I don’t even know why we got so into dinosaurs for Noah. I think maybe because he sounded like a little velociraptor when he used to cry, and he also sort of walks like a dinosaur now. Regardless, it just seemed like a great fit for his first birthday party.
I had debated a while back what I really wanted to do for Noah’s first birthday, knowing he wouldn’t remember it. I think we arrived at a happy medium — bigger than just cake and ice cream with immediate family but not some crazy blowout that we had to take out a loan for. And I think everybody was happy with how it turned out, which is a big deal to me.
Bobby and I asked his parents if we could have the party at their house, and they agreed. This meant a four-hour drive for us, but it also meant our families would be there for Noah’s first birthday. I think, from the very beginning, that was one of the most important things for us. My amazing sister-in-law Darlene agreed to help out by taking care of all the food except for the cake, which was a huge weight off my mind and made traveling much easier for us. She is a fantastic organizer, and she made it look easy — I told her I was taking notes!
For the decorations, we mostly used dinosaur printables from Paper & Cake. Let me tell you: If you are like me and not a super-crafty mama, these things are the way. to. go. It did take a little time to cut everything out, and we didn’t end up using all the different items that came with the package I bought, but they were super-cute, inexpensive and a lot easier than me trying to make decorations myself. I actually tried to make a yarn-ball project I found on Pinterest that was allegedly a kids’ project, and it was a disaster.
I actually made the cupcakes myself; they were the only part of the food I told Darlene I would handle. I did a chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese frosting (Cupcake 5 for the cake and Cupcake 12 for the frosting from Ming Makes Cupcakes, except I doubled the recipe and used 1/2 cup less flour for the cupcakes — they were incredible). I also made a very simple banner to coordinate with the dino printables.
One of my favorite things we did for Noah was that we asked all our guests to write a note to be put in a time capsule we’ll give him on his 26th birthday. We read a few of them — you want to talk about tear-jerkers!
For the kids, we had a crown-decorating activity where they decorated their own birthday party crowns, then we had a “dino egg” hunt (OK, yes, it was really just an Easter egg hunt).
With this being my first birthday party-planning experience, I was pretty anxious about how it would turn out, and we did end up inviting a few more people than I’d envisioned. But in
the end it all turned out great, and I was so happy we did something special for our little boy’s first birthday.
I know a lot of my readers have events coming up, too, and I’m teaming up with the folks at Paper & Cake to help one of you make your event extra special! If you’d like to enter to win a $50 store credit good for your choice of party printables at the Paper & Cake site, there are five ways you can enter (leave a separate comment on this post for each — you must leave one comment for each entry, with a possible total of five):
- Visit Paper & Cake and share a link to which product is your favorite.
- Like The Family Math on Facebook.
- Follow me on Twitter and mention me in a tweet promoting this post.
- Like Paper & Cake on Facebook.
- Follow Paper & Cake on Twitter and mention them in a tweet promoting this post.
The winner will be announced next Wednesday, April 11, and entries will be closed at 11:59 p.m. on April 10. The only restriction is that the $50 credit can only be used for printables, not on pre-printed products. Paper & Cake graciously provided the store credit for this giveaway, but I purchased the printables I used for Noah’s party myself. All opinions in this post belong to me!