Your baby's first birthday

Celebrate your babe's first year with a colourful striped fete.

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Photo: Jodi Pudge

Let’s be honest: Kids don’t remember their first birthday parties — but that doesn’t make the main event any less exciting. Plan a bash that you’ll love and that will make her feel special on her big day.

Start by picking a theme. We love the idea of choosing something timeless — think stripes, polka dots or even a specific colour scheme — to help maintain a fun (yet stylish) feel. It also makes decor a breeze; you can find lots of cute patterned plates, cups and tablecloths at your local dollar store. Plus, you can use striped fabrics and scrapbook paper to create inexpensive bunting, party hats, napkin rings and other details.

It’s easy to plan activities for kids when they’re this young. Set up a bubble station: Parents can blow bubbles while kidlets chase after them; an area with soft toys is perfect for younger children who may not be walking yet; and a colouring or block station will entertain older ones who are more active. Keep the party short (a big shindig can be overwhelming for tiny tots) — an hour and half is plenty of time for food, fun and a loving rendition of “Happy Birthday” from family and friends.

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Simple snacks:
Serve foods that kids and adults can nibble on: Fresh fruit, cheese, animal crackers and yogurt cups are all crowd pleasers. You can also dish up mini sandwiches, chips and dip, and bite-sized muffins.

Cheers!:
Water, milk and diluted juice are all you’ll need to keep tots smiling.

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Read more: How to make a striped yarn decoration! >

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Smash cake:
Many parents have a mini replica made of the real cake. This way, the birthday girl really can have her cake (and eat it, too!) while guests nosh on their own slices. Plus, it makes for a great photo-op!

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Party favour:
Many Glue a piece of striped scrapbook paper to the front of a brown paper bag. Attach “thank you” tags to a smaller piece of striped scrapbook paper. Glue one tag to each paper bag and fill with stickers and bubbles.

A version of this article appeared in our August 2013 issue with the headline, “Stripes party,” p. 22.

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