When Silas (my oldest child) was just 5 months old, I started thinking about his first birthday party.
Around that time, I discovered Pinterest. I was instantly addicted!
I fell down the rabbit hole of incredible parties and elaborate ideas. I had a truly difficult time narrowing down to the perfect theme. Finally, I decided on Mickey Mouse. He’s happy; the color scheme is simple, and decorations are inexpensive/easy to find! Also, we were going to Disney the week after his birthday! Mickey just made sense.
Some people asked me why. They said, “Krystal, everyone knows a party for a one year old is all about the parents.”
Well I certainly do not know that! From the time I started planning, I decided that this would be a kid-focused party! There would be activities the kids would love, and the adults would have a great time by default!
I thought long and hard about what toddlers like to do for fun. The biggest thing? They like to play with other kids! Back then, we had a very small house. Searching for more space, I called up the church office and they let me use the foyer for the day!
Once we had the space, it was just a question of the details!
So what do you need to plan the “perfect” toddler Mickey Mouse birthday party?
Friends! Food! Activities! Decorations! (Plus, the spirit of a true DIYer!)
Here’s how I made it happen:
I started with a guest list! I created a facebook event to invite all of the mommas I’d had recent play-dates with (and also family). Making the guest list helps you to take an estimated guess at how many people you’ll need to accommodate! (It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just your starting point!)
After searching around (pinterest of course), I found some great ideas for games and activities. We expected to have babies, toddlers, and kids as old as 7 at Silas’ party. We didn’t want anyone bored!
We set up a coloring table!
I went to dollar tree and bought a BIG box of crayons! Since I only spent $1, I didn’t care if they were broken or if they disappeared. This was such a hit! Kids of all ages love to color! To this day, at every single kids’ birthday party I throw, we set up a coloring table! I found tons of coloring pages online! Here are a few for you to use. Feel free to save and print these!
Toilet Paper Bowling!
All it takes is a pack of toilet paper, a piece of tape and a Print Out of the letters!
I bought an extra plastic, rectangle table cloth from the Dollar Tree. Taping it to the floor, it became the perfect Bowling Lane! And yes, after the letters got knocked down the first time, we weren’t diligent about putting them back in order!
Wanna print some Ears to cut out and tape to the rolls? Here are some great ones!
On the day of Silas’ birthday party, I was a bit frazzled with so much going on. I forgot to bring a ball to bowl with! So I just helped myself to another TP roll and used That as our bowling ball! It was fun for the older kids and it sure looked good! About halfway through the party, this happened:
It was adorable and truly, bound to happen! If we had maybe used a rubber band to secure the rolls, or possibly watched over it a little more closely, it probably wouldn’t have happened. But in the meantime, the kids had FUN!
BABY PLAY AREA!
This one took a bit of hauling; my husband and I drove separately to bring all of the supplies. Essentially, we brought most of the bigger baby toys! We brought things for the littlest ones to tinker around with and at that age, it was a real hit!Rocking horses, the learning cube, a kiddie pool filled with balls, stuffed, fluffy baby dolls… Whatever we could remember to grab out of our playroom, we brought it along!
Okay, when I created this one, I think I was just showing off a bit…
This is one of the DIYest pieces to the whole party! I took a few cardboard boxes. I picked out 2 big rectangle sides cut them out with an X-ACTO knife. (you can buy those for $1 at dollar tree or $.98 at Walmart! I found a small t-cup saucer and traced it for a circle. I cut small pieces of cardboard. I bent those and taped them to the bottom side of the large rectangles- this made it higher on the side with the hole… (I lived and learned: Making a cardboard corn hole isn’t hard. I’ve done it several times now and discovered something. It’s faster and smarter to only tape cardboard corners under the side nearest the hole. The “shorter end” can rest on the ground. It’s supposed to be lower in the front!)
After I created the boards, I painted them. I sewed together bean bags and filled them with rice. They were perfect for this toss game!
We decided on Tacos & Taco Salad! We prepared grilled Chicken, hamburger, chips, corn tortillas, cheese, salsa, black beans and sour cream to give guests lots of options! We had seven layer dip and deviled eggs too (because in the South, deviled eggs at a party is basically a law)
It really didn’t take much to provide some tasty (naturally gluten free) options!
We made lemonade and named it “Pluto’s Poppin Punch!”
Having cute and clever signs adds a little flair! I painted the white ovals onto each of those cups, but using white circle or oval stickers would give you the same effect!
Even the Cake/Cupcakes were treated to a little decoration!
I printed and cut out each of those little Mickey’s (eventually, I bought myself a cricut- but that’s a story for another time)! We did Chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla frosting and Vanilla cupcakes with Chocolate frosting! All of these lovely goodies were gluten free (even the rice krispie treats!), courtesy of Betty Crocker!
I made a 2 layer rectangle chocolate cake. I sliced a red Sugar Sheet into strips to create the ribbon and bow. We topped it with a little Mickey from the dollar tree!
TREATS FOR GUESTS
As an added treat, we had a Trail Mix table!
We provided zip-lock backs, nuts, m&m’s, chex, marshmallows, raisins, and banana chips!
Even on the way out the door, we had a gift for guests!
Total transparency? About 90% of these goodies came from the dollar tree. The others I handmade!
Decorations were a blast to create! I used poster board and crepe paper and lots of computer and construction paper! We also had black, yellow, red and white balloons. Those were such a hit!
We had a photos-pot: I used Poster Board and Construction paper to trace and cut shapes! I used thin wooden dowels to tape and hold them in place!
We hung a banner (though I can’t get over that crookedness!)
I printed each of those Mickeys out and used yarn and tape to string them all together!
Have I mentioned the Dollar Tree yet? Truthfully, I saved so much money by buying most of my supplies there! I found a Black Foam Board because I wanted to create a chalkboard sign for Silas.
I bought metallic markers there and sketched out this board with a pencil. About 30 minutes before guests arrived, I realized I hadn’t traced the pencil with color! I sped as quickly as I could to get it done. My mom hung it for me and used the crepe paper to add a little extra cuteness!
I worked very hard on Silas’ sweet first birthday party. It came together with a lot of help from my sweet family.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We had delicious food and lots of fun activities for the kids to do. We had great decorations and plenty of baby-friends to play with. But you know what? Nothing is perfect.
No matter how much you plan and prepare, things always come up!
The best advice I can give to you is to take it easy! Prepare what you can, but during the actual party, be sure to Have Fun! When it comes down to it, the party really is about your child! Take the time to take a breather. Enjoy yourself and special time celebrating your little one!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope our Mickey Mouse party gives you some Great ideas!