Sunday, May 16, 2010

reader question of the week #1

"We are throwing a party for my son's first birthday (this coming Saturday), and we will have family members from both my husband's and my side of the family. The majority of family members do not live near us or each other and so do not know one another that well. I am trying to come up with things to do at the party that won't feel too orchestrated but will prevent everyone from sitting in silence (during those moments the one-year-old is not providing the entertainment). There really won't be any other children at the party to liven it up, either. I am trying to balance playing hostess with just enjoying all the family and our little birthday boy. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you! -Amber"


Megan said...

Put out several small photo albums with pictures from the baby's first year.

Give people nametags that say "I know baby because..." and then they can fill out how they know your son. Example answers could be "I'm his Grandma!" or "I'm his next-door neighbor." This could give people a good reference for starting conversations.

Best wishes for your party!

Shannon and Mark Talbott said...

Place several novel objects in front of baby that represent different hobbies, careers, etc. The one baby reaches for first represents his path in life. OK, probably not really, but it will get golf-obsessed uncles rooting for the golf ball, etc.

Yolanda said...

We have had great luck using the game WhooNu (sold n stores) at several large gatherings for birthdays and holidays when many of the guests did not know each other. Depending on how casual your gathering is and how much you want to manage the activities, this game gives a fun and easy way for people to talk about their likes and dislikes. You learn just as much about people you know well, as you do from people you’ve just met.

Christy said...

Since the party is in warm weather I'd suggest taking some of the activities outside. I gave my 2 yr old a Kite Themed birthday earlier this month & I was so surprised how excited the adults at the party got about flying the kites. Everyone at the party was flying a kite or helping a child fly a kite. It was great. Actually it's the first party I've thrown where everyone participated in an activity. You could also set up horseshoes or a badminton set. If you do these types of games make sure 1 member from each family is teamed up. Create a slideshow of your child's 1st year pics on the TV. You could also set up an area with the video camera so the adults can leave a message for your child that will be heard on their 18th birthday. Do the ladies in the family like to scrapbook? Set up an area where they can create a page that you can put the pics of them with your child at the party on, along with a birthday wish. I also love the idea Shannon posted. Good Luck!