Since my baby boy was a wee squiggle, swimming in my tummy he has had two nicknames- Gummy Bear (given to him by his Auntie Alyssa, because she said that he looked like one in the ultrasound photo), and Teddy Bear (his middle name is Theodore, after my husband's grandfather). So it was only natural that his first birthday go along with these nicknames. In searching for Teddy Bear themed party ideas, I quickly realized that everything was for baby showers, and NOT birthday parties. Well, I wouldn't let that detour me! I had done a home-made birthday party before-my oldest son's 2nd birthday was Toy Story themed, and I made everything from: activities, decorations, signs, cupcakes, snacks, games, art projects, etc. I could do it again..........so I did.
I scoured Pinterest for ideas, then I was on the prowl for anything and everything that just might work. I don't know if I'm extremely lucky, or if planning ahead, looking in several places, and being open to changes is the answer, but it all fell into place perfectly. I love the Teddy Bear Picnic song, and we have a plethora of the stuffed scoundrels lying about our home, so once again.....I went with it.
Here is how it turned out, where I purchased the supplies, how I made the projects, and other miscellaneous things you might want to know, when planning a similar birthday extravaganza:
A line in the song refers to all the Teddy Bears wearing a disguise to their big party, so our guests got to wear them too. Bear-ear hats were waiting right inside the door, with a sign reminding them to take one. They were easy to make, only required a sharpie and brown paper, and the kiddos LOVED them. They wore them all day, and many took extras home.
Teddy Bear Picnic Table
This is the "picnic" table where the goodie bags, and yummy treats were housed. Gummy Bears, sandwiches, Teddy Grahams, Trail Mix, cupcakes, and adorable bear cups to store the tasty treats, were laid out for snacking.
Teddy Bear Picnic Framed Lyrics
Also, a Dollar Store picture frame displayed a verse of the Teddy Bear picnic song. These were placed throughout the house for people to read. I tried to match the verse with the activity that would take place in that area. Now, these verses are hanging in my Teddy Bear's bedroom. What a great keepsake!
Each child that attended the party went home with a Teddy Bear plate, set of silverware, and a Teddy Bear storage container filled with gummy bears or teddy grahams (depending on their age). I was told by several parents that they loved this idea, because their kids were getting something they would actually use. The kids were begging to eat dinner with their new plates/silverware, so I'm guessing that they liked the idea too.
Cookie Decorating Station
This was one of the best ideas! The kids absolutely loved decorating their own teddy bear cookie. It was nice for me, because that was one less thing I had to prepare before the party, and it was nice for the parents/kids because the kids were entertained. It was extremely easy to set up, required little time, and was very inexpensive.
I made one of these for my older son's second birthday, and it is still hanging in his bedroom almost two years later. It was a mommy-favorite, and more than anything, I wanted to do it again for my little Teddy Bear. Cut out the number needed from a cardboard box, glue/tape pictures to cover the cardboard, then hang! It's so fun to see the changes in your baby when sorting through the pictures, and it's fun to reminisce with party guests when they take a peek.
This is the easiest decoration idea yet! Bake cupcakes, frost, stick a teddy graham on top. Done. Quick, easy, inexpensive, and everyone loves a cupcake with a little something on top.
Teddy Bear Ice Cream
No picture of this sweet treat. Sorry! But it is also a wonderful way to make good use of that cookie cutter. We thawed, then refroze ice cream into a foil pan. Then when it was time for ice cream, we pulled out our trusty cookie cutter, and used it to "scoop" the ice cream. There was a little trial and error (1.take the ice cream out and let it sit for a bit before trying to cookie-cutter it. 2. Warming the cookie cutter under hot water first really helps), but it was so so cute, and the kiddos were so excited to get a teddy bear-shaped ice cream.
These were awesome! Everyone loved them, and they were so easy to make. Since bears like fish, we made tuna sandwiches, then used the same cookie cutter (we were getting as much use of the thing as we could) to cut out adorable little teddy bears. I'm still in love with this idea, and I think I will try to do it again for future parties of various themes.
Everyone one year old needs his or her own cake on their birthday. We enlisted the help of the boys' Meema in making a teddy bear cake, just his size. It was perfect for our little guy, and it was oh so sweet!
In the end, I'm so glad that I couldn't find any generic red and blue checkered plates with teddy bears on them. I enjoyed making this party unique and special, and I enjoyed seeing how much everyone who attended enjoyed the little touches. More than anything, I love that I can show my little Teddy Bear pictures of this wonderful day, and tell him that his mommy did this all for him!