Two weeks ago, our youngest turned one year old. Our family typically does not throw birthday parties because we do family adventure days instead but the one birthday that we always make sure to throw a party for is the first one. Though we don’t throw huge parties, we do want to gather family and close friends to help celebrate our baby’s first year.
I love themed parties. It’s so much fun to try to put together various treats, games, and decorations to bring an idea to life. Pinterest is a mom’s best friend in this area too! Several months before the big day, I decided to use a sock monkey theme. I just love sock monkeys. There is something about their handmade charm that makes me smile. I think it’s an especially cute theme for a little one.
I spent the evening beforehand stuffing favor boxes with all sorts of fun goodies. I know that there is controversy over favor boxes and whether or not it’s “right” to give party guests a gift, I’ve always been a fan of sending a little something home with the children who attend.Our boxes had sock monkey themed notepads, stickers, bouncy balls, and tattoos. They also contained party blowers and crayons.
No, it’s not necessary, but it’s it’s fun and I enjoy making them. We had a variety of ages attending and I chose not to put crayons in the younger (under 3s) boxes, so I labeled them for ease of distribution.
For food, I wanted to keep things simple but also follow the red, brown, and white color scheme of the traditional sock monkey. I scanned Pinterest for ideas and walked the aisles of a few local stores and came up with a fun spread for the little ones. We do lean towards more natural homemade foods in general, but for special occasions and gatherings, we do allow for some fun things that we don’t eat often. We had Tootsie Rolls, chocolate animal crackers, pretzel sticks, peppermints, strawberry Twizzlers, and root beer barrels. My husband threw in a few bags of chips and we made finger sandwiches as well.
I always do cupcakes for first birthdays. It’s easier for little hands to grab and pick up. I’m not really a fan of the separate smash cakes. We just let our babies have their own cupcake. Sticking with the monkey theme, I made these monkey face banana cupcakes with chocolate frosting using this de-licious recipe minus the peanut butter frosting.
We have a large backyard and we set up a canopy outside, spread some folding chairs and kept everything open and free flowing. We aren’t super fancy around these parts.
I had several games planned, but the kids were having such a blast on their own that we didn’t do any of them except for the pinata. Who is going to turn down a chance to beat one of those and get candy?!?!
We let the birthday boy take the first swing. My sister in law tried to encourage him to hit the pinata, but I think he was really thinking that all of the adults in his life had lost their minds. Note the serious expression:
Yes, that is a hoe that my dear husband is holding the pinata up on. Keepin’ it real, folks.
My baby is one year old. Even with four children, I still marvel at how incredibly fast the time flies by. I’m striving to really let all these firsts sink in. I’m still slightly in denial. Only slightly. I may or may not still have the birthday banner hanging in my kitchen. Maybe if I leave it up, he’ll stay a baby for just a little while longer. No? Well, it was worth a shot.
What theme did you use for your little one’s first birthday?
*I want to give a huge thank you to Birthday Express for providing all of the decorations, favors, invites, and more for our little guy’s birthday celebration. They were excellent and the perfect touch to help me bring my sock monkey dreams to life! All party items featured in these photos are from their Sock Monkey Red collection.
*Graphics in title picture courtesy of Apples ‘N’ Acorns.