Wild One Adventure Party
It's hard to believe another year has flown by and our baby is now an official toddler! We do big 1st birthdays in our family, more as a party for the adults that we all survived the first year! After the big "1", it's cake and an experience! Sissy got a bonus party last year with her Two Wild Jungle Safari Party because we needed something to look forward to during COVID.
For our son, he really is all boy and truly a wild one at that, so selecting a theme that fit him was an easy task.
We went with a rustic, natural theme and tied in the wild one bear theme and all things nature throughout the party details.
Read on to find out more about our kid-approved, theme-related menu, kids' activities and games, party decor, and a downloadable scavenger hunt for the whole family!
Creating the menu and fun party food names is always one of my favorite parts of party planning.
Starting from left to right...
"Forest Berries" were an easy treat and way to get some fruit on the kids' plates too! We actually just used little paper cups from the Dollar Tree, then my husband had the creative idea to dissemble it, and then trace the outer part on the black and white plaid scrapbook paper. I then cut them out and hot glued them to the cups to make cute little dessert cups, all for the price of $2.60. It took me about 30 minutes to complete the project.
The "Birch Trees" were another easy festive food to make. I just dipped pretzel rods in White Candy Melts and then drizzled them by a fork with Black Candy Melts. When melting the chocolate, make sure to use 50% power and melt them for 30 seconds at a time or you might overheat the chocolate before you can use it!
"Trail Mix" is just about as theme-related and easy as it gets! We found these cute galvanized metal bowls at Hobby Lobby.
Having a Galvanized Three Tiered Serving Tray was perfect for adding height and dimension to the table.
For the "Leaves", we found these yummy and adorable maple leaf cookies at Trader Joe's.
Teddy Grahams for "Wild Bears" are another easy kid favorite and went perfectly with the theme.
Pretzel "Twigs" were the last addition to the 3-tiered tray.
These "Snail Sandwiches" are great to make ahead of time - just slice and serve! Check out the recipe for the Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Pinwheel Wraps.
Of course we had to have a smash cake for the party (but our little man was a little too exhausted so we had to do the smash cake another day). I had this simple semi-naked smash cake made and just used pinecones and greenery for decor.
I created the "Wild One" cake topper with my Silhouette Cameo Machine. Quick tangent, this was by far one of the the BEST presents my husband has ever given me as I use it for so many crafty things: party decor and signage, baby onesies, T-shirts for the kids, kids' names on drink and water cups, labels for organization and toy bins, and so much more! If you're even slightly crafty, I couldn't recommend this machine more!
Back to the Birthday... Here is the setup for the birthday cake smash session.
Here are a few pics from my son's Cake Smash photo session. I realized that when I'm the photographer, I have way more patience for other kids than my own. I usually take an hour to let the kid get crazy with the cake and get all the cute angles and shots. When it came to my son, I took pictures for 5 minutes and called it good! He clearly was not having his cake (or eating it too). We snagged the White Teepee Tent from his room and jazzed it up with a Buffalo Plaid Banner and Burlap Banner. I made the letters for the Burlap Banner with the Silhouette Cameo Machine and then used both of the banners again at the party. The wooden bear, wooden crate, and greenery is from Hobby Lobby.
I had these "Campfire Cupcakes" made at Lowe's Foods (a local grocery store) and then dressed them up with black and white plaid cupcake wrappers and bear and forest tree cupcake toppers.
You can buy similar ones on Etsy, but of course I made both the cupcake wrappers and the cupcake bear and tree toppers with my go-to Silhouette Cameo Machine. If you're interested in any of the designs, just send me an email!
I made this little bowl by gluing little twigs with a hot glue gun. Some say this may be a waste of time, but I thought it was pretty darn cute and basically free! I added these Kodiak "Grizzly Bears" inside (they are basically like a protein version of Teddy Grahams as they are packed with 5g of protein per serving!) We buy a lot of the Kodiak brand foods for our kids to get in extra protein and nutrients where we can since our kids can be picky and minimal eaters.
For a little something silly, we had to have some "Bear Poo" (aka Whoppers).
Paisley's Sweet Treats made these adorable and delicious "Bear Claw Cookies" for the party.
One of my favorite parts of the table was this s'more stand with "S'mores on Sticks"! My step-dad drilled holes in a log, and then I just made the s'mores by dipping skewer'd marshmallows in melted chocolate and rolling them in crushed graham crackers. So simple but so delicious!
The "Dirt & Worms" dessert is always a hit with the little kids! I made chocolate cake and then put a square in each cup, then made a pudding cool whip mixture with crushed Oreos, then drizzled it with hot fudge (and of course had a gummy worm or two in each cup).
As much fun as the kiddo table was, we also had more adult-friendly foods too. My husband did an amazing job with his Traeger smoker for pulled pork sandwiches ("for the Carnivores") complete with all the fixins (as they say out here in the South... cheese, pickles, cole slaw, etc.).
A few of the other foods had to have theme appropriate names too such as "Pawsta Salad". Bonus points for paw shaped noodles, but I was in a time-crunch so rotini it was! I added a homemade dressing along with halved cherry tomatoes, spiralized cucumbers (with my go-to OXO Spiralizer), colorful peppers, sweet onions, olives, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
The veggie tray "For the Herbivores". Not sure where that food label went...
and "Fierce Fruit" (watermelon), because watermelon is perfect for a scorching summer day!
I ran out of time (and creativity), but we also had potato salad, chips, a prosciutto platter, and crackers with brie and hot pepper jelly.
We had "Spring Water" and "Pond Punch" for the main beverages (along with kiddy Honest Juices and craft beers for the adults in a cooler outside).
This "Pond Punch" was a crowd favorite and super simple to make! Here's the recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com!
2 (2-Liter) bottles of Ginger Ale
2 quarts Lime Sherbet
1 can of Pineapple Juice (46oz)
Limes / Lemon Slices (Garnish on top)
I also made an ice ring out of an extra can of pineapple juice to keep it cold and keep the punch from being watered down with ice.
Forest green, black, and white were my main colors for the party. We used lots of pinecones and rustic natural elements to tie in the theme throughout the party.
I found this old pallet on the side of the street for bulk item pickup so had to grab it for his "One Wild Year" monthly photo board. Adding it to the backyard entrance created a fun welcoming area for our guests.
Again, I used my go-to Silhouette Cameo Machine to make the letters for the "One Wild Year" sign as well as the monthly bears, and just used a hot glue gun to attach mini clothespins on the back of each bear. Then I just clipped each one to a twine rope. I added some greenery from Hobby Lobby for the finishing touch!
The welcoming committee also included Jack's White Teepee Tent that we hijacked from his room, some forest friends, and our "Welcome Party Animals" sign that we used for my daughter's "Two Wild Jungle Party". See more from her party HERE! Of course his favorite Jellycat Bears and Moose had to make the cut.
For the table base, I started with a Black and White Checkered Tablecloth to set the stage for the rest of the decor. Our neighbors were actually cutting down a tree, so we actually used a lot of their tree branches and slabs for the cake stands and rustic decor elements. My husband and I got to work (mostly my hubs) with the miter saw and cut the small branches into 3" tall pieces. My stepdad and I then used a hand saw and cut the slits for the menu cards. We soaked the wood in a clorox, water, borax solution for 24 hours to eliminate bugs, then let them dry in the sun.
This Buffalo Plaid Party Plate and Cutlery Set went perfectly with the theme, and bonus, no dishes!
Thanks to my mom and stepdad, we had a box full of pinecones they collected for us to use for decor.
For the vases, I just spray painted mason jars with Rust-Oleum Hammered Spray Paint in Antique Pewter and then added some pinecones and some greenery from Hobby Lobby.
I found this adorable Black and White Plaid Banner that came in a two-pack so I hung one above the food table and the other one on the outside entrance to the backyard.
I used this Burlap Banner for the "One Wild Year" banner from his Cake Smash Session. I just used my Silhouette Cameo Machine to create and cut out the letters and glued them on with glue gel! I added a beautiful Faux Eucalyptus Greenery Garland to the top of the window to add a little green and complete the look.
I loved these "ONE" letters that worked for the cake smash session and the party. We just cut some mini stumps from our neighbor's cut-down tree with the miter saw.
I found these rustic frames at Hobby Lobby that perfectly fit the theme and color scheme!
I added a lantern with pinecones, the painted mason jar, and the frame on a wooden slab, and it was a simple yet cute centerpiece for one of the guest tables.
For my son's actual birthday, we had him do round 2 of cake testing, this time with a cupcake! It was definitely more his style and to his liking. I found this vintage highchair on Marketplace and painted it white and added a fun banner.
Here's our little munchkin pre-cupcake.
GAMES & ACTIVITIES:
Even though this party was celebrating a 1 year old, we also had to have some fun activities for the older kids. We rented a bounce house which is always a hit with the 5 and under crowd. We also had our inflatable pool and 2 water tables set up.
We also had a Bear Hunt where we hid some of the kids' bears and forest friends around the backyard and in the play set. I made these Bear Hunt cards as well as had binoculars out for their search.
We had little compass keychains for the Bear Hunt Prize (really for anyone who even found 1 bear).
Following the wilderness theme, we also had a scavenger hunt, complete with gold chocolate coins for the treasure. Since it was a mere 94 degrees, we only had the chocolate out for a short time in the treasure box full of ice before we had to move it to the ice chest / adult beverage cooler.
I originally ordered these party theme perfect Twig Colored Tree Pencils for the party, but a bunch of toddlers running around in a bounce house with twig shivs sounded like a nightmare ready to happen and many 911 calls in my mind!
I quickly decided to forego any reason to call the ambulance and opted to give out the pencils AFTER the party to the parents, emphasizing "adult supervision required". :) I went with the toddler safe crayons wrapped up in forest scrapbook paper to keep with the theme and play it Safety Sam..
Here is the Scavenger Hunt that the kids did at the party. Feel free to download and print and use for personal use / some family fun!
Keeping the bear theme going strong, gummy bears were one of the party favors for the guests.
I also gave away these Wooden Twig Pencils after the party, since I didn't end up feeling safe having the kids running around with them during the party.
I had these "Color Changing Adventure Cups" as part of the party favors, but being that I had to forget at least one thing on party day, these didn't make it out until 30 minutes after the party as I found them under the beverage table, so only a few remaining guests found them... which means I have plenty more for the next party!
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed Jack's 1st birthday party and photos! We sure had fun! Check out more party ideas, themes, inspiration, kids' games, and more on the Souly for the Party page!