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25 Ways to Make Your Child’s Birthday Special

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25 ways to make your childs birthday special
So today is my eldest-born’s sixth birthday.  It got me thinking about my own birthdays as a child, and how my mom always tried really hard to make them special.  Now my mother dearest has eleven children.  Eleven!!  It still boggles my mind.  She had many routines to survive parenting her eleven.  We had a breakfast schedule (Mondays–Oatmeal, Tuesdays–Scrambled Eggs, etc), we had a job chart of weekly chores, and every night dinner at 6:00 pm on the dot.

She even had a birthday routine.  We’d wake up early, as we always did to read scriptures together as a family, but on birthday mornings we’d sit around the kitchen table and pass out presents to the birthday kid.  And my father would say a special prayer for the birthday child. Then we’d have a special birthday breakfast of whatever the kid wanted.  That night, we’d celebrate by having a requested dinner and a birthday cake.  We’d all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ as loud as we could and the birthday kid would blow out the candles.  And every other year we could have a birthday party.

Basically the day was all about the birthday child.  This may seem pale in comparison to others’ celebrations, but the consistency of having your birthday celebrated this way every single year was something to cling to, as a child in a crazy world.

So without further adieu, here are 25 ways to make your child’s birthday special.


birthday pancakes
photo courtesy of chickabug.com

1.  Make a special birthday breakfast:  fun-shaped pancakes, special fruit milkshake or smoothie, waffles and cream, etc.  Add a candle if you can.

2.  Set aside time for opening presents and make sure each family member gives the birthday kid a gift

3.  Take the birthday kid out to lunch, just you and your child.  Let your child choose the location and what to order.


birthday balloons
photo courtesy of parents.com

4.  Balloon surprise:  Fill their room with balloons the night before.  Tape a bunch of balloons to the outside of your child’s door to discover when he/she wakes up.  Encase them in plastic so they fall on them when the door is opened.

5.  If your birthday kid is older and only wants cash, present the cash in creative ways.  Make dollar roses, tape them all end-to-end into a really long roll, layer them in a big hoagie roll like a sandwich, tape them together and make a blanket, etc.

6.  Put together a picture slide show of your child and show it to the family

7.  Invent a special (non-alcoholic of course) drink or smoothie and name it after your child

8.  Write a special birthday message on the bathroom mirror in dry-erase marker

9.  Write a special birthday celebration on your car windows with window paint marker

10.  Make a birthday crown for your child to wear

11.  Excuse your child from chores and homework (if possible) for the day

12.  Have flowers or balloons delivered to your child at school

13.  Have a birthday photo shoot for your child, use his/her favorite toys or things as props


birthday interview
photo courtesy of lansdownelife.com

14.  Interview your child on his/her birthday either in video form or on paper.  Click here to download a free interview form! (c/o lansdownelife.com)

15.  Decorate their ‘usual’ chair at the kitchen table

16.  Spend a full hour of one-on-one time with your child, letting him/her choose the activity and be fully involved the entire time–no smart phones allowed.


wrap your kids lunch
photo courtesy of ivillage.com and Bunchland

17.  Wrap up each individual piece in their lunchbox for them to unwrap at lunchtime (c/o ivillage)

18.  Have each sibling write on a paper what they love most about your birthday child and then the child has to guess who wrote it.

19.  Use the special birthday things:  customized ceramic birthday plate, special birthday table cloth, etc

20.  Say a family prayer that includes gratitude for your birthday child

21.  Make a countdown to his/her birthday–paper chain, anyone?

22.  Have them create a picture called “The best day ever” and hang it up for all to see

23.  Either you or your child (or both of you together) make a special birthday shirt (You can do this the day before.)

24.  Write your child a special letter about all the things you love about them and what you hope they will achieve in the upcoming year.

25.  Cook a special birthday dinner for your child–their choice of menu, or let them help you cook if they want.


  1. Love this!!! Thanks Heidi 🙂

    1. I can’t even see the 20 ideas everyone else seems to be able to see.

      1. Click on the page numbers right above this comment section

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      It’s a great little printable!

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      No prob! Your photo is amazing!

  2. These are great! I would advise against number 17. As a former teacher, I can attest to the ridiculously small amount of time children have to eat their lunch. The poor kid would still be unwrapping as lunchtime ended! Haha. My son will turn 3 in 2 months. I’m looking forward to doing some of these! Great ideas:.)

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks–how awesome of you!

  3. Hey Heidi,
    We are shockingly like-minded. More than half of these are things our family does for birthdays. I even wrote a really similar post last year. I just had to say something because it’s rare to find another woman who thinks in my quirky way. It is nice to meet you. Curious, what do you do for your husband’s birthday? I’m trying to step up my game there. Have a great night.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I have done different things for my husbands birthday–from making special homemade meals to planning a weekend getaway. I think the most important thing is to get rid of your own agenda and try to really focus on what would make him happy. And that might just mean giving him a free day to watch sports on TV or whatever…as hard as that may be haha!

  4. great list. Last month my boys turned 3. I put up a few streamers and blew up 6 balloons to decorate the house when they woke up. We did the paper chain countdown too. Birthday morning we took our twins to IHOP for breakfast because they want pancakes every morning. while waiting for food, i walked next door to Dollar Tree and they picked out a birthday balloon that they wore all day. I think the balloons made them feel special and made everyone around them smile. We took them on a train ride and then to lunch at Chick-fil-A. They had their balloons on all day. I tied it around their waist so it wouldn’t blow away. The balloons ended up being awesome because we could find them easier in a crowd and reel them back if necessary. 🙂 I also used Coke Rewards to make a free Shutterfly story book of their train ride. So proud of how this birthday turned out for them. We also had a party with friends and family that Saturday. They had their choice of cupcakes on their birthday and at their party. I get one chance to make 2 totally opposite boys happy for their birthday. I am proud of my efforts this year. crossing my fingers for next year.

  5. This is awesome. I actually came up with something cool. It will take a year to do and won’t be seen for another decade or so. Im making a time capsule with some of his favorite chewable toys, first shoes, bank checks, cash, etc and putting them in a firesafe box and I will bury it in my backyard. By his tenth birthday we will dig it up and and have a throwback birthday. I’m suprised I thought of that one on my own, haha.

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  15. Grandma of 7 says:

    Hi all I’m a grandma of 7 small children. As grandparents , grandma and grandpa are doing this with every child making a special day together . They pick where we eat , they pick a special place to visit, zoo , aquarium, whatever then back to our house forcake and presents sitting on a decorated chair. It’s working out so nice .

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Sounds perfect!

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  19. Kimberly J. Miller says:

    We like to do what we call “utensil night.” We grab the utensils for cooking lay them out on the table and let everybody choose one- this is what we eat our dinner with- including the adults. It’s very funny to watch someone try to eat their corn with a spatula or bacon tongs. It began as an idea out of “family fun” magazine on how to get your children to eat vegetables. Since we’ve never had trouble eating vegetables in this family it just became a fun idea to do on other nights.

  20. Love it, especially the video interview! Such a great idea thank you x
    One thing I thought was a pain is that it was spread across 6 pages (not sure if you can help this or not) just about disregarded it for that fact think it would be easier just on 1 page but other than that was brilliant. Sorry, not trying to be rude just bring truthful. PS: 11!!! You are amazing!!!

    1. Crystal Applegate says:

      I agree! The ideas are amazing but the ads are ridiculous and hard to get through. Maybe one page with ads at the very bottom. I almost quit reading the article because it was such a turn off. The idea themselves though are great!! Thank you

  21. I love the lunchbox idea. My son’s birthdays are in the summer, but this year he will be at camp. We always do a Balloon Extravaganza on the birthday day. We have balloons for days. My sons have the same birthday so now I need to find ways to make it extra special for each of them. We go to dinner for the older one and breakfast for the little one. They have a birthday pin and a birthday hat. This year my son turning 7 asked to not have dinner but have whatever he wants for dinner on his birthday. It’s a yes day to most things. Rachel from https://www.explorekidtalk.com/

  22. Oh, I love this post so much! I came across this last year while looking through Pinterest and with my kids birthdays all coming up in Jan I was really hoping to find it again. I love it! I am definitely doing this and your mama is amazing! I was just wondering though, I’m trying to sort routines for my kids and I LOVE the idea of a breakfast schedule … do you remember what the other breakfast days were? Lol 🙂 thank you so much for sharing this post.

  23. Sarah Thieben says:

    This is super annoying… Where are the 25 ideas? I just see products for Amazon.

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