It only happens once a year, so why not CELEBRATE! In my experience, it is rarely the gifts my children remember. It is the feeling of excitement when they get out of bed, the element of surprise throughout their day, and the enthusiasm surrounding them. This week my baby turned 6. We each now need two hands to share our age and I’m not sad at all; I’m thrilled.
With 3 kids, I’ve accumulated a variety of birthday ideas with the hopes of filling my children’s love tank on their birthday. I think we should pool our ideas, borrow freely, and be inspired to make those we love feel special. Isn’t that our goal? I slightly cringe when I see a mom relishing over her recent DIY project while another looks on feeling defeated by her sense of inferiority. I tap into my sister’s bag of tricks all the time when I am just not feeling it. So, here’s what’s in my birthday bag this week:
- Build the excitement with a COUNTDOWN. There are many ways to do this. This week we counted down with a chalkboard.
- Decorate the Bathroom Mirror. Use a window marker, dry erase marker or lipstick. Balloons, streamers, it’s all good.
- Window Marker your car with “Honk! It’s Lily’s 10th birthday!” This has delighted my children for years. With every honk, we all cackle with joy. (You can buy them at here for a few dollars).
- While they are sleeping, decorate their room with streamers and balloons. Even just the doorway makes a big effect
- Candles in their breakfast, why not?
- Put Water Balloons in their bath
- Use the special “Celebration Plate”. We made one years ago at a painted pottery place. We’ve used it on birthdays, potty training milestones, soccer goals, and when loved ones visit.
- Declare it a Screen-free Day for the parents. If the child is awake, put your cell phones down and turn off the tv/computer. Be present, not distracted.
- Wrap each food item in their lunchbox. Throw in a balloon if it will fit. Pure delight.
- Measure them. We have a wall, a very messy wall, with dates, ages, and heights of our children, nieces and nephews, and neighborhood children. Kids loved to be measured!
- Retell their birth story. Even get their baby book out. My baby books stopped after the 1st child, but they take such delight in hearing about their first cry in the delivery room. My mother still calls me at the exact hour I was born with “Oh, I feel a contraction. Ouch. I think you’re coming today Allison.” I love it.
- Make or buy them a special shirt or socks with their new age on it.
- Allow your child to pick the dinner for everyone.
- Eat at the fancy table. We have a formal dining room table we NEVER use. Last year we used it to eat the delivery pizza for my daughter’s birthday. We light candles and the kids knew without doubt, that day was SPECIAL.
- Have siblings serve them, clear the table, and do their assigned chores for the day.
- It is a tradition in our family to play “My favorite thing about Palmer is…” and we all go around share. Our cousins even call in with their favorite thing
- Celebrate the Waiting – in a world where we get everything right now, it’s tough to teach kids to wait, especially for good things. We thought we’d give them some practice in small areas (chewing gum, make up) so they’ll have some experience waiting for the bigger things like intimacy. We make our kids wait until they are 10 to drink soda, then have a cooler full on their birthday. We celebrate those Waiting Milestones big time.
- Fill their closet or the kitchen cupboards with balloons. When they open them, they will fall out. Delight!
- Teach siblings that the most important thing on somebody’s birthday is making them feel special. When we go to a birthday party, our goal should be to make the birthday person feel special. This can be an especially difficult in a society when the party favors are sometimes nicer than the gift brought.
- Make a party hat for your pet. I’m kinda kidding on this one, but kinda not. It doesn’t make your child feel special, but it sure is funny.
- Let your child know that your greatest joy in life is that you GET TO BE THEIR MOMMY! They need to hear it…and often.
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