March is a big month for our family! My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary, and two of children have their birthdays during the windy month of March. All of these upcoming observances got me thinking about my own celebrations as a child. My family always did birthdays in a BIG way. Momma would busy herself in the kitchen the day before preparing a scrumptious cake. On the day itself, there were treats, balloons, birthday wishes, cards, and fun! I remember my dad boisterously declaring, “Happy birthday, Miss Priss!” first thing in the morning, and all of Momma’s efforts to make the day wonderful!
Now that I have children of my own, I’m embracing many of the traditions I grew up with. It’s my turn to help my children feel special on their big day. It only happens once a year, so why not celebrate! Right? You already have the cake and the presents, but here are 12 simple suggestions for other ways to help your child feel special on their birthday!
1. Make a birthday countdown. Build excitement for the big day by making a countdown with a chalkboard, paper chain, or calendar.
2. Create the perfect plan. Have your child draw a picture or write down things that would build the perfect day for them. Use that as a springboard to create a plan for their birthday.
3. Decorate! Fill their room with balloons. Hang up streamers. Decorate their seat at the kitchen table. Balloons, party hats, and confetti are simple ways to add a little pizzazz!
4. Prepare a breakfast treat. Pancakes, donuts, turnovers, or scones are delicious options. Add some sprinkles and candles and you have the perfect recipe for a birthday breakfast!
5. Begin a yearly tradition centered around a birthday item. This could be a festive plate that only the birthday boy/girl gets to use, a crown for them to wear, or a memento they can have possession of for the day. For my family, it was a birthday music box that was pulled out at each celebration and played in honor of the celebrant.
6. Write a birthday message. Use a dry erase marker to leave the message on your child’s bathroom mirror or tuck a special note away inside their backpack or lunch box. If you have a young child, you can even begin writing a yearly letter to them on their birthday and gift them all at a later date.
7. Let them wear a special outfit. Go shopping to pick out a new outfit or give them the freedom to choose something particular from their closet. If you’re feeling creative, you and your child could even make a unique t-shirt or outfit together.
8. Read a birthday book. From books like If You Give a Pig a Party to Llama Llama Birthday Party, there are hundreds of fitting options to read to your child on their special day. You could even buy them a new book each year and leave a handwritten message inside the front cover.
9. Do a mini photo shoot. Kids change so much from year to year. Capture those changes with photos. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Your own backyard can serve as the perfect backdrop. Add some balloons and start clicking. If you need a few more photography tips, click here for some great ideas.
10. Spend quality time together. Turn off cell phones, tablets, and televisions. Yes, I did include your cell phone on that list. Spend some screen-free time with your child doing something they love without any distractions.
11. Focus on their favorites. You could prepare their favorite meal or visit their favorite place. Make it a day centered around all of the things your child loves!
12. Extend the celebration! Why not continue the fun? Make it a birthday weekend or even a whole week of celebrating! I still remember my dad exclaiming, “Happy day after your birthday!” and “Happy day after the day after your birthday!” on the days succeeding our birthday. My family was keen on the concept of a birthday weekend!
Whatever way you choose to celebrate your child’s special day, I’m sure you’ll make it memorable. The most important thing is to let them know how much you love and celebrate them on their birthday and the whole year through!
What unique birthday traditions does your family have? We’d love to hear about them!