Host a Back to Nature Birthday Party

Celebrate the great outdoors with a back to nature birthday party for your little one. One year olds love going outside to explore nature, so why not make the most of it at their birthday party? Let them get in touch with Mother Earth (and let a few parents remember, too) by holding your party outdoors, either in the backyard, or in a park nearby.

For the invitations, fold a piece of card in half and write all the details on the inside flap. On the outside, glue on a pack of flower seeds, wildflowers preferably. Include all the instructions as to how to plant the seeds so the children can make a little nature preserve of their own.

Since this party is being held outside, there's very little decorating you need to do. Try to use all natural and biodegradable decorations if you can. Using the park benches for your party tables cuts down on the amount of things you need to move. Decorate the table with arrangements of flowers and leaves in season and pretty stones. As a place marker, set out a pretty leaf and write the children's names on a smooth stone used as a weight on the leaf.

Hand out part of the favors early on in the party. A small and inexpensive photo album is a great keepsake book for them to store their “finds” in the little plastic envelopes. If you choose one with a blank cover, the children can start out by decorating it with pressed flowers or paper cutouts.

Then, take them for a walk through the park! Lots of adult guides are needed here to answer the kids' questions and make sure no one gets lost. The adults get a nature guide book so that they can even show the kids what they mean. Let the children gather up what they find interesting but let them ask first about any plants in case the species is protected or toxic.

After that walk, everyone should be ready for a snack! Have a mix of healthy food and sugary treats. Slices of apples can be dipped into “ant dip” - a concoction of peanut butter, honey, and cream cheese decorated with raisins. Pigs in blankets make a mess-free meal, as do hotdog “worms” that are cut lengthwise, leaving about half an inch at one end connected. When the hotdog is cooked, the ends will curl up. Serve the hotdog in a burger bun with the worm heads coming out and resting on a lettuce leaf or two. The non-healthy snack is “Dirt,” layers of chocolate pudding alternating with layers of Oreo cookie crumbs and ending with the Oreo crumbs. Decorate the dirt with gummy worms and insects and a sugar flower or three. Wash down the meal with bug juice – green fruit juice like kiwi can be combined with carbonated water to make a unusual beverage. Cool it down with ice cubes that had gummy insects frozen into them.

Catterpillar cupcakes are the perfect dessert cum birthday cake since they are already in perfect portions for each child. After frosting the cupcakes, decorate each one with a wavy line made of MMs and little legs of chocolate shot. Make a giant cupcake for the birthday celebrant to blow a candle out on.

Complete the birthday favor package with a pair of plastic binoculars, a child's nature guide, and a bottle of bubble solution.