Love, Joleen readers! It’s Carmen from The Blue Swallow and I’m so honored and excited to be back again with
you guys. I’m here to share a little bit more mommy craziness and fun
from planning our son’s First Birthday party…and what to do when older
us smiling after almost 4 months of chaos trying to plan our little
man’s First Birthday! If you can’t tell I had some more hair loss in the
upper right corner… If you’re anything like me, I plan, make lists,
check them thrice (not just twice), and stress on the day of the event. I
had no idea that planning a party would be so intense, yet honestly
rewarding. Though our son, Kai had no idea what was going on, I still
felt like I needed to set the right tone for the rest of the parties to
come. Right? Despite the theme, color scheme, and party favors our
biggest challenge was what to do with all the other kids coming? The
difficult part of celebrating turning the big #1, is that everyone else
coming usually is past that age. I initially had the attitude that the
party was for Kai, so everyone else needed to just focus on him and his
special day. Then with a glass of wine (thanks honey) I realized that
Kai wasn’t going to be doing much of anything and that would leave for a
very boring party. So we switched it up and added a few things to
accommodate our older guests. This is how we had a great party (I could
key if you’re expecting a wide range of children at your event. We
rented a nice gazebo at a park and it was near a playground (within
eyesight) so the kids had something to do while the adults talked and ate
(because that’s what we do haha). It was nice to have some space as well, I know the guests enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Since the theme was Yo Gabba Gabba goes Nautical (that’s common right?)
I decorated these sailor hats I had gotten off of Amazon. I used them
as table decorations, but they were a big hit with our older guests.
Each child could identify with the characters and wore them proudly the
who time! I didn’t realize they would be such a hit, but the hats also
allowed the children who didn’t know each other make new friends. I even
accommodated the party favors based on the age of the children. So
infants received board books and puffs, for toddlers play-dough and
accessories, and for the older children coloring books and stickers!
or a craft, do something that keeps everyone’s hands busy. For us it
was a pinata. You can’t go wrong with whacking an object in the air and
getting free candy (it works every time, promise). This was probably the
highlight of my day aside from watching Kai smash his cake. We did
smallest child to the oldest and they all cheered each other on until
the candy finally came bursting out (I love this picture).
I had no idea that my husband had arranged for someone to bring Corn
Hole boards to the park! In the midst of my chaos, I almost forgot my
adult guests too! Sure we all love to talk and eat food, but depending
on your location it’s nice to have some options. So this is just a small
side suggestion for those who want to enjoy themselves as well.
5. Last, but not least – Keep Your Party TIMELY.
Know your child and that nap times are essential still. I had the party
at 11:30am since I knew Kai’s need to rest around 2pm.
Yes this did
entail me providing lunch, however, I did do a bit of a potluck with our
families and had each person bring an item so we shared the load. I
don’t like planning parties that are too late in the day
where I feel like I can’t do much after the event, so this time was
perfect. This allowed for the party to naturally end on it’s own,
without me feeling bad that I had to leave and get the birthday boy home
for a nap. So whatever time you choose, work around your child’s
schedule – trust me every mom at the party was grateful to leave at the
overwhelming that I felt I didn’t get to celebrate the most important
person of all. The location, timing, and flow of activity was key and
kept everyone entertained including me!