I love birthdays! Birthdays are a perfect time to boost a child's self esteem and let them know how special they are.
My daughter just had a birthday, and my son will have one in a couple of weeks. What do you do for your kids' birthdays? I've noticed a huge variety in what everyone else does. Some throw big parties with friends every year, others every other; some elaborate, others more simple. There is no right or wrong to birthdays, except that every child needs and deserves to feel like a million bucks on their birthday!!
Personally, I start giving my kids "friend" parties on their 6th birthday, then every other year from then on. They seem satisfied with that, because every year we have a family/relative party for them, so the cousins still get to come!
I am the more simple, homemade, themed birthday party kind of mom. I like to be creative and frugal. And I love to make fun cakes of the child's choosing! Soon I will post pics of the cakes [and parties] I have done.
I do not do slumber parties, nor will we let our children slumber elsewhere. Last fall I did do a "pretend sleepover" party for my daughter turning 6, and it was a lot of fun! Party guests got to where their jammies over, bring their pillow, and I had them decorate a birthday pillow case for the birthday girl (that she still sleeps on every night!). (Got the ideas from the FamilyFun website.)
I have established some little traditions for birthdays with my family over the years, like taking the birthday child on a "date night with mom and dad" on (or near) their big day, consisting of dinner (usually at Red Robin) and whatever they choose to do afterward. We usually end our date with a trip to Walmart or Build-a-Bear or somewhere they can pick out something special from mom and dad.
The most important things I make sure to do on birthdays are:
1. Decorate the house! The night before, after kids go down I put up the Happy Birthday banner, the birthday wreath on the front door, the birthday table cloth and special chair cover (equiped with a pocket on the back for love letters and cards from family members), the "You are Special" red charger plate, and the picture frame centerpeice with the birthday child's picture in it. (Dollar store banner, fabric store, some homemade stuff)
2. The birthday pillowcase that covers the birthday child's pillow for the week of their birthday. (Homemade. Birthday fabric found at Joann's)
3. The "I'm the Birthday Girl/Boy" badge that the special child gets to wear to let everyone know it's their day. (Found at Walmart or Zurchers for cheap!)
4. The birthday questionaire which the child (or mom for the little ones) fills out and goes in the child's special binder.
...I know, a lot of work, but a lot of fun! (I got lots of these ideas several years ago from Carleen Tanner's parenting class on "Traditions" as well as from my own childhood, etc.)