After the emotional roller coaster that is the first year of parenthood, we decided to celebrate our oldest daughter’s first birthday with a colors-themed, rainbow party. After all, you can’t have a rainbow without some rain (and we had our fair share of both that first year)! As for the party, it was nothing but a joy to plan and celebrate!
I will try and add tutorials as I can, but if you’re curious about a particular item, please contact me or leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to prioritize. Otherwise, please check back soon for tips and tricks to accomplishing these crafts, treats, and more!
My mom made Jenna this adorable romper and headband with a pattern from JoAnn’s. It was an incredibly fun outfit to celebrate such a special day!
These DIY decorations were some of my favorite to put together and have lasted for several parties. It was so much fun transforming our home into a “party zone” for our one year-old, and she definitely understood that it was a special time!
While I love the idea of using helium balloons, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money and also wanted didn’t want to be stretched for time on the day of the party running all sorts of errands. It turns out, you can buy balloons in bulk rather cheaply and can blow them up days in advance so long as they aren’t going through any major temperature changes!
Inside the house, we added crepe paper puffs and a photo montage with kid-friendly songs playing on the TV (so as not to add to the general decibel level of a dozen toddlers, we opted for playful classical music).
In our dining room, I had an absolute BLAST decorating our ceiling with streamers and sewn together cut-out circles. Here’s the tutorial I followed with some minor changes, and it was both fun to execute and beautiful for our party.
We played around with our kitchen/family room open floor plan and decided to close off the area to through-traffic with a cake table and couch. Ultimately, we wanted to be able to monitor wet children coming into the house through ONE ingress/egress point. To dress up the opening, I added these paper zig-zags and decorated the high chair with left over streamers. I also had a lot of fun making a rainbow tutu for my daughter, but it ended up working really well under the cake stand too!
Finally, we added a backdrop to our backyard for pictures (what parent doesn’t LOVE taking pictures of their kids?!). I spent an inordinate amount of time blowing up and stringing together these balloons, which alongside the paper zig-zags and extra cut-out circles, made for a beautiful picture-taking zone.
Some printable signs that we used around the house:
Food & Drink
Since most of the kids were still using sippy cups or water bottles, I was mainly concerned with provided beverages to a crew of moms (some expecting again). Water bottle labels are one of the easiest ways to personalize a party.
We also had a mimosa bar where adults could doctor-up their drinks as they wanted. We included orange juice, lemonade, and guava juice as well as mint and blackberries for garnish. These flavor combinations were fun to explore as well!
I wanted everyone to be able to distinguish their own glasses, but I didn’t want to have the potential for displaced markers or spend too much money. Instead, I stuffed these plastic champagne glasses with different colored crepe paper. Easy-peasy!
It was such a joy to be able to use all sorts of colors when presenting food, especially when those colors come from nothing more complicated than the food itself!
Since this party was catered to 1 year-olds and their parents, I kept the food basic but appropriate for new teethers and adults alike. This deconstructed sandwich plate allowed for parents to have their sandwich while toddlers could still get their fill of protein and dairy.
These veggies were a big hit for their colors and their taste: red (purple) cabbage, broccoli, snap peas, yellow peppers, carrots, and baby tomatoes! This 1/2 head of red cabbage filled out my rainbow and provided a perfect holder for the vegetable dip, and what toddler doesn’t love “dip?!”
We used raspberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, and purple grapes to provide a well-rounded selection on our fruit skewers. If you’re concerned about the safety of wooden skewers, I’ve also had great success using thin plastic straws.
Many of the kiddos are also big fans of guacamole, so we had a great time with these chips and dips!
The jello was a joy to make and provided a wonderful treat for kids not quite ready for cupcakes yet or for anyone else looking for a sweet bite! I used this same tutorial but alternated strawberry, orange, lemon, lime, and berry blue flavored jello (6oz boxes each).
For children not quite ready for solid food, picky eaters, or anyone else, we also made sure to have a stock of pouches and puffs available. Thanks to terrific marketing, there is a broad spectrum of colors available!
While it doesn’t take much to entertain young toddlers, they are notoriously wiggly! Since we wanted our friends (both my daughter’s and mine) to feel comfortable hanging out with us for a while, we tried to provide a variety of different activities to enjoy! First off, we had a ball pit with plastic balls and balloons. After a party with over a dozen toddlers, this inflatable pool survived and was still usable for an entire summer!
Outside, we had a station where kiddos could use non-toxic fingerpaints. To make these prints a little more fun, we taped out the first initial of each kids’ name. My husband also donated several old dress shirts for kiddos to use as painting smocks. These worked better than aprons as they entirely covered the little kids and their clothes.
Finally, we also had an inflatable pool filled with water (we warned guests of this potential) and a series of towels, sunscreen, and bath toys on standby.
As our guests were leaving, we wanted to let them bring all of the colors home with them (in a safe and non-destructive way). This homemade playdoh recipe made for some wonderful party favors, which we put in mason jars and labeled with instructions for our friends to make their own at home.
I also finished up Jenna’s baby book with a signatory page from her birthday party. It was a fun way to commemorate her first year! We were also prepared with a pull-pinata, but we didn’t end up using it (the kids had way too much fun in the pools)!
Overall, our birthday girl had a wonderful and vibrant first birthday surrounded by friends and family (not to mention got her first taste of cake)!
Whether you’re throwing your own colors party or want to adapt these ideas to your own theme, I hope you found some useful ideas here!