Winter time is busy, busy, busy for us. After the hustle and bustle of Christmas we have a birthday almost every month for the first 5 months of the year! Lucky for me, neither of my two kids like big groups or gatherings (parties are avoided at all costs). Instead, we opt for non-party ways to celebrate. But I still want them to feel special on their big day. Now that I have had 4 years of trial and error, I compiled some of my favorites simple, non-party ways we have used to make birthdays or holidays special for young kids.
Cheap and easy, and my kids go nuts for a room filled with balloons. I get balloons of their favorite colors and fill them using a handheld balloon pump (your lungs will thank you, I promise). Then I find a place to stash them. I have hidden them in closets, piled them in a sectioned-off room, taped them to walls, or simply scattered them around the house. Whatever works! I switch it up every time so it’s always a surprise.
Inexpensive and easy to hang up, streamers can spice up any space. I love to hang streamers from my kid’s bedroom door after they go to sleep the night before. When they wake up, they get to walk through a veil of their favorite colors! I have also hung streamers from the ceiling fan above our dining room table where we eat our meals. Get creative with this!
Let your child choose the menu! They can pick their favorite dinner, or—if you are ambitious—they can choose their favorites for all 3 meals.
4. SPECIAL CAKE:
I let my kids choose their own birthday cake. We peruse through Pinterest and they pick a cake! Sometimes we go all out, other times, we just have cupcakes, or even banana bread muffins! This has really developed my cake making abilities….
I went from this (first child’s first birthday):
To this (first child’s 4th birthday):
I found this Paw Patrol Cake Idea from Frugal Momeh! So simple, and my 4-year-old loved it! Thank goodness for Pinterest and Google search Engines.
Pro-tip (more like a cake-making-tip-for-dummies-like-me): I learned you have to wait for the cake to cool completely before frosting, and that you shouldn’t melt the frosting in the microwave before putting it on the cake. Who knew!? HA! I’m obviously an amateur cake-maker.
5. BIRTHDAY THRONE:
Decorate the child’s seat at the dinner table. They will feel extra special at every meal. Use streamers, balloons, or a colorful plastic table cloth to cover the chair.
6. SPIDER WEB HUNT:
Using string, yarn or ribbon, tie one end to a starting point (their bedroom door knob or an entrance to a specific room). Then string the yarn from one place to another, attaching to drawers, knobs, furniture, etc., creating a “web.” The child must follow the string to find the treasure; it can be a hidden treat or it can lead to a spot where the birthday gifts are stashed. Alternatively, for younger kids, you can use a trail of confetti or tape that leads to their hidden birthday gifts.
7. BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST:
Put candles on pancakes, a muffin, even eggs! Spice up a pancake with chocolate chips and sprinkles or color the scrambled eggs with food dye. It’s a fun variation from a traditional “birthday cake” birthday.
8. MOMMY & ME DATE (or Daddy):
We like to give each child one-on-one time for their birthday. For us, this quality time is better than any gift. During their birthday week, we let them choose their favorite activity (children’s museum, movie theater, the park, indoor play place, etc), and either Mom or Dad takes them out for their special birthday “date.” Our kids love it; they love the attention, and they love the quality time with Mom or Dad. We love it too! It’s a great time to bond.
How do you make your kids feel special on their birthday? We’d love to hear your ideas; post them in the comments below!
Check out more of our celebration and party ideas here.
I may not throw parties for my kids, but I still love to plan them! Follow my Pinterest board Parties & Entertaining for some fun, themed birthday party ideas!