The new year is a time of birthdays for our family, my dad at the start of January, my nephew at the end, then my niece, daughter and sister in February! My daughter has just turned 2 and is loving birthdays! Each night this week as we have eaten leftover birthday cake we have gone through the process of relighting the candles and singing Happy Birthday, it has been a lovely time.
There is lots of great information out there about why memory making and family rituals are so important for children. I love what Maggie Dent shares on the topic.
Birthdays and celebrations are a big part of when this memory making happens. If you think back to your childhood it is likely that you will have strong, happy memories of sharing special meals with your family and celebrating together.
I have worked in lots of different centres and seen how different families celebrate. This has given me lots of great ideas about what to do with my daughter and I’d like to share these with you.
I remember many times in my childhood spent looking through the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book and now I am doing this with my daughter! We are attempting the train cake for her party on the weekend and I’m not sure how it will go.
Birthday cakes are special, both intricate home made designs and simple shop bought cakes, it is the coming together to celebrate that brings the magic.
Special Meals or Activities
Getting your child involved in planning something special to do on their birthday is a great way to celebrate, maybe they would like to have pancakes for dinner or go out for breakfast before work, school or daycare.
Birthday parties are great fun, but can be quite overwhelming for small children! We are planning a simple afternoon tea by the pool, we will keep the food simple and won’t worry about decorations. We want to be able to enjoy ourselves as well.
Older children will be excited to help plan their parties and might have different ideas about what to do or spend money on.
Some children like lots of little things while others prefer one big present. My daughter just loves opening things up so she got lots of practical presents. Having a child with a birthday soon after Christmas is great as I am able to get ideas from watching what other families give at Christmas.
Cards, Letters and Video Messages!
My daughter received a number of video messages from friends and family for her birthday. We also checked the mail and she had received two cards! These special messages and greetings meant a lot to her.
Each year we plan to write her birthday message as a letter in her ‘birthday book’ so she will have a record of these special times.
Celebrating half birthdays can be fun. Being born in December I always wanted a mid year birthday. I know of families who celebrate 6 months after their child’s birthday with a cake and small present.
Decorate the room
Filling the room with balloons, decorating the lounge or covering their child’s door, some families love decorating and go to lots of effort for their child’s special day. This makes for an exciting morning!
We love you
Growing up we used to give compliments to the birthday boy or girl, at dinner we would go around the table and take it in turns to say something that we loved about them. There was often some eye rolling from various siblings but I remember it being a special time.
Birthday Crown or Badge
Giving your child a birthday badge or crown is something special they can carry throughout the day as a physical reminder of their birthday. Many early learning centres also make beautiful crowns for their birthday children.
Singing Happy Birthday is a special part of the day and there is a second verse to the song.
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear (name)
Happy Birthday to you.
From good friends and true,
From old friends and new,
May good luck go with you,
And happiness too.
I’ve also found this fun birthday cheer!
The Birthday Cheer
I don’t know but I’ve been told, Someone here is ____years old. Bad news is we sing off key! Good news is we sing for free! Happy (happy) Birthday (birthday) Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!
We have had a great time celebrating my daughter’s birthday and I hope you and your families will enjoy