One thing many counselors who work at a day camp for kids see is that when it is a child’s birthday the event gets mixed into the day. While this is fine, especially since parents have plans for the weekend or even that night, the truth is that children’s birthdays are only very special to them for a certain number of years.
For this reason we think it’s a great idea to make a big deal out of your child’s special day and encourage others to do so, as well. This can include making the birthday an event that begins the night before. It will take some planning, but it is the kind of thing we do for the people we love.
Starting the Birthday the Night Before
When we say that the birthday starts early, we don’t mean that you let your child open a present, or that you should get into the tradition of celebrating a birthday-eve. Instead, you can prep your child for the next day at dinner that evening by asking what he or she would like to eat the next night.
During this conversation you can tell him that if he gets to bed on time there will be a surprise in the morning. This surprise can include a special breakfast (pancakes instead of cereal, perhaps), opening a present, or extra time to play or watch a show before going to camp.
With this in mind, your child will be motivated for his special day.
Birthday at Camp
When your child is at camp you can set it up that there can be a special lunch or dessert for his birthday. This can include having pizzas delivered or bringing in cupcakes or a cake. While many kids may not prefer to be the center of attention, no child minds having the recognition of a birthday bestowed upon him or her.
This will make his day special, as well as those who attend the summer day camp.
A Special Ending to a Great Day
If you can make it work, arrange to bring your child home from camp rather than have him take the bus. This, of course, is if he prefers to be picked up.
On the way home you can stop somewhere for him to pick out a present, get a movie to watch, or even pick out a favorite drink to go with dinner. This can be a big deal in homes that don’t allow soda or sugary, non-juice drinks.
At home there can be balloons waiting at the front door and maybe even a sign. By including these festive details you can add something extra without spending too much in the process.
From there it is the usual birthday dinner with dessert and some presents. If there’s time, maybe the family can watch a movie or show together, or even play a game.
There are many ways to make your child’s birthday even more special than it already is. By making his or her day an all-day event, you can be sure it will be a memory that lasts a lifetime!