Parenting

First birthday party alternative: The birthday play date

Now while I love my fat cheeked child very, very much, I did not have the energy to plan an elaborate first birthday party for him. I mean, as I’ve asked before: Is a first birthday party really necessary? Yes. The answer is yes. Any kind of party is necessary, in my books, because: PARTY. But while I do love me some cake, I did not want to have your typical party for Jo for a number of reasons. Enter: The birthday play date. Combining the festivities of a party with the chilledness of a play date was the exact way we wanted to celebrate Jo’s first birthday. Here’s how it all went down:

The invite
I messaged a few close mommy friends (whose kiddies are 1 year old and under) and asked the pair to join Jo and I for his birthday play date. It honestly didn’t make sense to invite older kids since I wanted Jo to have fun with little ones his age. A 3-year old and a 12-month old plays differently, if you know what I mean. Anyways, I told the moms to expect a morning of chilling out and having fun with their little ones. Aint nobody got time for make up and heels.

First birthday party alternative: The birthday play dateThe decor
What decor? Hahaha. Kidding. Remember I said that Jo went for a first birthday cake smash? Well, we converted a room in our home into a play room and used the cake smash pics to decorate it. We filled the room with toys and gadgets that would be suitable for kids his age. You’ll spot the Baby Womb World baby crawler in one of these pics (it’s gorgeous, I’m sharing more about it next week!) and the An African Salad Busy Box – that one was a huge hit. Although there were couches for the moms, I wasn’t too perturbed about the adult seating area because I figured we won’t be doing much polite-sitting with a bunch of 12 month olds crawling and todding around.

The entertainment
I was also so blessed to receive some amazing kiddies gifts from Christian Art Media, which I could pass on to the mommy’s. These include chalk board Bibles and nifty colour-in cards. The moms pretty much entertained each other. We shared birth stories, talked about poo nappies and compared teething woes. It was the best time! We also discussed the amazing 936 Pennies book by Eryn Lynum. In this book, Eryn talks about intentional parenting and how to prioritise your time, in order to maximise the 936 weeks you have with your kid (from birth to 18 years old)! I’m going to tell you more about this in June and do a giveaway. It really is a remarkable book!

936 Pennies

While I’m on the topic of entertainment, one of my play date party ideas was to get the mommy’s to interact with their little ones. I must admit, I had planned a few mommy/baby games and activities, but we just never got around to it. Honestly, I think we all really needed some adult time and to feel as if we’re all completely sane. I mean, you can’t understand how much weight a “me too!” holds, when you feel like you’re losing your mind.

The food
I ordered a yummo platter for the moms, some coffee and juice (did I say coffee? because COFFEE) and one of my besties, Bianca, made delicious cup cakes. For the kiddies, I had some fruit out. I mean, since they are still so little, loading them with refined sugars is probably not a good idea. I also made small party packs with yoghurt, teething biscuits, a marshmellow fish (okay just one sweetie, shame) and soft chippies.

The end result
Priceless! The amount of car seat snoozing selfies I received, from moms who were so thankful to get a break, indicated just how much of a good time the little ones had. Jo also had so much fun and I was glad that we got to celebrate his first birthday exactly how we needed to.

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