Celebrating Birthdays With Kids

There is a lot of advice out there about celebrating kids birthdays. But what about other people’s birthdays? How do you celebrate adult birthdays with kids?

Before having children my birthday wasn’t really a big deal to me. I’d maybe go out for a drink with some friends or take a solo trip for the weekend. However when my sweet, angel-faced toddler had a massive meltdown at the first birthday party he had ever been invited to. I realised that he didn’t know that other people have birthdays too. So I now make the effort to do something on my birthday, and I get them involved too.

Table decorations

How to have an adult birthday with kids around:

If you follow us on Instagram, you will know that it was my youngest sister’s birthday yesterday and what with the pandemic she was fortunate enough to celebrate with us. What follows is a simple, step-by-step plan to have a birthday party without any tears, tantrums or throwing up.

  1. Give advanced warning. That way you can have them ask 5 times a day for 3 months how long until the birthday.
  2. Let them choose the presents. Recycled junk and broken pencils are great. Just make sure you have a ‘real’ present to hand.
  3. Decorations. All of our decorations are reusable. We have a felt banner & colourful card bunting. The children folded up colour star cut outs for table decorations. A great fine motor skills activity & keeps them busy/quiet for a few hours!
  4. Let them bake cake. Seriously, when they get involved in the birthday cake making process they have more respect for the cake. They’re willing to wait their turn for a slice because they take pride in other people enjoying the cake before them. I’m not claiming to be any kind of baker or chef, but you can sign up to receive a simple birthday cake recipe that I have used without fail over the years.
  5. Reward them. I don’t believe in rewarding children for good behaviour. Behaviour should come from understanding and intrinsic motivation rather than external motivation (eg. reward). I also don’t like balloons, they’re harmful to the environment (however, not my birthday = not my choice). In recognition of their positive contributions to the birthday day, they were promised a balloon each to play with the following day, as well as a second slice of cake.

Simple Birthday Cake Recipe

This is a vanilla sponge cake soaked in a rosewater simple syrup, decorated with rosewater buttercream and raspberries.

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