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  • Amy M.

How To Throw An AWESOME 1st Birthday Party That's Grown Up Friendly!!!

So…my baby is officially a year old!!! I can’t believe it!!! He was just born and I blinked and he’s now 1!!! AJ is walking, running, babbling, feeding himself, eating all table food, no longer nurses and drinks whole milk, he QUIT the bottle, and is now working to break his addiction to the pacifier. Also, AJ turned one and the tantrums kicked in. Now things are really starting to get challenging. In this post, I will be talking about how to throw a really fun 1st birthday party that actually caters to adults! Here’s how to throw an awesome party for adults and kids!

When planning AJ’s first birthday party, I knew there wasn’t going to be many young children his age. We wanted a small gathering since it would be at our home. Close family, God-parents, food, games, cake! Simple!!!


My husband and I wanted to keep the party small, sort of like a gathering to celebrate AJ’s first birthday. The small group of guests included our parents (AJ’s grandparents), brothers and sisters (AJ’s aunts and uncles), and AJ’s God-parents (he has 3 sets!). We figured that would be the perfect amount of people. The total guest invites totaled to 16 adults and 7 kids ages 4-15. The guests who were able to make it totaled to 6 adults and 4 kids. Small group, but LOTS of FUN!!!


We planned out the food ahead of time so we would have an idea of what we would need to get for the party. We ended up ordering trays of sub sandwiches, chicken wings, and fruit, with potato chips (plain and BBQ). For the drink, I made my favorite (and everyone else’s favorite) punch. We, of course, ordered a cute sheet cake for dessert. AJ enjoyed his own SMASH CAKE!!! Everything was delicious, filling, and there was more than enough! Everyone loves to take home extra plates! That means no cooking dinner when you get home! Your guests will love you for that! (LOL) Also, be sure to have plenty of cups, plates, forks, and napkins!!!


I wanted to keep the decorations simple, but they turned out really awesome and didn’t seem simple at all! I had a 1st birthday banner, a photo backdrop, a high chair banner and floor mat, and a 12 month photo banner. That’s it!!! But it looked great!!! The 12 month photo banner is something I just came across when I was looking up 1st birthday party ideas. Basically, it’s a banner with 12 photos for each month of baby’s life. How neat is that!


Since I knew most of the guests would be adults and older kids (not toddlers), I wanted to include some games they all would enjoy, not the typical musical chairs and tossing balloons around. I HATE balloons anyway. So, the games I included were fun and challenging for both adults and kids and they all revolved around the birthday boy!!!

How Well Do You Know Baby?

This game is where you list several things about your baby and have your guests guess the answers. For example: When was baby born? More challenging: What day of the week was baby born? Even more challenging: At what age did baby first sleep through the night? I listed several questions like these, set the timer for a specific amount of time (1-5 minutes) and the guest with the most correct answers WINS!!!

Guess Baby’s Weight

In this game, give the guests a sheet of scratch paper and have them write down their guess of how much they think baby weighs at the moment. Then, after hearing everyone’s guesses, weigh baby on a baby scale. (You can get one here!) After weighing baby, the guest with the closest guess wins the game!

Baby Can or Can’t

This game is where you list several things your baby is able to do and not able to do. Include ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on the sides for guests to circle one for each ability item. The items can include things like “run” or “climb down couch”. Have your guests share their answers and whoever has the most correct is the winner.

What Does Baby’s Name Spell?

Your guests will spell as many words as they can using the letters from your baby’s name. They can use only the actual letters used in the name. If there are two r’s, then they can use two r’s. Now, of course, it’s up to you if you want to just keep it at absolutely each letter used ONLY ONCE. It’s completely up to you! The person with the most words spelled is the winner.

What Will Baby Choose?

This game is SOOOOO FUN!!! Choose about 5 items that your baby loves (keys, bottle, pacifier, etc.) and have your guests write down which item they think the birthday baby will go to first! Once everyone have their guesses, show baby the different items. Then put baby down and let baby GO!!! What was so fun about this with my family is that if AJ went towards an item that they did not guess, they were screaming and yelling trying to get him to go to the item they chose!!! It was HILARIOUS!!! Also, you may be surprised by what your baby chooses because I just KNEW AJ would go straight to the pacifier. We played two rounds and first he chose his goldfish snacks and second he grabbed his toy dump truck. Who would’ve thought?!?! (LOL)


I also wanted to keep the prizes simple. I didn’t want to stress about what kinds of gifts to get for prizes that everyone would like. Plus, kids and adults would be playing so what would both adults and kids like??? CANDY!!! We bought packs of fun size M&Ms (Peanuts and Milk Chocolate) and Skittles. And that’s not it! I placed the fun size packs of candy in TROPHIES!!! We had trophies and gold medals to go with the candy. Kids liked the candy and the trophies and medals because what kid wouldn’t want a trophy or gold medal???? The adults liked the candy and trophies and gold medals because the trophies and medals made great party souvenir!!! Plus, what adult wouldn’t want a trophy or gold medal???!!!! (LOL)

Tie-Breaker and Extra Winners

Plan some extra games in case you need tie-breakers. I did a game of Jenga and WOW, that game got really intense and EVERYONE was on the edge of their seats!!! But you can include very quick and simple tie-breakers (pick a number 1-10, etc.) that doesn’t require a to-the-death battle (LOL)! You can also include extra prize winners like the first guest to arrive, last to arrive, etc.

Blessings Over Baby

After the games, we had a segment where my husband prayed over AJ and basically prayed for health, wealth, intelligence and success over AJ’s life. I loved this because it’s not very often that you see people speaking life and blessings over their children anymore. So many are quick to call their children “bad”, but to have a moment set aside along with our guests to speak and pray life over our son was very special. As a mom, I feel it is my job to continuously speak life and encouragement over my children. My husband feels the same way. Especially since children get their identity from their dad (which is why absent fathers leads to daddy issues). Dads give their children identity and to have a moment for a dad to pray over his son during such a special occasion was a great touch!

Time For CAKE!!!

We sung Happy Birthday to AJ and then gave him his smash cake. In preparation, we took his clothes off and left a diaper and bib on him. He looked at the cake, rubbed his fingers in the icing for a little bit and then it happened………He knocked the entire smash cake on the floor!!! All you heard was SCREAMS followed by laughter!!! (LOL) Good thing the 1st birthday high chair banner set came with the floor mat because the smash cake landed on the mat! We gave him the cake back and AJ went in on that cake. So much so that we actually had to take it away from him after a while. He wasn’t bothered by that because he had a TON of icing all over his hands, so he started licking it off his hands!!! We cleaned him up in the sink, got him back dressed, and moved on to presents!!!


We had a time for AJ to open his presents. The funny thing is that (like me as a child) AJ enjoys boxes more than the actual gifts! He did a good job, though, with ripping the gift paper off some. (LOL)

Photo Shoot!

As guests packed up extra plates and gathered their belongings, we had a photo shoot with the birthday boy!!! We used the backdrop to take turns taking pictures with baby AJ! It was like a 1st birthday red carpet event!!!

This party was a big hit!!! Bigger than I thought it would be! We knew for sure that AJ wouldn’t sleep that night, but apparently he was all partied out like the rest of us and he went STRAIGHT to sleep and slept the whole night like he normally does! I call this party a perfect SUCCESS!!!

Thanks for reading!!!

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Have a SUPER day!!!

Amy McCutcheon

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