My littlest girly is going to be 4 in a month! One of our traditions is making a paper chain to countdown until the big day!
Ripping off a paper chain is her favorite thing to do in the morning! This morning, she jumped out of bed first & dragged the whole chain back to my room to do it right there.
I’m big on traditions, and I love celebrating my kiddos – sometimes it feels like birthdays are just as much for the mama as it is the little one! I love doing little things to make my kids feel special, but ESPECIALLY on/for their birthday! Here’s a list of some fun things we do and have done!
- Make a paper chain to countdown to their special day!
- Make a special birthday breakfast! We usually do confetti sprinkle pancakes in the shape of numbers for whatever age they are turning…sometimes it works out, sometimes it is a a little hard to decipher!
- Dry erase “Happy Birthday” message on mirror! I leave my kids mirror love notes every once in awhile, but they love waking up to a huge message in lots of different colors on the bathroom mirror!
- Have a “don’t say no” day! Obviously this isn’t *exactly* like it sounds, but on their birthday, say YES to everything your birthday boy or girl wants to do with you. Even just telling them “today you get to choose what we do!” is thrilling for them!
- Make a birthday crown! This is more fun for the younger crowd, but even my older girl doesn’t mind wearing a crown at least for awhile on her day. My little one loves being able to color & decorate it for her big sis, too. And vice versa when it’s the younger ones birthday.
- Send them flowers or a candy bouquet! So, this one I know can get a little spendy and is not as doable as most other things. However, if you can plan ahead & save up for it, or are able to swing it, it’s a BIG hit! It is more special if it is random & not every single year, too. I remember my 16th birthday, my dad had flowers delivered to me at school! It was the sweetest thing and something I will never forget. I had flowers delivered at school for my oldest when she was in 2nd grade, and she still talks about it! It would be a little different now as she is homeschooled, but at least delivering at home I’d get to see her reaction!
- Do a birthday photo shoot. Again, this is something that *could* become expensive, but is also something you could have fun with & create yourself. When my oldest turned ten a couple years ago, we had a birthday photo shoot (that was actually something that she had wanted for a gift as well, so it worked out) & she had a BLAST. It was like she was a celebrity for the day or something, in her eyes! I even was able to get a few shots of both girls that day.
- Give a special keepsake birthday gift each year. I love giving my girls something extra meaningful each year that they can always save and remember. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant either – for their first birthdays each, I made them a special blanket with their name on it. When my oldest turned ten, I got her a really neat pair of raw citrine(her birthstone) earrings, & hand painted a special box with a galaxy theme and her astrological sign in the “stars”. It turned out super neat, & even at ten years old she was very touched.
- Use a special birthday plate! One on of your trips to a “paint your own pottery” place, my oldest and I decided to paint special birthday plates for us to use on our special day! Little things like that can really add a special touch to their day.
- Decorate their chair at the table! I don’t know about everyone else, but while we don’t have “assigned” seating at the dinner table, we all still have our chairs we always automatically sit in. The night before the big day, I always take a minute to decorate the birthday girl’s chair with a little homemade sign, some streamers and a ballon or two. It’s like having a throne for a day!
- Balloon avalanche! On the eve of the birthday, after the kids are in bed of course, I criss cross their door frame with colored crepe paper & fill it up with balloons – when it’s time to wake up and open the door, the balloons fall right onto their unsuspecting little faces.
- Have a special birthday shirt! Sometimes I make one, sometimes I buy one but my girls have always had a special little “birthday girl!” t-shirt to wear on their day!
- Do a yearly birthday interview! This one is mostly for fun, & mostly for mom! Each year we go through a birthday interview list, record their new answers and compare to the past years. This can be especially funny during their younger years! Download one here:
- “___ Things We Love About You!” List! This one is kind of funny, because when they are little it’s only one or a few things since it is based on their age. I like to put “….and many more!” at the bottom. But this is a fun *secret* family activity to do without the birthday child, for a sweet surprise birthday morning! We usually set this out on top of their birthday plate at their place setting on the table for breakfast. The littlest ones won’t understand it for the first few years of course, but it is still a fun tradition to start and be able to look back on. I always challenge myself & my girls to really think & not just pick generic things like “you’re really sweet! You have a great sense of humor!” And instead use things like “you are an incredibly talented artist, and I am in awe of how you can use your paint/pencils/markers to create such beautiful works of art!” Or things like that that we really sit and think about.
- Make a birthday picture banner! For their first birthdays, it was a photo from the day they were born, with one picture a month and then the last one was the night before they turned 1. For their second birthday, it was the day they turned one, one picture from each month for the year, and ending with the picture from their last night as a 1 year old. These are really fun to make and to save and look back on, too!
- Do a birthday scavenger hunt for gifts! So, this is a new idea we have not yet tried! But my kids had so much fun with the scavenger hunt we did awhile back just for fun, we might try it this year! I’m thinking we will just have a few hints, and each hint will find them a present to add to their “collection”, biggest gift for the last clue and then they get to open them all up. I’ll keep you posted though, on how that goes if we go through with it!
I hope some of these ideas strike a chord with you, and if you do any of them, please share! I’d love to know your kiddos reactions. Or if there is any idea I’m not in on, please let me know!