birthday cake

As parents we are always searching for more ways to express our love. And there is no better day to do so than the day our children came into this world.

The following are just a few creative ways to kick up the day.

After all, the most important aspect of celebrating birthdays is to make the people we love feel loved.

1. Plan the perfect milestone birthday celebration.

This fun creative presentation will be the ideal addition to the true birthday gifts.

If your child is turning thirteen, sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one go to the grocery store or drugstore and buy that exact number of small items.

For instance, if your child is turning sixteen find and individually wrap things that tell their own unique and wonderful story. Items which speak to your child and their experiences. At first this will seem like a daunting task but if you peruse the aisles long enough the creative juices will begin to flow.

Number each wrapped item and have a corresponding written list so you remember what each item is. You will need this for presentation purposes.

When the whole family and/or friends are together you can give your child one item at a time and narrate as they open them.

For example:

  • A Baby Ruth Candy Bar - I can’t believe you’re sixteen but you will always be MY Baby!
  • A PayDay Candy Bar or Play-Doh - Wow! You’re finally old enough to earn some cash.
  • Gatorade - You’re even closer to your favorite college - University of Florida.
  • Matchbox Car - The wheels you were hoping for.
  • Starburst Candies or Starbucks Card - No matter your age, you will always be the star in my life.

The longer you walk the aisles you will find many inventive ways to come up with items which are funny or meaningful.

You might find Tic Tacs or other candies in the upcoming high school colors of your thirteen year old. A liquid soap that says ‘mens’ on it for your eighteen year old who’s now a man. An item which alludes to an inside family joke or a nickname. A Chunky candy bar where you can cover the C and say you’re now so grown up and hunky all the girls are going to chase after you. Chips in a Buffalo flavor could be a nod to a hometown or favorite sports team.

It’s even more fun to make the first and last items the most humorous or sentimental. Perhaps end with a favorite childhood toy, i.e., I know you love being all grown up but I wish you still played with these! And it could be a car, a barbie, etc.

2. Decorate with their favorite color theme.

Forget the typical birthday theme and make a colorful splash instead.

If your daughter loves pink go overboard.

Have the whole family dress in some version of that color. Dad could wear a pink tie and brothers could have a pink stripe in a shirt. Buy a special pink birthday outfit for her. Decorate the house with pink balloons and buy all kinds of different pink candies and/or snack foods (think pink snowballs) for the kitchen counters.

Give the majority of birthday presents in that same shade and figure out a dinner to match.

Think of any other creative way you might add pink. Mom could get some non-permanent pink hair color. Kids love a good laugh and they love to feel loved. Have fun with it.

3. Throw a progressive birthday party.

Ask family members and/or friends to send presents over the course of a week. This is an especially good idea for children who live far away from their extended family. Give each person a specific day to mail the item so you have an idea when each present will arrive.

These gifts can be themed, i.e., sports, books, or board games) or they can be any gift a person wishes to send.

Kids love to get things in the mail and they will never expect this many packages. Thus, this will be a never-ending surprise.

4. Plan an all day birthday celebration.

Birthdays shouldn’t be a time in the day, they should be ALL day.

Start with breakfast and do something unique to your family. Have cake in the morning. Decorate the kitchen. Have the same yearly special birthday breakfast.

And then hide the presents so the celebration continues throughout the day.

Let siblings join in by hiding some of them. They will love it.

Then all day long before school, after school, after dinner, and before bed let your child search for their goodies. Not all gifts have to be big. This is meant to be a birthday adventure. While your child plays gift hide and seek, let them know if they are getting colder or hotter as they near the direction of hidden presents.

This treasure hunt will delight kids because the whole day is a celebration. As it should be because it’s their day! And there is no age limit to this. Older kids will continue to get a kick out of this because it’s just another way to make them feel loved.

5. Spell out your child's name in presents.

Spell out your child’s name in presents.

For example, If your daughter’s name is Bella you can buy bows or bracelets for B, earrings for E, etc. If your son’s name is Ben you can buy balls or a baseball bat for B, etc. You could also spell out your last name in gifts.

These could be the main gifts or they could be small items.

You could also do this with only candy items. For a little girl named Spencer it could be Skittles for S, Pez for P and so on.

Regardless of the size, this will surely make your child feel more special.

6. Decorate the front yard.

Either the night before your child’s birthday or while they are at school decorate the front door, the mailbox, and the entire yard.

Nothing is more precious than the unexpected smile which accompanies an unexpected surprise.

Decorate with balloons, streamers and other party store favorites. Oriental Trading Company is a great place to get inexpensive decorations and/or lawn ornaments. Hang items from one or several tree branches. Maybe even have one present wrapped in a way too big box.

Children usually want everyone to know it’s their birthday so this should be a big hit. And it is something where decorations can be kept and reused year after year.

7. Show your child just how much they are loved with letters.

Ask family members to write and send letters. Assign a day you would like them to mail the letter.

Ask them to title the letter, “All the Things I Love about You.”

Also, ask them to include a little picture. Kids love to draw pictures of the people they love and themselves with the people they love. It will be nice for them to have adults and other kids in the family draw pictures for them, even if they are stick figures.

Children spend a lot of time in school, especially around the holidays creating drawings, letters, and projects for the people they love. It will be nice for them to have some feel good letters and art to decorate their own room.

And older children during the tough adolescent years will love having a list of things everyone including their siblings loves about them.

When you have children and love the celebratory ideas are endless. These are just a few that will brighten their special day.

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