Ian's First Birthday Book Party: Activities, Food, and Favors



Sorry it took so long to get back with the second half of Ian's first birthday party! (Isn't the summer just flying by?!) We talked about the invitations and decor here, now I wanted to show you the rest - what we did for "activities", food, and favors.

The chalkboard wall that we painted in our new playroom is coming in handy! I lettered a Happy Birthday sign on it and then left out chalk for guests to leave the little guy a note. Here's Maura testing it out right after I finished. She signed her name as close to her brother's as she could get:)

I've found that it helps to have like one planned activity or craft to keep the kids busy. We had a book making/decorating station set up on the kitchen table with a ton of random art supplies - paint, stickers, foam shapes, glittery jewels, crayons/markers, stamps, pieces of patterned paper.


There were two kinds of books available for the kids to choose from to work on. Small hardback books like these from Rainbow Resource Center (super nice customer service too!)  that had blank white pages inside (for coloring or drawing their own stories) and a blank white cover to decorate. My oldest niece taught Maura the art of scrap booking to do with hers:)

I also bought a bunch of old school copybooks (from Target and Staples) and covered them in brown kraft paper (bought for a dollar a roll at our local Dollar Store!) that the kids could then decorate and use to practice writing their letters or whatever. I also got a bunch of different patterned scrapbook paper from Michaels and used that on the inside front and back covers of the copybooks to add some fun and cover up unsightly edges from the kraft paper. (Each copybook had a different inside pattern, so the kids could pick which one they liked best, and I get to keep these 2 that were left - win/win!) I got the idea for this and followed the tutorial from the sweetest vintage book party over at the "Aesthetic Nest", although she used fabric. (BTW, I used spray glue to both adhere the kraft paper to the cover of the book and to glue the scrapbook paper onto the inside cover...pain in the butt but its what I found that worked the best/less wrinkles.)

It was really fun once they got into it, and I was excited that even some of the adults got in on the action (here's my friend making herself a journal to write about her adorable little 18 month old in).

The only other thing that I had really scheduled to do was have a sort of story time. I asked my aunt (former teacher and one of my primary babysitters) if she would read the kids a story. I threw a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor in the new playroom to go with the "bedtime" thing. I'll admit that this did not quite go as planned...most of the kids got too distracted by all the toys or their snacks or whatever and kind of walked/crawled off after the first few pages. We had a couple of die hards that stuck with it through the end though and that was sweet:)

The bigger kids just had fun going outside and playing on the swingset. Here's a cute shot of some of them in their pjs waiting to be let outside!

For food, we served snacks for the kids (like fruit salad cups, cheese sticks, yogurt puffs, chips) and appetizers for the adults. We also had a bunch of sweets like cupcakes, donuts, munchkins, and cookies

{most of the paper goods were from Target - I always love to find fun patterned plates and napkins to kick off the party's color scheme}
Since I was using brown kraft paper as a table runner, I thought it would be cool to go around and write/doodle directly onto the paper what all the dishes were. But of course I ran out of time and it didn't happen. This dip was the only thing that wasn't very self-explanatory, so I quickly added this...but wouldn't it have been cool if I had managed to get it done in time before everyone arrived?!

I've always wanted to serve milk in cute plastic bottles with fun straws, so I decided to go for it with this party since I thought it tied in again to the bedtime thing. I found these plastic bottles that came with lids (with a hole already punched in for the straws) here...this way the kids could carry them around without spilling. I've always wondered how you serve milk at a party and keep it cold, so I jury rigged a little cooler action here by setting up the bottles in glass pyrex dishes filled with ice. We served both regular whole and chocolate milk:)

I thought about giving out books for favors, but since ever guest was bringing Ian one I didn't want to be too repetitive. Instead I tried to think of something having to do with the bedtime thing and decided on pillowcases. I bought a pack of a dozen hotel grade white pillowcases from Amazon  and decorated them using cheap fabric paint from Michaels. I monogrammed each one with the child's name and then depending on if they were a girl or a boy hand-stamped a little decorative design around that. I set up the names in the size and font I wanted on the computer and printed them out. I then slipped them (along with a piece of cardboard to protect the paint from bleeding through to the back) inside the pillowcase. That way, since the pillowcases were white, I was able to use the printout as a template and could just basically trace over each name with my paint. The boys got blue fish that I stamped using the stamp I made myself for the drapes in Ian's nursery way back when I was pregnant with him (still have yet to post those pics, oops!) and the girls got a paisley/floral pattern in green using a block print stamp I bought at the Brimfield fair last year (it was really used to block print fabric in Pakistan at one time...I then hand painted on some of the other colors to add more depth/interest). I totally love how they came out and the kids thought they were really cool too!

We had such a fun time celebrating the first year of this little guy's life with family and friends! And we are always going to cherish the books he received that day. Here he is trying out a cupcake for the first time.

And one more of me and my little "Bubs" in his Old Navy pajamas...I love you so much, Buddy!!

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