All of us need a day to call our own and what better day than our birthday to claim? Making the day special for our children or any child for that matter is not very hard to achieve. Doing what makes them happy and giving them our love and attention does not have to cost a fortune or take a lot of work. What makes children happy is love and attention to the small things that make them smile. Just like adults!
The plans do not need to be elaborate but they can be. You can plan a small or large party at home or take them out somewhere that does birthday parties for a living. You can have no party at all and just make the day a “whatever they want” to do day. There are all sorts of ways to make children happy on their birthday, you just need to listen and watch to see what makes them happy.
Getting the day started with decorations and balloons is a great way to start out. Having their favorite breakfast of smiley face pancakes or waffles with whipped cream will let them know that this is their day right off the bat. Making plans ahead of time for their birthday is always fun as well. You can do this by getting out children’s birthday cake cookbook and letting them pick out a cake design or a particular flavor they want. In our family we have a cake decorating book, just for kid’s cakes, that is filled with simply decorated cakes that anyone can make. It has pictures of different designs on each page and how to pull them off. In the front of the book it has a place for you to write down the date and what cake you made that year. I can not tell you how important that little book has become at our house. They love to look back at what they had a couple of years back and decide what great masterpiece they will have this year. They are super amazed that we can actually make these cakes look similar to what is in the book. They are very proud of our achievement as parents. This makes us extremely happy.
Letting the birthday child be in on the plans for their party always makes them feel special. Shopping for party favors, themed items like tablecloth, plates, napkins, the invitations, and sitting down and deciding what games to play is so much fun for the birthday child. The excitement begins to heighten as the day draws nearer and as they see the plans developing. Get a large poster board and some markers and let the birthday child help you make a happy birthday poster for their party.
If you are not having a big party then sit down and decide what it is they want to do on their special day. A movie perhaps, a trip to the children’s museum, or a fishing trip to a local lake might be in order. For some it might be a trip to the mall to shop for their gifts or a new outfit for their birthday dinner and a movie later.
We used to live close to my nieces and nephews but then they moved. Of course I sent them birthday gifts every year but I also got the idea to decorate the gifts more elaborately and include party favors and a few extra small gifts like a mini-party all for them. Once in a while I will have the privilege of having them visit when it is one of their birthdays. If possible I get to take the birthday child out on a one on one lunch date and take them shopping for a gift they pick out. It is a great way to find out more about a child you do not often get to see and to bond just a little bit more.
When a child starts to get a little older it is a lot of fun for them to invite their closest friends to do something fun. Somewhere along the line parties are for younger kids or older kids but not for them. They do not know quite what to do with themselves at this age. When one of my children got to this age I began trying to think of places she loved. She was the type of kid who loved walking around looking in specialty shops or antique stores. There was a place about an hour from our home that they had an entire section of town designated for these types of shops along with candy shops and restaurants. We went with a few of her close friends and spent the day walking around looking in all the shops and stopping for lunch and treats along the way.
Another trip we had one year was going to a ranch where they would take you horse back riding and feed you a picnic lunch. It was a beautiful place with lush green grass and massive trees and country as far as you could see. One of the children had never been on a horse and it was not only a treat for my daughter but one that the other child will remember as well. They also had tons of animals that we do not often get to see in the big city. It was a special day for our entire family.
Birthdays do not have to be hard or complicated. The most important thing is to make the birthday boy or girl feel that they are special and loved. Even if you do not have a lot of money or time you can make a child’s day simply by doing things that they want to do and letting them know you are thinking of them.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.