A 1st birthday party is best kept short and sweet-lasting around one to two hours. Toddlers can get quite cranky, so it’s best to avoid overcrowding, and just keep your guest-list to a manageable number.

Arrange these fun things for the big and small guests:

Party Activities

Arrange dancing to the tunes of nursery rhymes for some musical fun.

In a big space, put out a large drawing sheet or several small sheets and some safe finger paints, and invite all toddlers to fulfill their artistic desires. Let them dip their palms and put their hand-prints on the large sheet. It’ll become a great memory of the special day.

Arrange for a baby pool and fill it with lots of multicolored balls for the babies to play.

Spread out lots of baby toys in a central space for the children to play, while parents are chatting or relaxing around on chairs.

One of the best party activities for one-year olds is bubble-blowing. Get a number of safe, colorful bubble-makers. Ask the adults to blow out lots and lots of bubbles all over the place.  Babies enjoy bubbles like nothing else.

For a big bash, arrange for clowns or cartoon characters recognizable to toddlers, for example Barney and Mickey. You may also arrange for a storytelling involving these characters.

Many parents organize magic shows, and puppet shows too, if older children have been invited.

A popular idea these days is to hang out a large framed photograph of your baby for the guests to write messages on. They can share their love and thoughts for the baby, for example why baby is special to them, or their fondest memory of baby’s first year.

Party Games

Make toddlers play simple games such as Ring-a-roses or Row Your Boat, if they are in the mood.

Create a memory book with pictures of your baby’s milestones, and events, which have occurred over the year, and see if your guests can point when these happened.

For older children and adults, plan games centering on the birthday child. Suhasi had prepared a questionnaire on her baby, about his favorite food and activities, the month he began teething, whether baby can do certain things like throw a ball, etc.  The guests had a fun time answering it.

Lastly, don’t forget to give out cute goody bags to the children.

Gift your baby a walker, swing, rocking horse or toys. Getting a bank account or a policy in baby’s name is also a sensible idea.

You might also be interested in:

Where and How to organize your baby’s 1st birthday party.

15 Goody Bag ideas for baby’s 1st birthday party.