Investing in Family: Inexpensive Birthday Tricks

Investing in Family: Inexpensive Birthday Tricks

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my twin girls are turning six this year. Honestly, some days it’s still hard to believe I have a set of healthy, vibrant twin girls, much less a set who is past the toddling and preschool age.

My gals were premature – due early May, born late March. While it wasn’t the extreme case of prematurity you hear about, my girls were both just under four pounds each. So tiny! (To this day, I can still remember how the NICU nurses remarked about their “heavy” weights. Four pounds. Heavy.) After approximately two weeks in the NICU, we brought our two bundles of joy home with us. And didn’t sleep for the next year...

Anyway, that’s another story for another day. What I’m getting at is that birthdays are special and marking them with some fun and festivities doesn’t have to cost a whole lot. In fact, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or work on your part to give your kiddos a special day they’ll remember.

They’ll Want To Wake Up

I cannot remember where I first heard or read this trick, or I’d give credit where it’s due. But last year, I read or heard about the idea of filling the birthday kid’s room with balloons, and that’s just what the hubby and I did. After the girls were snoozing, we blew up a whole package of balloons and turned them loose in their room. It was such a hit, the girls were requesting it this year well in advance of their big day!

Favorite Foods

A kid’s gotta eat, right? And even my two, the pickiest eaters on the planet, have some favorite foods. A birthday is a great time to break out a meal or two or three worth of favorites. Ice cream for breakfast? Why not! Pizza for dessert? Sure!


If your kid’s birthday falls on a school day, you can bring a bit of celebration into the school day. Maybe you could bring in some cupcakes or a cake for the class to share (after clearing it with the teacher/school, of course). Or you could pack a special, unexpected dessert or sweet treat as a surprise for their lunch. If your child is on the older side and past the age where a cake at school is cool and fun, perhaps you could spring for a pizza for his or her lunchtime class.

Make Time For Just Family

The past couple of years, we’ve celebrated our girls’ birthday with family parties, usually on a Sunday or Saturday with some pizza and cake. When their actual birthday fell on a weekday, we’d do something that was right up their alley to mark the special day. One year, it was heading to a local McDonald’s with a huge indoor playland for shakes and playtime (that was the year they came home and hopped into the tub at bathtime with their clothes on. Still not sure what brought that on!) Last year, it was IHOP for a pancake dinner followed by Chuck E Cheese for games. Just us and the gals. It wasn’t big or really expensive, but it was fun, suitable to their age and something they both (and we parents, too) really enjoyed.

Who knows your child better than yourself? Why not take some of those things your child loves and make remembering the day they were born extra special? With a little planning, you’ll see it doesn’t take a whole lot of money or tons of gifts to make a birthday a memorable one for your child.

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jefferson's picture

jefferson wrote:

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 12:50 Comment #: 1

Great list.. We have used the cupcakes at school or soccer practice a couple of times.. My middle child just turned 8, and we decided that it was a good year to go ahead and switch from the big party, to instead having a sleepover with friends.

femmefrugality's picture

femmefrugality wrote:

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 17:28 Comment #: 2

Such fun ideas! I saw the balloon one in a music video one time. Definitely using it. Heck, I'd want someone to do it for me :p