Birthdays are a day I delight in making my children feel special!
The House of Hendrix blog just celebrated its 1st Birthday. Our most popular post over the past year was surprisingly not the post on Girlfriends, but rather 20 Ways to Fill Your Child’s Love Tank of their Birthday! This tells me that there is a universal desire to make our children feel loved.
So today I am sharing more ideas…Part 2 so to speak.
14 More ways to fill your child’s Love Tank on their Birthday.
(Disclaimer: I do not do big birthday parties with extensive decorations, party favors, and games….anymore. My focus had become about making the party guests feel welcome and comfortable, more than my child. So I now use the time and energy I would have spent on party planning, and create a day that will delight my children doing wacky and memorable stuff that I hope fills their love tank….but I desperately miss and fully appreciate the creative detail of a good party. So please keep inviting us to yours!)1.
1. Decorate the inside of the Car
Remember in the first post when we decorated the outside of the car with window markers saying “HONK, It’s my Birthday”? Well, lately we’re focusing instead on the inside. Simply throwing a few Hawaiian leis over the head rests adds a festive touch. This is such a simple way to bring a smile to your child’s face…particularly in carline when surrounded by their friends.
2. Party in the Potty
That’s right. It’s the first thing a boy does in the morning, so why not start the birthday off right. I quickly printed a picture of my son on copy paper, taped it to seat, and wrote a message with dry erase markers. I even squirted blue toilet bowl cleaner in there for festive blue water.
3. Chalk Message on the Trampoline
What does your child do right after school? Decorate whatever it is. The moment we get home, my children head outside. You could imagine my son’s squeal on his birthday upon seeing the trampoline! It was such an unexpected mid-afternoon surprise!
4. Text the Teen – “Top 14 Favorite Things About You” List
Do you have an older child with a cell phone? Send him/her an initial text entitled “Top 14 Favorite Things About you”. Send one every hour so they are staggered throughout the day. Obviously change the # based on their age. Top 18 for their 18th birthday. I have even done Top 50 for a beloved girlfriend.
5. Follow the streamer to your presents. “Scavenger Hunt”
This not only adds an element of excitement, but prolongs the gift opening experience. Kids follow a streamer to their first gift. They open it and then continue following the streamer to the next gift….and then the next. Because this is so much fun, I wrap small things like chapstick and packs of gum to extend the experience. It is the “scavenger hunt” my kids remember more than the presents.You can also use string (below), a pretty ribbon or rope to guide your child around the house.
6. Affirmation Yard Attack
When my sweet friend, Kourtney Street, recently turned 40, her front yard was attacked by messages of love and encouragement from her friends. Talk about filling somebody’s Love Tank! I am adding this to my MUST DO list asap.
7. Candy in the Balloon
We took our tradition of wrapping the items in the lunch box one step further. Now they need to POP THE BALLOON to get the surprise. Not sure how the teachers feel about this one.
8. Wear the number on your face
Your face is a visual reflection to your child of your celebratory heart. Siblings enjoy this too. Your child will be reminded again and again of your joy over their birth. (we’ve done this for daddy too.)
9. Age Age Everywhere
Kids love to see their new number! I love this idea from Martha Stewart of creating a number out of candles and balloons.
Use double-sided tape to adhere balloons to a wall.
Balloons Everyday creates these Giant Numbers for the yard. You can DIY with an aluminum rod.
11. Build excitement with a Count Down
We are constantly trying new ways to count down. The kids love changing the numbers as each day draws closer.
12. Make a Birthday Video
Our family loves to use the Photo Booth camera on our computer to make video’s for people on their birthdays. Sometimes we pretend to be normal and simply sing Happy Birthday. But more often than not we will pick a pop song, change up the words, dress up ridiculously, and make a Birthday rendition. Except we have no talent.
Remember when Call Me Maybe spread across the nation? Here’s a small segment of that video. (I am resisting a disclaimer)
13. Party in a Bag…for a needy child
That’s right, not everybody gets a birthday party. Many families have financial limitations which is why I nearly jumped out of my seat when I read this next idea over on my friend Courtney DeFeo’s blog. Her guest writer Deanne, shared the concept of a Birthday Bag (here).
Let your children help plan a birthday party for a child who otherwise wouldn’t have one. Let them pick out cake mix, iciing, plates, table clothes, candles, party favors and balloons. Make a special birthday card and even throw in a Target gift card. Then donate the bag. This is an idea I hope spreads and spreads. Thank you Courtney and Deanne.
How does this make your child feel special on their birthday?
Just try it and watch.
Serving others makes kids feel purposeful, needed and special….even on their birthday. A few years back my daughter incorporated service into her birthday party, taking her friends corn picking for the homeless. You can read a guest post I wrote on that here.
14. Share your favorite memories
My children never get tired of hearing stories about when they were younger…sticking their face in their 1st birthday cake…holding their baby brother for the first time…crawling out of their crib in the middle of the night to sleep in their sister’s bed. They love it! Crave it.
At the end of the day though, the most important thing we can do for our children is to communicate in words and affection how much we ADORE being their mommy, and how deeply and unconditionally loved they are. That connection with you is what fills a Love Tank. The rest is just fun.