Are you tasked with planning a first birthday and don’t know where to start? For even the most organized and thoughtful among us, planning a baby or child’s birthday can feel immensely overwhelming. Putting together a birthday celebration that everyone enjoys requires creativity, organization, networking, time management, and planning. We’ve done the legwork to provide you with some of our favorite birthday rental ideas to save you time and reduce the pressure you feel to create and organize something amazing.
In this article you will be inspired by some of the hottest birthday ideas such as hot aire balloon party, plinth cake tables, large safari animal statues, jungle theme first birthday ideas, Barbie box for hire, birthday party furniture rentals, super hero rentals and dinosaur rentals!
Read on for our favourite birthday prop for rent that will ensure your party is out of this world.
Before we begin, let’s consider the big picture. Why are we planning this party to begin with? Well, first of all, planning a party to celebrate a little one is a huge outward expression of love and joy. It shows you care about them, want them to feel special, and want to provide an opportunity for friends and family to gather together and celebrate. Whether your parties as a child involved ponies and swimming pools or board games and cake, you can probably remember a party of your own or of a friend’s when you were a child. They provide foundational memories for the family and for friends to look back upon and revisit for decades to come.
For many families and neighborhoods, birthdays are also opportunities to come together and celebrate children by honoring cultural traditions. From the Mexican tradition of piñatas at parties and the Chinese ritual of the 100th day birthday celebration to customs that families develop - such as making a favorite meal on birthdays or blowing out candles on a cake, how we celebrate birthdays varies widely but can connect us to our families and our heritage. And as many of us experienced in the pandemic, birthdays and other milestones encourage connection within communities - despite our inability to gather, birthday honk ‘n waves and drive-by parties and open houses have served as hugely important moments of connection in our lives.
How long have birthdays been celebrated, and where did the ritual originate? Although there is no sure-fire historical record available, historians have generally reached a consensus on the emergence of birthdays as celebrations. The first mention of a birthday is said to be made around 3,000 BCE, and is recorded in the Bible as that of a pharaoh. There is some disagreement, however, due to the belief that pharaohs became gods when they were crowned, thus the birth of the pharaoh as a god may have been the reference made in the Bible.
Nevertheless, it appears that over time, the idea of birthdays caught on and may have transferred to the Greeks, who offered Artemis, the goddess of the moon, cakes in the likeness of the moon, even alight with candles as a reference to the moon’s radiance. Whether the ritual of birthday celebration came from the Greeks or was original, it appears that the Romans were the first to begin celebrating non-divine and non-religious figures, celebrating birthdays of friends and family (but only males, as female birthdays weren’t celebrated until the 12th century or so). It is thought that the early Christian Church rejected the celebration of birthdays initially, considering them tied to pagan gods, but eventually began celebrating the birthday of Jesus as the Christmas holiday.
With the 18th century German addition of Kinderfest, or the celebration of birthdays of German children, birthday parties had begun. Although celebrations, rites, and rituals range throughout the world’s cultures today, it’s fascinating to trace the roots through the centuries and see how they have emerged from ancient civilizations.
For many cultures, including Chinese, Mexican, Korean, Indian, and Egyptian, a child’s first birthday holds special significance. From a biological perspective, there is an incredible amount of growth and development that occurs in a child’s initial year of life, and for that alone, a celebration should be warranted! Let’s take a closer look at the significance and traditions in these cultures.
In China, a child’s first birthday is a significant one, along with their 10th, 60th, and 70th birthdays, and other birthdays will likely not be celebrated to the same degree as these. For the child’s first birthday, family may gather for a lunch and tiger-themed gifts, toys, and books may be given to offer wishes for a long life. One of the most exciting events at a Chinese first-birthday party is Zhuazhou, a ritual of placing a variety of objects on a cloth in front of the child and allowing them to freely grab an item. The item they ultimately select is said to determine their interests and future career path.
For Mexican families celebrating a child’s first birthday party, the event is usually an extremely celebratory affair, with dancing, music, games, and sometimes drinking for the adults. Frequently, the family will sing songs of blessings for the baby and crack open a piñata to represent good wishes falling upon the child. In addition to gifts and special foods being served, the family may shove the child’s face into a birthday cake!
A quite similar ritual to Zhuazhou occurs in Korean first-birthday celebrations, called Doljanchi. During this ritual, a variety of rice cakes will be offered as well as objects. The child will wear ornate, colorful clothing with specific patterns and designs and prayers and additional ceremonies are common.
Hindu families in India celebrate strength, entry into the family, and a promise for the future in their first-birthday celebrations. The ritual shaving of the child’s head, or the Mundan, is meant to cleanse and refresh the baby from any wickedness of past lives. Following this ritual, the baby is blessed and prayed over at a shrine and special foods are eaten.
To prepare for a baby’s first birthday, Egyptian families will decorate their entire house with flowers and fruits, which are symbols of life and growth. They may also hang colorful paper garlands to add to the celebratory feel of the “hafla” or party. Dancing and singing in Arabic will be included in the festivities.
Here at Marquee Letters Toronto, we want the first birthday party you are planning to be something you’re proud of and something that brings joy to the child you’re celebrating, as well as everyone in attendance. We are Toronto's #1 quality destination for custom props and rentals and our array of options for birthday parties will blow your mind. From superheros and circuses to Barbies and dinosaurs, read on for our favorite birthday rental supplies and themes, as well as ideas for how to integrate these themes into the event itself.
Did you ever think you’d rent a giraffe for a party? Well, your safari-themed birthday party simply wouldn’t be complete without integrating it and other large safari animal statues from our safari party decor rentals. You can opt to rent from our array of animal prop rentals by selecting the safari rental set of an elephant, giraffe, zebra, monkey, tiger, and tiger cub rentals, or you can rent our individual animals from our inventory to build your own safari adventure. Options include flamingos, pandas, baby zebras, and even a gorilla. Our giraffe statues are among our most popular items, and with both a seated giraffe and one that measures six feet tall, they can make quite an impression on the adults at the party, as well as amazing photo props for the kids. Also wildly popular with children, our plush rental giraffe is perfect for young ones to climb on - especially when they’re dressed in safari outfits!
With our backdrop options of a Lion King backdrop wall and a safari backdrop wall, you can arrange the animal props for a stellar photo shoot with the kids and party attendees. Laid out on the grass, the scene makes the perfect play area! For a jungle theme first birthday, you can even set out an array of animal crackers, cupcakes and trail mix options for the adults to snack on. Arranged atop our safari theme first birthday table featuring safari-decorated “one” at the base, your party will be a hit!
Please refer to our Safari Theme section to learn more about our rentals:
Superheroes have enthralled us all for decades - why not have them visit your next party? If you’re in the Toronto area and looking for an easy party prop hire service for Superman, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, or Batman, search no further! Marquee Letters Toronto has all of these and more.
To integrate these props into your birthday party, we recommend arranging them in a space, welcoming in all your cape-clad attendees, and setting out instant-print cameras to create the perfect self-serve photo booth! Guests can take home their images - perfect keepsakes of a memorable party!
Please refer to our Super Heros Theme section to learn more about our rentals:
For a summertime first birthday party, there’s nothing sweeter than a sweets and ice cream-themed party. Ice cream rentals from Marquee Letters Toronto include props in the shape of everything from frozen popsicles and dishes of vanilla ice cream to bowls of fudge-ribboned soft-serve, complete with sprinkles and nuts. Other birthday props for rent include a number of iced donuts in a variety of colors, chocolate cupcakes, lollipops, and both tangerine and pink macarons. Is your mouth watering yet? If you’re featuring these party rental supplies at a child’s first birthday, you’d better have some edible sweets around for the adults. Consider a cake plinth with a variety of confections, set out some napkins, and get the party started!
When you select our Ice Cream Shoppe Package, you receive everything you need for the setting of a wonderful event - balloons, a 30-piece ice cream backdrop wall, a large plinth table, a large upside-down ice cream cone, ice cream in cup, cake platters or dessert trays, mini table-top signage, and even a jukebox prop. You’re creating sweet memories before you even lift a fork!
Please refer to our Birthday Props section to learn more about our rentals:
If you’re planning a birthday party, renting plinths from Marquee Letters Toronto can elevate and add luxury and simplicity to your event. Essentially tall tables meant to display desserts, florals, photos, or other items, plinths can be placed in groupings or spaced throughout the event. They can come in a variety of colors, sizes, and types, from frame styles to more contemporary shapes.
We recommend adding a variety of plinths to your event and using them to add a dimension of height to items, such as cupcake displays, party favors, or photos, that you wish for your party guests to see or access. Especially in large spaces and coupled with birthday party furniture rental items of other kinds from Marquee Letters Toronto, plinths can make the difference from a so-so party to one that leaves a lasting impression on guests.
Please refer to our Plinths for Rent section to learn more about our rentals:
How cool would it be to ride atop a life-sized baby T-Rex wearing a saddle? Guests 110 lbs and lighter can give it a try when they attend your dinosaur party! Featuring a T-Rex, baby Triceratop, brown raptor, Velociraptor, and even 2 types of life-sized hatching dinosaur eggs, our inventory of dinosaur rentals far surpasses other party rental suppliers in the Toronto area. Offering several saddle-bearing dinos, kiddos can hop atop the statues and voila! The perfect photo op from an unforgettable party.
Don’t forget to check out our 8x8 hedge wall, complete with a realistic dinosaur head bursting through! Our dinosaur packages range from $600 to a $1750 option that even comes with a smoke machine. For younger children, we recommend setting up these birthday props for rent near a sandbox if possible, where they can pretend, with the aid of shovels and pails, to be archeologists or explorers. Set out near pools, they’re also a hit!
Please refer to our Dinosaur Theme section to learn more about our rentals:
If you’ve considered a circus theme for the birthday party you’re planning, birthday props for rent offer the most complete and efficient way to achieve the ambiance you desire. At Marquee Letters Toronto, we rent everything from circus tent backdrops to giant popcorn bowl props and animal statue hire, such as large monkeys and elephant statues. Set up our circus plinths with decorated circus tent cakes, arrange our costumed elephants nearby, grab the birthday girl or boy, and let the photo-taking commence! Together with lively circus music, enthusiastic guests (costumes anyone?) and circus fare (we’re thinking peanuts, popcorn and sweets), it’s a day to remember!
Please refer to our Circus Theme section to learn more about our rentals:
Party cart rentals, from candy carts to cake displays, have gained even more popularity recently, especially as virtual parties, such as first birthday parties, bridal showers, and holidays have become commonplace. They make fantastic backdrops for your virtual event! Whether you’re setting up a party cart, complete with balloons, prop rentals or statues, confections, and marquee letters, to make up the background of your virtual event or to add flair to an in-person party, these adaptable additions truly accent your theme.
You’ll be thinking to yourself, “I had no idea that it would be so easy to find party backdrop rentals near me,” when you see what we have in our inventory at Marquee Letters Toronto. Together with our other party stuff rentals, such as plinths, tables, and birthday props for rent, we are outfitted to turn your event dreams into reality. We love custom orders, so if you have an idea in mind, reach out to us today!
Please refer to our Party Cart section to learn more about our rentals:
Do you consider your baby to be a precious little prince or princess? Why not give them a throne for the day and truly bring out their inner royalty? These furniture rental pieces create the cutest photos EVER for first birthday parties, with the baby outfitted in a tiny crown. Whether as a focal point of your event, complete with a backdrop from our huge inventory, or as a gorgeous (and useful!) detail to give an empty corner of the party space some glamour, our thrones, especially when paired with stylish plinths and birthday sign rentals, make parties extraordinary. Though we can’t resist when the tiny princes and princesses climb on these at their first birthday parties, we also rent thrones to honor brides-to-be, newlyweds, moms-to-be, and young women on their quinceañeras, not to mention they are wonderful at bar and bat mitzvahs.
Please refer to our Birthday Furniture section to learn more about our rentals:
From the late 1950’s to present day, Barbie has been a staple toy in the lives of children. Today, Barbie dolls are offered in more than 35 skin tones, with more than 95 hairstyles, and in 9 body types, celebrating representation of all kinds! We love the imaginative addition of a Barbie Box hire at birthday parties and events, where they make incredible photo set-ups for children, parents, and babies. Depending on your interests, other prep rentals can be integrated into your event design - including backdrops, balloons, banners and custom cut-outs, thrones, and signage. You can even mix and match themes and create a Zoologist or Safari Barbie theme for your party!
Please refer to our Barbie Box section to learn more about our rentals:
First birthday parties are opportunities for the celebration and coming-together of family and friends around a little one, and there are so many ways different cultures honor their little ones. No matter your culture or the type of event you’re planning, party rental options can add creative expression, photo opportunities, and a ton of fun to your event. Whether you’re looking for party decor rentals with a theme we outlined here, or something else, like a hot air balloon birthday party, or an Old Macdonald had a farm theme party, at Marquee Letters Toronto, we can help you with all things party rentals, making your birthday party planning and set-up a dream. Just be careful! You might be asked to start planning everyone’s children’s first birthday parties!