The Ultimate WILD ONE First Birthday Party | Themed Food Menu | Budget and DIY Ideas

My little guy’s second birthday is around the corner, and you can bet that I’ve been adding ideas to my list for a few months now. Last year I planned a WILD ONE themed first birthday party for my son, and it was absolutely wonderful! Everyone had so much fun that day, and I was so excited with how all of the ideas turned out.

Planning a kid’s birthday party doesn’t have to be overwhelming or super expensive! You can still have fun and go crazy with ideas and keep the plan quite simple and affordable! Creating a plan you can stick to and with some creativity along the way, you can pull it off pretty easily. I hope you can get some inspiration from these ideas!

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The first step when planning a themed party on a budget, is to be creative with items you already have on hand, and I’m sure plenty of us have an old sheet or table cloth around for this project or know of someone who does! We have a country home on wooded property, and so my husband didn’t have to go very far to get the sticks for my vision for this little tent. I used as much as I could find that I already had, but did buy the burlap banner because it was only $8.99 and I didn’t trust myself to make it!

Here is everything I used for this tent project:

  • 3 branches for the “tent”, about 2-4 inches around and cut to 4 ft tall
  • 2 branches cut to around 4 ft tall to hang burlap garland
  • WILD ONE Burlap Banner from Amazon – I just cut off the middle crown piece
  • 1 old white sheet for the “tent”
  • 1 old table cloth to spread on the ground
  • Lantern from Hobby Lobby (was a gift for decor in my son’s room)
  • Pinecones (From my craft room, but could have hunted outside for them too)
  • Twine used to wrap the tops of the tent branches together
  • Artificial vine greenery for the top of tent – from my craft room, but I have seen similar at the dollar store!


His highchair I decorated with this banner from Amazon, and it was adorable but I almost wish I just made one myself with the fabric I had on hand. Thrift stores are also a good spot to find fabric scraps as well and for a very small price!

Going along with our WILD ONE nature theme, I cleared our coffee table and displayed a “tree” of photos for each month and throughout his first year. I made this by spray painting two branches I found in our woods and then glued them into a chunk of wood that my husband drilled a hole in for me. The beautiful banner was reused from my baby shower, and the bear decor is from my son’s room.

The centerpiece on the table is what I keep on my table all summer long, using an artificial eucalyptus branch from Amazon with small jars and tea light candles. It worked perfectly for the party, and I only added the little wooden nature animals that were reused from my baby shower as well. I have seen pieces like these at the dollar store and other craft stores! To keep on a budget, reusing what you can, or tapping into your creative and crafty side may just surprise you!


The drink station was simply iced lemon water and the “pond punch” recipe was, 2 liters Sprite, 1 gallon Green Berry Rush Hawaiian Punch, and 12 ounces Dole Pineapple Juice, all chilled beforehand. All of the drink and menu labels I made using craft supplies, and fake greenery that I already had!


Plates and napkins were simple gold and green to keep with the “Wild One” nature theme, and all from the dollar store, as well as forks and knives, and a green table cover I used for the center island.


I had so much fun being creative and coming up with these food name ideas! I believe this turned out to be the ultimate themed Wild One party food and snack menu for our little guy. What makes this an easy party menu, is that a lot of these things can be prepared in advance. Once you have your ideas and your grocery list, just stick to it and make a list of when to prepare each dish. After preparing I just keep in the serving dishes, so all that is needed is to pull them out, take off the wrap/covers and they are ready to be baked or served! The cost is kept low as well when instead of catering, it can all be bought and prepared yourself with just a bit more effort.

Get out your notebook and start your party menu planning checklist!

“FOR THE CARNIVORES” – Crockpot pulled chicken sandwiches

“MUCKY RIVER BOTTOMS” – Baked Cheesy Potatoes (not pictured as it was still baking in oven)

“WILD BERRIES” – Variety of berries

“LILY PADS” – Kiwi slices (I skipped this one but thought of it)

“FOREST FOOD” – Rainbow Rotini Veggie Pasta

“PAWSTA” – Pesto Pasta Salad

“BEEVER SHAVINGS” – Wavy Potato Chips

“TIGER TEETH” – Bugles

“TWIGS AND BARK” – Gardhettos

“SWAMP GRASS” – Spinach Artichoke Dip

“WILD MUSHROOMS” – Mozzarella Sticks, Cherry Tomatoes and Sprinkled Parmesan

“TREE BARK” – Pretzel Thins and Rye Chips (to dip in spinach artichoke dip)

“DEER MUNCH” – Texas Caviar Dip

“BEAR TRAILS” – Reeces Peanut Butter Dip with Wafers and Graham Crackers

“RAINBOW TROUT” – Gold Fish Crackers

“DON’T FEED THE BEARS” – Teddy Grahams

“BIRCH BARK” – Dark and White Chocolate drizzled graham crackers and pretzels

“SQUIRREL NUTS” – Variety of Nuts and Dried Fruit in Mini Cups

“DEER DROPPINGS” – Malted Milk Balls

“SWISS ROLL LOGS” – Little Debbies Swiss Rolls


I decided to make a homemade, healthier version smash cake for my toddler and it turned out absolutely wonderful! I followed this recipe, kept it simple and topped it with chocolate sprinkles and a candle. It was so fun watching him dig into this! I made this a few days ahead of time and kept it frozen until the morning of the party when I frosted and decorated it.

The cake for everyone else I ordered and picked up the day before from our favorite local grocery store bakery, and they did an amazing job! I used the editable image that I purchased for $6 on Etsy for invites and also for the image for this cake. I can’t get over how darling it is.

This day was truly amazing, absolutely so fun to plan, and my husband and I were so grateful for who could make it and show our son so much love on his special day! I can hardly believe it was almost a year ago already, and that we will have a two year old soon! I can’t wait to share what I come up with for his 2nd!

I hope you could be inspired and get ideas for your Little One, and be sure to check back and subscribe for more creative hosting ideas!

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