Looking for ways to celebrate your child's next birthday? Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

  1. For a young child, have a “color party” where you decorate with only household items that are “the” color. Choose the games, activities, and food by the color.
  2. Have a PJ party—without the sleepover. All guests can dress in pajamas and bring pillows and blankets. They can watch a movie and snack on popcorn and cake. Depending on the age of the guests, have parents make a pick-up at 9 or 10 pm.
  3. Invite entire families over to celebrate a child’s birthday. The adults can visit and the kids can play.
  4. Have a birthday party for your child every other year. This builds the anticipation for the party year, and it helps kids learn appreciation.
  5. Arrange your backyard into a water park. Just add squirt guns, wading pool games, a Slip-N-Slide, water balloons, and sprinklers. Crank up the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” and let the kids have at it.
  6. On your child’s birthday morning, make pancakes in the shape of her age. Or let your child choose the dinner menu on her birthday, and pick the type of cake she wants for dessert.
  7. Write a personal letter of praise and love to your child every year on his birthday. Keep them in a special keepsake box he can read whenever he needs a boost.
  8. Celebrate your child’s yearly physical growth on a height chart that comes out only on this one day every year.
  9. Throw a spa party. Girls can put on face masks and cover their eyes with cucumber slices. Paint everyone’s fingernails and toenails—have an assortment of colors on hand, from wild brights to pastels to clear.
  10. Have an Olympics-themed party. Give guests a team color to wear to the party, and have “sport” activities planned—three-legged races, kickball, a water balloon toss, hula hooping contests, etc. Make a large chart to keep track of the winners in each game. Award ribbons to the winning team.