LOTS of First Birthday Party Ideas With A Winter or Ball or Balloon Theme

  1. Send cute homemade invitations.
  2. Cancel party at the last minute when you find out that only one person can come.  Freak out a little.
  3. Throw together a family party the day of the party. Relax and enjoy.

Darn December birthdays.  I had every intention of putting on an elaborate first birthday party like the ones you see on the Pinterest boards.  I pinned and I brainstormed and I pinned some more... about the theme and the food and favors. So I'm sharing my ideas even though I didn't use them all. But I did put together a really fun (easy, inexpensive) little family party at the last minute, here's how...

This was Chase's first birthday, a December birthday, and I wanted to incorporate a winter theme and one of his favorite things, bouncy balls. Snow balls? Winter ball? I settled on just incorporating both elements individually. I used scrapbook paper to put a big schoolyard ball on the invitation, and I used a 3 dimensional sticker so it sticks out a little ...

Another cute idea for a small child's party is to write the invitation on an inflated, untied balloon, then deflate and mail for the recipient to blow up and read - here via Pinterest.

Another theme to consider:  "B is for Boy" theme combined with other B things (Bubbles, Balls & Balloons).  You could put a letter "B" block on the invitation, or Sesame Street style "This party is brought to you by the letter B".  This would be even cuter for a kid with a "B" name.  These are all just ideas - run with it!

I was going to make this balloon garland for the party, but I will have to try that for another birthday.

But I did get some Mylar balloons from the dollar store, which I thought was brilliant because they don't pop like latex (from biting as my one-year-old loves to do).  I attached super long ribbon so that he could reach them from the ground.  I also got those old school punching balloons at the dollar store (again, brilliant!) that don't pop very easily, and the older kids had a blast with them too. 

I got some bubbles so the older kids could entertain the birthday boy while I was making the frosting (more on that in a bit). One of the ideas I found on Pinterest was to make "bouncing bubbles" to go with the ball theme, I'll have to save that for another day.

One of his presents was a box full of various balls - bouncy, squishy, big, small - which provided some party entertainment too.

If we were having the full blown party I would have gotten a ball pit or kiddie pool to corral the madness.

For party food, I was going to do a soup or chili in the crock pot, and have hot cider and a cocoa bar. To incorporate the winter theme, I was going to make this coconut cream dip that goes with fruit and graham crackers, and put a little marshmallow snowman on the dip to look like a snow scape.

There's lots of winter food ideas, but it was harder to think of something to go with a ball theme... fruit salad with a melon baller?  Meatballs?  Sometimes you have to draw a line and just have nice food without overdoing the theme!

I didn't feel we needed lots of games and activities for a one-year-old and Chase was happy with balls, bubbles and balloons, but if we had more kids to entertain, I was going to let them roast marshmallows on the patio, and decorate graham-cracker gingerbread houses or cookies. Maybe even a shaving cream "snowball fight" for a lively crowd?  Our little family party activity was decorating the cupcakes which I had baked and filled earlier that day.  I saw some cute snowman cupcakes on Pinterest that we wanted to try...

from Pinterest

Now before I show you MY snowman cupcakes, don't judge me too harshly.

I was rushing.

It's OK to laugh - we did!

We started calling them our Ugly Snowman Posse.

Am I right?

LOL - we used Oreos and Rolos for the hats, pretzel sticks for arms, and Oreo crumbs for the coal eyes & buttons.  That giant gumball is supposed to be a ball.  All it would have taken to make these cut is a tube of black frosting, the ready-to-write kind from the store, and if I'd taken the time to make some carrot slivers for the noses (and pipe the frosting more carefully ).

That's a little better, although you can see a hole where  I used a straw to punch holes in the cupcakes for the ganache filling.  These may be a mess, but they were a delicious mess!

As ugly as they are, I am really pleased with the marshmallow frosting. I've never made a cooked frosting and this was easy, glossy and snow-white and piped beautifully nicely. It would make a great filling for cupcakes or graham crackers or whoopie pies (or cupcakes made to look like soft serve ice cream or sundaes). It was fluffy and not at all too sweet like I thought it might be. After a night in the fridge, it had the same texture and look but had a more meringue-like consistency with little air pockets. As you can see, Chase loved it!

If I dazzle you with adorable baby pictures will you forgive me for the Ugly Snowman Posse?  Maybe I should have gone with the ball theme for the cake:

From Martha Stewart
Even though it's a bit scattered, I hope this gave you some ideas for your baby's first birthday!

I have posted more of my Pinterest-inspired baby/toddler ideas on my Facebook page if you want to LIKE and follow! You also might like to check out my posts filed under "baby food" to the right...


  1. The kid seems to be enjoying these precious moments and its fun to see how is his relishing the birthday cake.

  2. Yes the first taste of birthday cake is always a fun experience! Thanks for visiting :)

  3. I followed your link from the marshmallow icing blog where bit was posted. I was naturally curious. I have to apologize, I laughed at your cupcakes after you said not to. ;) You did an awesome job on the marshmallow icing. It looks awesome. I hope to try and get around to making it soon. Thanks for the smiles.

    1. I'm glad I gave you a good laugh! I need to make some snowman cupcakes this winter to redeem myself. I should have said that preschoolers made these...


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