A Smashing Good Time: Cake Smash Photo Shoots for First Birthdays 0

cake smash photo shoots for first birthdays

In the 1990’s Anne Geddes photographs of adorable babies in flower pots, cabbage leaves, and all kinds of other too cute poses began a new trend in newborn photography. All new parents love to document their baby’s every milestone with pictures and social media has only increased that trend. There are props to document baby’s growth through pictures and video, of every month from birth to 12 months.

The biggest milestone parents want to photograph is their child’s first birthday and of course, that includes the baby’s reaction to their cake. Cake smash photo shoots have become a way to extend the first birthday celebrations for little ones and to record them in pictures. A cake smash photo shoot can take place at the baby’s first birthday party, but professional photographers and experienced parents alike seem to agree that a separate photo shoot is less stressful on the parents and the birthday boy or girl.

These photo shoots have become so popular that many professional photography studios offer them as part of their one-year-old birthday photo session. Some newborn photographers will offer parents who have a newborn photo shoot a discount to return for a cake smash photo session in a year.  

Like any other endeavor involving a baby, there needs to be careful planning around your child’s personality and preferences. Photo sessions will go much more smoothly if planned around nap and meal times. Also, since this is probably your baby’s first encounter with sweets you may want to try out a few practice cupcakes ahead of time.  Most parents and photographers who have worked with babies at these photo shoots recommend a simple white cake with whipped icing because it’s not as heavy or rich as other icings. Parents will want to provide their own cake to accommodate for any allergies their child may have.cake smash outfit ideas

Parents willing to take on the task of photographing the cake smash on their own will still need to enlist the help of at least one friend or relative on the day of the shoot. The best pictures seem to be made on a flat surface, not in a high chair. Props should be kept simple and can be inexpensive as long as they coordinate around one or two key items. You want the focus to be the baby and the cake, not a cluttered background. Plan ahead and find a spot in your home, yard, or area park that has soft lighting and will be comfortable for your baby.

Take practice shots without the cake to check lighting and placement of any props. Once the cake is put into the baby’s reach the pictures will have to be taken quickly to catch every moment. Babies who are uncertain about digging into the cake may have to be coaxed along before they are sure what to do. This is one time where parents actually want their little one to make a mess because the bigger the mess the cuter the pictures.

Cake smash photo shoots can match the theme of the baby’s first birthday party or take an entirely different route. There are themes that work for boys and girls like a lemonade stand, Mickey Mouse, circus, Sesame Street, picnic, or beach scene. Popular themes for girls include of course variations of colors using pink.

Pink and gold are very popular as is pink and turquoise. These outfits usually include a tutu, a headband and lots of sparkles. Themes for boys often include sports, the wild west, or other outdoor scenes, or even dinosaurs. Bare feet are a must for these shoots because often the icing ends up on little toes as well as hands and face.  Some photographers will even take pictures of just the mess after the baby has been taken away to get cleaned up.  

Careful planning of theme, cake smash outfits, cake, and location will help the shoot run more smoothly. Keep your baby’s personality and schedule in mind when deciding a time for the photos. Remember, the baby is the star of the shoot and a happy baby will make even more adorable messy pictures.  

 

 

First Birthday Party Ideas for Boys and Girls 0

Your baby’s first birthday is an exciting milestone and you want to celebrate it with friends and family. There are several key decisions to make before you begin planning your little one’s first birthday bash. Start by considering your baby’s personality and reactions to new situations and big groups of people. If your baby is overstimulated easily, you may want to consider limiting the guest list to friends and family he or she regularly comes in contact with. If your little one is outgoing and not bothered by big groups then you can invite a larger number of guests. The size of the gathering is the start of the party planning. Setting the number of guests will help you move on to the party venue, food, theme, decorations, and favors.

 

Venue

Keep in mind that your guest of honor is not yet old enough to demand a specific party theme or venue. This is therefore your chance to plan the perfect party exactly the way you want it. For a more intimate party of just family and possibly a few family friends, you will probably host the party at your home. This can save you the cost of renting a space, but it does require set-up beforehand and clean-up afterward. 

 

If you live in a small space there are other options for a memorable party. Depending on the time of year you may consider having the party at a park or a local swimming pool, so be sure to check with your local park or pool office to make necessary reservations.

 

Also, consider that your town may have a local community building available to rent at a low cost. In the same vein, most churches have fellowship halls they will allow people to reserve for parties. Some ask for a donation to the church while others charge a rental fee. You could also check with local restaurants about using their party room or several tables at their establishment. They may have party packages that will include food and perhaps the cake as well. This cuts down on your set-up and clean-up, but will of course increase the price of the party.

 

Theme/Decorations

Once you have decided on the number of guests and booked a venue that works well for your event, it is time to choose a theme. Does your little one have a favorite stuffed animal, cartoon character, color, or book? You can plan a party around any of these ideas and work within any budget and guest list. Popular party colors for little girls include pink and gold. Princesses of any kind are always a hit as well. A generic princess party with tiaras and sashes and a “throne” for the birthday girl can be gorgeous in pictures and fun for the adults and kids.

First Birthday Party Ideas for Boys and Girls

Decorations can include inexpensive balloons and streamers to more expensive custom made birthday thrones and monogrammed sashes and tiaras. If you choose a specific princess there are always many pre-made decorations to be had that don’t require you spending hours making banners, centerpieces, and other parts of the decor. Of course there are other character themed birthday party ideas for your little girl depending on her favorite shows or stuffed animal. Some themes like a zoo or farm theme can work for boys or girls. 

 

If your little boy’s favorite stuffed animal is an elephant then you might want to run with a zoo theme. Little boys (and girls) are often interested in their race car toys or even tractors. If they have a favorite then there are party decorations to fit a construction site or race car theme.  Blues and greens are often popular colors to build a little boy’s first birthday party around. 

 

Again, depending on your budget and venue, you can create your own unique decorations or purchase decorations from a party supply store or website. Another popular trend for first birthdays is to dress your baby according to the theme. Let your little one be a princess, a farmer, their favorite cartoon character, or put together an outfit that correlates with the party colors.

First Birthday Party Ideas for Boys and Girls

Parents, you may want to participate as well. Guests can dress up as well, or you can provide props like tiaras, hard hats, or bandanas for them at the party to help everyone get into the birthday spirit.

Food/Party Favors

Since the party is for a twelve-month old, an elaborate meal may not necessarily work for the young guests and their families. You may just choose to have small snacks, cake or cupcakes, and punch or juice for the kids. For the adults you could do finger foods that can be eaten while supervising their small children. The most anticipated part of the party is usually the cake. Cakes can be simple and homemade or elaborate creations by a caterer. Parents usually want the cake to fit the theme. Your little mermaid may get an underwater themed cake complete with mermaid topper.

 

Your animal lover may want a cake in the shape of his favorite stuffed animal. Sheet cakes can be decorated many different ways and even cupcakes can be grouped together to form animals or other characters. Cupcakes may be easier to distribute and much easier for little ones to eat and or make a mess with. Again, keep in mind your baby’s personality when deciding how to present them with their own small cake to eat. If they are shy in front of large groups, then everyone singing to them and staring at them could set off a crying fit.

 

You may want to discreetly let them have their own cake or cupcake in their high chair and allow them to eat and or make a mess while you take pictures and guests continue on with the party or quietly watch. Party favors for a first birthday party should be age appropriate for the guests. One popular part of gatherings right now is a picture frame or photo booth of sorts where guests can take pictures using props. You could print those pictures out and send them home with guests as they leave. Other favors could include letting guests take home the tiaras or bandanas or other items used to dress-up for the theme.

 

The most important part of the first birthday party is that your little one is comfortable and has a good time.  Schedule the party around their naps and with their personality in mind.

 

 

Children’s Birthday Party Planning: The Ultimate Guide 0

Planning children’s birthday parties can be an overwhelming project. Each birthday is special, and you will want to celebrate your child’s birth in a way that will be memorable. Whether you are planning a birthday party for a baby, toddler, elementary school age, tween, or a sweet sixteen, you want to make each party a joyous occasion.

The process of planning children’s birthday parties does not need to be overwhelming. Following a few easy steps, baring in mind what works and what often does not, and organizing a timeline will give you ease of mind as you plan each special occasion.

Here is the ultimate guide to children’s birthday party planning. Enjoy!

Budget

The first thing to consider when planning children’s birthday parties is your budget. How much do you want to spend? For big events, like a sixteenth birthday party, you may want to spend a little more money. For a child’s 1st birthday party, you can keep expenses to a minimum. Having entertainment or hosting a birthday party at an offsite venue will cost more, but could be worth it because it relieves you of much of the stress of party planning.

Theme

Birthday party planning. Kids birthday party ideas

Having a theme for your child’s birthday party will actually make the birthday party planning process easier. The theme can carry over into all aspects of the party. Invitations, decorations, crafts, activities and entertainment, food, cake and party favors can all be wrapped up in one theme. For younger children, you will obviously have a good idea of a theme that is exciting. As your child ages, let them be a part of the selection of theme process.

Here are some good themes that can be coordinated with all aspects of your child’s birthday party.

One year: The number “1”, balloons, rainbows, flowers, trucks, characters.
Two to four years old: Give them some say about the theme that they would like most.
Elementary School: Definitely let your child be involved in planning their birthday party theme. Include him or her in all aspects of the theme including invitations, decorations, crafts, activities and
entertainment, and food.

Guest List and Invitations

The tried and true rule of thumb when considering which guests to include is add one person to your child’s age. Obviously, a first birthday party will consist of family, close friends and perhaps neighbors. As your child grows, consider adding one guest his or her age in addition to his or her age.

For example, a two year old is fine with one other friend his or her age. A three year old is fine with four friends his Birthday party planning. Kids birthday party ideas or her age, etc, etc. This time tested rule helps to keep parties in check and your child, guests and you will be happy. Once your child is in school, you will need to consider your guest list a bit more in depth.

Start with your child’s best friends. If you want to add more people to the guest list, expand your child’s circle of friends to include good friends and kids they hang out with once in a while. Inviting classmates may work, but be careful of feelings. If you send invitations through your child’s teacher, be prepared to include all classmates. No one wants hurt feelings.

If you are planning an off site venue such as an event at a park, inflatable business, a trampoline or rock climbing business, a pool, inviting a whole class could be feasible. Parents can sign waivers or you could hire extra help to supervise the children.

 

 

Venue

Depending on your child’s age and the amount of guests you are expecting, planning the right venue is important. An off site venue might be easier to plan than to have the party in your home. Here are some suggestions for venues to consider when planning a birthday party.

Movie Theater: For a small group of more mature children, a matinee is a fun choice. Some movie theaters even have party rooms where children can be served food and presents can be opened before or after the featured movie. The caveat is transportation, but if you have some parent helpers, this should be no problem.

Park or Community Center: Having your party in a park or in a facility such as a VFW or Eagles Hall or a church is a great way to host a birthday party for a larger group of children. The cost to rent a facility usually reasonable. You want to have some helpers such as family, close friends or a few of the children’s parents to help with the party, crafts, games and food. You can make food that goes along with your theme, order food, or have a pot luck party depending on your budge.

Pool Party: Most public pools offer times for pool parties and provide life guards. For a big group of kids who are able to swim, a pool party offers a lot of great themes such as a luau. The kids are sure to have fun and the life guard supervision will put you at ease regarding the children’s safety.

Inflatable Gym: Younger children love inflatable gyms. Bouncy cages, slides, and obstacle courses are often a part of these gyms. Many inflatable gyms provide supervision by employees and a party room for presents, food and cake after the children spend an hour playing in the inflatable arena. Some places even offer employees to help serve food and keep track of the presents opened.

Trampoline Park or Rock Climbing Facility: Older children love trampoline parks and other entertainment gyms. Just as with the inflatable gyms, children are allotted time to play and join together in a party room where employees help serve the food and presents can be opened. These facilities cost a bit, but the hassle free party may be worth it to you.

Entertainment

Choosing to have an entertainer when birthday party planning could be expensive but well worth it because much of the party can be centered around the entertainment. Face painters, caricature artists, balloon artists, or a disc jockey Birthday party planning. Kids birthday party ideas are some ideas for hassle free entertainment that the children are surer to love.

Whether or not you choose to host your party at an off site location or hire entertainment, you want to keep the children busy and limit free play as much as possible. As guests arrive you may want to have a craft table set up.

Perhaps have the children make their own name tag or put together a simple craft that they can take home with them at the end of the party. Once guests arrive, you can move on to organized activities such as games or other entertainment.

Break for a snack and refreshment or a meal if that is what you have planned. Next do some more organized activities. Finally, cake and presents. Moving younger children around in a timely fashion will help keep children from getting into trouble and everyone can enjoy the party.

 

Food

To serve food or not to serve food may be a question. Shorter parties for younger children do not really require a meal. Snacks and refreshments may be sufficient. For longer parties, you may want to provide a lunch or dinner for the party guests.

Whatever you decide, planning the food to coordinate with the birthday party theme is fun to do. For a luau, serve kebabs. For a picnic, serve hot dogs. You can even get the kids involved by letting them make their own meal such as individual pizzas or a taco bar.

The birthday cake is often a must for any birthday party planning. If you like to bake, you may enjoy creating a unique cake that matches your party’s theme. if you order the cake, there are many designs to choose from at most bakeries.

 

 

Decorations

kids birthday party ideas Whatever your party’s theme, have fun with the decor. Banners, confetti, balloons, lights, and crepe paper are party standards. You can also be more creative depending on your party theme. For example, a beach theme could include sand buckets and shovels, a luau could feature grass skirted tables and tiki lamps, a character party can include images of the character, or a construction theme could include loaders and dump trucks.

Timeline

Having a timeline can ease your mind during the month of planning a birthday party. Here is a general timeline to consider. You will find yourself checking off the list and have a feeling of accomplishment.

4 weeks before the party

•Decide on your child’s party theme.
•Decide on a guest list.
•Prepare invitations.
•Consider the party venue, entertainment, decorations and food.

3 weeks before the party

•Send invitations. For a smaller party, you can call or send an email or e-vite to your child’s friends
•Purchase decorations or, if you feel creative, plan homemade decorations which will also help with your budget
•Get together party favors
•Arrange for extra help (family, friends, parents, neighbors or a professional party planner)

1 – 2 weeks before the party

•Prepare or buy party favors
•Schedule activities
•Call guests who have not responded to invitations – they could have been lost or misplaced

3 days before the party

•Buy food

1 – 2 days before the party

•Bake the cake if you have not ordered it from a bakery
•Gather together supplies
•Prepare make-ahead food

Other things to consider…

Opening presents at a birthday party can be an important event for the birthday boy or girl but also for the guests as younger children look forward to seeing their gift opened and appreciated. It is an important part of birthday party planning. Keep a list of all birthday gifts and who gave them so you can send a Thank You note after the party. Taking a picture of each gift and including it with the Thank You note is a nice touch.

Have fun planning your next birthday party!