Simple 1st Birthday Party Inspiration

Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas

Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas

Our baby is one! {Insert weepy and emotional blah-di-blah about how fast time goes here….. }. Ok, on with the party stuff. Let’s do it!

To celebrate we gathered with family and friends in the last of the Aussie summer sunshine (though it’s technically Autumn) and paid tribute to the not-so-little fella. It was a gorgeous day, blue skies, bubbles floating on the breeze, splashing in the sprinkler and kids playing and stuffing their faces with sugar. You’re usual birthday party stuff! Here’s a few snaps of Rocky enjoying his day. Read on for some simple 1st birthday party planning inspiration after the gratuitous kid pics. 

Rocky's 1st Birthday Rocky's 1st BirthdayRocky's 1st Birthday Rocky's 1st Birthday Rocky's 1st Birthday Rocky's 1st Birthday Rocky's 1st Birthday Rocky's 1st Birthday

Super simple first birthday party planning

I kept things pretty simple for this party and it came together quite easily in the end (thanks to a little help from my friends and family!). Here’s how I did it:

{Decorations} Keep the theme uncomplicated – pick a colour or two. We strung up bunting in yellow and blue polka dot and placed matching tablecloths, cups and plates on the tables. Orange and blue streamers and balloons helped add more colour around the place too. I loved this simple streamer wall, it made a cute back drop for the cake photos later. Simply hang up some string and hang with your streamers in your chosen colours, twisting to keep each streamer in place. Tie some balloons at each end of the string and use a little blue tack to keep the string in place, if you like.

Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas

{Cake} Choose an achievable cake design for your skills. I made a number 1 butter cake decorated with yellow, orange and blue smarties, and some lactose free cupcakes for Rocky. I used the instructions in the infamous Australian Women’s Weekly Kids Birthday Cake book, the same book that I chose my birthday cake from when I was a kid. However I also found this video tutorial with alternative instructions. For lactose free cupcakes simple replace the butter and milk in any cake recipe with lactose free margarine and lactose free milk, which are now readily available in most supermarkets. If cake making isn’t your thing, outsource this job to an eager helper, or book a local cake decorator. There ain’t no shame in that!

Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas

{Food} Avoid main meal times to cut down on food preparation. We held the party at 2pm, afternoon tea time, and served pastries, including puff pastry wrapped cheese kransky bites, as well as tuna dip, pizza dip, fruit kebabs and fairy bread. Caramel slice and malteser slice were gobbled up quickly after the cake had been cut. People weren’t expecting lunch or dinner, and were well fed with this simple spread. I definitely recommend getting a little help from family and friends to supply the food. Thanks to Rocky’s Aunty Julie and Grandma for their scrummy platters this year, and a surprise sweet treat from my lovely lady friend, Kelly.

Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas

{Party bags and Thank You notes} Don’t go over the top, you’re not impressing anyone but yourself.  Kids like a sweet treat or three (or ten), bubbles are always a big hit, and party blowers are fun for a party, right? Sorry to all the mums and dads for that last addition ;P I never get around to writing thank you notes and posting them out, so instead I wrote ‘thank you’ to each little guest on their party box. We bought our party boxes from a party supply shop, however if you’re a bit more organised that me you can get great specials in discount (dollar) shops throughout the year.

Super Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas

Now… on to Hubby’s 40th birthday next month….. ! Give me strength!

Looking for kids birthday party inspiration?

Octavia and Vicky: Teddy Bear's Picnic Party ~ The Food

100 kids birthday party ideas

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party {via Octavia and Vicky}

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Fairies and Elves Birthday Party

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Toadstool cupcakes {via Octavia and Vicky}

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party {via Octavia and Vicky}Pebble is FOUR! Seriously. How did that even happen? She’s grown to be a wonderfully confident, curious, thoughtful and caring preschooler, who has an insatiable love for learning new things (like most preschoolers!). She makes us laugh every day. She makes us want to pull our hair out nearly every day. Pebble is a protective and loving big sister, always looking out for danger for her baby brother and giving him long, soft kisses on his “smudgy cheeks”. She also gives him plenty of pokes, squeezes and screams of alarm when he gets near her precious toy-of-the-moment. Watching them grow into their brother-sister relationship makes my heart swell big and tears come to my eyes.

But enough to that mushy stuff! On to the party! Pebble asked for a fairies and elves party this year, inspired by her love of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. We all love Ben and Holly in this house, it’s one of those rare kids TV shows that can we can all have a giggle at. I got a lot of inspiration from the craft and clever Kate at The Craft Train, who has been down the fairy party road before me. Thank goodness for blogs, where else would I have found all these wonderful ideas?!

As usual I was far too busy to get many photos, especially during the party. Before every party I think, “sure! I’ll be able to take lots of pictures myself”, then after every party I wish I’d designated a photographer. Dear Future Self – ask someone to be in charge of taking pictures!!!!!

Fairie’s and Elves Birthday Party

The decorations

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - tissue paper poms and streamer wall {via Octavia and Vicky} Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - indoor decorations - tissue paper poms {via Octavia and Vicky} Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Outdoor decorations - tissue paper poms {via Octavia and Vicky} Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - fairy crackers (inspired by The Craft Train {via Octavia and Vicky} Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Party Decoartions {via Octavia and Vicky}

I went to town with the streamers and tissue paper this year. How awesome are tissue paper poms? I had planned to make loads of these gorgeous, fluffy things, but ended up with only a few clutches of them. They were still stunning, if I do say so myself. I followed this tutorial and it worked a treat. There are loads of tutorials on You Tube too.

The streamer wall was simple and effective. I just bunched same colours together and tied them to a piece of string which usually holds Pebble’s art on our dining room wall. Done!

On the tables I placed some little vases of flowers (thanks Aunty Julie for the vases!), fairy crackers (also inspired by The Craft Train and which Pebble made) and lots of pink and red lollies in little fairy cups on top of a pink table runner.

The food

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Toadstool cupcakes {via Octavia and Vicky}

I made some Toadstool Cupcakes using red icing and white chocolate chips, put out loads of pink and red lollies and pink iced biscuits (VoVos and 100s and 1000s, for the Aussies reading). The legendary Aunty Julie made fruit kebabs and fairy bread, and big cousin Naomi made her delicious coconut ice. I didn’t get a photo of any of that because it was hoovered up by the kiddos lickety split! Aside from that it was the usual pastries and chips – you can’t have a kids party without a packet of Cheezels on the table, right?

Games and Activities

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Pin the Wand on the Fairy {via Octavia and Vicky} Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Elf Tree (Free Printable from The Craft Train) {via Octavia and Vicky}

This is the first year that we’ve had games at one of Pebble’s parties and we went for traditional games with a little fairy twist. We had Pass the Parcel and Pin the Wand on the Fairy. Pebble painted the fairy herself :)

We were very lucky to have Pebble’s super clever cousin as our face painter, which the kids loved. Thank you Naomi! x

The Elf Tree was a lovely little attraction in the garden, the kids loved going up to it and knocking on the door, trying to get the elves to come out.  That was another awesome idea from The Craft Train. Late in the party, when some people had gone home, Pebble and her friends started an impromptu disco in the lounge room and danced for ages. It looked like the best fun ever!

The Cake

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party - Gold and White Chocolate Ice Cream Cake {via Octavia and Vicky}

Oh, the cake! Pebble doesn’t like cake but loves vanilla ice cream and white chocolate – so I set out to make her a White Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake. I invented my own, no recipe required. Surely this couldn’t go wrong, right? Haha!

To make the cake, I melted a layer of white chocolate into a tin, lined with glad wrap, let it set, then added in a layer of vanilla ice cream, a layer of crushed white chocolate Tim Tams mixed with vanilla ice cream and finally another layer of vanilla ice cream. I let it set for over 24 hours and pulled it out in time to serve.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, that sucker had the glad wrap firmly set in between little creases of hard-as-a-rock white chocolate. I tried and tried to pull it out but it just kept ripping. All I could do was laugh! I knew my make-it-up-as-you-go cake had potential for disaster, so I just laughed and improvised! I hacked off all the plastic-ridden white chocolate, smoothed out the now melting vanilla ice cream, threw a heap of white chocolate chips on top (thanks to the genius that gave me that idea – Mel?!) and sprinkled it liberally with edible gold glitter. It looked beautiful!

It got lots of ooooohs and aaaaaahs as it came out for the Happy Birthday song and everyone thought it was awesome. I’d even go so far as to say that I’d make it again, just using chocolate chips this time instead of fiddling about with a properly set chocolate layer. I wish logic had told me to try that in the first place… .

When most of the guests had gone we pulled out Pebble’s new Slip’n Slide and the few kids still hanging around had an AWESOME time until it was almost dark. We bathed the kids, put them in PJs and put on a DVD, then enjoyed some pizza and a few well earned drinks ourselves. It really was a lovely day, and best of all Pebble had a FABULOUS time. Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make it a truly special day.

Fairies and Elves Birthday Party Slip n Slide

Happy Birthday Pebble!

Looking for more birthday party inspiration?

Follow my Party Party Party board on Pinterest

Octavia and Vicky: Teddy Bear's Picnic Party ~ The Food

100 kids birthday party ideas

{Christmas Party Planning} All That Glitters is Gold!

{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

Sponsored by Woolworths

{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne CocktailSomebody pass me a drink! Christmas and end of year celebrations are sweeping our little family off it’s feet. We’ve got back to back parties and catch ups and drinks and dinners. It’s fun and exciting and exhausting!

I’m taking lots of plates of food to these functions and with two littlies biting my ankles (one of them quite literally!) I am jumping at any opportunity to make catering as easy as possible. One of my favourite ways to please a crowd is to share a generous and delicious platter of amazing food. it only takes a few minutes to chop up bits and pieces but it looks great and is always appreciated by a crowd over a few drinks. For the most impressive platter I like to choose quality ingredients with unique flavours. Try these combinations for your next party.
{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

The Perfect Christmas Foodie Platter

Thinly sliced, smoked Waygu beef
Truffled salami
Farmhouse cheddar
Fig and walnut paste
Sicilian green olives
Sesame and black pepper wafers
Edamame, wasabi and sour cream dip
Fresh cherries
{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne CocktailOf course, some people are always looking for a little something sweet on the side…

Sweet Treats Foodie Platter

Salted Caramel Chocolates
Mince Pies with Single Malt Scotch Whisky
{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne CocktailI know what you might be thinking. Who’s got time to run around to specialist food stores to buy all this stuff? When am I supposed to make mince pies? And doesn’t all this cost a fortune?

Um. No. That’s the best part! I picked up all these ingredients at my local Woolworths thanks to their new Woolworths Gold range. It’s all about affordable indulgence. Yes, please! And if you haven’t got time to get to the shops you can shop online to get it all home delivered – including a lovely tipple or two to go with it!

Speaking of drinks, don’t forget to have something to wash all those delicious treats down. I have been having fun making the prettiest, sparkliest cocktail for Christmas gathering. It looks super special but takes nothing at all to pull together.

All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

Edible gold glitter*


  1. Pour a small amount of brandy into a medium sized ramekin, so that it is just deep enough to dip the rim of your champagne glasses in.
  2. Pour a little edible gold glitter into a separate ramekin.
  3. One by one, dip each champagne glass in the brandy, then into the glitter, to create a sparkly, gold rimmed effect.
  4. Drop one raspberry into each glass, followed by ¼ teaspoon edible gold glitter.
  5. Fill each glass with Prosecco.

*Edible gold glitter is available from speciality cooking shops.
{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

All that glitters is gold Christmas Cocktail 7

{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne Cocktail

{Christmas Party Planning} The Ultimate Foodie Platter and a All That Glitters is Gold Champagne CocktailThe bubbles create a gorgeous glittery display as the raspberry bobs and spins. Each sip gives a tiny hint of brandy, bringing a little extra Christmas cheer. These beautiful cocktails are very hard to resist.

Well, don’t I feel all fancy pants?! Now, somebody pass me another slice of Waygu beef…

What’s your favourite foodie indulgence? Read more about Woolworths Gold to find out what you’ve been missing.

Kids Birthday Party Inspiration

100 kids birthday party ideas

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Three year old Pebble is already planning her fourth birthday party (elves and fairies, apparently). And her FIFTH birthday party (rainbow…although this does change depending on the day). She still fondly remembers her third birthday party and loves to play “birthdays”. A lot. We are always making pretend (and real!) birthday cakes, wrapping presents, decorating the house and playing party games.

Pebble’s fourth birthday really isn’t that far away and I really should get my skates on. To get myself motivated I have collected over 65 of the most amazing kids birthday party ideas. There’s something for everyone! I hope that these ideas inspire you too.

First birthday parties

Perfectly pink first birthday party (Laughing Kids Learn)
Colourful first birthday party (B-Inspired Mama)
Beautifully simple first birthday party (School Time Snippets)
Pink lemonade and pinwheels party (Nothing If Not Intentional)
Rainbow bunting first birthday (Danimezza)

Mermaid birthday party
{Mermaid Party – Childhood 101}

Pretend play parties

Mermaid party (Childhood 101)
More mermaids! (Mama Pea Pod)
Fairy party (Childhood 101)
Clown party (Moments a Day)
Pirates (Adventures at Home with Mum),
Pirates (Mom Endevours),
Pirates (Coffee Cups and Crayons),
Pirates (East Coast Mommy),
Pirates (Green Owl Art)
and more Pirates! (Sugar Aunts)
Pyjama party (Seven Thirty Three)
Slumber party (Maxabella)
Space party (One Perfect Day)
Robot party (JDaniel4s Mom)
Monster party (Maxabella)
another Monster party (Sugar Aunts)
Princesses (Seven Thirty Three),
Princesses (B-Inspired Mama),
Princesses (Maxabella)
and more Princesses (Play Dr Hutch)
Police party (Seven Thirty Three)
Fire Fighter party (Glittering Muffins)
Soccer player party (Planning with Kids)
Circus party (East Coast Mommy)
Rainbow Unicorn party (Green Owl Art)
Carnival party (Maxabella)

Tangled birthday party{Tangled Party – Just for Daisy}

Movie, TV and Character Parties

Star Wars birthday party (One Perfect Day)
Super hero party (East Coast Mommy)
more Star Wars party fun (East Coast Mommy)
Octonauts party (Boy Mama Teacher Mama)
Snow White party (My Little Bookcase)
Disney Tangled party (Just for Daisy)
Superhero party (Red Ted Art)
Harry Potter party (Interation Imagination)
Curious George party (You Are The Roots)
More Curious George (House of Burke)
Pokemon party (Maxabella)
Tinkerbell party (Sugar Aunts)
Winnie the Pooh party (Planning with Kids)
more Winnie the Pooh party (Sugar Aunts)
Brave party (Play Dr Hutch)
Toy Story party (Our Crafts ‘n’ Things)
Angry Birds party (Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes)
Thomas the Tank Engine party (Craftulate)
Hello Kitty and Hot Wheels (Scribble Doodle Draw)
Tangled Art party (Coffee Cups and Crayons)
Mickey and Minnie party (Coffee Cups and Crayons)

Camping party{Camping Party – Ramblings from Mumtopia}

Outdoor Parties

Toddler outdoor play party (Mama Papa Bubba)
Beachy ice cream party (Mom Endeavours)
Traffic light party treats (Planning with Kids)
Garden party (Paint on the Ceiling)
Flower party (Kidspot)
Backyard camp party (Ramblings from Mumtopia)
Summer play party (Sugar Aunts)
Bubble party (Nothing If Not Intentional)

Space birthday party{Space Party – One Perfect Day}

Animal parties

Butterfly birthday party (Learn with Play at Home)
Zoo party (Dirt and Boogers)
Turtle party (School Time Snippets)
Farm party (Maxabella)
Dinosaur party (Inspired by Famila)
Bird party (Buggy and Buddy)

Traffic Light Cookies{Cars Party – Red Ted Art}

Things that go parties

Cars party (Red Ted Art)
Pixar cars party (See Vanessa Craft)
Racing car party (East Coast Mommy)
Train birthday party (Mom Endeavours)
Garbage truck party (Boy Mama Teacher Mama)

Dinosoaur Party{Dinosaur Party – Inspired by Familia}

Stories, art, colour and music parties

Very Hungry Caterpillar party (Learn with Play at Home)
Gruffalo party (Mama Pea Pod)
Alphabet party (Learn with Play at Home)
Song and rhyme party (My Little Bookcase)
Yellow art party (Learning to Play and Playing to Learn)
Rockin’ drum and music party (Sugar Aunts)
Music party (East Coast Mommy)
Teddy Bears Picnic party (Octavia and Vicky)
Nursery rhyme party (Crafty Moms Share)
Pink heart afternoon tea party (BabyMac)
Henna party (Putti’s World)
Pink party (Maxabella)
Rainbow Party (Mess for Less)
Yep, another rainbow party (BabyMac)
Another Rainbow party! (Mama Pea Pod)
More rainbows! (Maxabella)

Picture 32{Garden Party – Paint on the Ceiling}

Lego parties

Lego party (B-Inspired Mama)
More Lego fun (The Pleasantest Thing)
Lego again! (Babyology)

Lego party{Lego Party – Babyology}

Party Planning Tips and Tricks

Pinterest party planning pitfalls to avoid (Childhood 101)
Parties with Kids E-book  (Planning with Kids)
Toddler party planning tips (Creative Play House)
A guide to kids parties (Wouldn’t It Be Loverly)
Simple birthday celebrations and traditions (Inspired by Famila)
How to host a kids party and still stay sane (Fat Mum Slim)
Choosing a party theme they will love (Inspired by Familia)
20 birthday questions to ask every year (Milk and Cuddles)
How to make your own invitations (Nothing If Not Intentional)
Planning a one of a kind party (The Playtime Press)

What kind of party would your kids love for their next birthday? Got birthday ideas to share? Please link them up in the comments. 

Clown Birthday Party


For my son’s third birthday we had so much fun putting on a clown themed birthday party. Because our son had everything he needed, and would receive a few fun gifts from his immediate family, we asked our party guests to bring an anonymous donation for the Clown Doctors charity instead of a gift. Clown Doctors visit children in hospitals and spread so much happiness when families are going through very challenging times, so we felt this was a fun way for him to receive one of the best gifts of all: the joy of giving. After the party I simply counted up the money and made the donation online at the Clown Doctors Website.


When guests arrived, they came to our Welcome Table where we had a jar for donations and a poster about the Clown Doctors and what they do. To add a bit of fun for the parents, I filled up a container with candies and had everyone add their own guess for how many pieces were inside. The closest guess got to take the candy home! I also displayed my son’s birthday album and a slideshow of pictures from the past year, for memorabilia sake.

clown photo booth

Then we pointed them to our Funny Clown Photo Booth. Each child got to pick out a red foam clown nose and a birthday hat, and we took their photo as a clown. I later sent these to the parents as a “Thank You” for coming.
The booth was quite easy to make. We used: a large cardboard box, white paper + colored paper, pencil + eraser, tape, glue, scissors, and stapler.
First we prepared our box with the top side opened up, and gathered white paper to cover one side (we taped nine sheets of recycled white printer paper). Then we traced my son in a pose.
We looked at pictures of clowns online to get ideas of different costumes, then we made an outline for our clown clothes using our son’s body outline for proportions. After cutting out the colored paper in the pattern of the clothes, we then glued it onto the white background. Last, we stapled the picture onto the box and it was ready to go! We also set up a little stool for the kids to stand on if they needed some extra height to get their head to the top of the box.
The kids had a lot of fun wearing the wig and making faces for their photos.

party activities

After getting their photo booth picture taken, the kids were welcome to roam around to the various “stations” we had set up, including:

  • Clown coloring sheets (available on the clown docs website).
  • Pin the Nose on the Clown
  • Strings with donuts to hang up
  • Bubble station
  • Chalk Station
  • Sand pit, balls, and outside toys
  • Baby/toddler toys and blocks on the carpet inside for younger siblings

About an hour after the party began we had a surprise visit from a “Clown Doctor,” which was my husband in a scrubs shirt with some doctor gear otherwise dressed up as a clown. He did a few tricks and sang a song, and then made me “disappear” behind a sliding door. The finale was me reappearing after the kids said the magic words, with the birthday cake in hand.


We had a regular cake and lots of party food, but the best treat was definitely the clown cupcakes. These were very easy to make but they did take a bit of time to prepare. First I made the cupcakes and let them cool completely. Then I decorated the faces with various candies on white store-bought icing. I colored a bit of icing for the “hair” by mixing in some food coloring, then used it to stick a cone on for a hat. I added a few dots of icing with candies to decorate the hats, then I put all the finished cupcakes into the fridge for about 2 hours. This helped the icing set so that the candies and hats would stay on. (It was a very hot day and otherwise everything would have slid off!)

In our family we try to give party favors that are useful as well as fun. Since my son has been enjoying learning jokes lately, and our theme for the party was Clown Doctors, I decided to make a little joke booklet for all the kids. We called it “Little Book of Smiles” and subtitled it “Laughter is the best medicine” to relate to our theme.
I searched for jokes online and chose a small clip art picture related to each one, making four pages for every sheet of paper. Altogether the booklet took two sheets of paper plus a bit of ribbon to tie the pages together. We also stuck a popper in each booklet.

It was a very fun party and very rewarding for all of us to make a contribution to the Clown Doctors at the end. To find more service-themed birthday parties, visit this post for over 15 ideas.

Chelsea is a mom of two boys under 5 and blogs at, sharing ideas for families to connect and build character. She believes in using small moments throughout the day to help children learn how to use their head, heart, and hands to make the world a better place.
You can follow Chelsea on on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.