Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

First Birthday
First Birthday

Learn English with this birthday English lesson

Date: Apr 10 2013

Themes: Family, Party

Grammar: Simple Past Tense


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Dolls and robots! Games and music! Mountains of wrapping paper! What is this celebration for? It’s a baby’s first birthday. Traditionally, many cultures have had special celebrations for the first birthday of a baby. In the days when many babies died in infancy, the first birthday was an important milestone for the baby to have reached. Today, many parents and families are still very happy to celebrate the first birthdays of their babies.

However, as American culture has become increasingly consumerist, Americans are spending more and more money on presents that one-year-olds don’t need and are not able to understand or enjoy. Some families have large and sometimes expensive parties with games that one-year-olds can’t play. Listen in as Marni and Lily give their opinions on first birthdays in this birthday English lesson.




1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  I just bought a present for a one-year-old for their first birthday.

Lily:  Oh, that’s so cute.

Marni:  It is cute. It’s very sweet. But, you know, there’s part of me that… Have you been to a lot of birthdays for one-year-olds?

Lily:  Not since my own.

Marni:  Well, my experience these days is that, you know, it’s a big to-do, big theme party. There’s games, whatever, and the child is so disinterested in the gifts, and it’s very overwhelming to them that, you know, generally they’d be happy with a box and some wrapping paper.

Lily:  Oh yeah, totally. It seems like they’re more for the parents just to kind of celebrate that they have raised this child to be one year old.

Marni:  That’s true, and you know what? That is a very commendable thing.

Lily:  Definitely.

Marni:  They made it that first year.

Lily:  Mmm hmm.

Marni:  But, you know, I think once I have a one-year-old, I think I’m gonna be like, “Don’t worry about bringing gifts. Let’s just, you know, have a nice meal, and, you know, maybe a cake.” I don’t know, you know.

Lily:  Mmmm, cake is always good.

Marni:  Cake is always good

Lily:  If there’s a chance for cake, you should definitely take it, I think.

Marni:  But I think I’ll skip the goodie bags and the pin the tail on the donkey. I mean, that’s really not appropriate for a one-year-old.

Lily:  Yeah. Well, definitely.

Marni:  This might be my last gift that I buy for a one-year-old.


Grammar Point

Go Super to learn "Simple Past Tense" from this lesson Go Super!


Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Go Super to Listen Go Super!

Marni and Lily discuss birthday parties for one-year-olds. Some people have big parties with lots of games and presents that one-year-olds can’t enjoy.

Marni thinks that these parties are too much for a one-year-old baby. She plans to have a simple party with only a meal and cake when she has a baby. She does not want games like pin the tail on the donkey.

How is a baby’s first birthday celebrated in your country? Do you feel like people spend too much money on birthday parties for babies? What do you think is the best way to celebrate a baby’s first birthday?



Log in to Comment


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i tink im enough old for my birthday so idont think i want to have  a birthday

it is better for me  to think  about some thing else :D

01:41 PM May 23 2015 |



I Ordering a birthday cake with a candle of 1 years old on it ( :D ) , preparing some decorating things for house & birthday’s hat , the happy song , dance , gifts & etc.
strapless taffeta wedding dress

07:03 AM Mar 31 2014 |


United States

First Birthday, I will give my girl a beautiful flower dress, she will love it, and I have made a decision, want to see it, here is the link: http://www.pandadress.com/offtheshoulder-flower-girl-dress-with-intricate-ruffles-p-233.html

what you think about? don’t stroll me, if you don’t appreciate!

03:14 AM Dec 26 2013 |



In my family, it ’s quite rare. My niece  is 3years old now. But we didn’t celebrate her one-year-old birthday. Maybe it is not so fashionable in China.

08:10 AM Apr 13 2013 |




i think we be happy when someome made for us nice party the first birtday we

give us the happeness and some good strong to doing this all years in our lives

01:49 PM Apr 12 2013 |




Well here in Brazil. Lots of people spend much money on birthday parties. They hire a Buffet, people to record all the party and take some pictures, of course. As far as I am concerned it’s very nice because some years later. The parents will show the video to their child. That’s how they show one part of the great love that they have.

11:30 PM Apr 10 2013 |



no one remember

07:50 PM Apr 10 2013 |




Look at Mommy in this lesson photo! She’s definitely wrapped around her little cutie’s finger.

Of course the theme for a party celebration can be any milestone: first tooth or first baby’s word, first step or a simple smile. And one year is just a perfect time to summarize all  these happy events, sure it’s  a big to-do.  Throwing a theme party with loads of wrapping paper, all wonder toys it’s definitely an unforgettable moment for parents and  later a kid when he/she grows up. For the time being, I think, I can agree here with Marny, a baby is interested mainly in wrapping paper rather than gifs:)

Happy Birthday to one year olds! (if any here:)

05:45 PM Apr 10 2013 |



In our tradition, when a baby made it to one year old, parents would cook lots of food, and dishes, build a big temporary sun shelter and give away the food to people who are inadequate! that is valid for every birthday, not only for first birthday. I don’t recall much about my birthday parties which my parents celebrated with theme party or so. I think there were only two times: once when I was 9 and another like 12 or so. They usually cooked food for people and kids who are financially insufficient. And there are lots of people like that in where I come from “BURMA”. and I also, in my birthday, give some kids pocket money and go online www.freerice.com and donate rice for kids from Africa. Freerice is a non-profit website that is owned by and supports the United Nations World Food Programme. You don’t need to pay money to donate rice but instead you have to play quiz games according to your field of knowledge. I can practise ENGLISH skill there too. I suggest you all to visit there and donate some rice!

05:30 PM Apr 10 2013 |

Ngubo Sixtus

South Africa

in my country we celabrate a baby birthday when she or he finnish the first year.

05:23 PM Apr 10 2013 |




This is the sweetest topic to discuss:)

04:41 PM Apr 10 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Celebrating the baby’s birthday is one of the sweetest moments in parents life :)first birthday party is important bcause it’s the first image of birhday for that little baby ! many people celebrate it with : inviting relatives , ordering a birthday cake with a candle of 1 years old on it ( :D ) , preparing some decorating things for house & birthday’s hat , the happy song , dance , gifts & etc.i think the most important part of birthday is getting gifts :D many gifts with lovely wrapping papers :D i know that small baby don’t know what is a gift but after a few years he enjoy from getting gifts :))we can’t change this style of celebrating but we can spend money in a sufficient way :) oh parents ! keep on celebrating for us !!! :D

04:22 PM Apr 10 2013 |

Sally Turquoise

United Kingdom

A baby’s fisrt year birthday is the most important event that the parents enjoy after his birth. In my country it’s celebrated with a cake that has one candle on it with the baby’s name, and since that the baby doesn’t have friends yet, only the close members of the family are invited :) .. Also we take photos, so that when the baby grows up, he knows that his parents have done something for him ..

Ya Nina


I suppose that every family who has a one-year-old baby should decide how to celebrate a first birthday by itself. First of all it depends from their financial position. If a family has a sufficient sum of money so that to celebrate the party with big to-do, they could satisfy their desire and just do it. If situation is opposite and family hasn’t a lot of money they could limit the modest party. 

I’m sure that we, adults, have to celebrate any children’s birthdays. It isn’t important how much years we celebrate. Definitely a one-year-old baby doesn’t understand what is going on and why he/she see many familiar and unfamiliar faces. But next birthdays all children wait impatiently. The guests don’t leave the party and child already asks his parents when the next birthday will come.

Unfortunately that enthusiasm leave us after eighteen-twenty years and how important to celebrate our birthday in childhood when it still so joyfully and happily. 

12:53 PM Apr 10 2013 |




Moms are so proud that their cutie  is one-year-olds,  that on the big day to celebrate the ocassion will  invite over friends and family to their houses. Usually the baby   will receive clothes and toys  and on return with them , will also have to accept hundred of kisses and hugs ,and unknowingly  to the baby, the next day, his/her picture   will be posted on facebook  . It is true that America is consumerist , I have many times seen scattered  on the baby´s room floor so many toys that literally   would be the envy of ” Toys 4 us ” a leading kids store in America..lol

11:45 AM Apr 10 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

to ghand nagiry enghad mano hers midi khodam ghand migiram,enghad mano herse nade dear peyman.

11:38 AM Apr 10 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

we can not change world,we are not make it bad,what should we do???

peyman age in jory bekhay herse hama ro bokhory be 30 nareside ghand migiry haaaaaaaaaa:(

11:31 AM Apr 10 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

all the people must come to this world,they must breath,they must feel.here is s good.the world without people like oscar is so nice,u can t tach it???:(

11:13 AM Apr 10 2013 |




Its a usual tradition to have great parties for babies on their first birthday in our kountry.There are many guests,presents in wrapped papers,many kinds of meal.But I think parents enjoy these parties more than their little kids.They are often tired of noise,shout and at last get asleep  till the end of party.

11:06 AM Apr 10 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

oh peyman,what do u say???

10:56 AM Apr 10 2013 |

Likes (28):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast