Baby Shower

What to do at a First Birthday Party

What to do at a First Birthday Party is a question we get asked a lot!

Of course, Baby’s first birthday is a special occasion. A time to enjoy with family and friends.

Obviously, you’re having a party. But how to fill the time?

Well, our ultimate guide will help you decide what to do at the First Birthday Party.

This day is all about your precious child, so let them have fun! Above all, plan games that will entertain your baby. After all, it was their very first birthday!

How to plan a First Birthday Party

There are many factors to consider when planning your baby’s first birthday party. First, location. Will you be throwing a home bash or a large event at a themed venue? And consider your menu, the decor and themes and the length of your party.

For a detailed guide on How to plan a Baby’s First Birthday Party!, check out our previous post here.

What games can you play at a First Birthday Party?

Catching Bubbles

Without a doubt, babies and bubbles are a magical combo. Just watch the fun and enjoy the squeals of delight as your child chases the shiny, flying baubles.

You will need; liquid foam, plastic cups, bubble pumping machine or bubble wand

How to play; Give all the children a cup and tell them to catch as many bubbles as they can. Alternatively, if you don’t have a bubble machineor if you want an adult engaging version, encourage older guests.

A bubble machine may seem ott for a party, but remember it’s something you can keep to let baby have fun again and again. Plus, you can bring it out at parties or just to give your photos a special touch. Check out our favorite bubble machine here.

Get on the wagon

wagon ride for the first birthday

Yeehaw Mommy! If you’re looking for what to do at a first birthday party, this game is a real winner. Be sure to establish a fair turn-take system or all the little ones will want to go at once.

You will need; A wagon and decoration materials.

How to play; Either you can pre-decorate the wagon, or allow guests to do so as part of your first birthday party program. Just put up a sign, reading – turn 1 only!- and tie a balloon or two or ten, trailing behind from the side of the wagon.

Take the star of the show, your beautiful baby herself and take them for a ride. Get all the kids involved to make sure they don’t get angry while they wait, by chasing them with balloons.

Check out our favorite wagon here.

Ball pool

ball pool for the first birthday

Who does not love well ball pool?

You will need; a nice ball poola pack of balls.

How to play; Just fill the pool with balls, put the toddlers in, and watch them have fun! Most of the time, you won’t need to stimulate them as the balls are enough to get their attention.

However, there are some fun ways to change things up with a little twist for a great game for your baby’s first birthday party.

  1. Find the treasure! Hide some goodies in the balls, maybe stickers, maybe a baby friendly treat, a rattle etc. Let the children hunt for treasures in the balls.
  2. Ball fight! Pretty self-explanatory but this option requires close supervision. Maintain a calm environment to set the right tone so that children can have fun, without going wild.
  3. Don’t drop the ball! Gently toss the ball to your baby, help them toss it to the next child. Keep going around in a circle.

Soft game

A soft game is a toddler’s favorite place, it’s almost a toddler theme park. When planning what to do for your baby’s first birthday party, you may want to consider creating your own soft play if you don’t want to rent one.

You will need; Soft mat or blanket, soft play blocks. we love this set because it wipes clean (so important!) and is so versatile, it can be arranged in many different ways to engage your child.

How to play; Just set up an adult-free corner, with some soft mats, fenced off in a baby-friendly way.

Spread out your soft play blocks and let the kids play! Your baby has just turned one, this is a good age to start running or crawling on soft play blocks.

And the investment in a soft play set or two is more than what to do at a first birthday party. A soft play set is a wonderful asset, especially if your baby is on the cusp of toddlerhood. They will run around and be more active. Having a soft play set for them to spend their energy on, is a real lifesaver for you and great fun for your baby!

Water play table

You will need; a water table and water to fill it.

How to play; A water table creating a mini water park in your backyard! Little ones love playing in the water. It’s splashy and entertaining.

This is a low maintenance activity to play at a baby’s first birthday party. Either make a big deal out of it, open the place with great fanfare and set a time limit. Or keep the whole area running in the background, kids can come and go whenever they want. For some parents, this will be a great tool if their own babies are bored or distracted.

We love it water table. Buckets and spinners combine to create a rain effect that your baby can’t get enough of. Watch them thrill through the maze-like spinners, ramps, and buckets. And you can rearrange the pieces to create new waterfalls for fun or let your little ones try for themselves.

Pop up tunnels

pop up tunnels for the first birthday party

Now you know that your baby loves to hide and seek. Take it to a new level with our next idea of ​​which games to play at a baby’s first birthday party.

You will need; Pop and play tunnels.

How to play; Set up the tunnels and let your baby explore. You can make it an active hideout. Stimulate your baby by having another baby chase him and he has to hide and run. Or let the kids have fun with their own imaginations.

Band jam

All children love to make noise, especially babies. Even older kids will enjoy the next game on our list of games to play at a baby’s birthday party.

You will need; There are many children’s instruments. One of these packages will give you plenty of options for your baby and friends to choose from – and, they’re totally adorable!

How to play; Bring out the speakers or use your phone to play your favorite music. Hand out the instruments and let the babies join in. Don’t forget to record your child’s first performance!

Giant building blocks

what to do at a first birthday party

Get started on STEM while entertaining your child with a construction session.

You will need; Building blocks like this setcardboard boxes, pillows etc.

How to play; You have two options.

  1. Free game! Let kids’ imaginations run wild, let them build imaginary worlds and have fun defending castles and zooming off in space rockets!
  2. This option requires a little prep. Take pictures of your building materials arranged in several shapes. Can your baby imitate them?

How can I make my First Birthday Party special?

Remember that themes can take a birthday party to the next level. You both serve food, in the same place but suddenly everything is cool.

Keep it simple. At the end of the day, it’s about you and the baby. Of course, your baby is gorgeous and adorable. But they are a baby. Just keep it simple and they’ll be happy. Who are you stressing about? Your nasal neighbor Natalie with a nasal voice? Also, babies can feel stressed so stay calm for both of you and you will create some great memories.

Remember to work around baby’s bedtime. Always plan the party when your baby will be happiest. After all, a grumpy baby means a spoiled party for everyone.

And take lots of pictures. This is a special time! You want to look back on the joy and treasure the memories. Take everything in – but consider asking a friend to do it for you so you’re fully present in the moment.

A baby’s first birthday party is a very special occasion. Plan it well because you will remember it forever. Surround yourself with loved ones and their positivity, so you all rise to the occasion.


About the Author

Photo by Author

Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mother of three. She started Darling Celebrations in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating life’s special events.

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