There’s something about dinosaurs that
screams roars “little boy.” Before he could say any actual words, our little boy could roar. So it only seemed fitting to use a Dinosaur Theme for his first Birthday party! Our daughter was born in November so an outdoor party is usually out of the question. But August seemed like a great time for an outdoor party! And although we don’t have the space inside (we live in a 900 sq ft apartment), we have a beautiful, spacious field out back. Now this party day was a scorcher at a projected high of 94 degrees. And I was s-w-e-a-t-i-n-g bullets by the time the party guests arrived (so much for that shower, let alone trying to style my hair!). Never mind all of that because it was the cutest party I’ve ever thrown and I’m excited to share these photos and ideas with you.
I’ve been on a learning curve for throwing kid’s parties. This was only my third one, but I had picked up a few tips from the last two. After choosing a theme, I decided to focus on the food table. That would be my main area for decor & cute things. Also, I needed to keep it simple. Our party budget was far less than extravagant and I did have to cut a few things out for time and money. Believe me, sticking to a budget is a struggle. Give me a set amount to spend and I tend to push it to the limit every. single. time. Kudos to my husband for being disciplined enough to reel me back in, even when he wants to let me have every whim. He’s a keeper!!
Party Table Decor
The main thing I wanted was the word “ROAR” hanging above the food table. The green streamers & paper leaves make a nice backdrop for the gold letters, making them “pop.” I originally wanted some of those gold mylar letter balloons to spell out the word. You can get them for about $25 which isn’t too bad, but it didn’t quite fit into my budget. Being resourceful, I found some gold poster board, stenciled the letters myself and cut them out. It turned out perfectly!
This pennant banner and number one mylar balloon I found at hobby lobby. If I couldn’t have the letters, I at least had the number! It was a nice touch across the back patio door.
Planning the party menu was a breeze after deciding to break it down into types of dinosaurs: Carnivores, Herbivores & Sweetivores. You remember that last one from school, right? No? Well, let’s just go with it ;-).
The herbivore cups (veggies & hummus), dino eggs (grapes), dino spikes (watermelon) & dino toe nails (doritos) fed our herbivore guests.
The carnivores feasted on barbecue meatballs & dino shaped chicken nuggets.
Finally those sweetivores had dino cupcakes & dinosaur bones (white chocolate covered pretzels). Full disclosure: it was so hot the cupcakes started melting!!
I didn’t plan any games really. Party games are not my favorite thing (I’m all about the food and chatting it up with friends!) but I loved this “Dino Dig” idea and thought the kids would have fun with it. They certainly did and I apologize to every one who ended up with sand in their cars as a result! We picked up 3 bags of play sand from Lowe’s for $15 and used a little plastic pool we already had (from Target for $10). I threw in some dollar store plastic dinosaurs and pails and shovels and the Dino dig was ready for excavation!
Fun DIY Projects
I didn’t want to stress myself out too much by planning too many little projects and then scrambling to get them all done at the last minute (experience talking!). However, these next few projects ended up getting done simply with plenty of time to spare. It’s the little touches that make a party & tie everything together, isn’t it?
I love those custom little chalkboards you can purchase on etsy with all of the facts about your one year old. I didn’t have the time or budget to order one and honestly didn’t even plan on doing one. I happened to have this chalkboard lying around around and decided to try my hand at it. It’s not perfect! And I probably won’t be selling them myself, but I thought it turned out pretty well! Well enough to display in front of family & friends (and now you!).
I always like displaying photos that show the age progression throughout that first year. During naptime a day before the party, I chose my photos from my facebook & phone, uploaded them to Walmart.com and ordered 4×4 square prints. I think it cost me less than $5. This adorable frame with the twine & mini clothespins was a gift from my husband’s aunt. I added a coat of white paint a few months ago (since discovering that farmhouse style I’m painting all the things white!!). It was the perfect way to display the photos!
My daugher wore a beautiful crown headband from Pride & Princesses on her first birthday. Definitely check them out on Etsy and Instagram. I wasn’t sure what to do for a boy, but I wanted him to have something similar. This felt crown was perfect! I found my inspiration here, but put my own spin on it based on what I had available. I got two different colors of felt and free handed the crown design. I did trace the one color onto the next so that the crown points would match. Then I used some spray adhesive I had on hand to glue them together, leaving a little tab to glue the ends together. I love it so much & he looks adorable in it!
The pennant banner is just some craft paper I had glued together over some string, and the letters are cut from the leftover poster board I used for the “ROAR” letters. Nothing too special, but a nice added touch!
Happy 1st Birthday, Simon!
Hope you enjoy these photos from the party! We had a blast and it was a whirlwind like most fun parties. Let us know if you decide to use any of these ideas in your next party!