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Another surefire way to make you child feel special as they turn a year older? Decorate!
Here are some simple birthday decorating ideas to make the day festive.
Make the Decorations a Birthday Morning Surprise
Okay, I guess more accurate would be to make it kind-of a surprise.
If you start this tradition, your kids will know that they’ll wake up to find decorations the morning of their birthday.
They’ll also have a pretty good idea what those decorations will look like if you keep it fairly simple (more on that below).
But I guarantee it will still be fun and heart-warming to see their grins when they witness the transformation from plain old living room/dining room/etc. to Celebration Central.
Do the decorating after your kiddos are asleep.
The Simple Birthday Decorating Ideas are the Best Ones
In 2020, during the first wave of COVID, the boys’ birthdays arrived at the moment everything was shut down.
That year we stayed up late — because as noted above, all this happens after the kids are in bed — to drape streamers from the ceiling and hang balloons in a rainbow configuration.
It looked great, but it took a long while at 10 pm at night…not fun!
While it’s worth making the effort to decorate, we figured out it doesn’t have to be quite as complicated as we made it that year.
Maybe this depends on the kid, or the age of the particular kid. But I know our two oldest boys, who just turned 6 and 8, haven’t said a word about the absence of ceiling streamers or elimination of a few balloons in 2021 or 2022.
Also, for those of you with multiple kids with birthdays even somewhat close together,…
MOM, BEWARE! THEY’LL COMPARE!
(Yes, I deliberately made that a rhyming phrase so I/you can remember it easily. It’s one that unfortunately applies to oh-so-many parenting situations beyond birthdays. You’re welcome.)
You’ll have to ensure the decorations you put up for Kid 2’s birthday are just as fancy — but not fancier — than the ones you used for Kid 1.
Even then, don’t be surprised if you hear comments like, “I think she got more balloons.” Kids — lovable but drive you nuts.
Simple Birthday Decorating Ideas – A Suggested Format
So learn from my mistake, and instead use two simple birthday decorating ideas to comprise your standard format.
First, string a birthday banner in a highly visible spot. Tape a balloon at each end.
Second, make a birthday throne. Tape streamers to the back of the chair, attach a balloon to each of the corner posts, and tie on a couple helium birthday balloons.
You’ll love giving the birthday kid a special thrill each time they sit down to eat that day.
And that’s it! Combined with some birthday streamers you child can burst through, this is all the decorations you really need.
Consider Budget and the Environment When Choosing Decorations
In addition to being simple and straightforward, this way of decorating is easy on the wallet. Dollar Tree is a fabulous place to pick up party supplies.
As of 2022, three rolls of streamers, a pack of balloons, a banner, and two helium balloons will set you back $8.75 plus tax (since even good old Dollar Tree has been hit by inflation and all items are now $1.25).
And because you can reuse the banner and the streamers and balloons will last for several celebrations, the next birthday decor expenditure will total less than $3 since you’ll only need to buy a couple helium balloons.
A word about balloons — I am conflicted. Balloons are fun, festive,…and terrible from an environmental perspective.
Any sort of activity that involves balloons in large quantities, like floating dozens of them in the dining room or releasing them outside, creates a bunch of garbage/litter and potentially threatens wildlife.
Perhaps keep the balloons, but limit the number?
In our family, I’m also wondering if my boys would be open to ditching the helium balloons altogether if they learned that helium is a valuable, finite natural resource.
That’s one of my favorite things about writing — it helps me fully process thoughts and come through on the other side with new insights. ANYWAY, I digress.
I’d love to hear if and how your family decorates for birthdays! Do you have any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments below.