First Birthday Party Ideas: 11 Incredible Themes

First Birthday Party IdeasCongratulations! You made it through the crucial first year of parenting. So are you fussing about the first birthday party ideas?

Having successfully completed this year with your child, we think you deserve a fantastic first birthday party This feeling can never be replicated by any other birthday party that you will celebrate, in future, for your child which is the reason why first birthday party ideas need to be immaculate and your fuss is justified!

Looking for a theme for the first birthday party?

Theme-based birthday parties are lots of fun. Not to forget that these days, they are almost a necessity. Themes are mostly driven by our child’s love for particular cartoon characters but for one-year-olds, often parents run the show. From Dora, Doraemon, the Minions to SpongeBob, we’re spoiled for choice!

Costume confusion!

Recently, at a kid’s costume store, a woman caught a salesman off guard by quite an oddly worded request. She was asking for a bigger tail!

“It’s for the two combined ideas for my daughter’s first birthday party – ‘Kitty’s day out‘ mixed with ‘Hello Kitty,” she explained to the several odd looks that she got.

Well, to make a similar situation easier for you and help you with first birthday party ideas, we have a list of themes you can try. Read on.

11 amazing first birthday party themes to try

1. Superhero theme party

So, you have a little one who’s your hero! One of the best and most fun first birthday party ideas for boys is the superheroes theme.

Costumes

Let your child wear any superhero costume — Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. You can either get it stitched or pick it up online.

Décor
  • For Batman theme you can have the batmobile poster printout with all the other interesting gadgets that he uses. You can have dad dress up as Robin!
  • For Spiderman, what better than creating a web in a corner of the room using thread and glue?
  • The Superman theme works well with printouts too.
  • Purchase Batman/Spiderman/Superman masks for all the guests attending the party.
Return Gifts
  • For the return gifts, you can have t-shirts or caps with the superhero printed on them.
  • If you’re in the mood to splurge, you can get personalised tees or caps for every individual child as well.

RELATED: 16 Amazing Return Gift Ideas For Kids Of All Age Groups

Cake
  • With options galore, you can choose between photo cakes or cakes that have figurines of superheroes on them.
  • If you want to go personalised, you can have your child wear the costume before the party, click a picture of him/her in the costume and use that on the photo cake.

It’s your choice, so go as creative as you want!

Games

Since it’s a first birthday party, we can’t expect the little kids to run around and play games. Therefore, the best way to get them all geared up is to involve their parents.

  • Paint masks

Get the parents and the children to paint superhero masks or paper cut-outs.

  • Stickers

Involve the children in sticking superhero stickers onto charts or posters on the wall.

  • Superhero chairs!

Play a version of musical chairs where parents have to hold their babies in their arms. Older kids can play the game without assistance. The winners get superhero-themed goodies and takeaways.

  • Batmobile!

If possible, rent a toy motor car and get your little one to make a flashing entry into the party riding on that.

Sounds like lots of superhero fun, right?

2. Cinderella, Frozen, & Sophia: Party themes for little princesses

First birthday party ideas for girls are as simple as a blink!

Want to know why?

  • The princess-theme rules! Girls love nothing as much as they love princesses and fairies.
  • Even their favourite cartoon characters are pretty fairies and wondrous princesses like Cinderella, Sophia the First, etc. One-year-old’s may not know their names, but they definitely recognise these famous princesses.
Décor
  • Pinks and purples are the common royal colours for these princesses. To make your idea a little different from the other first birthday party ideas, you can go for yellows and oranges too. But check with your baby first!
  • If you can, one of the best ways to decorate for the day is to make the party venue look like a palace. Have flowers and bows as part of the table décor and hang willowy satin curtains.
  • You can take colourful prints of the various famous princesses and stick those as posters on the walls. Keep the lighting of the room soft.
  • When you’re going all the way, why not have a little princess throne for the most important princess for the day? You can decorate a regular dining table chair or a sofa to look fit for a princess.

In short, throw pretty things around the room and you’re all set for a princess birthday party!

Costumes
  • It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to dress up a beautiful little girl like a princess. You can pick up a princess gown or frock for your little girl for the big day. The colour can be determined by the theme colour of your party.
  • Best is to inform the guests about the theme so that they can dress their girls like princesses too. We can never have too many princesses, can we?
Cake
  • Well, this is as easy as it can get. Every cake shop worth its penny will give you several glorious options for princess cakes. From standing princesses to photo cakes with princess pictures on them, you will be spoilt for choice!
Games
  • Make a wand

Involve the parents and kids to make a magic wand using craft sticks, glue, shimmer paper, and ribbons. The wands can have a star stuck on one end. The first team to make the wand wins.

  • Make a tiara

Make tiaras out of chart paper. Then decorate it as per your liking. The first team to decorate wins!

  • Dance with a twirl

This one is more of an activity than a game. The host/hostess teaches all the girls to twirl and dance using the frills of their dresses. With apt lively music, this activity leads children to endless giggles and fun.

Doesn’t it sound fun?

  • Bow like a princess

All the girls queue up and then walk across the room. Once they reach the other end, they bow like princesses. Even one-year-olds tots try this one.

Don’t trust me, try it and see

Return gifts

Princesses will take the tiaras, wands etc. that they made in the party plus you can give them small pouches with pretty clips, hairbands, and ribbons in them.

Your party will be a hit!

3. Dora and Doraemon

Although they sound like they’ve been created together–Dora for girls and Doraemon for boys, these animated characters have nothing in common. However, when we discuss first birthday party ideas, they top the list!

a) Dora

Dora is your little Sherlock Holmes-cum-adventure girl who helps everyone. If a Dora-themed birthday party is your plan, adventure, and exploration are the key words for you.

Décor
  • Dora’s face is extremely charming and magnified posters showing just her face can be used on the walls for decoration.
  • You can make a garden/forest kind of a layout since Dora is shown outdoors exploring the world. This can simply be done by cutting leaves out of green charts and stems and barks out of brown charts.
  • You can let your imagination run wild and create other Dora decorations as well. For instance, her bag and her pet monkey.
Costume

Dressing up like Dora is a lot of fun since it’s very simple. Orange pants, pink t-shirt, pink shoes, and you’re set! And yes, don’t forget those yellow socks!

Cake

The cake can be a Dora photo cake or a cut-out cake. However, the most famous one is that in which only the face of Dora is seen on the entire cake.

Return gifts
  • Dora’s bag is a good gift for this theme.
  • You can also give out pencil pouches with Dora’s photo on them. Do remember to fill the pouches with colourful stationery.

Doraemon

Doraemon is again, a problem-solver. So, let’s see how you can create first birthday party ideas.

Décor
  • Since Doraemon is a character who has no place-specific set-up, we have to go by using its face and colour code to decorate. Blue, red, and white are the colours of Doraemon.
  • Poster-size prints of Doraemon’s face and body are the best way to decorate for this theme.
Costumes
  • Dressing up like Doraemon would mean wearing a helmet like round headgear which most babies are uncomfortable in. Therefore, you can make your child wear clothes on which Doraemon has been printed.
Cake
  • A Doraemon photo cake is a wonderful idea, but so is dressing up your child in a Doraemon printed tee and using the photograph on the cake. You can check with any cake shop for more Doraemon cake ideas.
Games
  • Robotics game

As Doraemon is a robotic cat, this game will require all players to stand as statues, ideally in robotic postures. The last one to release the pose and move is the winner.

  • Making Doraemon’s gadgets

Doraemon is from the future and so this game involves making futuristic gadgets. Give the little ones some craft paper, glue, decoration materials, and let them create any gadget (or gadget lookalike) with your help. All participants get chocolates as gifts!

Return gifts
  • The choices for Doraemon return gifts are endless. Pencil boxes, bags, t-shirts, or caps, you can choose from any one of these and gift them to the children attending your party.

So Dora and Doraemon, here we come!

4. Underwater theme: Finding Dory and The Little Mermaid

This one is a fishy idea! Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers enjoy looking at fish and get thrilled like children from no other age bracket do.

Why is that?

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers enjoy fish in motion, which is why underwater, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, and The Little Mermaid kind of first birthday party ideas are always a hit.

Décor

Sky is the limit when it comes to decorating for this underwater theme. Glazed blue paper decorated to show water, colourful cut-outs to display the flora and fauna, and fish cut-outs hanging from the ceiling are all brilliant and workable ideas for this theme.

  • You can cut thermocol sheets as coral reefs and then place them around the room. Paper mâché rocks and stones will also show the underwater scenery.
  • Green seaweed can be created by cutting leaves out of green chart.
  • Keeping an aquarium in a corner will add authenticity to the entire scene. Plus will give children something real to relate with. Here’s one you can refer to.
Costume
  • Let all the children dress up as per the theme. They can dress as any underwater creature (fish, whale, shark, octopus, mermaid and so on).
  • For your little one, based on his/her liking, get a dress made or buy one suitable for the theme.
Cake

A blue-coloured cake will go with the theme. You can also opt for a regular brown cake and have smaller blue-coloured cupcakes to distribute to every child.

Try photo cakes for this theme. A photo of an underwater scene really works well.

Games
  • Paint your own fish

Provide fish-shaped cardboard cut-outs to the children with paints and other decoration material and get them to paint and decorate their fish.

Make an aquarium

  • Keep a large carton ready for this game. Remove the cover flap of the carton from one side. If it’s a rectangular carton then remove the flaps from the longer end (the width). Place the carton in such a way that it has a open front side facing us.
  • Now, decorate the carton with blue and sea green charts and crepe paper.
  • Once decorated, hang all the fish, painted by children in the earlier activity inside the carton. Use strings and a paper tape to do this. Your aquarium will look something like this.
Return gifts
  • A small canvas, paints, few shells, fish stickers, and a book about underwater animals is a set that you can make to handover as return gifts.
  • The canvas is for them to paint underwater scenery on. The stickers and shells can then be used to stick on the scenery. You can explain the concept to the parents while handing over the gift box.

Hope you have a fun fishy time!

The next few are simple, but never boring first birthday party ideas that you can try

5. DIY art themed party

Among the many artsy first birthday party ideas, this do-it-yourself art theme is great for those toddlers who enjoy playing and messing around with colours. One-year-olds enjoy simple craft activities and you can use this as your theme.

Décor
  • This kind of party requires no specific decoration.
  • A few balloons and artsy posters (kids specific) will work.
  • You can have a corner where you’ve pasted photographs of your child during this last one year.
Costumes
  • Kids can wear whatever they feel like.
Games

Since the theme is art, you will require a few things.

  • Colour papers, clips, foam, paint, colourful embellishments, and basics like tape and glue. Providing canvases is optional.
  • Children can create any form of art that they want out of the given material. Parents will assist them of course!

Just a twist

  • If you want a twist, the birthday child and his/her friends can stick candy to decorate the birthday cake as well. It can be messy, but it’s guaranteed to be a lot of fun.

High fun messiness quotient, don’t you agree?

6. Astronauts and space travel theme

First Birthday Party IdeasIt’s a birthday party theme for all toddlers who love astronauts, spaceships, and everything that deals with outer space. If your one-year-old does not know about these things, this theme party will be a good way to teach him/her.

Décor
  • Decorate a room like planet Mars (red all around with a few foam rocks and boulders thrown in).
  • Throw around a few cardboard space-rockets
Costume

Spacesuits, what else?

Cake
  • A red velvet cake in the shape of the red planet.
  • An astronaut cake works well too.
Games

Videos

  • You can have a video set-up and show how space rockets operate, file pictures of planet Earth and planet Mars, and space travel on the whole.
  • Information about our solar system. The names of all planets.

Colour the planet

  • Provide small cardboard or paper balls and ask the kids to paint them as they think the planets look like. Since they’ll have seen videos, they will be able to paint well.
  • Let them carry their creations home.
Return Gifts
  • Get the solar system printed on t-shirts or caps for return gifts.
  • You can also add a few craft items that will help them make their own craft rocket ship.

It’s a lovely theme for all those aspiring astronauts!

7. Adventure birthday party

This is for the outdoorsy! For high-energy boys and girls!

Décor
  • Take them out to a park, a hillside or any place outdoors!
Costume
  • Easy and comfortable clothing that you don’t mind your child getting dirty in.
Cake
  • A photo cake of the outdoors that you have chosen.
Return Gifts
  • Any game set that can be played outdoors is a good return gift for this theme. Examples are badminton racquets, cricket sets, regular catch-me balls, and so on.
Games
  • An adventure-themed party includes adventure games–treasure hunt and ‘I spy,’ while the set-up is like a camp.
  • You can also have a trekking expert come and teach kids how to tie ropes and slide under webbed ropes.

Go ahead and try it!

8. Chocolate-themed first birthday party idea!

No points for guessing what’s a kid’s favourite food in the world? Yes, it’s chocolate! So why not base an entire part on this theme?

Décor
  • Rented chocolate fountains can be the central decorative element for this theme.
  • Use brown glazed piper to cover the walls and stick pictures of the most common and liked chocolates by kids.
Costume
  • Make every child wear brown-coloured clothes!
Cake
  • Well, chocolate cake of course!
Return gifts
  • Gift packs or pouches of chocolate.
Games

Anything that involves chocolate (and mess!).

  • Open the wrapper

Whoever opens the wrapper of a chocolate the fastest, wins!

  • Decorate with chocolate

Get the kids to decorate mini chocolate cupcakes.

This theme is all about having your cake and eating it too!

9. Creepy crawlies party

This is from one of the theme parties that we’ve attended.

Décor
  • Based on the creepy-crawlies idea, the party we attended was held outdoors, in a garden but during dusk. You can do it indoors too.
  • Décor can be placards with prints of different creepy-crawlies like cockroaches, ants, grasshoppers, etc.
Costume
  • The idea is simple – dress as your favourite insect.
  • There’s scope to dress quite brilliantly. From grasshoppers, ladybirds, spiders, to honeybees, one can have many creepy crawlies crawling around the whole area.
Cake

Get a cake made as per your favourite insect.

Return gifts
  • Books about the various creepy crawlies and their advantages. For example, worms plough the soil, caterpillars turn into butterflies and so on.
Games
  • Make insect sounds

Making insect sounds with the help of their parents. It’s a lot of fun trying to make the sound of a beetle or a cockroach!

  • Crawl under nets

Spread net sheets horizontally around two feet above the ground. Get the children to crawl under the nets. The one who crawls the fastest wins!

  • Make a web

Provide thin ropes to each team of parent and child. Get them to create a spider’s web out of rope.

So, get the creepy crawlies moving and have fun!

10. Farm-themed birthday idea

One-year-olds enjoy farm animals and this is one of those first birthday party ideas that never gets obsolete.

Décor
  • Decorate the space as a farm.
  • Spread green mats or paper on the floor to denote grass.
  • Place a playpen in the corner to denote an animal pen.
  • You can also create a horse stable/cow shed out of cardboard.
  • Stick printed pictures of farm animals all across the space.
Costumes
  • They’re going to a farm-themed birthday party and children need to be dressed as their favourite farm animal!
Return gifts
  • Farm animals board games.
  • Stickers of farm animals with lunch boxes or water bottles that have farm animal pictures on them. These are readily available.
  • A farm animal colouring book and appropriate stationery along with it.
Cake
  • A cake with farm animals on it!
Games
  • Make animal sounds

Involve children in making animal sounds. Cow says moo, horse says neigh and so on.

  • Animal shelters

Children and parents have to use cardboard and other stationery to draw the shelters of these animals. The horse needs to draw a stable and the sheep, a pen.

The cake looks like a farm and there’s a room full of farm animals, this party is lots of fun!

11. Rainbow birthday party idea

One-year-olds find a lot of thrill in rainbow colours. Hence, it’s one of the good first birthday party ideas for them.

Décor
  • You have endless options to decorate the space in rainbow colors. Use streamers in the colour theme VIBGYOR.
  • Cut sheets of coloured paper in various shapes like stars, hearts or simply circles and decorate them on the wall in the shape of a rainbow.
  • Create an arch using rainbow coloured balloons.
Costumes

Get the kids to dress up in multicoloured clothes. Best is if the clothes can have all the colours of the rainbow.

Cake

● A multicoloured rainbow photo cake or one with a fondant rainbow placed on it are both workable and great ideas.

Games
  • Make a rainbow out of coloured paper strips.
  • Name all the colours of the rainbow. Take help from your mamma/papa.
Return gifts
  • Get a gift box filled with crayons of all the colours of the rainbow.
  • Provide a multicoloured sheet/set of sheets for them to use for crafts, decoration, and so on.
  • For girls, get rainbow-coloured clips/accessories and put them in a gift bag.
  • For boys, get rainbow-coloured socks.

Have a colourful party!

Just to conclude: Easy snacks for first birthday party ideas and a checklist!

Getting birthday menu ideas are another matter causing a lot of headache and stress, especially if you want the menu to go with the theme of the party. Here are a few ideas:

  • For kids, it’s always better to stick to the fun yet healthy options. Homemade French fries are the best bet in this regard.
  • You can consider other forms of finger food too. Like samosa, mini idlis, and cheesy corn balls.
  • Keep the main course simple and something that doesn’t need a lot of your involvement. Which is why avoid puris, fritters or items that need to be served hot. Try noodles, pasta, mini pizzas and of course, pulao.

Quick first birthday party checklist

  • Theme: If it’s elaborate, how much time do I need to prep?
  • Décor: Do I have the decoration in mind? Will I hire someone? What are the things that I need?
  • Cake: Have I ordered the cake yet? If the party is some time away, do I know which bakery I’m going to order from?
  • Costumes: Have I decided upon the costume of my child and the children who will attend the party?
  • Invites: Are my invitation cards ready? Will they be handmade, printed or purchased off the counter?
  • Return gifts: Have I decided upon what I want to gift? Do I know where to buy, arrange stuff from?

Answer the questions from this quick checklist and be well-prepared for your child’s first birthday party!

What are your first birthday party ideas for your baby? Share a few with us. Comment below!

Image credits: Vito FunFimb

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Mother to a five-year-old, Amrita Minocha is essentially a teacher. She teaches GRE/GMAT/IELTS verbal courses, English as a second language (TESOL), and Yoga! An MBA in HR, she enjoys juggling between diverse roles. A hardcore bookworm who aims to pen a book someday, she currently writes GRE verbal samples, activity books for kids, and actively blogs on the Flintobox blog.

1 Comment

  • mark1 events

    November 28, 2019 - 12:32 pm

    very nice article.thank you for sharing.

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