Birthday parties are a fun way to celebrate your child getting one year older, but they only last a few hours, and then you still have the whole rest of the day. It’s also rare to have your kid’s birthday fall on a weekend — they may have school or daycare instead of a party on the actual day of their birth.
How can you make your child’s birthday special the whole day, even when the party ends or you have to work around school? This list is full of plenty of ways to make this day all about your kid and make them feel like the king or queen of the castle. Pick your favorite one, two or even a few and have a blast making their birthday wishes come true.
Try a “Yes” Day
Spend an entire “yes” day with your child. Whatever they ask you to do or wherever they want to go, you must say “yes,” within reason. Of course, need to make sure everyone is safe and you stay within a certain budget. However, you’ll have so much fun getting out of your comfort zone, and you just might be surprised by what your kid picks.
Go Screen Free
Our computers and phones have become such an addiction that time passes without us having done anything with real value. If you, your child or the whole family struggle with becoming tech zombies, you might benefit from a screen-free day. Put all the gadgets away and spend more time face-to-face without distractions.
Have a Call With Their Favorite Character
Surprise your child with a phone call from their favorite TV character, actor or actress. Signing up for a free Nick Jr. Birthday Club account will grant you access to a free birthday call from your kid’s favorite character, and you’ll also get themed party printables to help you decorate.
Cameo is another great option if your young one loves Cocomelon, Thomas the Tank, Blippi or True and the Rainbow Kingdom. These personalized messages cost $20-30. Cameo is also good for older kids. You can purchase a video from a broad range of TV, film, comedic and sports personalities. The prices vary, but many are under $100, and you can find quite a few under $50.
Pack a Special Lunch
Going to school on your birthday can sometimes be a bummer. Make it a little better for them by packing a special lunch. Write a birthday note and wrap each part of their meal. You could even include a small wrapped gift among the food items.
Drop Off a Special School Surprise
Older kids may not appreciate the attention a wrapped lunch brings, but you could still do something special for them. Instead, drop off a meal from their favorite fast-food restaurant. They’ll be excited by the surprise and much less embarrassed by this gesture. Flower or balloon deliveries are also sure to make your child smile.
Cook a Special Birthday Breakfast
Add sprinkles to pretty much any breakfast food, and it becomes a special birthday treat. Make your kid’s favorite — cinnamon buns, pancakes, waffles or french toast. You can add sprinkles, whipped cream, a candle and other decorations on top for an extra touch.
Go on a Surprise Outing
If your child is young enough to stay home with you or it isn’t a school day, give them an extra fun surprise. Pack the family in the car without telling the kids where you’re going. Take the day to experience somewhere your birthday kiddo loves or has wanted to go for a while. The zoo, aquarium or interactive museum are usually winners.
Create a Birthday Countdown
To build suspense and excitement for their birthday, have your child help you make a paper chain to countdown to the big day. You could start a week or two out. Then, each day when they get up, they tear off one ring. When they break the last one, it’s officially their birthday. You could even start the celebrating early by doing one small thing for them each day, like adding a favorite snack to their lunch or letting them pick dinner.
Set Up a Surprise Decoration
Kids of any age love balloons and bubble wrap. Wait till your child goes to sleep the night before and fill up their room with balloons. You can also roll out the “red carpet” by laying down a strip of bubble wrap in the hallway. Just resist the urge to pop it yourself.
Make Them the Star
Break out the home movies and photos. You probably had physical videos and hard-copy pictures when you were a kid. Odds are you’re a little more technologically up-to-date with your children’s memories.
Regardless, bring those mementos out of their physical or metaphysical storage and spend some time today reminiscing about your kid’s childhood so far. Share your memories as you look over these precious items. It’ll be an enjoyable activity for both of you.
It Doesn’t Take Much
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your child’s birthday party special. This list has plenty of options that won’t cost you anything. The essential part of creating a great birthday is to put all your love into it. Your kid will appreciate having your undivided attention and the extra effort you put in.