You don’t have to follow a theme, but sometimes picking one makes it easier to focus on the colors, decorations and other party details. Consider these ideas:
Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Set up hay bales as seating, dress your child in overalls, serve a farm-themed cake, give party favors in metal buckets (to resemble milking pails) and play Duck Duck Goose with the older kids.
Circus Party. Delight your baby and all of your guests with the big, bold colors and entertaining ideas for this circus-themed party.
Over the Rainbow. Young children are drawn to colors, so celebrate them all with a rainbow-themed party. Set out red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple party supplies and decorations. Make a cake with a different layer for each color and send everyone home with a CD mix of children’s music, starting with your favorite rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Seasonal. Choose a theme that ties to the time of year, such as a Snowflake Party for winter babies, Sprinkles and Sunshine for a spring baby, Flower Power for a summer baby and Fall for Fall for an autumn baby. Hang handmade paper snowflakes for the winter party and serve snowman mashed potatoes and snowman treats. Suspend decorative umbrellas from your ceiling at the spring party and cover cupcakes with blue sprinkles to mimic rain. For the summer party, give Hawaiian leis as favors and set out a flower-shaped birthday cake. Serve owl cupcakes and foods made from pumpkin at the fall party.
Cupcakes and Cocktails. Yes, real cocktails. The baby will never know! Throw the party in the evening, serve swanky hors d’oeuvres and offer grownups a cocktail that matches the party’s color scheme. The kids get mocktails. Set up a cupcake-shaped piñata (compare prices) or make a pin-the-candle-on-the-cupcake game. Serve cupcakes that are more classy than cutesy.
Almost any kid-friendly theme will work for a baby's first birthday. Consider how you could adapt these birthday themes for younger guests.