We had a safe-at-home celebration for Paul’s 1st birthday, and we tried to make it as fun and memorable as possible for the kids with a ball pit cake smash!
Here are some tips if you’re planning to have one:
We chose a simple gold and white adventure-ish theme for Paul’s cake smash! Keeping it to 2-3 colors and no props made it easier to prepare and set up. We got a Bonjour Baby ballpit for them to play and have fun with – it was so spacious that the three kids fit there comfortable!
2. Warm up
To warm up Paul before the cake smash, we had all three kids play together at the ball pit first so that Paul could feel more comfy. By experience, Paul adapts faster to a new environment when his ahia and achi are with him.
Scrolling through Pinterest, the usual options for a cake smash are baby on a high chair or baby on the floor. The advantage of a high chair is that your baby is used to it and will be sitting properly.
We opted to do it at ground level so that Paul had more space and opportunity to move (and practice walking!) I loved how we captured candid shots like him trying to get his balance.
4. Piece of Cake
Because our whole family loves The Beehive’s carrot cake, it was a no-brainer for us to order.
On hindsight, though, I forgot that there were walnuts on top – it was a choking hazard for Paul, but he also loved picking them from the cake and made it his business to pluck each one off the top!
I would also suggest to pre-cut the cake if you are going for the all-out cake smash, so that the kids can grab and dismantle the cake easier hehe.
5. Enjoy (and accept) the mess
Mati and Hannah had more fun being messy (Paul was already getting cranky near his nap time), and they just enjoyed licking the frosting, scooping the cake and just living their best cake lives!
The mess doesn’t look so bad in the photos (probably because the frosting was also white), but Mati and Hannah both had extended bath times as we tried to get all the sugary frosting from their hair and skin! One source of relief was that it was super easy to wipe the ball pit clean! I’m so glad that we had the cake smash there instead of on the kids’ bedroom floor.
6. Keep It Natural
What parent doesn’t love adorable smiley-faced kids? hehe! I love picture-perfect moments, but kids have a wide range of emotions and it’s wonderful to look back and remember the stories behind these.
7. Preserve Memories
Make a photo album to look back and enjoy the special day! For me, slowly going through an album together and recounting memories and having a few laughs is worlds apart from scrolling through your phone.
Mati and Hannah love browsing through their albums and I can’t wait to make one for Paul! Will write tips on how to make a photo album for your kids (even if you don’t know Photoshop) soon!