17 Activities for One-year-old Birthday

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  • In as much as it is to plan a toddler’s first birthday party, it is much harder to find first birthday party games that all, or at the very least most, people invited will like.
  • This is because games for first birthdays need to cater to both the young and the old attending the party and it is a delicate balance between what is liked versus what is appropriate and safe for kids.
  • This article gives you 17 of some of the best and most fun activities to do at your child’s one-year party.

A poll ran by BabyCenter found out that 92% of parents across the United States of America celebrate their child’s first birthday party with 16% spending less than $100 and 76% spending over $100.

How Much Did You Spend on Your Child’s First Birthday Party? Source: Babycenter.com

How Much Did You Spend on Your Child's First Birthday Party

This shows that you do not need to spend loads of money on your toddler in order to throw them a party. You can always DIY or keep the party to a minimum – only close family and friends.

With this in mind, this article has selected 17 fun games and activities that are budget-friendly and safe for all ages to play.


1. Bubble Chase

A fun activity to do at baby’s first birthday is to play games and the bubble chase game is fun for everyone. To play the game, an adult or older kid will have to blow some bubbles and let the younger kids run and catch them. Alternatively, you can use a bubble-making machine to blow even bigger and more bubbles!

2. Game of Tunnels

Another great 1-year-old birthday activity is to play the game of tunnels. To do this, you can buy a pop-up tunnel and set it up either in your house or outside in the backyard – depending on how big the tunnel is. Alternatively, you can make your own tunnels using cardboard boxes and play a hide-and-seek type of game with the kids.

3. Ball Pit

One of the most fun games for a one-year-old birthday party is the ball pit. Fill up an inflatable swimming pool with plastic different colored balls, jump in, and have fun. Remember to watch the children so they do not ingest any of the balls or that the balls are intact so as not to become a choking hazard for the children.

4. Fashion Show

A great activity to do at a one-year-old birthday party is to have a fashion show. Let your guests know beforehand so they can prepare for the fashion show. Put up some lights and a runway and have both adults and children dress up and walk down the runway. It is really just a fun way to play dress-up, and who doesn’t enjoy that?

5. First Birthday Time Capsule

A very memorable thing to do at a one-year-old birthday party is to set up a time capsule for your child’s first birthday. To do this, you will collect different items from the birthday party – what your child wore, what gifts they received, etc. and put these items in a box. You will then seal the box and put it away to be opened at your child’s 18th birthday!

6. Music

A great entertainment idea for a 1st birthday party is music. Everyone loves music and even though the music that adults and children find appealing may be different, you can always alternate between the classics you grew up hearing and the new bops that are catered to children. Besides, we all love the Frozen soundtrack, right?


7. Quiet Play

This is an activity you do for a one-year-old birthday party when you want to soothe the children and possibly put them to bed for a little nap time especially when they are being fussy – which is bound to happen because of all the stimulants around your baby. To play, put your child down with three or four other toddlers, after you have fed and changed them, and tell them it’s quiet time. You may even go as far as play them a lullaby to soothe them or to put them to sleep.

8. Toddler Obstacle Course

Another fun birthday party game for 1-year-olds is to play ‘toddler obstacle course’. To play this game, you are going to need to establish a start and finish line, and in the middle of the lines, put ropes and toys and such other things. The toddlers will be on the start line and the parents or other older children will be on the finish line egging the toddlers on. The first toddler to make it to the finish line wins.

9. Hide and Seek

This is a great game to play at a 1-year-olds birthday party. It is a great way to have the older kids and the toddlers to interact and play with each other. Adults can play this game too so it is a win-win situation for everyone involved. To play, you will need one player to be “it” and count up to 10 while all the other players hide. The person she or he finds first becomes ‘it’ and so on.

10. Hand Painting

Another cool 1st birthday game for babies is hand painting or finger painting. This is such a fun and stimulating activity for your toddler, you can make so many different animals and shapes using different colors and even mixing base colors to make new colors.


11. Smash a Balloon

To play this game, you will need to pump up a lot of balloons but first, you will need to put small gifts inside some of the balloons before you inflate them. Then proceed to scatter the balloons in the room and let the players stomp on the balloons and if they pop a balloon with a gift inside of it, they get to keep whatever it is.

12. Pin the Tail on the Donkey

To play this game, you are going to need blindfolds and a painting of a donkey. The goal of the game is to pin a tail on the donkey while blindfolded. The person who gets the target and places the tail on the donkey’s rear wins a prize!

13. Musical Chairs

One of the most fun games to play at a one-year-old’s party is musical chairs! To play this game, you will need teams comprising of about six people at a minimum. You will place five chairs and play music, when the music stops, everyone must grab and sit on a chair. The person who does not have a seat leaves the game and the number of chairs is reduced by one until finally there is only one person left sitting in a chair when the music stops.

14. Baby Photo Guessing Game

Although made popular through baby showers, the baby photo guessing game is a fun activity to do at a toddler’s first birthday party. To play, you will have baby pictures of all the adults that are playing and you each have to guess which baby picture is which adult at the party.


15. Building Blocks

The great thing about building blocks is that it is not only a fun party game but it will also provide entertainment for your 1-year-old at their birthday party at home. Give your toddler building blocks and watch them make all different things and keep themselves occupied for a long period of time.

16. Pinata

A fun kid’s 1st birthday party game is whacking the pinata, which is similar to pin the tail on the donkey. To play this game, you have to fill up a stuffed pinata with candy, you will then blindfold a player and have them whack the stuffed animal in an attempt to burst it open and free the candy that’s stuck inside it.

17. Photo Booth

Although not technically a game, a photo booth is a great party idea because not only is it fun to take silly photos in the booth, it is also providing guests photo mementos to take back home with them as they wait for the professional pictures to be developed and sent to them.


1. What do you do at a one-year-old birthday party?

As stated above, there are so many fun and educational activities you can do and games that you can play at a one-year-old’s birthday party. You should aim at games and activities that are stimulating to the mind while also being fun, age-appropriate, and safe for all children of all age groups to play because chances are you will have older children at your toddler’s birthday party, and some adults too. So whatever you choose to do, make sure you are including everyone who is coming.

2. What to do for a one-year-old’s birthday?

There are many things you can do for a one-year-old’s birthday. The first and obvious one is to throw a party for them, invite family and friends over and celebrate the first year of your child’s existence – if this is what you want to do, you should check out these Places to have first birthday parties for inspiration.

Alternatively, you can choose not to throw a party and just enjoy the day with your toddler at home or at a select location for you and your family.


In conclusion, there are so many fun games to play at a one-year-old birthday party that are both stimulating and educational. This is important because, for a growing mind, these games provide stimulation and opportunities to learn new things. Always make sure that your baby is not overwhelmed at their own party and give them time off from it if they get fussy because chances are they have been overstimulated and a break will do both you and them good.





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