas is for you. Go with a color palette of blue and red to match the famous engine.

Cherry on Top Parties also features Thomas-shaped cups, which can double after as party favors. Mix in railroad signs, train tracks, and other locomotive motifs, and you’ve got it made.

SHOP: Thomas The Train Birthday Decorations

12. Baby Shark

Baby Shark

Image source: Birthday in a Box

You know you’re already singing the song as soon as you read this — that’s because it’s everywhere! Kids love this song and all of the shark characters that go with it.

Birthday in a Box makes it easy to put on a shark party for your little one. You can have fun with all sorts of under the sea decorations, balloons for bubbles, and more. Plus, it’s super colorful.

SHOP: Baby Shark Birthday Decorations

13. Dinosaurs


Image source: Chic from Chicago

Little boys love dinosaurs, and these prehistoric wonders are a great way to celebrate. You can go with a more pastel, baby dinosaur palette, or get inspiration from Chic from Chicago and get the Jurassic jungle vibe with layers of green.

The birthday boy can be One-asaurus, dressed in his dinosaur best. Play it up with dinosaur balloons, greenery, and maybe even a volcano centerpiece. How cool would it be if your volcano was really a chocolate fountain?

SHOP: Dinosaur Birthday Decorations

14. Little Prince

Little Prince

Image source: Crowned Cakes by Jess

This theme works whether you opt for the actual Little Prince storybook theme, giving your party a French vibe, or go regal in another way. Crowned Cakes by Jess chooses a blue, white, and gold color palette that instantly screams royalty.

Bedeck your birthday boy in his best duds and a special crown for the day. You can make birthday crowns or scepters with the guests and go heavy on the shimmer.

SHOP: Little Prince Birthday Decorations

15. One Year Flies By

One Year Flies By

Image source: Cake Tables Miami

Time does really fly by, and your baby will be one before you know it. Celebrate the occasion with an airplane theme, using any colors you like. Cake Tables Miami brings a taste of travel into the story with stamps and envelopes.

You can tweak this theme to fit your baby the best. Dress him up in an aviator jacket and sunglasses for ultimate cuteness. Add some fluffy clouds to your backdrop with cotton batting for a fun 3-D effect.

SHOP: Airplane Birthday Decorations

16. Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloons

Image source: Ketty Delights

If planes aren’t your thing, you can still take to the skies and go with the flight theme using hot air balloons. These classic aircraft evoke a sense of whimsy and childlike fun. Ketty Delights uses a light blue and gold color scheme to keep things subtle.

But you can go as big and bold as you’d like. Get a large basket to which you can attach a hot air balloon decoration for the perfect photo op at the party.

SHOP: Hot Air Balloon Birthday Decorations

17. Ship Ahoy

Ship Ahoy

Image source: Geos Decor

Geos Decor shows off a fun nautical theme with bright red, blue, and gold colors. You can use a ship’s wheel, anchors, life preservers, and more as appropriate decorations. Other options are a lighthouse, sea monster, or captain’s hat.

Another option is to go with an all blue and white coastal vibe. Or, turn the tables and go all out with a pirates themed party, complete with treasure maps and chests of gold.

SHOP: Nautical Birthday Decorations

18. Toy Story

Toy Story

Image source: Chance Events Decor

Invite Woody, Buzz, and all their friends to a Toy Story birthday party in a colorful display of fun. Chance Events Decor highlights the characters amid a backdrop of primary colors and cow-spotted balloons.

You can do the same, showcasing the overall movie. Or, you can either go more Woody with a cowboy theme or lean more toward an outer space vibe with Buzz Lightyear. If your son has a favorite character, you might want that to be your jumping-off point.

SHOP: Toy Story Birthday Decorations

19. Classic Winnie The Pooh

Classic Winnie The Pooh

Image source: Details Details

You can go with the more modern Winnie the Pooh, but Classic Pooh is a favorite for first birthdays. Details Details features a stunning display that incorporates honeycomb shelves into the backdrop.

The colors are soft and sweet, and you can do all sorts of things with your decorations. Use cutouts of the characters, golden balloons for honey, and even decorate jars as honey pots. And, of course, you can’t resist playing pin the tail on Eeyore.

SHOP: Winnie The Pooh Birthday Decorations

20. 3-2-ONE! Blast Off!

3-2-ONE! Blast Off!

Image source: Catch My Party

Rocket ships, astronauts, aliens, stars, the moon, planets, and so much more. You can do so many things with an outer space party. Catch My Party shows off a colorful and starry display with lots of pizazz.

Another name for this theme would be “Baby’s First Trip Around the Sun.” You could also say he’s “Out of this World!” No matter what you decide to call it, it’s sure to be a blast.

SHOP: Space Birthday Decorations

1st Birthday Party Themes & Decorations For Girls

Choosing the best theme for your little girl’s first birthday is all about having fun and finding something that matches her blossoming personality. You can get ideas from things she enjoys doing, colors she loves the most or even her favorite toys. Here are some of the most popular themes for a one-year-old girl’s birthday.

1. Baby In ONE-derland

Baby In ONE-derland

Image source: Frosted Occasions

This theme features a playful twist on words, providing the perfect springboard for a fanciful Alice in Wonderland theme. Frosted Occasions placed the emphasis on Alice’s tea party with the Mad Hatter, but you can do so many things. Feature all of the characters, go purple and pink like the Cheshire Cat or highlight the Queen of Hearts.

You can also opt for the Disney version or go with the classic Lewis Carroll tale. You can go prim and proper like Alice or decide to get topsy-turvy in true Wonderland style.

SHOP: ONE-derland Birthday Decorations

2. Mermaids


Image source: Poppy + Grace

Poppy + Grace shows off a fantasy-inspired mermaid birthday party with aqua and pink and delicate touches. The net overlay on the table is just the right touch to add an under the sea vibe. You can also evoke the mermaid style with shimmery fabrics and seashell decor.

Dress up your little darling in a mermaid-inspired dress to match the party colors. You can go with a general aquatic theme or let Ariel from The Little Mermaid and her friends take center stage.

SHOP: Mermaid Birthday Decorations

3. Pretty In Pink

Pretty In Pink

Image source: Tera Bare

Your one year old daughter might not know the 1980s movie classic, but Pretty in Pink still makes a great party theme. You can also use this theme for a Pinkalicious birthday or just pepper the rosy color all over your party like Tera Bare.

It’s a sweet, classic look that’s just right for a baby’s first birthday. Use pink cupcakes, pink flowers, and pink balloons, and add interest by layering different shades. You can use pastel, fuschia, or hot pink, and toss in some sparkle too.

SHOP: Pretty In Pink Birthday Decorations

4. Sofia The 1st Princess Party

Sofia The 1st Princess Party

Image source: Made to Be a Momma

Sofia the First is one of the most lovable little Disney princesses of all time. She’s got a big heart, is brave and daring, and stands up for what’s right, everything you’d want your little girl to be.

Made to Be a Momma creates a simple but elegant birthday scene with an all-white backdrop. The white helps the purple and pink (Sofia’s signature colors) stand out. You can decorate with the colors in any way you like, add sparkly amulets like Sofia’s, and set out tiaras for the guests.

SHOP: Sofia The 1st Birthday Decorations

5. Queen Bee

Queen Bee

Image source: dew.and.rose

Bumblebees are a popular theme for children’s parties and can really make your baby’s first birthday buzz with excitement. Plus, you get some options to play with when you choose this theme. For example, dew.and.rose goes with bee decorations and lots of yellow and gives everything an elegant edge.

But you can also go full Queen Bee and dress your special girl in a sparkly bee outfit and tutu along with a birthday crown. Add in glitz and glam if you prefer a bit more pizazz.

SHOP: Queen Bee Birthday Decorations

6. Unicorns


Image source: Yours Truly & Co.

Little girls adore unicorns; they’re just magical and beautiful and mysterious. Plus, just the thought of unicorns makes you think of rainbows, sparkles, sprinkles, and everything fun. Yours Truly & Co. certainly delivers a colorful unicorn party display full of glittery goodness.

Carry the unicorn motif onto the backdrop, the cake, the favors, and even the drinks (notice the bottle water wraps)? Colorful strips of tulle make the perfect table drape and are super easy to work with. Find more magical unicorn birthday party ideas here!

SHOP: Unicorn Birthday Decorations

7. Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

Image source: One Creative Housewife

Check out this theme, whether you’re a fan of the classic book series like One Creative Housewife or just want a bright and happy birthday look. Yellow makes you feel joyful, so what better way to celebrate your little one’s special day?

You can decorate with bright yellows, cut-out suns, hang yellow paper lanterns or balloons, or tie up sunny streamers. You could also opt for sunshine and sunflowers as your main decor. And of course, the birthday girl can show off a frilly yellow dress for the occasion.

SHOP: Little Miss Sunshine Birthday Decorations

8. Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

Image source: Happy Kid Party

Kids love stories, so creating a birthday party around a story theme is a no-brainer. Happy Kid Party gives a fairy tale vibe to this Once Upon a Time event. The greenery wall adds the perfect neutral backdrop to help things stand out.

You can also focus on one of your favorite storybooks or fairy tales, like Red Riding Hood or Cinderella. Small books make a great favor for this party, and adding in a storyteller is a bonus.

SHOP: Once Upon A Time Birthday Decorations

9. Winter ONE-derland

Winter ONE-derland

Image source: Glorious Treats

For another play on words, take your guests into a snowy winter showplace. This is an especially great theme for winter birthdays since you can incorporate a hot chocolate bar into your menu. A popular color choice for this theme is usually frosty blues, whites, and silvers.

However, Glorious Treats decides to go in a different direction with pink, purple, and penguins. Get creative and have fun with it. It’s also a great way to work in a Frozen theme if your little girl loves Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.

SHOP: Winter ONE-derland Birthday Decorations

10. Teddy Bear Picnic

Teddy Bear Picnic

Image source: Hostess with the Mostess

This classic nursery rhyme and song comes to life in this cute party theme from Hostess with the Mostess. Decorate with teddy bears, serve food and drink in picnic baskets, and make sure to sing the song with your young guests.

Use red and white checkered tablecloths and create a woodland backdrop as your picnic setting. Dress up the birthday girl in a teddy bear outfit and give her a special mini picnic basket with some of her favorite goodies.

SHOP: Teddy Bear Birthday Decorations

11. All The Places You Will Go

All The Places You Will Go

Image source: Kara’s Party Ideas

This Dr. Seuss favorite is an inspiring and motivating book for people of all ages. What a perfect way to celebrate your daughter’s first year, with encouragement and hope for the future.

Kara’s Party Ideas pulls color inspiration for the party decor from the book’s cover. You can decorate with various images from the story. Another great idea is to have a copy of the book on your welcome table for people to write a message to the birthday girl.

SHOP: All The Places You Will Go Birthday Decorations

12. Minnie Mouse

Minnie Mouse

Image source: Catch My Party

Minnie Mouse is the epitome of charm, and little girls love her. So it makes sense that she’d be a popular choice for the birthday celebration theme. You can decorate with her iconic red with white polka dots and black accents.

Or go with the softer version, like Catch My Party, and create a pink and black palette. Don’t forget to add Minnie’s signature bows to your decor.

SHOP: Minnie Mouse Birthday Decorations

13. Do-nut Get Older

Do-nut Get Older

Image source: Hope, Heart, and Home

Kids grow up so fast, and when they’re little, you wish it could last forever when they’re little. That’s why this theme makes an excellent choice for her first birthday. You can also say “Do-nut Grow Up” as another option.

Hope, Heart, and Home makes a donut balloon their centerpiece, and of course, there are donuts everywhere. You can decorate with inflatable donuts, create a donut wall for guests, and instead of a traditional cake, create a tower of donut holes.

SHOP: Donut Birthday Decorations

14. One In A Melon

One In A Melon

Image source: Jennie Tewell

This theme is a great option for an outdoor, summertime birthday. It just screams sunshine, sweetness, and summer fun. Jennie Tewell uses pretty, vibrant pinks and bright greens to evoke the watermelon vibe.

You can add fabric flags to make colorful banners, cut out watermelon slice decorations, and make a fancy balloon garland. If you prefer a more traditional look, go with a deeper red and darker green. And, of course, make sure to serve fresh watermelon to your guests.

SHOP: One In A Melon Birthday Decorations

15. My First Rodeo

My First Rodeo

Image source: See Vanessa Craft

How about a cute cowgirl theme for your baby’s first birthday? See Vanessa Craft gives this western theme a sophisticated and luxe vibe with charming touches throughout. The pink, aqua, and hints of brown add just the right look for this kind of event.

Add in ponies, rope trim, and mason jars to keep things more rustic. You can also go with a more bold cowgirl theme, like Jessie from Toy Story. It’s all up to you and your preferences.

SHOP: My First Rodeo Birthday Decorations

16. Fairy Forest

Fairy Forest

Image source: Purple Skye Creations

You can’t go wrong with a fairy theme for a magical birthday. Use pastels, sparkles, and twinkly lights to create a mystical forest fit for a fairy princess. Choose one color to serve as your main decor inspiration and sprinkle in a few accent shades.

Purple Skye Creations decided to use purple as the star of the show. You could also go with a Tinkerbell theme or mix in a butterfly display. Make sure to have some shimmering wings for the birthday girl.

SHOP: Fairy Birthday Decorations

17. Moana


Image source: KEEPIN It Cute

One of the more recent princesses to hit the scene, Moana is a popular character that many young girls will know. You’ll find several birthday decoration sets that feature baby Moana, making it a fun way to celebrate your daughter’s first.

KEEPIN It Cute trims out the table in a grass skirt and colorful flowers with a greenery backdrop. You could also add LED (safety first!) tiki torches to heighten the Polynesian vibe. Make sure to have a singalong ready and let guests get a Moana tattoo, just like Maui.

SHOP: Moana Birthday Decorations

18. It’s Fun To Be One

It's Fun To Be One

Image source: Pop of Gold

Let kids experience going to a carnival when they come to your daughter’s birthday. Set up a popcorn machine, cotton candy maker, and fun carnival-themed treats you’d find at the fair. Pop of Gold uses a red and aqua theme, but any colorful combinations would work with this fun-filled idea.

Spell out the birthday girl’s name with giant marquee letters and place balloon bouquets all around. And plan to play some carnival-inspired games, like ring toss and knocking down bottles.

SHOP: Carnival Birthday Decorations

19. One Sweet Baby

One Sweet Baby

Image source: Coffee and Confetti Mom

How sweet it is to celebrate a baby’s first birthday! And what better way to do it than with lots of sweet treats? Use lots of colors, sprinkles, cupcakes, and more — this is a theme where a lot of your desserts can double as your decorations.

You can also do a Candyland theme like Coffee and Confetti Mom. It’s one of the most popular kid’s games of all time. Put colored squares on the floor to create a giant-sized board game. Make giant lollipop decorations, gumdrops, and more.

SHOP: One Sweet Baby Birthday Decorations

20. Golden Girl

Golden Girl

Image source: Inspired by This

Sometimes, simply choosing a color as your theme is all you need. Popular colors for first birthdays are rose gold or gold. Mix in white or cream to create a sophisticated palette for your daughter’s special day.

You can also go completely gold for a bolder, glitzier statement like Inspired by This. If you want to go the humorous route, decorate with some elements from the classic TV show, The Golden Girls. The kids might not understand, but the adults will get a real kick out of it.

SHOP: Gold Birthday Decorations

1st Birthday Party Games & Activities For Boys & Girls

Adding games to a party is a popular way to ramp up the entertainment and fun. When you’re dealing with a first birthday, there’s usually mostly family invited. So you’ll typically find kids of various ages and adults. Therefore, plan a few games that will appeal to adults and older children, with some toddler-friendly activities sprinkled into the mix.

1. Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Image source: Hxezoc

This game is a classic at kid’s parties, and it’s a special favorite of young children and toddlers. Even the adults get a kick out of it. You can get the original donkey version on Amazon or create your own to match your theme. For example, land the rocket on the moon, or catch the butterfly in the net.

2. Bean Bag Toss

Bean Bag Toss

Image source: Hostess with the Mostess

Little kids love a good bean bag toss. It’s a great way to test your skills, practice coordination, and have lots of fun. Hostess with the Mostess did a circus theme to match their party. Give everyone a few turns, and you can also offer prizes to the participants if you want.

3. Bubble Chase

Bubble Chase

Image source: darkscott

Bubbles bring instant smiles to kids of all ages. Get a bubble machine and let kids go to town chasing and popping bubbles. You can also set out a bubble station with various wands for kids to make their own floating creations. It’s an especially fun activity for an under the sea theme.

4. Make A Ball Pit

Make A Ball Pit

Image source: Lovely Indeed

You might be surprised how something so simple can provide hours of fun. Get an inflatable kiddie pool and fill it up with plastic balls. Throw a few large balls in like Lovely Indeed to add to the excitement. You can match the ball colors to your party’s color scheme.

5. Wagon Ride

Wagon Ride

Image source: lissart

Get a regular kid’s wagon and set up a wagon ride for your little party guests. You can place some fun props along the route for kids to spot and give older kids a checklist. If you have a farm theme, add some hay to the wagon for instant hayrides.

6. Themed Craft

Themed Craft

Image source: First Palette

Having an art project or craft for your younger guests is a creative way to keep little hands and minds engaged. Older kids at the party will especially appreciate being able to create something unique and help the younger kids. First Palette shows off some various party hats, but you can also make crowns, necklaces, swords, or anything else that goes with your theme.

7. Balloon Scrabble

Balloon Scrabble

Image source: Serhey Novikov

Balloons provide all sorts of entertainment possibilities. You can play Keepie Uppie (Don’t Let It Touch the Ground), a winner for even the little ones. Older kids can take on more of a challenge. Write letters on the balloons and shout out a word. Have the kids work together to find the balloons that spell out the word.

8. Toddler Obstacle Course

Toddler Obstacle Course

Image source: Lauren McBride

Set up a toddler-friendly obstacle course in your backyard, like Lauren McBride, for young guests to get active. They can crawl through tunnels, wriggle under tables, jump through hula hoops, and more. You can also add in a kiddie slide for a big finish or to make the perfect starting point.

9. Water Table Fun

Water Table Fun

Image source: Monkey Business Images

Water play and kids is an instant success. They love to splash, feel the water, and interact with it. You don’t have to get a fancy water table. Even a few bins with shallow water will do the trick. Add some bath toys, buckets, and scoops to provide lots of entertainment.

10. Cardboard Box Creations

Cardboard Box Creations

Image source: LightFieldStudios

For kids, a box is much more than a box. It can be a spaceship, robot, race car, castle, and so much more. Gather up a few boxes of various sizes and shapes in the weeks leading up to your party. Set them around with a few crayons and let kids go to town using their imaginations.

Food & Drink Ideas For 1st Birthday Party

Every good party has tasty food and drink options that cater to the specific guests. When you’re entertaining adults and kids of all ages, you need variety in your menu. Make sure to have some tasty, filling options for the grown-ups with plenty of kid-approved finger foods. The cake is typically a major centerpiece, but consider making a cupcake arrangement to make it easy for little ones to handle. Don’t forget to set out plenty of napkins too.

1. Smash Cake

Smash Cake

Image source: Belle of the Kitchen

The highlight of the menu for many first birthday parties is the smash cake. Everyone needs to snag a picture of baby pounding their fist into a cake topped with yummy, messy icing. Belle of the Kitchen shows you how you can make your own smash cake for the big event. As an alternative, you can also use a cupcake piled high with frosting.

2. Food Train (Fruits and Vegetables)

Food Train (Fruits and Vegetables)

Image source: Life with My Littles

Displaying food at kid’s parties in a fun way makes it even more enticing for the young ones. Life with My Littles creates a food train, along with themed snack names. You can make one easily with aluminum food storage containers and whatever toy engine you choose. Include tasty veggies and lots of yummy fruits (always a kid favorite).

3. Sliders And Sides

Sliders And Sides

Image source: bonchan

The adults at your baby’s birthday are likely going to come hungry, so make sure to give them something to satisfy their appetites. You can set out a bunch of sliders (great idea for a baseball theme) with all the trimmings or layout various toppings so people can create their own. Include some tasty sides, like macaroni and cheese and potato salad.

4. Mini Pancakes

Mini Pancakes

Image source: Little Miss Party

How cute are these mini pancakes on a stick from Little Miss Party? Kids love pancakes, and these bitesize ones make the perfect finger foods for a one-year-old’s birthday. You can even add some food coloring into the batter to match your party’s palette. Then, put a few on a stick for the perfect snack.

5. Cheese And Crackers

Cheese And Crackers

Image source: Sheila Williams

Toddlers love cheese and crackers, and even your one year old can start experimenting with different textures. You can set up cheese squares and various crackers in a variety of formations to match your theme. For example, Sheila Williams decided to make her platter match a Minnie Mouse inspired party.

6. Snack Pouches

Snack Pouches

Image source: Peanut Butter Fingers

Even the birthday girl herself can grab her own snack when you use age-appropriate snack pouches. It’s the go-to for many parents, so most kids will recognize these goodies on the food table. Peanut Butter Fingers set them out next to some kid-friendly cups of puffs. You can get fruits and veggie pouches, yogurts, applesauce, or offer a combination.

7. Crustless Sandwiches

Crustless Sandwiches

Image source: Max and Me

Finger sandwiches are a staple at many parties, but when it comes to a first birthday, you need to kick it up a notch. Decide on the theme, and choose some cookie cutters that have a complementary shape. For example, Max and Me cut their sandwiches into airplanes for their party.

8. Lemonade Bar

Lemonade Bar

Image source: Pam ❤ Cook

Who says you can’t have a bar at your kid’s birthday? A lemonade bar is perfect for everyone on the guest list. Pam ❤ Cook keeps it simple and elegant with yellows and whites. But you can also vary your options and offer strawberry lemonade, peach lemonade, etc. Kids will get a kick out of getting to choose their favorite flavors or experimenting with different combinations.

9. Juice Boxes

Juice Boxes

Image source: How Does She?

Juice boxes are an easy, mess-free way to add beverages to a young children’s party. But, if you think they’re boring, think again. Take a hint from How Does She? and decorate your juice boxes to match your birthday theme. Before you know it, your beverages are doubling as decorations.

10. Frosty Punch

Frosty Punch

Image source: Joyful Homemaking

A colorful, sweet drink can become the centerpiece of your food and beverage table. This easy-to-make ice cream punch from Joyful Homemaking is tasty and refreshing. Plus, you can change up the color to work with your theme. You can also change up the name to fit your theme, like Princess Punch or Moon Juice.

1st Birthday Party Favors / Treat Bags

Most people look for some sort of favor or goody bag when they attend a special event. Kids’ birthday parties are pretty much one of those things where guests expect the treats to focus on children. So, you can gear your favors on the kids in attendance and make sure to have a few extras, just in case.

1. Personalized Candy Bars

Personalized Candy Bars

Image source: Big Dot of Happiness

Adults and kids will enjoy a chocolate treat takeaway when it’s time to say goodbye. Big Dot of Happiness makes it simple to create personalized candy bars with your child’s name and age. Choose the color, and you have a coordinating favor for your party. You can also personalize smaller treats like chocolate kisses.

2. Buckets With Sand Toys

Buckets With Sand Toys

Image source: Mary981

Here’s a fun favor for a summertime birthday or if you’re going with a nautical or beach theme. Fill some buckets with a few sand toys and treats for kids to take home. You can keep a marker handy to personalize it for them before they go.

3. Sensory Bins

Sensory Bins

Image source: The Picky Apple

Kids will love these interactive sensory bins, and parents will appreciate the learning opportunities they provide. Fill a few small containers with various items that offer different textures. Picky Apple geared their bins toward older toddlers and preschool children, but you can cater your bins to your guests’ ages.

4. Bubbles


Image source: Tikkido

You can pick up bubbles at the dollar store and hand them out as-is after the party. Or, you can go the extra mile, like Tikkido, and jazz up your bubbles to match the party theme. You can also print personalized labels with a thank you note and wrap them around the containers.

5. Coloring Kits

Coloring Kits

Image source: Noodlehead

Parents will love that this favor will give their kids something to do when the party’s over. Noodlehead assembled art kits to match the theme using appropriate coloring pages and stickers, and some crayons. You can put them in a bag or clip them onto mini clipboards.

6. DUPLO Sets


Image source: DUPLO

Introduce little hands to the world of LEGO with a small DUPLO set, just right for one to three year olds. DUPLO features a fun fish set, among other creations. You can choose from a variety of kits to find one that suits your child’s party.

7. Mini Board Books

Mini Board Books

Image source: PIP

Small books are thoughtful and appreciated party favors, working especially well with storybook themed parties. But you can make this favor work with any theme just by matching the subjects and stories. PIP has mini board book sets that hold up well in little hands. You can break up sets to give everyone their own book.

8. Bath Toys

Bath Toys

Image source: Studo58

Everyone loves to get something they can use, and bath toys fit the bill for young kids. You could even give out mini rubber ducks dressed in your party’s theme. If you’re going to have a mix of ages, consider offering some variety in your favors so guests can choose age appropriate options.

9. Themed Sugar Cookies

Themed Sugar Cookies

Image source: Mallivan

If you’re looking for a favor for kids and adults, a delicious sugar cookie is an excellent choice. You can match them to your theme and even add a sticker expressing your thanks. These intricately decorated sweets are like miniature works of edible art.

10. DIY Fruit Loop Necklace

DIY Fruit Loop Necklace

Image source: Repeat Crafter Me

Kids never want to leave a party, but this favor from Repeat Crafter Me could help them get out the door. Set up a necklace making station near the exit and remind guests to build their favor before they go. Or, if you prefer, create pre-made kits with a thank you sticker for guests to grab and make at home.

Birthday Gift Ideas For 1 Year Olds

Choosing the perfect gift for a one-year-old can be a daunting task. There are tons of options from toys to clothes to books and beyond. And it’s not just baby you want to please, but mom and dad too. You want to find something everyone will love. If you’re opting for a toy, make sure it’s something that’s not only entertaining but adds enrichment and learning opportunities.
Board books, age-appropriate plush, and bath toys are also great options for this age. But before you start scratching your head and pacing the toy aisle, check out our gift lists. We’ve done the research for you and rounded up the best toys for one-year-old boys and one-year-old girls.

Dan Wiener
Hey there! I'm Dan, the founder behind Kids Love WHAT. I started this blog as a way to document all of the things that my 4 kids love: crafting, science experiments, good food, fun games and of course lots of toys! When I'm not busy chasing them all around, you can find me scouring the web to find the next best thing to keep them busy and out of my hair!