Childhood is the foundation upon which all people build their lives. Each building block is created from experiences, both good and bad. Our job as parents is to give our children as many positive experiences as possible and the tools they need to carve out a happy and fulfilled life. Birthday celebrations are a way of showing children how much we value them and how grateful we are that they entered our lives. How you choose to celebrate a child’s birthday is up to you. Here are some steps to take to insure your child’s happy birthday.
Consider Traditions Drawing upon birthday traditions from your childhood makes for a meaningful experience for the whole family. Maybe you inadvertently stumbled upon something fun and unique when your first baby began having birthdays. Continuing those activities throughout each child’s youth will create strong memories and lasting bonds.
Choose an Event For some people that means a party complete with guests, games, and grub. Parties are an excellent way to share a birthday with friends and extended family. You can plan a party at home or at a location that caters to birthday crowds. For others, a more intimate, less busy way to celebrate a birthday is to do something either familiar or out of the ordinary. Maybe bowling is a favorite pastime and the birthday boy can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to do something that everyone loves. Maybe your birthday girl has always wanted to visit the science museum. Birthdays are a chance to get to do something special.
Gather Gifts Children will likely not remember everything they got for their 7th birthday; however, gift-giving is an important part of most birthday celebrations. Create a budget? Set a limit of a certain number of gifts in order to make it fair and consistent. Find out what your children really wants or needs. The investment of time and planning that you put toward the tradition of gift-giving will more than payoff in the face of your young loved one.
Plan Festive Food Because some of our happiest moments together as a family are spent around a table, meals should be given some extra attention on a birthday. For breakfast, go beyond the ordinary cereal or toast and make some muffins the day before or make your family’s favorite banana pancakes with whipped cream smiley faces on the birthday morning. For lunch on a school day, include a note or a special treat in your child’s lunchbox. In the summertime, plan a picnic lunch in a favorite spot. Dinner should be the birthday honoree’s choice: a favorite home cooked meal or a favorite restaurant. On the theme of food, one very important part of a birthday celebration is the cake. Whether you bake a cake from scratch or from a box or buy it from a local baker, nothing says birthday like a cake with candles all aglow.
What are your favorite ways to say Happy Birthday to your child(ren)?
Check out ListPlanIt‘s Birthday ePlanner for a downloadable packet of lists and worksheets to help you plan for a memorable birthday.