I’ve been noticing that two of my old posts about Finn’s two year old Elmo Party and three year old pirate party are getting a warm reception, so I took some time to dig out the photos from his sock monkey themed first birthday party. I hope you find lots of ideas and inspiration.
Deciding on a theme for a party for a one year old is hard because they usually haven’t expressed a strong preference for anything yet. Whatever you choose, it’s guaranteed that by the time their birthday actually comes around they’ll be into something else anyway.
As before, all the credit for the planning, creativity and execution of the sock monkey theme goes to my wife. I mostly just took the pictures.
I’ve learnt that for a child’s birthday party the decorations actually start outside the house. And that once inside a welcome table greets guests – themed of course. That’s where we put our party favors – usually a bag of something sweet like these sock monkey sugar cookies.
Unlike a theme like pirates or superheroes, one of the disadvantages of a sock monkey birthday party, is that sock monkeys don’t actually have much character. There a wonderfully iconic design and color scheme, but it’s a challenge to take the theme much furhter than decorations and colors. That said, the colors are bold and fun.
Here are some of the decorations we used to support the theme.
I’m in awe of my wife’s ability to plan so many details into a party and bring everything together to give a familiar location (grandma’s house) a magical feel.
The water bottle labels were yet more printables that came with our set. This was a really nice touch.
I filled red white and blue water balloons and froze them a few nights before (it can take more than a night depending on your freezer) and we used them as decorative ice.
A couple of tips here: don’t fill the water balloons too much or they will burst in the freezer when the water expands as it turns to ice; also, you will still likely want to buy a bag of ice and use that to ice the drinks too, because the balloons don’t touch many drinks and do a poor job of keeping them cool (trust me, I used to be a caterer).
We let things slip a little on the sock monkey theme outside, where we had a pirate water table and a giant turtle sand pit with construction vehicles (which were his true obsession by the time his first birthday came around). We ran out of sock monkey theme ideas for games that are appropriate for one year olds, although there are some on this blog and here are some more.
When it came time for Finn to blow out his one candle, we ferried him (and all our guests) into the dining room, which we’d set up for photos.
One of my favorite ideas my wife had was to buy the Dr. Seuss book Happy Birthday to You and have all of our guests write a personal note to Finn.
I have read him that book the night before every birthday since, and though he makes me skip all the notes at the front, I know there will come a time when he appreciates them.
So there it is – our sock monkey themed first birthday party for Finn. I hope it will give you lots of ideas for fun decorations and touches that will make for a magical day. We certainly had one.