Birthdays are pretty exciting, especially for little ones. If you’re anything like my daughter who just turned 3, then the celebration lasts more than just 24 hours. It’s more like a week-long celebration, and don’t you dare mention it’s not actually her birthday yet.
I love my kids’ enthusiasm for their big day, and hope to make it as special as possible.
For kids, the excitement probably comes from presents, cake and decorations, but for the parents, it’s definitely about making memories. Regardless, we want our kids to experience all of the magic that birthdays have to offer and the happiness that comes along with it.
Like many parents, we don’t want the clutter of presents everywhere, but hope to emphasize experiences instead. At the end of the day, the material items won’t matter; the photos and memories will be something they can cherish for years to come.
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Wake up to balloons
Since our children were born, we have always filled their rooms with balloons on the eve of their birthday. They wake up to balloons and also have something to play with. Who doesn’t love balloons? (Honestly, my dog doesn’t)
Balloons are a super simple, cheap and fun way to decorate and bring attention to your child on their special day. With this sweet surprise, your children are celebrated from the moment they wake up. Buy in bulk here and save for other special occasions.
Let your children pick their breakfast the morning of their birthday. I usually give my children 3 or 4 options, and they can choose from there. Remember, you want their day to be special, but special doesn’t have to mean slaving over the stove all morning.
Maybe your children love pancakes? Use a plastic squeeze bottle or your favorite pancake molds to create their favorite characters. Add a little food coloring, a candle and sprinkles to make it even more fun!
How about donuts? You can’t go wrong with donuts. Head to your nearest donut shop and dine in for a special treat. Take a candle with you and don’t forget to sing happy birthday. Bonus points if you attend a shop that provides fun hats!
My daughter picked Krispy Kreme this year and we got a half dozen donuts (with drinks) for less than $10.
If your child is school-age, send a special lunch note in their lunchbox. My son absolutely loves when I send a napkin with a picture I have drawn for him. I do this most days, but you can make it extra special for their birthday, too! And this is FREE! I know you have napkins or extra paper with crayons and markers laying around!
By sending a simple note to school or a picture for them, you are sending a sweet reminder that you are always thinking of them.
Decorate a cake together
I don’t know about your children, but mine absolutely love to help me in the kitchen. My children also love to be in control of most situations (hello, strong-willed children), so I let them pick the flavor and even decorate it themselves. A personalized bakery cake will run you between $20-30 here, and we spent less than $6!
It might not be the flavor you would pick, or maybe sprinkles just aren’t your thing, but I say let them have full control on their special day! So go ahead, take them to the store, walk down the baking aisle and buy it all. This is a memory they are sure to remember.
Did you know that you can buy edible cake images from Amazon? Click here to see the one my daughter fell in love with! All you have to do is buy cake mix and you are saving at least half the cost of a bakery cake.
I decided this year that we would make a piñata to add to the fun, but you can certainly buy one. You can use cardboard from a box at home (I used lego boxes), streamers (buy in bulk on Amazon to save money), and a big bag of treats like this one here. Overall, I spent less than $15 on the piñata. I primarily gathered supplies I already had at home.
Piñatas are fun for 3 reasons – they are colorful, the kids get to whack something as hard as they want, and you get treats in the end!
My toddler actually helped me make this, and enjoyed getting nice and messy. It’s a fun hands-on sensory activity and a way for your little one to feel important in the process. And don’t forget – birthday child gets first swing!
I hope you got some ideas to make your sweet little one’s birthday extra special – and I’d love to hear what it is that you do for your children on their special day!