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1st Birthday Party Ideas: Best Themes for Children & Parents

Looking for 1st birthday party ideas can be challenging when it's for your first child and you have yet to gain experience with kids' parties. Here’s a comforting thought, your child won’t remember it. 

The first birthday is more for the parents and you get to pick the theme you’ll enjoy planning the most. Yes, it does have to be kids appropriate as your attendees will most likely include other young children and their parents. 

We have a few great ideas that will be aesthetically pleasing, kids-friendly and unbelievably cute as your little munchkin deserves. These are also themes parents can enjoy themselves. 

singing in party entertainment

Top 12 First Birthday Party Ideas for an Amazing Birthday Bash

Planning a children’s birthday party is no walk in the park, but once you pick the theme, things start becoming clear. Here are some awesome first birthday party ideas for you to consider as the theme. 

  1. Safari Theme

A wild adventure theme can be a lot of fun to put together. You can decorate your venue with jungle-themed balloons, animal cutouts, and artificial green foliage. Green streamers and leaves can also make a backdrop for a photo op. 

Consider setting up a mini safari tent with plush animal soft toys to keep the children engaged and busy.  If you’ll have a lot of children at the party, you can also organize a "safari scavenger hunt" where they search for hidden animal toys around your yard.


  1. Under The Sea Theme

If you are more into the sea than the jungle, go for the under-the-sea theme. You can decorate with blue and green streamers, pastel blue balloons, fish decorations, and bubble machines. 

DIY hanging jellyfish made from paper lanterns and crepe paper can be a wonderful addition. For table decor, you can display starfish and shell pieces and serve snacks in cute and colourful sandpails. 

You can plan a fishing contest for your little guests with magnetic fishing poles to catch toy fish from a small pool. Moreover, you can opt to set up a bubble station. Children usually go bonkers for blowing bubbles and playing with them. 

  1. Fairy Tale Forest Theme

A fairy tale forest theme can be super cute with the right decor. Think fairy lights, toadstool tables, and plush woodland creatures. To make it magical, hang delicate paper lanterns, artificial moss wall decor, and twinkling lights. 

For a special treat, have a storyteller or a gifted friend narrate popular fairy tales while the kids sit on cozy blankets and pillows, surrounded by dreamy forest decor.

  1. Little Farmer Theme

You can do an outdoor little farmer theme to have a unique party. Decorate your backyard with barnyard props for hire, hay bales, and checkered tablecloths. Add toy tractors and stuffed farm animals to bring the scene to life. 

If your budget allows, you can go the extra mile and set up a mini petting zoo with small animals like bunnies and chicks. Another alternative can be a gardening session where you can have kids plant a small flower in a pot to take home as a party favour. 

  1. Vintage Tea Party Theme

Host an elegant vintage tea party with lace tablecloths, vintage teacups, and pastel-coloured decorations. Fresh flowers in delicate vases or a floral centrepiece add a touch of charm. You can hire musicians to play classical music softly in the background. 

  1. Winnie The Pooh Theme

Winnie The Pooh can be a whimsical theme for a perfect 1st birthday party. Decorate with yellow and red balloons, honey pot props, and character cutouts. Use natural elements like branches and leaves to give an outdoor forest feel. 

You can play a fun game of ring tossing where kids try to toss rings onto honey pots. Themed snacks like honey sandwiches and "Tigger tails" (cheese sticks) will be incredible additions to delight your guests.

  1. Toy Story Theme

Recreate Andy's Room with Toy Story character cutouts, cowboy and space-themed decorations, and colourful balloons. You can get a few Mr. Potato Heads for the children at your party and set up a crafting station where they get to put the toy together. 

Setting aside time to watch the movie can also be a great idea. You can set up a projector and cozy it up with rugs and throw pillows for your guests. Pass around snacks and candy to make the experience even more fun. 

  1. BBQ Picnic

Set up a charming outdoor BBQ picnic with gingham tablecloths, mason jar lights, and picnic baskets filled with treats. 

Arrange checkered blankets on the grass for a cozy seating area. Make a small fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Kids will love it. A competitive game of outdoor cornhole, hopscotch, or sack race can keep your little guests entertained. 

enjoying birthday party

  1. Carnival Theme

Bring the excitement of a carnival to your party with striped tents, colourful balloons, and possibly a popcorn machine. Decorate with bright, vibrant colours and use carnival signs to direct guests to different activities. 

Serve traditional carnival treats like cotton candy, hot dogs, and popcorn to complete the theme. Create different game stations with classic carnival games like bean bag toss, ring toss, balloon darts, etc. You can hire a magician to entertain your guests. 

  1. Book Lovers Theme

Put together a cozy literary haven with lots of children's books, book-themed banners, and a reading nook filled with pillows and blankets. You can have a costume party and ask guests to dress up as their favourite book characters. 

Serve snacks themed around classic books like Harry Potter’s Butterbeer, Chocolate Frog, or Pumpkin Pasties. You can hand out bookmark sets as a party favour.

  1. Surfers Theme

Surfboards, beach balls, and tiki torches will bring the surfer theme to life. An outdoor sandy area with a sandbox can take things to the next level. You can do a sandcastle-building competition. 

Moreover, a water play zone with small inflatable pools and sprinklers for kids to splash around will be a sure hit. Serve tropical fruit platters and refreshing drinks in coconut cups to enhance the surfer atmosphere.

  1. French Café Theme

French café has the cutest aesthetic and vibe. You’ll be all set with bistro tables, checkered tablecloths, and Eiffel Tower decorations. 

You can play soft French music to add to the café atmosphere. Organize a croissant baking demonstration or set up a small painting station to keep your guests entertained. 

Serve pastries, cheese boards, and other French delicacies, along with a beautiful French-themed cake to feed your guests.


Final Words

1st birthday party ideas for themes aren’t to be overthought. You need to pick the theme that will best please your guests and you. Maybe represent your child’s personality in some way if it’s possible to tell the personality of a one-year-old. 

You can make the occasion more fun by hiring party magicians to entertain the kids that will be there. If you don’t have the budget to hire entertainers, you should think of some games to keep the children engaged. We did offer suggestions for each theme.  

Lastly, don’t stress too much about getting everything right. Party planning can be unpredictable in the best of situations.