Planning a party/picking a date -
Something to take into consideration is who you want to invite (how large the party will be) and how many of them will be traveling. I wouldn't jump to send out invitations quite yet but if you have a lot of guests use a social networking site that many of your guests use (yup...facebook) and make a private event saying "save the date!" with just the date and maybe a cute picture of your baby. Wait until 3 weeks before the planned party to send out your invites.
A public park with a playground, the beach, you (or a relative's) house or backyard are all great ideas for a 1st Birthday. I wouldn't go all out booking a children's play-land, hall or a room at the YMCA. There will be alot going on as is than worrying about reservations.
Picking a theme -
Yes, it's your baby's very first birthday and it will be a memorable one no matter what but don't waste a good theme like pirates, princesses or a kids movie - they will want to pick those themes at an older age. Here are my suggestions:
Primary Colors - Red, blue and yellow plates, forks and napkins are easy to find. For a cake make a small round cake for baby red frosting, blue writing and yellow candle (see below for my cake theory) and a bunch of cupcakes for guests with frosting in primary colors. If you want to do an activity for the older kids at the party do a bean bag toss or twister!
Summer Bugs - This is Bear's birthday theme. I am making a little layer cake that looks like a wagon for Bear and little cupcakes for the guests that look like grass with cute little bugs. Blue table cloth with green plates and forks. I'll have a red wagon for presents to go in and doing pictures in the wagon for all the kids.
Little Cupcake - Have a large cupcake for baby and little dainty cupcakes with light pink frosting on doilies for the guests. Ivory tablecloth with pink cups, plates and forks. Have everything be pink and pretty (or use purple) The older kids can decorate their own cupcake with gel coloring.
baby's first birthday will be all about cute pictures and memories. I have an idea that baby should have his own little cake because who doesn't love seeing a picture of a little one year old with handfulls of cake and a huge frosting covered grin. Let him go wild with his own little cake while you or a friend go crazy with the camera.
For the food (conveniently) Bear is born in the early summer months when the air is sweet and warm. A BBQ is a wonderful idea cut up chicken ahead of time and put in freezer baggies with marinade. Depending on how far in advance you make them you can either freeze them or refrigerate until you're ready. Also dice peppers and onions and freeze as well. When you cook this you can either skewer for kabobs (easy for guests to grab) or just cook in tinfoil on the grill. Burgers and dogs are fun but a pain in the butt to keep up with when there are a bunch of hungry guests. Potato salad is also easy to make ahead of time and a big bowl of punch or lemonade and water will do fine for drinks. Some good flavor to add to skewers are button mushrooms and greek olives - yum!
This is all pretty simple, still easier said then done but it's nice to have an outline of what's going to happen ahead of time.
Good luck and feel free to post suggestions!
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