16 First Birthday Party Ideas That Are Fun for All Ages

Turning one is a momentous occasion for any child, and it deserves to be celebrated in style. If you’re looking for some fun ideas on how to entertain adults at a first birthday party while throwing your little one the best first birthday party ever, look no further. From classic activities like cake and ice cream to more unique ideas like a petting zoo or treasure hunt, we’ve got you covered. So read on for inspiration and get planning!

first birthday party activity ideas

Hold mini photo shoots

When planning a first birthday party for your baby, mini photo shoots can be an excellent way to entertain party guests of all ages. Set up a backdrop at a designated area for a photo booth in one corner of the celebration area, with fun props such as hats and fake mustaches that the guest can use to customize their pictures. Capture spontaneous moments from the event from individuals and groups, keeping everyone laughing and centered around a fun activity. The photos from the photo booth could even be used as party favors for guests, for added excitement and charm. Allowing your guests to capture special memories from the awesome photo ops is sure to give everyone memories that’ll last a lifetime!

Throw a petting zoo party

For all the kids and parents who love animals, what could be better than an up-close and personal look at some furry friends? Rent a few petting zoo animals to come to the birthday bash—think bunnies, ducks, chickens, and even goats! This is sure to be a hit for the birthday girl or birthday boy, and for older kids as well! Just make sure to have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand.

Have an ice cream social

What’s better than cake and ice cream? If you are having your child’s first birthday party in the summer, Have your local ice cream shop cater the party with a variety of flavors for guests to choose from. You can even set up an ice cream bar with a selection of toppings and sauces.

Pro tip: if you have the space, why not set up a kiddie pool as well for the children? It will provide plenty of entertainment for the grown ups and children! This is my favorite kiddie pool from Amazon.

Related post: 8 Of The Best Baby Blocks For Your Baby’s Development

Set up a craft station

Nothing keeps kids busy quite like arts and crafts. Set up several stations around the room, each with its own activity, such as:

  • coloring pages
  • a big basket nearby with interesting toys or plastic balls (ie. a makeshift ball pit!)
  • a station for making a birthday card for the special one-year-old

This activity is also great at providing a sensory experience to children!

Pro tip: make sure to inform the parents of younger children to keep an eye on them if you have small choking hazards at these craft stations.

Create a scavenger hunt

For your baby’s first birthday, give your guests a list of items to find or tasks to complete and have them race around the room to check them off their list. Make sure there are prizes for the winner!

Make it a Karaoke Party

At your baby’s first party, turn your living room into a dance floor and get the adults ready to show off their singing skills. Make sure the parents stand when singing, and let them know it’s ok to belt out to their favorite song! Have someone in charge of selecting songs and awarding prizes for the best performance.

Serve Smash Cakes to All

Why should the birthday boy or birthday girl have all the fun? Let everyone in on the smashing action with some mini smash cakes. This way, your guests can take part in creating a giant mess that you won’t have to clean up! This will make for awesome photo ops, and older children as well as little babies are sure to enjoy this activity.

Give Out Goody Bags as Favors

Send your guests home with a special gift that they can remember the party by. Fill small bags with candies, soft toys, funny glasses, or other trinkets and hand them out to everyone at the end of the day. This is a great way to thank everyone who helped celebrate your baby in this important milestone, and will ensure that everyone leaves on a good note!

Ask guests to dress up

Throwing a party for first birthdays doesn’t have to be all about the baby! Consider adding an element of fun for adults by asking them to dress up to the party’s theme. The host can get creative with the costumes and provide options such as onesies, tutus, props, or unique hats. This way adults will stay entertained throughout the event while enjoying the company of their friends and family.

Additionally, guests will get lots of great photo ops for both themselves and the special one-year old guest of honor!

Pick a fun theme

Throwing a first birthday party is always a joyous occasion, but when it comes to entertaining the adults, the pressure can be on. A great way to solve this issue is by coming up with an exciting theme for the party. Plus, having a theme for the party will make it much more interesting for adult guests (and kids!) who love playing dress up.

Whether it’s a luau-style party, where guests wear Hawaiian shirts and flower wreaths in their hair; or a pirate-themed gathering with swashbuckling decorations and a bubble machine; picking a creative atmosphere can really help set the tone of the party. Not only will picking out festive decorations make the event more enjoyable, it can also serve as conversation starters and create unforgettable memories of this important milestone.

Related post: The Best Montessori Books For Parents & For Children

First Birthday Games For Adults And Kids

In this section we’ll talk about fun games that can be enjoyed by parents as well as children.

Caterpillar race

In this game, the players must stand side-by-side, with their right hands linked to their neighbor’s left hand, creating a caterpillar chain. The objective of the game is for the entire group to run together at the same time until they reach the finish line in perfect synchronization. In addition to being hilarious, it also helps guests bond over the lighthearted competition. With creative activities such as this one, your first birthday celebration will be remembered for years!

Pro tip: If you have the space for it, place soft obstacles in the way, such as soft blocks to make it more challenging!

Bring Me

Bring Me is an age-old party favorite that all the guests can participate in. The game works best in a large, mixed-age group, so it’s perfect for a first birthday bash. The host will simply say “bring me…” and say a random item that the participants will then try to bring to the host as quickly as possible. The first person who brings the items to the host wins! This guaranteed fun time will definitely be remembered at every first birthday celebration!


For adults and children alike, charades could be an excellent game to bring them all together in honor of the special occasion. It’s a simple and quick game that anyone can participate in, no matter their age; ensuring episodes of laughter and fun. To best utilize the activity during first birthday parties, adults can select topics that would be particularly appropriate for either adults or kids, separately. This way everyone can feel included and involved in the festivities with entertaining charade games!

Musical Chairs

You may not think of musical chairs when planning birthday games for adults and kids alike, but this traditional game is easy to learn and extremely entertaining. Whether you have four players or forty-four, everyone can find a place around the circle with a chair. Then, set some upbeat tunes on the stereo and start the fun!

As musical chairs starts, so does the laughter, anticipation, and excitement as every player steps lively around the chairs in search of their ultimate prize – a seat! After playing a couple times (or more), you’ll find that even adults can’t get enough of this classic game. The end result? Your child’s first birthday party is guaranteed to be filled with plenty of laughs and unforgettable memories.

Related post: What are Practical Life Experiences According to Montessori?


Cornhole is a fun and exciting game for both adults and kids to enjoy at a first birthday party. This classic outdoor pastime, sometimes known as bean bag toss or “bags,” involves throwing bean bags through the hole of a raised platform. As guests huddle around the board, they can compete in teams or against each other to try and score points.

Every successful throw gives you the satisfaction of ringing that little bell attached to the target! Cornhole is great for all ages; it’s a surprisingly easy game to learn, provides hours of amusement, and gives children and parents a way to interact together on their special day.

If you have the expertise in woodworking, you can definitely make your own cornhole game, but for the rest of us who aren’t as gifted, this set from Amazon should work just fine.

Jumbo Jenga

A favorite for both adults and kids alike, Jumbo Jenga is the perfect game for a first birthday celebration with its exciting mix of suspense and fun. Its wooden blocks are sure to make the event feel extra special as it adds an element of classic charm. The towers that are created will be a spectacle to behold!

Although it’s an indoor game, it can easily be played outdoors if there’s enough space to accommodate its large block pieces.

With plenty of suspenseful twists and turns, as well as its forgiving nature when one piece knocks over another, players young and old will be engaged in friendly competition throughout the party. Even if someone isn’t great at the game, they’ll still have a fun time playing thanks to its non aggressive spirit. It’s definitely a must-have addition for any first birthday bash.

This set is half the cost of the branded Jenga blocks and works just as well!

What games can you play at a 1st birthday party?

First birthday parties are a great way to celebrate both the special one-year-old and their special family! To make it even more memorable, why not include some unique activites such as a book swap or even parlor games?

Depending on the age group of your guests, you could also think about having an egg and spoon race or dancing with hula hoops. No matter which activities you decide to go for, everyone is sure to be smiling throughout the party.

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