As you all know by now, I am a great fan of birthday parties. I have three children and like every mother on the planet I planned their parties for weeks. I quickly discovered that not all children like birthday parties and I had to accept that you can celebrate your child’s birthday without a birthday party! After throwing a fun, yet stressful 6th birthday for my daughter we both decided we would need some birthday celebration alternatives for the future. Nina decided she would rather go somewhere special than have a party.
My sister absolutely loathes planning parties and finds the whole party thing entirely stressful. She hates the idea of having to invite the whole class and all the parents! This can be very expensive for a single on a budget. There’s no guarantee that everyone would RSVP and you have to take your chances on how how much food to buy. Once the party starts you have all these children and their families to stress over. There is an upside to parties for younger kids – at least with the parents being present they can take care of their own children. When children get older parents tend to drop them off and you have all the responsibility!
Is it worth the stress?
One of the easiest ways to help your children have a good time is to build anticipation. The weeks leading up to the birthday you should talk about it. If you would like to take them somewhere fun for the day, talk about fun things people do on their birthdays, and how birthday girls or boys get to wear crowns. At least in your house! Tell them they are going to get a cake or cupcakes and presents and you are going to sing to them.
Talking about things before they happen help children to prepare, anticipate and then fully engage in the fun.
Here are a few birthday traditions you can start with your child to show them how truly special they are. These will quickly become family favourites that your children will look forward to every year:
Have a multi coloured birthday banner and use it every year.
- Decorate the table the night before and have a special birthday breakfast with fancy plates and cutlery.
- Have a special timeline or birthday book and talk about “on the day you were born”. Add a few special photos to the book every year. Your book can be digital so you can share it with family.
- Another special way to celebrate is to get each member of your family to make a toast and share “what I love about you”
- It is so important to teach children about gratitude and giving back should be a part of their birthdays too. Make this a day about giving. Does you child have a toy they can pick out that they would like to donate? Wrap some lightly used gifts to donate and perhaps reward their generosity by allowing them to pick a small gift of their choosing on their birthday.
- A cake smash works so well for a first or even a second birthday and if you need magnificent photos or even a photoshoot. There are many great post with all the tips and tricks for an awesome cake smash birthday photoshoot.
- Plan a day of pampering at the hotel. Book an awesome room, eat room service, jump on the comfy beds, watch movies, the works! Have your little one feel like a superstar with a day at the hotel.
- Go on a trip. Older kids love going on a family trip or weekend away to celebrate their special day. Go on an adventure or travel and make memories. Make little details of the day special. No matter how old they are!
- Go on a birthday picnic to your child’s favourite place or even just in your own garden. String bunting and fairy lights and have a fun birthday picnic. Don’t forget the crown.
The great news is that you can celebrate your child’s birthday without being pressured to throw a party. In fact, in any way you celebrate your child’s special day, it can be as memorable for your little one as any elaborate birthday party.
Even if your child is not old enough to remember their birthday celebration, you can still make memories and celebrate your child’s birthday without a birthday party to share with them later!