They say one year olds don't really understand birthdays yet, they don't appreciate the day. That a first birthday is mainly for the family. Well the look on my little guys face as everyone sang happy birthday is a memory I will cherish forever. He may not know what the day was for but he definitely knew it was for him and enjoyed every minute of it. So NO, a first birthday isn't just a formality for the family.
I decided on the Lion King theme way back when he was about 3/4 months old. Hakuna Matata was playing on the TV and my little dude gave his first proper laugh out loud giggle as he stared wide eyed at the television. He loved Pumba and Timon. Shortly after my dad bought him a Pumba stuff toy and the deal was sealed. Also Lion King is my favourite Disney movie.
My mom made all the gorgeous and delicious animal themed biscuits and they were a big hit with the kids.
Ben's birthday is in August a month notorious for it's stormy weather. The week Ben was born the whole Western Cape basically flooded and I was so worried we'd have to deal with the same the week of his birthday. Luckily the bad weather held out for the week after and we ended up having the most perfect, very hot, day. Not a breath of wind, which is weird for Strand/Somerset West. We decided to have the party at my aunt and uncles brand new house (they moved in 2 weeks before the party) as they had a large undercover area outside in case of bad weather.
Games and entertainment for the kids are crucial. It doesn't have to be expensive hiring of clowns and jumping castles. We had a plastic slide from Mambo's and lots of those colourful crazy store balls and the kids loved it.
It truly was one of the best days of my life. I loved seeing my little guy run around playing with all the little party guests, sampling all the sweet treats with icing all over his face. The astonishment and curiosity as gifts were opened and tiny fingers exploring every single gift. It was a day made of 100% happiness.
My tips for a 1st Birthday party:
- There will be lots of running around the morning of the party, picking up balloons, setting up tables, getting food sorted. Its a little crazy. Make sure you appoint someone beforehand that will be in charge of getting the guest of honour down for a pre party nap, getting his bottle in and changing diapers. You will not have time. And that pre party nap is crucial.
- Make sure you have enough food for the grown ups. After the complete rush of getting their kids ready and out the door on time for your party will mean you have starving parents.
- We had wine, champagne and beer for the grown ups but if like us you have lots of breastfeeding moms attending remember the ice tea and water.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY do what makes you happy. Kids parties have become the topic of lots of gossipy moms. You get tuned for either not making a big enough deal of it or for making too big a deal. "Party packs and favours oh my gosh what a waste of money" or "That party must have cost her a fortune. So over the top" This is your child's birthday so you do what you want. First birthdays only come around once.
Keep an eye out for PART 2: All about the party DIY'S