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Sometimes birthdays can be hard for siblings, because they aren’t getting the attention that they are used to, or they want to be receiving gifts as well. It is an important lesson, nonetheless, that we do nice things for others. It takes some help, early on (when they are young) to teach them that not everything is about them and that we can find joy in helping others.
Helping siblings to be excited, not jealous, for each other’s birthdays is really important!
A few things that we do in our house, if it is your birthday:
- Cake (cupcakes) for Breakfast!
- Presents and cards when you wake up.
- NO CHORES! (this is their favorite part of having a birthday!)
- Your favorite dinner or your favorite place to eat out
- Stay up 15 minutes later than everyone else for your “special night”
So, in order to make all of our kids feel special and involved (because if they are feeling jealous or envious of the birthday boy/girl, they will make the birthday boy or girl feel less special and we don’t want that to happen). Plus, we want our children to understand the joy that is felt in helping others and seeing that person’s joy when they receive whatever it is we are making or doing to help is a wonderful thing.
Here is what we do…
On the eve of the birthday, have the birthday boy/girl go to bed while the others go to their rooms and read (this is a big secret, and part of the fun! Tell the kids that they have to be as quiet as a spy… go into their room and read quietly, because we don’t want the birthday child to know that they are staying awake.)
Once the birthday child is sleeping, the other kids and I get back up and we make signs. We made around 4-5 signs each, on printer paper.
Once the signs are made, have the kids make a path (quietly) from the birthday child’s bed into your bedroom, or wherever you want to have a morning surprise (It could be their present, balloons, cards, a cupcake…) (See this post on our fun birthday surprise!)
Then, once this is ready to go, we set up their present together. The kids help me get it all ready to go and wrap it. The reason that we do this is because when the birthday boy/girl opens his/her present, I don’t want the other kids to continue to ask if they can use it. I want the birthday child to just get to enjoy it, without having to share it right away (because they will have to share it soon enough, if it is a toy to be shared.)
The kids have so much fun keeping this secret until the morning (not that they have anyone to tell except each other, but they don’t realize that!) For our 6 year old son‘s birthday, his brothers set up the guitar, tried out the microphone, danced and sang a little and then helped me wrap it in a HUGE bag…. all while the birthday boy was sound asleep!
After all of this, the excitement is build and they can’t wait for the birthday boy to wake up, the next morning, and see what we have made! They aren’t thinking about how they wish it was their turn or asking how long until their birthday, they are just excited for today!
PS- I also have our kids help me make the birthday cake or cupcakes that we will eat for breakfast! I normally make them in the day and let the siblings decorate them that night, too. (Unless it is an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen… my favorite!!)
Cards are also made, using their Creativity Kit
That’s it! The kids love being involved! What do you do to get your family involved in birthdays?