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#1 of 28 Old 07-02-2009, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm getting ready to plan my sons first birthday party. I don't want to have a commercialized birthday party and want it to be original and special. I tried searching online but all I can find are commercial themes. HELP!!!

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#2 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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We just did colored plates and cups, etc. We also got colorful banners that said happy birthday on them. We got everything at the dollar store, so saved us a bit of money too. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

I was also thinking about doing a summer/ Hawaiian theme since there are so many cute things out there.

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#3 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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our ds had his first bday last august. we went to a local "party store" and from what i remember they had quite a few non-commercial choices as we didn't want anything commercial either and we ended up with a "pirate" theme. it ended up being really cute. another good one i thought was "#1" and they also had different animal stuff too. just don't stress over it too much, our ds was just excited about all of the balloons, he could've cared less what was on them. you'll have plenty more bdays when they really know what's going on to stress over!!!!!
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#4 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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Your local party store will have solid colors.

You can also get these plates and have people decorate them as a party activity. Then, they biodegrade.

For DS's 1st birthday last month, we went to a park and grilled out. Everyone brought a side dish, and it was great. The kids ran around, the men stood by the grill and grunted at each other, and the rest of us talked. Very low-key, fun, and memorable. We did strawberry shortcake instead of cake.

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#5 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 12:55 AM
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Are you planning a big party? How many kids? If it's mostly an adult/family type party at your place, why not just use your regular dishes and cloth napkins? You can decorate with crepe paper and a home made banner. Make cupcakes and let everyone decorate their own. You don't have to do goodie bags. If you want to, do an extra cupcake for each person to decorate and take home with them.

Simple parties are great! :

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#6 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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DS turns one next week, we're planning a really laid back family party (I don't see the point of a huge thing as it will just stress him out.)

Our 'special' plan for this birthday is to have his grandfather make him a set of blocks, and have dd(age 7) help sand and finish them for him. We aren't big on the stuff, and gifts we think of tend to be things that will last a long time with a lot of use.

I'm looking forward to some yummy pasta salad and some summer salads, and maybe a smoked turkey breast. We'll also make cake, and have some icecream, but it's all going to be super low key.
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#7 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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We made a compilation video/DVD of our children's first year to show at the party. We also made a bristol board display with pictures and memories on it for the guests to view. We also had a big bristol board for people to sign and write a memory of the birthday child. You could also ask the guests to bring a memento or memory to keep in a memory box that you could add to every year. There are lots of things you can do for a birthday that doesn't involve commercialism.

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#8 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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We kept our DD's 1st birthday limited to family (aunts, uncles and grandparents) and there was no commercial theme. We just decorated the table with DD's favorite stuffed animals (which she thought was so great because being downstairs on the dining room table was a novelty) and hung a few paper decorations -- there was a loose "star" theme with the shape of the cake (homemade) and one of her stacking toys being the centerpiece so we used star cut outs and banners, but we're talking like 2 or 3 small decorations. Nothing major. In fact we bought one balloon to tie to her chair and she was scared of it so it stayed in another room.

Since it was all adults, the only activity we had (besides eating) was that we bought plain white onesies in 18M size and some fabric markers and asked each of her family members to decorate one for her. It was fun to break them out a few months later and let her wear them and now they're stored as a keepsake. Everyone just had a good time reminiscing about the past year, particularly since at that time she was the only niece/grandchild.
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#9 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
We made a compilation video/DVD of our children's first year to show at the party. We also made a bristol board display with pictures and memories on it for the guests to view. We also had a big bristol board for people to sign and write a memory of the birthday child.
I love the idea of being creative with the babys first year pics. The sign & write a memory is good too. I scrapbook, so we will be doing similar. We will be putting out a framed blank sbook page for people to sign.

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Originally Posted by maddycakes View Post
Since it was all adults, the only activity we had (besides eating) was that we bought plain white onesies in 18M size and some fabric markers and asked each of her family members to decorate one for her. It was fun to break them out a few months later and let her wear them and now they're stored as a keepsake. Everyone just had a good time reminiscing about the past year, particularly since at that time she was the only niece/grandchild.
I absolutely love this idea & will definitely do this. I already have fabric markers!

Oh yeah. we are doing a dog themed party. Yes we bought the commercial plates with dogs on it, but there is nothing involving characters. Just real pics of dogs.

 Wife of 10 yrs to Oaties, Mama to Bubs 08/06/08, Rizie 04/19/10 & MRae 02/02/13 & to dog2.gif

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#10 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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For my son's first birthday, we didn't have a "theme" really... I did make a montage at onetruemedia.com and had a dvd playing of his first year. We had a "game" where I made little posters of different milestones (a picture of his first steps, first solid food, etc.) that said "When did I take my first steps?" etc., and the adults could write their guess on the poster & we had little prizes (pic). We also had a "guestbook" where I put DS's handprint on the front, and on each page people could put their handprint (using a big washable stamp pad) and write a message for DS (pic). It turned out really cute. For favors, I had little pocket photo books made from snapfish with pics of his first year.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#11 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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I agree it can be hard, but it is possible. I found tons of animal themes, first birthday for boy or girl theme-all not character centered. But solids would be great too! Pick a couple different colors-or more-and mix it up.

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#12 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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Is it a kid party or mostly adults?

My LO just turned one and we had the party in a cafe and ordered a cake and bought everyone drinks or coffees. It was a kid friendly place but was fun for the adults...

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#13 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Same here. We are doing a penguin theme and making our own cake. I'm just going with black and white colors with some pink thrown in (girly for my dd.) I think I'll make my own happy birthday banner or computer generate it and I'm making penguin cookies and cupcakes. I don't really know what else to do. I thought about making a paper mache penguin as a center piece, but I know I won't have time for that. Look online for crafty ideas. I got a little something from the internet. Good luck and congrats on that first year milestone. :
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#14 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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DS1's party was just family, mostly, and didn't so much have a theme. I found printable invitation cards that had a border that looked like bubbles (blue and green circles). I also found a Richard Scarry picture that was a little pig blowing bubbles -- so I guess our theme was bubbles! It's actually a cute theme if you've got other little ones coming, esp. for summer -- DS1's birthday is in January so we didn't do this, but it'd be cute to have a bubble machine or bubbles as favors.

I thought it was appropriate because that was the first word he could say that we could really recognize.

I just bought plain colored paper plates/cups/napkins/balloons in shades of blue and green -- the invitations were the only thing that were really 'themed'.

mama to Joey (1/04) and Teddy (4/08) :
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#15 of 28 Old 07-03-2009, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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these are all really great ideas! I love the idea of the dvd, we don't have very many videos because we were stupid and didn't back up our stuff and we got a virus and had to wipe our hard drive. but I think I can find enough to make a short video. the party is going to be pretty much just adults and my two nephews who are 7 & 4. I have the invites figured out, we're going to do DS handprint on card stock and on the other side will be all the info. we plan on making our own cake but I don't want it to be anything crazy just a tasty cake. We were thinking about doing a knights theme but I don't know what we could do that would be easy and age apropriate. thanks for all the great ideas!

hippie.gifmom to DS 9/8/8 sleepytime.gif, married to my best friend since 10/15/05 love.gif, asl.gif,lactivist.gif, After TTC #2 for a really long time we're expecting #2 in December!  Hope to h20homebirth.gif, Doula in the Indianapolis area, PM me if you want to talk!

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#16 of 28 Old 07-04-2009, 03:13 AM
 
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these are all really great ideas! I love the idea of the dvd, we don't have very many videos because we were stupid and didn't back up our stuff and we got a virus and had to wipe our hard drive. but I think I can find enough to make a short video. the party is going to be pretty much just adults and my two nephews who are 7 & 4. I have the invites figured out, we're going to do DS handprint on card stock and on the other side will be all the info. we plan on making our own cake but I don't want it to be anything crazy just a tasty cake. We were thinking about doing a knights theme but I don't know what we could do that would be easy and age apropriate. thanks for all the great ideas!
If you have some time you could make him a felt birthday crown I disn't make one for DS for his 1st but I am planning to make him one for his 2nd

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#17 of 28 Old 07-04-2009, 04:01 AM
 
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Our first birthdays are minimalistic--cake and ice cream with extended family. I don't do themed birthday parties until they are 5. Until then, it's cake and ice cream with grandparents and whatever aunts can come. Invites were all by phone calls.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#18 of 28 Old 07-04-2009, 04:31 AM
 
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We didn't have a theme- it was special because our family was there. They're too young for socialization (I mean... to enjoy it in the same way) with other babies so really it's for the adults.

The only special thing we did was always have a no-sugar, 100% organic and natural cake for the baby to partake of. It's easy to find recipes and that's always fun.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#19 of 28 Old 07-04-2009, 05:18 AM
 
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Rainbows. I make a lot of fancy cakes, but the cutest one ever was just a plain sheet cake with light blue frosting, and a big rainbow in the center with tiny marshmallows as the clouds.

Multi colored balloons. Streamers, or playsilks. Simple, cute and colorful. Maybe add in some bubbles.

We had no theme or big party for either of my kids' first birthdays. Just a family dinner, a few simple gifts, and very healthy cake for the birthday kid.
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#20 of 28 Old 07-04-2009, 06:18 AM
 
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First birthday's here are really just adult affairs with adult food served on regular plates etc - for close family and friends. No theme.

We do a kids birthday cake and the rest is just adults socialising in general. DD's 1st birthday had a few more kids due to ds's friends, but I didn't organise games or anything special for the kids, they just played with ds's toys and had fun.

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#21 of 28 Old 07-30-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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Searching for unique first birthday ideas I love the making onesies idea :

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#22 of 28 Old 07-31-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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Don't put a sad face! It can be fun!

First, you don't *need* a "theme", but if you want to, they are only limited by your imagination! Let me think.... 1st birthday... Shapes? Rainbows? Bugs? Flowers? Animals? Water? Fruits? Pinwheels? Ducks? Hats? Go nuts!

I also think one of the things that "cheapens" kids birthdays (besides the commercial themes and later the competative games, junk bags, etc.) is the ton of waste- paper and plastic tablecloths, dishes, silverware, cups, etc. It makes it feel like the whole thing is just a quick and throw away event. Which I don't think it is. It is a special day! This year, I went to the thrift /2nd hand stores and got REAL cloth tablecloths and table settings. I made decorations out of cloth and rope (which came out amazingly beautiful- I had them around the house drying and ds1 woke up and literally gasped in awe at how magically they transformed the livingroom). I plan on putting some dandilions in some jars for table decorations. It changes the whole feeling from paper/plastic temporary and throw away to a feeling of substance and investment and things being real when you ditch all that "party" waste.

I don't do loot bags... we do a craft that the kids take home. Last year, it was decorating canvas bags. This year we will make bird-balls out of seed and peanutbutter. In the past we have painted flowerpots, done tie-dye, and painted frames. I've also heard of people handing out burned CD's of their kids favorite music and gave that to take home. Brilliant! I've heard of some people giving a book. Nice!

We do fun cakes. They can be anything- whatever you like. We've gotten ours frequently from Wholefoods and they are great. But I could totally see carrot cake or apple cake... Cupcakes or whatever.

I've also made DVD's of each year from photos. It is super at a party when they are playing. I also try to establish some traditions. We have a special birthday flag... And the night before their birthday, I tell the story of their birth and we look at the pictures.

Really- once you free yourself from the patry store and take a minute to envision the real, best party... it can be great.
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#23 of 28 Old 07-31-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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Since the last thing dd1 needed on her 1st bday was more "stuff", we asked that everyone write her a letter as a gift. I put the letters in a scrapbook. It has meant so much to go back and look at the letters - especially since my mom passed away a few months after the fact.

We will do the same for dd2's 1st bday.

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#24 of 28 Old 07-31-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Thats a great idea! 1 yr olds really don't need a ton of stuff .

I also suggest (for my "big boy" too) that friends consider donating to a charity in lieu of a gift. It turns out some do that and some bring a present anyway, and so he ends up with a few presents, but not a whole ton.

I often suggest Birthday Angels: http://www.birthday-angels.org/site/...d=70698&lat=en (which gives birthday parties for kids in Israel that wouldn't have them otherwise, so in their gift it gives another child the joy of a birthday party...). But there are LOTS of options. Another friend asked guests to consider bringing supplies for the local raptor center (sponges, paper towels, etc.).
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#25 of 28 Old 07-31-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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I just did one for my babe and we used solid colors. A friend of mine did the cake and did a baby that looked kinda like him on it wearing a bday hat, cute

Amy - mom to Anna-Rebekah 14, Logan 13, Christian 8, Ethan 7 and Adan 07/15/08
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#26 of 28 Old 07-31-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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for DD1 first bday we had a cookout at a local beach/park there was no theme, just family and fun, i made cupcakes and fit them together and wrote happy birthday allie with a letter on each cupcake. for the first party there is no need to stress about themes and whatnot if there is going to bwe lots of kids just plan around them, my aunt bought some shovel and pail sets and a ton of those foam stickers for the kids to decorate at her son's 1st bday, water balloon fights, squirt guns, bubbles etc and grab some party favors from a dollar store. if your dead set on a theme try something he's fond of like an animal he likes, his fave color etc. dollar stores are great they have really cool stuff.
heres a site with abunch of non commercial themes
http://www.afirstbirthdayparty.com/

Hard Working Mama to DD1 6/06 DD2 6/08 and DD3 7/09 :
Been With DP sense 8/05 doing what we can to survive
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#27 of 28 Old 08-01-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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How would you decorate for a regular adult party? Do that and put up some pictures of him and include a birthday cake. First birthdays are sooo not for the baby.
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#28 of 28 Old 12-17-2012, 03:31 AM
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Balloon party or a Curious George party would be a great option.

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