May 8, 2013

Making Birthdays Special for Kids

Now that I have a child of my own, I've been reflecting more upon my own childhood and how the smallest family traditions made the biggest memories. For example, throughout my childhood, each birthday morning began with my parents entering my room and playing "Captain Zoom's" personalized birthday song. (You can hear an audio sample here)

Ahh.. great memories.

I didn't even know who Captain Zoom was (still don't), but it didn't matter because that song was a birthday ritual that made me feel special and loved by my parents.

Realizing that the little things are sometimes the most important things, my husband and I now have the awesome responsibility to build our own family rituals and traditions. Piecing together a few elements from each of our own childhoods along with beginning completely new rituals, we hope to build happy memories that let our child feel loved. (Knowing you are loved and feeling loved are two different things....)

Anyways, here are a few ideas that we incorporated into her birthday celebration this year. Not sure if they will become "traditions" per se, but they were certainly enjoyed at this stage of life.

Birthday Flowers
I decorated the yard on her birthday morning with these brightly colored flower pinwheels. The total cost was only $10 (one dollar each at the Dollar Tree). The birthday girl absolutely LOVED them. And I must admit, the effect was quite impressive when a gentle breeze sent the reflective petals into motion.

I left them in the ground for only a day, but I do plan to put them out again on other special occasions.

Lighted Birthday Garland
This tulle tied string of icicle lights was the first thing L spotted when she awoke in the morning. This was super easy and an almost free project. Again, she LOVED it and I hope to get many more uses out of it.

"Birthday Girl Day"
Okay, enough about decor. Let's talk about the actual festivities. On the day of her actual birthday, we initiated "Birthday Girl Day." My husband took the day off from work and we spent the day enjoying the birthday girl's favorite things. (Which, if you're curious, currently include donuts, opening presents, indoor swimming, lunch at Arby's, playing at a park, flying a kite, and her favorite dinner at home - ravioli alfredo.)

"Birthday Girl Day" was a fun way to celebrate with our sweet little gal. Obviously, this will be more difficult to do once she starts school, but for now, "Birthday Girl Day" was a fun way to celebrate our daughter.

Number Sprinkled Birthday Cake
Inspired by Pinterest. Take a piece of paper and cut stencil of desired number. Use a wire cooling rack to float the stencil just above the cake's surface, so the paper doesn't stick to the frosting, and sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.

On themed birthday parties....
Some of you may remember the Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party we threw last year. While it was certainly a fun party for me to plan and host, I must admit, the themed children's parties are really more for the parents benefit than the child's (at this age anyways). Your one, two, or three-year-old isn't going to notice whether the decorations are hand crafted, the food is pin-worthy, or even if the paperware matches.

Toddlers don't need themes, its the parents who want them. And who wouldn't? They're just so stinkin' adorable!

I'm sure I'll throw themed parties in the future, but this spring was so busy with all our traveling that we chose to go the simple route this year. We had a small party the Saturday after her birthday with a few other family members eating Dominoes Pizza on Walmart party supplies. And you know what? It was just as much fun as a big themed party. I promise.

P.S. Random sidenote, but check out this label on the disposable forks I got at Walmart. Wash BEFORE use?  Kind of makes you question the health and safety......
Link Parties I join listed HERE.
plus  My Repurposed Life


  1. Your little girl is 3! My goodness. Happy birthday to the little miss. I love that you had a simple party for her, those can be much more enjoyable for the mom. I adore your 3 sprinkle cake topper. What a sweet party.

  2. how lovely my eldest is 15 in a couple of weeks and they grow up too fast, you've given her beautiful memories

  3. What fun ideas! I'm sure my girls would love if I would use some of these ideas. I would love if you would share them at my link party, going on now.
    Take care,

  4. Nice. Love your ideas. I'm your newest follower from Blog Hop. Love your awesome blog. Followed you via GFC & Pinterest. Feel free to visit, follow & leave me comments @


  5. Oh I love the sprinkle cake and the lighted garland! So pretty :) Thanks for sharing with us at Weekend Wonders! Hope you're having an excellent start to your weekend!

  6. What wonderful and thoughtful birthday details. I bet your birthday girl sure felt special. Have to say I also adore the very hungry caterpillar party you threw as well. Very creative!