Birthday Party Theme, First Birthday Party, Summer Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Ellie’s first birthday with a backyard beach themed party! We don’t have a pool but wanted to celebrate with a summer theme, so we pulled together some water activities and used her new sandbox to create a beach-inspired party from our backyard! We were blessed with great weather and enjoyed many friends and family to celebrate her special day. It was a great time of year for a picnic styled event with grilled burgers and hot dogs, cupcakes and jello, a sandbox, baby pool, slip n slide, and water balloons. We couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of many family and friends and are so grateful for the precious memories they helped us build and shared with us.

Below are some of the highlights that made the party come together into a fun summer evening celebrating one year of life!


We blew up the baby pool and placed it next to the sandbox under a beach umbrella to create our “mini beach.” We also setup the slip n slide down the hill on our side yard to add to the water fun. Even my one year old daughter took a turn on the slide (though I don’t think she would note it as a highlight of the day)! The youngest kids had a blast in the little pool and several of the older ones crowded around the sandbox at one point. Also (not pictured), my brother showed up with water balloons that were a huge hit all-around!


For general decorations, we strung balloons all along the side railing of our deck to create a festive look from the road. We also hung a few around Ellie’s highchair and strung a “Happy 1st Birthday” banner over her chair. Instead of just using an ice chest to stash the drinks for the event, we filled a smaller baby pool with ice ┬áto keep everything chilled, cute, and accessible.


For some fun beach-themed desserts, my mom made blue jello cups filled with small gummy sharks that were a huge hit! I also purchased cupcakes with blue icing from the local bakery and topped them with one or two swedish fish. (As a perk the bakery threw in a free smash cake that my daughter found especially intriguing to squeeze between her fingers!)

All of the pieces came together into a fun and relaxed party with a beach feel, picnic style dinner, and many fun memories with family and friends. Even without a pool, kids went home wet and sandy and adults lounged near an umbrella (at times perhaps catching a few rays). It was our farm-country spin on a summer party at the shore!