Six months ago, my Little Genius had his 1st birthday party. I had made a lot of plans on how I wanted it to go, hired a deejay to make some fab music mixes, the dance floor was going to LIT! I even had him practising dance moves.
It took me a while to figure out a theme for the party. I wanted something that reflected his interests and personality, mine and hubby’s interests to suit the adults party needs as well. Unfortunately, I was going to be on foreign ground and I wasn’t very sure of party vendors, and guests. However, my sister in law was awesome and was patient through my very partic Lara requests about the cake.
To avoid a very lengthy post, I’ll just give the major tips to consider when planning a 1st birthday party on a budget.
- Figure out a budget
- Study and identify your child’s budding interests and personality. My son loved his car to bits and he was interested in music and sports so I swung that way for his party.
- Try to incorporate said interests and personality into your party theme.
- Decide on your cake. Are you baking it or would you hire an expert? This is the most important memory your child would have. It creates bragging rights as they grow older.
- Music. Give this some thought. Compile your playlist. Be mindful of content.
- Think party content for children i.e toys, games, etc. O
- Food. Don’t go all posh or overly creative. Keep it simple. Finger foods are great for children as they would be chomping at the bit to go play and uncomplicated foods for the adults are best. They do have to supervise the children. Not spend all their time messing around with 3 course meals and assorted cutleries. Decide which is best for you, cooking or outsourcing the catering.
- Drinks. What are children favorites at the moment? Try to get a balance and also provide healthier options. And of course, alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks for the adults: beer, wine, fruit juice, soda and water.
- Party Favours. Give this some thought. You don’t want to be the most resented mom of the year. Budget friendly favours include: bubble machines, stuffed toys, stickers, confectionaries and drinks.
- Decor. Try to portray your theme using balloons, plates, and little props that are child safe.
- Outfits. Be sure to pick outfits that are play friendly for yourself and your Precious One. You’ve put in so much effort, don’t let the outfits break your heart as a result of a minor accident which would be bound to occur. The key is comfort and class.
- Guests. Don’t invite only children too old to engage with your Little One and don’t stick to babies in your LO’s age group. A delightful mix is perfect. 0 – 2, 2 – 4, 4 – 6, 6 – 8. The older kids would chaperone most of the time. As for the adults, like with any party, invite a bubbly collection of personalities who won’t come over expecting a glitzy affair or a nightclub scene.
- Party Time. This is your Little One’s day and that makes the most important consideration. What time is he at his best after his first nap of the day? The best time for most children is between 1 – 4 pm. Most of them would have had their naps and you won’t have tired and cranky children to deal with. So let your guests arrive at about that time.
- Nap Area. This is important. Have a designated spot that is relative peaceful for this purpose.
- Nappies, Wipes and cleaning Necessities. You never know what would happen. Be prepared.
- Plates. Make the children’s plates disposable and non-breakable. Safer and cheaper for everyone.
- Presents. Designate a spot to keep the presents. And if Money is received, please pay it into your. Child’s Account. And if you haven’t created a savings account yet, what on Earth are you waiting for?
- Photography. You haven’t gone through all this trouble not to have photographic document for posterity, have you? I still look at my 1st birthday party pictures with pride and appreciation that my parents went through all that trouble. So decide to either pay a professional photographer or assign someone the task of photographing. It’s a digital world anyway and you can print and frame later.
- Pre-Birthday Shoot. There are arguments for and against. I didn’t have one for my son though and I don’t really think about it. You can swing either way.
Those are my top tips to look out for when planning a simple budget friendly 1st year old’s birthday party. Congratulations, if you are in the process of this milestone! Our babies sure do magically grow up on us. 🤷🏾♀️💋