Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See birthday party!

I am starting to plan Little Dude’s 2nd birthday party & a friend (Michelle) reminded me that I never blogged his 1st birthday party!

I put a TON of work into his 1st birthday party, so I definitely want to share it here.

I took WEEKLY pictures of him since he was born and put them together in a slideshow that we showed while people ate cake & other food.  It was fun to see everyone’s reactions as to how he changed week-to-week & I will ALWAYS cherish this slideshow.  It’s sooo special to us. 🙂

We had his invitations designed by a graphic designer:

The book that started this madness. 🙂  In all seriousness, I am a HUGE fan of reading to babies/kids.  When Little Dude was a newborn, I would put him in his swing & play this audio book from the library while I got stuff done.  This book *always* calmed him down, whether I read it to him or he heard the audio book.  

I got colored balloons to match each of the animals in the book. Yes, they HAD to be in order of appearance. 
I decided to make silhouettes of EACH animal, in the coordinating color and present a food that was the appropriate color or (if possible) color.  I traced the shapes of EACH animal, flipped it so the front edge would look nice and used a straight-edge blade to cut the foam-core.  It took HOURS but I was so pleased with the result.  It really helped tie together the food & overall party concept.  The idea I originally saw on Pinterest was just black silhouettes – very cute idea I ran with in a slightly different direction.  A couple weeks after his birthday party, I found WALL decals for this book at Target and about fainted.  I bought them (duh!) and put them above his window in his room.  🙂

Here we go!  Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?

chocolate Teddy Grahams! 
Red Bird Red Bird What Do You See? (red apples)
Yellow Duck Yellow Duck What Do You See? (& for later, White Dog White Dog What Do You See?)   (both cheese, sliced to shape with cookie cutters)
Green Frog Green Frog What Do You See?  (My mom’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies dipped in green & blue modeling chocolate)
Blue Horse Blue Horse What Do You See?
Purple Cat Purple Cat What Do You See?  (purple grapes)
Black Sheep Black Sheep What Do You See?  (black coffee via our black Keurig)

Goldfish Goldfish What Do You See?  (Goldfish crackers)

iced tea with peach slices & punch

Since I figured our son would be smashing into his cake, I made chocolate cupcakes for everyone else.  Then I dipped them into modeling chocolate to coordinate with the cookies.
And I made a Brown Bear cake.  I bought a bear mold, baked it, carved it, iced it, decorated it… I felt OK about the cake.  If I had a few hundred extra dollars just laying around, I would of hired my favorite cake artist to make an award-winning novelty cake based off the entire book…

Pinwheel snacks to even out the sugar overload
activity #1, hand silhouettes
activity #2, an Eric Carle game
activity #3, fingerprint tree: have everyone who hadn’t already pressed their fingerprint on Little Dude’s “family tree” add their print.  From baby showers, to birth & through his birthday, we got a lot of special people on there! (not just “family” but friends, too)
The piano was a big hit (left to right): Monkey Girl, Little Dude, Big Sis
So here’s why I don’t mind that I made Little Dude’s cake.  He hated it. Ha!  I was (and still am) VERY strict about his food intake.  We eat organic. He doesn’t get sweets….
Chris decided to help his son out with a finger swipe of frosting…
He was not amused. 
I promise I didn’t make SOUR frosting!
Much happier with a celery stick (good thinking, Daddy). 

So there you have it!  It looks simple once you go back and review it but it was a lot of work & very much enjoyed by his guests.  Happy Pinning & birthday party planning!

Please leave a comment below & share with your friends. All comments await my moderation.

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Kasia - August 25, 2012 - 4:41 pm

you are my hero! we are so not going to be that detailed or awesome with little N’s party- but we do plan a cake smashing adventure on the deck!
also: buying that book today!

Jk - July 31, 2014 - 2:53 am


Love your ideas for Eric Carle’s book, Brown Bear… I am currently in the process of planning my son’s 1st Birthday party and you have given me some great ideas. Thank you for sharing.

Jen Lawlor - April 10, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Just browsing through Pinterest for ideas for my son’s 1st birthday. He is obsessed with “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, so this was a natural starting point, and there you were. Really great, sweet ideas for your son’s celebration, I loved the combination of simplicity and mad genius! And had to stop and comment because that expression on his face with his first taste of cake – PRICELESS. I’m still laughing. 🙂

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