A VERY SPECIAl 5TH! (Five top tips for making your kid’s birthday into a real celebration.)
Our beautiful, smart, affectionate, precocious and vivacious Viva – turned FIVE today!
It has been a one fine day and ain’t over yet! We celebrated at home, at her preschool, at the ice-cream café and a candy store. We painted a princess doll in the crafts club and took the rides at the new Lego Discovery Center Boston. We played on the swing set her Dad has built for her in the backyard and rode a scooter – a birthday gift from her grandparents.
Birthdays have always been special in my family, and I grew up to think of them as these slightly “exuberant” celebrations of self – with the loved ones. This is a day to selfishly treat, enjoy and share the fun (and lots of it)- just because we ARE! I am still pretty obsessed about my own birthday, but after the birth of my kids, it’s their birthdays that truly take the center stage in the family celebrations calendar.
So here are the (kid) birthday celebration tips – from a self-proclaimed birthday fanatic:
1. A GIFT OF TIME: First and foremost, take a day (or at least half a day) OFF work to spend time with them. It is not really about the gifts for me, but about sharing joyful experiences together.
2. START RIGHT: Everything about the day has to be Special. In our house, we have a tradition of starting the celebration with breakfast in bed. It could be as simple as bagels: the idea is to make the day memorable/different and SHARE the moment with those you love.
3. CARRY ON: with the festive mood throughout the day. Plan the activities your child loves but may not get to enjoy every day (for whatever reason: money, location, or simply, lack of time). Possibilities in our end of the world (and especially in the summer) are endless: amusement parks, arts and crafts shops, circus and theater shows, zoos, fine arts, nature and science museums, pick your own crop at the farms, lake and ocean beaches, hikes, picnics, boating…. It is a special bonus if you could find an activity that could be enjoyed by the entire family- siblings and parents alike. In our case (10 year age difference between the kids) it is not always easy but doable (I was hoping Dennis still has a soft spot for his lego days and I was right!).
4. SHARE THE JOY: If you can, include extended family and other special people in the celebration. It makes me so happy that my parents have participated in every one of my kids’ birthdays.
5. THE MORE THE MERRIER: There are so many fun things to do and people to include that there is no reason why the celebration should not last a couple of days! There is a gym party for little friends and a special playdate with cousins yet to come for Vivi!
Our newest celebration component is a home baked cake (or two!). And while “Meringue Affair-2” is long overdue, this happens to be Vi’s current favorite marble cake.
Now, what are YOUR family’s favorite birthday traditions?