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First Birthday Party Theme Ideas

Updated on March 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Little One!

Well, you’ve made it through your first year of parenthood. Congratulations, you deserve a party! Of course, you won’t be the guest of honor, and everyone will be oohing and ahhing over the cute toddler smooshing his first piece of cake into his mouth, but it is fun all the same.

Baby's first birthday party is really more for the adults in a child’s life, and we all want the big event to be memorable – at least for us! Choosing the right first birthday theme helps you pull together a party that your little one will enjoy as much as you do.


Favorite Characters

If your child has a nursery with a specific character theme (such as Winnie the Pooh or Sesame Street), you may want to design a party that features this character. You can display his collection of Pooh stuffed animals, for instance, and buy party ware online or from a party supply store. These supplies are easy to find, and you can supplement them with streamers and balloons in complementary colors. Odds are, you'll also receive lots of baby gifts in this theme as well!



Babies and toddlers absolutely love bright, bold colors. So why not take this inspiration and make that your theme?

You can use solid colored streamers, balloons, and other decorations, have a rainbow colored cake or cupcakes, and give bright crayons and coloring books as birthday party favors for children in attendance.

The benefit of a color theme party is that it is very simple and will immediately create a child-friendly environment.


Old MacDonald Had a Farm or Zoo Animals

Children adore cute, cuddly farm and zoo animals, and you likely have your share of stuffed buddies around the house. Use these to create a farm themed birthday party for your child. Display their bears, horses, cats, and dogs, and opt for either farm or zoo-themed party ware. You can play duck-duck-goose with older children and sing a round or two of Old MacDonald had a farm. For a zoo theme, have a piñata for older children – but make sure anything in the piñata is large enough to prevent toddlers from choking if they get their hands on it.


Just Ducky

You can create a rubber ducky theme for a fun summer party. Fill up a wading pool and put in some rubber ducky squirters of all sizes. Your child can splash her way through her party.

You can easily find duck party favors, cake molds, tableware, and decorations.

Get creative and have fun with the theme. You can even give little ducky favors and ask for duck-related birthday gifts.

Birthday Theme Tips


Babies, kids, and adults for that matter, are fascinated with bubbles. You can create a bubbly look with clear or light colored balloons, buy an inexpensive bubble machine or battery-operated wand that produces a lot of bubbles, or supply your guests with a bottle of bubbles and a wand. Your one year old will love to watch the bubbles, and you can entertain the older children by having them create bubble art. Add drops of food coloring to bubble solution and pour it into a bowl. The children use straws to blow bubbles, and when they reach the top of the bowl, they place a piece of paper on top of the bubbles.


Final Thoughts

A first birthday party doesn’t require a theme: simply having lots of balloons (safely out of baby’s reach), colorful streamers, toys, and that tempting cake are enough to delight any one year old. But a theme can help you create a memorable party that you can look back on when your child is older.

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Which first birthday party theme idea is your favorite?

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      It's great I came across your hub. My baby is about to celebrate her 1st birthday. Of course, many will say that my daughter will not remember it and it's more for the parents, relatives and friends. But as a first time dad, i want it to be memorable at least for my wife and I. You certainly have great suggestions here. We are going with the princess theme. Girls must wear princess costumes and boys must be in a prince or knight costume. I'm thinking of going as a jedi Knight - that counts right? LOL

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 6 years ago

      LOVE Pooh and Elmo for first birthday party themes, but you have so many great ideas here. An Old MacDonald farm theme would be adorable too.

    • profile image

      Ana Gajic 6 years ago

      Great ideas, and even better hub:) I'd go for favorite characters:):):)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      What cool ideas! Since I love animals, I especially like the Old McDonald birthday theme. Voted up!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      These are all great ideas! I especially love the Winnie the Pooh and duck themes. My cousin and her husband decorated their little boy's room in Winnie the Pooh when he was a baby. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, this was beautiful! what a great hub! the first birthday is always one of the best! cheers nell

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 6 years ago from Minnesota

      My son's first birthday was Sesame Street themed. We had a Big Bird and Ernie cake for the adults, and my son had his own cupcake to destroy. It was hilarious to see him smoosh it into his face!