A birthday only comes once a year, for better or for worse. It doesn't need to be an extravagant affair, but adding a few extra touches on that special day will certainly make your child feel like it's all about them.
Take a look at 21 ways to make turning a year older that much more fun to celebrate:
One loud wakeup call
Birthday mornings in my house always started with the "Birthday" song by The Beatles. Loud rock and roll and catchy lyrics were sure to get stuck in my head all day and waking up to a bit of a party was always fun.
Decking out the birthday person's bedroom door with streamers, balloons, posters and confetti couldn't be a bad way to start off a birthday. Sneak around after your child drifts off to sleep and quietly set up an explosion of well wishes to greet them the minute they wake up.
Blow out your breakfast
Blowing out the candles should come more than just once a year. Decorate breakfast with a couple of candles to keep breakfast part of the whole birthday celebration. Pancakes make a perfectly delicious candle holder that is sure to please.
Neighborhood shout out
A car marker is all you need to get the whole neighborhood to wish your child a happy birthday. These markers wash off easy, making your message of "Honk your horn, Jessica is turning 10!" a cinch to clean up when it's no longer needed.
Dust off your child's baby book to get a reminder of the exact minute they were born. Have a little surprise staged for that minute each hour on their big day.
10:07am could bring a little balloon with confetti inside, 11:07am has you all dancing to the "Birthday" song for one minute, and 12:07pm presents a pack of gum all wrapped up in ribbons, etc. They don't have to be extravagant gifts each hour, but it certainly is a fun tradition.
Wrapped up with string
If you are sending your child to school on their special day, wrap each lunch item up in their lunch box in wrapping paper for a birthday lunch fit for a king.
It's a little silly to have to unwrap your sandwich and banana like a present, but trust me; your kid will love it.
Hiding a few balloons and streamers in surprising places is sure to be a delightful birthday reminder. Stash balloons in backpacks, cupboards, refrigerators, cars and other unexpected places for a random reminder of their special day.
Bath time becomes a birthday highlight with a little creativity. Adding in water balloons, a muffin tin full of shaving cream "cupcakes" and scented bath salt "sprinkles" makes something mundane very special indeed.
A special serving
Having a designated birthday plate is a quick and easy way to make your child extra special on their birthday.
Be persistent that they eat everything that day on the same plate decorated with cake or candles, or a "happy birthday" saying. It'll require a couple extra washings, but the smiles will be worth it.
T-Minus 5 days!
Having a countdown makes things very exciting without much effort. Decorate a chalk board or a clipboard that counts down the days (or hours!) until the birthday. Put another sibling in charge of the countdown to help build the anticipation for the whole family.
Stop! It's hammer time
If your family is celebrating a birthday, throw mini parties and celebrations during the day for as many minutes as the birthday child is turning. Host an impromptu 6 minute dance party or a 6 cupcake party in the middle of the afternoon.
Choose a book that has something to do with what your child accomplished that year as one of their presents.
Fit for a king
A quick DIY birthday crown adds on a whole lot of special with 5 minutes of effort. From the minute the birthday child wakes up, crown them "king or queen" for the day. Of course, royalty always wears their crown, no matter the circumstance.
When I was 6"
Pull out old photographs of you when you were your child's age and pull them aside for a minute with just the two of you. Talk about what you did at their age and try to find the similarities in a couple pictures for a gift you can't wrap with a ribbon.
Hey, Mister Postman
Collect a couple postcards from trips that year or photos from activities and mail them to arrive on your child's birthday. What a neat present it would be to get a stack of photos or postcards to remind them about what this year held??
Let them eat cake
Pancakes for breakfast, cake after dinner, and this cake dip for lunch certainly serves a sugary reminder that today is something special!
(Balance things out with a few vegetables, if you'd like, but I'm sure you won't have any protests from the birthday child.)
Frame their age
Have party guests sign an outline of the number "6", or create a large bunch of happy birthday balloons with thumbprints of friends and family for a keepsake of their birthday age.
History's happy birthday
A quick Google search will let you know what celebrities share your birthday and what happened in history that day.
There's also a food holiday for nearly every day of the year, so it'd be a fun tradition to bring up what happened in history, what Julia Roberts might be doing on her birthday that day, while tucking into a bowl of your birthday food holiday.
C is for Celebrate
Think of whatever you could possibly do or eat that starts with your child's birthday. "Jump for joy, it's Jesse's birthday, but first, let's eat some Jello!'. It's a silly way to pull some attention onto the birthday boy or girl.
Party hats for all
Get everyone and everything in on the birthday celebration. Put a party hat on the cat, the toaster, the television, stuffed animals, and everything else you can think of and see the smiles unfold.
A seat for a king
Decorate a particular barstool or chair for your birthday child to celebrate every meal at. Tie up some balloons, a few streamers and banner is all it would take to create quite the birthday throne.
A couple extra touches can make any birthday extra special. Test out a couple of the above ideas and see what new birthday traditions your kids will look forward to for years to come.