“First in Flight” 1st Birthday Party Theme

Disclaimer: I received free products from Oriental Trading Company to facilitate this party.
All opinions and ideas are my own and are not influenced by the party who provided this opportunity.

Biplane and Banner

If you follow my posts regularly, you’ll know that my baby boy just celebrated his FIRST BIRTHDAY! In celebration, we threw a play date party with the theme “First in Flight.” Of course, I had to have multiple reasons behind the title I chose–it is the motto for North Carolina in honor of the Wright Brothers, my son’s first birthday, he loves airplanes especially being on an Air Force base, and of course because that year just flew right by!

When I throw a party, I go all out with the theme. I try to have themed invites, a schedule of activities, thoughtful decorations, a color scheme, and snacks that are fitting to the theme or age group. I even try to make themed “thank you” cards! Be sure to watch my blog for the full DIY posts and reviews for each item of the party and use my ideas to help your party take flight!


Our custom invites looked like airplane tickets!

Airline Ticket Themed Birthday Party Invitations


Here is our snack table. Because we did not have much room, I used the table for the gifts, cake, and snacks. If you have more space, you can spread this out among a few tables. Our party was fairly small and after lunch, so it all worked out perfectly.

First in Flight Gift and Snack Table

A nifty way to hold the silverware is to use cups! I used some plain plastic cups, but you can use whatever kind you’d like. I set out straws for the kids and only set out the colors that coordinated with the theme (yellow, blue, green.)

First in Flight Forks and Straws

I used some clay airplane banks and inexpensive paint brushes (again, only the colors that matched the theme) to fill in some of the empty space on the table. These were used later on for a craft.

First in Flight Snack Table Piggy Banks

I had removed all the brown M&Ms from the bag I’d purchased and realized that all the colors left besides the red matched my color scheme. I decided to take out all of the red candies and set out the dish for a tasty treat and to add a pop of color to the table.

We wanted to set out some finger foods as snacking during a birthday party is a must, but we did not want anything too costly or inappropriate for a baby’s birthday. We kept it simple and went with my baby’s favorite snacks including: Goldfish crackers, pretzels, and marshmallows. For the adults (and kids) we also set out a very simple plate of crackers, cheese, and sausage. I did realize afterwards that I’d use the RED serving tray–I wanted to stay with the color scheme and use my green tray, but I did not think of it until it was too late. If you have serving dishes that do not coordinate, no worries! The party will still go great just like ours! A little bit of an accent color won’t hurt anything.

First in Flight Finger Kids Snacks

Cupcakes were the dessert of choice as they are the perfect size for a first birthday cake, so I made them appear to have biplanes coming from the clouds. Biplane Cupcakes Tutorial here.

<Biplane Airplane Coming Through a Cloud Cupcakes


This idea popped into my head to have a table runner runway. I tried to find gray table runners or even a gray tablecloth, but I could only find silver so I decided to use a green tablecloth from Oriental Trading Company and make it into a DIY project (read the Table Runner Runway tutorial here.). I used some nifty paper airplanes as place markers for each of the kids and set up their square plates with “hangar” labelled on the underside.

Table Runner Runway Decor

As a centerpiece, I made a cloud of balloons.

Plane and Cloud Centerpiece

I also used balloons, construction paper, and some straws to make a biplane and hung it from the ceiling with string. I printed out a few sheets of paper with the words “First in Flight” for our theme, cut them out and tape them together to make a banner that I could hang behind the plane (see picture at the top.)

For extra fun, we filled up tons and tons of white balloons from Oriental Trading Company and let them float along the ceiling like clouds, no strings attached! As they would fall down to the ground, the kids had tons of fun bumping them back and forth which turned out to be a great activity for them.

First in Flight Balloon Clouds

Party Favors:

Yes, I am one of those moms who loves to give out party favors. For me, it’s not so much about other kids NEEDING to get something out of attending the birthday party as it is about finding a fun way to say thank you…and of course I enjoy setting up the packs! We used pails from Oriental Trading Company instead of little bags because they can be re-used rather than thrown away. I did this for my oldest son’s birthday party as well. We filled it with little juices boxes (as close to 3 ounces as I could get in honor of airplane carry-on guidelines), pretzels like you get in-flight, animal crackers, dehydrated fruits, and an airplane sucker and adorable pilot duckies from Oriental Trading Company. I try to keep the party favors fun and healthy.

Carry On Snacks Party Favor


We started off with chatting and the snacks until everyone arrived. Since the party was right after lunch and the table was already set with plates, we decided to make our first activity the cake!

First in Flight Birthday Cupcake

We sang “Happy Birthday” and dug in. The cupcakes were a tasty success!

First in Flight Enjoying Cupcakes

The birthday boy loved them too…

First in Flight Birthday Boy Eating Cupcake First in Flight Birthday Boy Messy

Then we painted our clay airplane coin banks from Oriental Trading Company! We bought a wide variety of colored paints and let the kids go crazy. This was one of the highlights of the party for many of them! After the party, guests were able to take their coin banks home with them as an additional party favor. We love take-home crafts!

First in Flight Painting Planes First in Flight Painting Airplanes

We had gift opening time…

First in Flight Opening Gifts

…then went right into play time!

First in Flight Having Fun

First in Flight Book a Party

Check out this post I wrote in honor of my baby’s 1st birthday!

Know someone who could use this? Hit the “share” buttons below! Be sure to follow Arts & Crackers on social media (buttons at the top right of the page.)

-What was/will be your child’s first birthday theme? Will you try any of these theme ideas?

Written by Alyssa Darby

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  1. I love your theme!! That’s adorable. And those airplane coin banks are adorable – I love a craft that’s usable afterward. We didn’t do much – just some bright plates and decorations, really. We had two parties though, one for my husband’s family in Ny and a mini one for my family in NJ

    • Thank you! I do too; take-home crafts are a must! They are fun, useful, and a great way to remember a fun childhood activity and friend!

  2. You continue to amaze me with your creativity and attention to detail! What an awesome theme and decor – the cupcakes were so cute!

  3. Your so creative! OMG … those Biplane cupcakes are adorable!! You did a great job with your little boy’s party. And, I love the way you used the balloons for clouds. I always shop at Oriental Trading for party supplies they have cutest stuff. I can’t say enough great things about Shawn’s party !! I know another little boy that would love those airplane banks!! Have a great day and thanks for sharing! Kim @ This Ole Mom

  4. What a cute party idea! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Very cute party theme! I love the biplane cupcakes!

  6. The table cloth is so cool. I love that people still do parties at home.

    • Thank you! Yes, we try to. I do not have the money to pay for rentals and it’s not as convenient (or as full of little kids’ toys!) Table decor tutorial coming soon!

  7. This is so incredibly cute!!! I absolutely love the table and all of your cute food items 🙂

  8. I love the theme. The cupcakes were adorable and you did an awesome job in the table decor.

  9. Your so creative! I wish i had a little boy!! These ideas are awesome! The cupcakes look fabulous!!

  10. These are all so creative and the ones that look like airplane tickets haha.. So cute.. thanks for the ideas. again so creative.

  11. Michelle Crooks-Rattan

    Very cute party i bet the kids loved it. Your son really enjoyed his cupcakes.

  12. What a fun party! You did an awesome job!

  13. I wish I lived closer girlie! I would have a blast at your kid’s parties lol

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