Birthdays Are Special
Celebration tips for you and your family
Mealtimes are the perfect time to capitalize on family camaraderie. Here are a couple ideas to make your child’s birthday dinner extra special.
- Let your child plan the menu for dinner on his or her birthday each year. Keep a record of these meals, and as the years go by talk about how your child’s tastes have changed from birthday to birthday.
- Let your child pick out a birthday cake. Take a picture of the cake and save these photographic mementos from year to year. (You can even add this photos to your child’s birthday scrapbook for added fun.)
- Put disposable cameras on the table for everyone to take candid shots at the family birthday dinner.
- Use plain white butcher paper for the tablecloth and set out cups of crayons. Make pictures and doodles just for your child. Save the drawings (if they’re not soiled) and add them to your child’s birthday scrapbook or frame them and exhibit them in a special place.
- For something really unique, serve foods in the same quantity as your child’s new age. For example, if your child just turned 5, serve five apple slices, five cheese chunks, and five carrot sticks.
- Do a little singing together after your meal. Harmonize to family favorites or try childhood classics such as “Skid-a-ma-rink,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” “Bingo,” or “On Top of Old Smokey.”
There are myriad ways to celebrate and commemorate the day of your child’s birth. You can start by looking through your pocket change and finding coins dated with the year of your child’s birth. Glue these coins onto a piece of felt and make a birthday mini-banner. Display the banner—with new coins added yearly—on your child’s birthday. Or, collect major newspapers or magazines issued on the day of your child’s birth, or during their birth week or month. Keep them in a birthday box, and have fun bringing the box out each year as your child grows to look at pictures and discuss events surrounding his or her past birthdays.
Following the Footsteps
Using construction paper, cut out several pairs of footprints (tracing around a shoe makes a good pattern). During the day (or night before) tape these to the floor. When you’re ready for your child to open his birthday present, have your youngster follow the footprints to where the gift is hidden—have fun laying tracks to follow throughout several rooms. You may want to decorate the final destination with balloons (for older children), streamers, or confetti!
No matter when or how your child celebrates her birthday—whether it be alone with your family or in a big birthday bash—what she will enjoy and remember most are your gifts of love, time, and attention.
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