July 22, 2014

Simple tips for a first birthday fit for a prince

Use kings, queens and castles as your inspiration for decor, activities and food.

Rants, raves, reviews and resources for Dallas-Fort Worth parents

You might hear a thing or two about a certain royal baby who turns 1 today.

(Hint: His name is George.)

Celebrating your little one’s first birthday is a special opportunity to create cherished memories. You may not be able to have fanfare fit for a future king, but for a fresh theme idea appropriate for boys and girls alike, take a note from contemporary pop culture and plan a “royal” first birthday party for your little prince or princess.

“Having an established theme simplifies planning and makes decisions for everything from food to decor much easier,” says Jenn Sbranti, entertaining expert and editor of the blog “Hostess With the Mostess” (

For example, a “royal” theme that’s tailored to a first birthday calls for lots of bright colors, simple shapes and age-appropriate toys. Use this to inspire regal decorations — such as castle turrets made from toys like Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack topped with golden sugar cones and felt flags.

Sbranti offers the following advice for throwing the perfect first birthday party fit for a future king or queen.

Activities are king

Keeping the little ones happily entertained is the key to a good time. For toddlers, designate a large, kid-proof play area to serve as the “royal fortress.” Fill it with age-appropriate toys such as Baby’s First Blocks, Corn Popper and Rock-a-Stack toys.

Craft projects are another great way to continue your royal theme.

For interactive fun for parents and kids, have a tablet or laptop open to the “Baby Center Time Machine” on the website Parents can type in their child’s name and birthdate, and a list of important events, famous birthdays and fun facts will come up.

A search for the baby name “George” born on July 22, for example, brings up the birthdays of celebrities Oscar de la Renta, Danny Glover and more, and it notes that on that date in 1796, the city of Cleveland was founded.

Let’s eat (and smash) cake

Every party needs a cake, but a first birthday actually calls for two. You’ll need one cake to serve your guests, and a smaller one for your baby to taste — and smash. Make sure to designate an extra special (and safe) place for the royal highness to enjoy it.

Call your local bakery to see if they offer special, tot-sized cakes meant for nothing but fun and messiness. Be sure to have your camera at the ready to capture the “conquering of the cake.”

Add scalloped felt garland to the back of the high-chair seat, and edge the tray with fringed tissue to create the birthday throne.

Toy-inspired decor

Garlands are an easy way to transform any room into a party. The colorful plastic balls typically found in a children’s ball pit can easily be pierced with a large sewing needle and strewn into colorful birthday garland that is both toy-inspired and age-appropriate.

Food for little fingers

Think simple flavors garnished with fun. Use large crown-shaped cookie cutters to make tot-sized crown sandwiches.

Thread cubes of fruit onto bamboo skewers and top with a star-shaped piece of watermelon to create royal fruit scepters.

You can also add fun by simply giving everyday foods creative names on display cards, such as “Your Majesty’s Mac-n-Cheese” or “Regal Raspberry Yogurt.”

Related content



Entertainment Videos