We want our children to have a lifetime of happy memories. Birthday parties are an important time for parent/child bonding and a prime opportunity to show our kids how special they are. If you need ideas for how to make your child’s birthday extra special, you’ve come to the right place.
Plan with your child in mind
Too many times, parents plan birthday parties around all the wrong things. We worry about who will feel left out, or we’re more concerned about how we look than about how much our kids enjoy their special day. Don’t fall for this trap.
Instead of worrying about how other people are going to feel today, worry about what your child would most like. Which friends would they like to have over? Some kids are most comfortable with just one or two really close friends, while others want to be the star of the show and invite everyone they know. Be sensitive and find out what your child really wants.
Now isn’t the moment to skimp
A lot of times, being a parent means making every dollar stretch, and it’s important to teach our kids the value of money and how to avoid materialism and a disposable consumer culture. But you can still afford to have occasional splurges on special days.
A once-a-year birthday isn’t the time to use up cheap junk you don’t have another use for, or get the least expensive items you can find at the discount store. It’s the time to treat your child to fun things like the best magician Long Island has to offer, or spring for party food that kids really love.
Start the day out right
Make sure your child looks forward to their party by starting the day off well. After your child has gone to bed the night before, sneak in and cover the floor with balloons and hang streamers everywhere. The goal is to make sure that when they awaken, the first thing your child sees is “Birthday!”
Follow this up with a special breakfast and a decorated kitchen. Even though this isn’t the main party, it goes a long way toward making your child feel special and setting the tone for the rest of the day. If you’re usually strict with sugar and processed foods, this is one day you can ease up.
Decorate like it matters
By the time they’re five years old, your children know that the generic metallic Happy Birthday banner isn’t very special. Take the time to make or buy garland, streamers, and decorations that are special to them.
Your kids will treasure these birthday memories more than you might suspect. It’s the experiences of life that we treasure and remember the most, not the stuff we get. Your kids will forget what gifts you got them on their seventh birthday, but they won’t forget the epic themed party you planned.
Make things just a bit mysterious
By the time kids are six or so, they’re able to start playing games that have rules. They also love secrets and mysteries, so this is the perfect time to engage them with games that involve solving puzzles and hunting for clues.
Just remember that young kids can get overstimulated, and if that happens, what started out as fun will quickly deteriorate into tears and chaos. This is especially likely once sugar rushes start to wear off, so plan your games wisely. A birthday party shouldn’t go much more than two hours, and any sugar should come near the end, not the beginning.
Birthdays and birthday parties are something your children will remember for the rest of their lives. Make sure those memories are ones they’ll always treasure.