Eli just turned one. I know, I know, I’ve already written about it... but, to be honest, I am still getting used to the idea! It feels like just a few weeks ago I was nervously wheeled into theatre ready to meet my little bundle and now here we are; I have a ONE YEAR OLD, who says ‘IYA’ and eats raisins he finds under the sofa.
I knew when it came to Eli’s first birthday, I wanted to make a big deal of it. Not with piles of gifts or expensive decorations, but a week full of special touches, family time, and precious memories that will stay with us forever (Well, Eli can look at the photos! 😛) Along with some help from lovely mummies over on our KIDLY Facebook page (thanks, ladies!) here’s a guide to planning that special first birthday.
1. Make yourself at home
It's the perfect excuse for a family get-together. We spent the second half of Eli’s birthday week in Essex, with rellies he doesn’t get to see very often. We created a hot dog station in my mum’s kitchen, set up a ball pit for the mini people to play in and decorated it with photos and milestones of our little dude over his first year and, of course, a couple of balloons. Those simple yet precious few hours meant so much and all the fun and bubbles clearly wore Birthday Boy out - he left his own party 10 minutes early for a nap.
2. Buy investment gifts
Eli’s toy boxes were already full before his big day so we decided to buy one investment present - A play tent. The verdict is in: He absolutely LOVES it! We’ve filled it with cushions and a fluffy rug and we snuggle down to read before bed. It’s become Eli’s favourite hiding place too. Oh I WONDER where he could be – ha!
3. Let them eat cake & smash it!
I’ve always thought cakes were for eating, but for first birthdays it seems the trend is to get babies dressed up as cute as possible, sit them in front of a massive cake and encourage them to smash it up. I wasn’t organised enough to plan this for Eli, but they look like so much fun and, if you get a professional photographer to capture the carnage, you’ll definitely be bringing those photos out on their 18th. Alternatively, make one at home. Set up a party scene in the kitchen add the cake… then get snapping while your little one gets smashing...
4. Go on an adventure
If a party doesn’t float your boat, a day out is a great alternative. We took him to a farm and he was in awe of a crazy ferret running round and round in its cage. (Come to think of it, Eli is just like a loony little ferret, just maybe a bit less fluffy 😂) If the weather is drab, or you fancy an indoor adventure, a soft play centre is another good bet and great for including older siblings or cousins. Plus you may even get an early night out of the sprogs, if they wear themselves out.
5. Bag brownie points
I remember how exciting party bags were as a kid and I wanted to try and recreate some of that magic for Eli’s little pals. Without throwing tons of money at it, I was inspired by the simple things he loves to create special bags for his mates. In the end, they had a bubble wand, a light-up sensory ball, Barny bears and boxes of raisins. We hand-delivered some to friends that weren’t able to make his party too, which spread the birthday love a little further.
Keep up the great work!