Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Happy Birthday!

Little Life Hacks for BIG Birthday Surprises

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

I’m a firm believer that if your Mamma doesn’t make a HUGE fuss over your birthday, then who will? Now I’m not saying break the bank on every single birthday for over-the-top parties, gifts galore, and food better than what you had at your wedding, but here's a few super special traditions that let your birthday boy or girl know you think they’re the bees’ knees and some easy Mom Hacks to take the stress out of throwing a birthday party.


The Big Day Hacks

Decorate Their Door- More than any party or gift, my kids are beyond ecstatic when they wake up on their birthday to find their bedroom doors covered in balloons, crepe paper, and a birthday sign. Decorating the birthday boy or girl’s door while they sleep is inexpensive, super easy, and so worth the payoff when they wake up to see their surprise. Decorated doors are now expected in this house and this year my kids decorated my door for my birthday---seriously, how sweet is that?


Cupcake Breakfast- Around here, if it’s someone’s birthday, you can bet there will be cupcakes for breakfast. Is it over the top, yes. Is a cupcake a good food choice for the morning, absolutely not. Is it a special treat your kids will love, you betcha. I have grand visions of sending cupcakes to my kids when they grow up and are off at college. Maybe it will be a reminder to call their Mom Every Single Day.


Birthday Present Scavenger Hunt- Make their birthday morning an adventure by leaving clues so the birthday kiddo has to go on a scavenger hunt in your house to find their present. The first clue can be waiting on their decorated door.

Birthday Party Hacks


Use What You’ve Got- If the party theme is also your child’s favorite toy, use those toys as part of the décor! Put those Octonauts in the punch bowl and let them go for a swim. Create a Hulk Smash cake with a Hulk action figure. Got a Minions crazed kiddo? Use their Minion figures to decorate the food table.

Pain Free Piñata- Confession: I loathe piñatas at parties. I know, I know, that’s a major kid party foul. Bring out a piñata and the kids get all Hunger Games and that paper candy holder usually isn’t the only fallen tribute. Save everyone a few black eyes and tears by filling your piñata with goodie bags rather than individual candy. When the piñata breaks, everyone grabs a bag and I can breathe a sigh of relief the piñata part is over.

Ice Cream Hack- Don’t get mobbed by ice cream hungry kids at your next party. Pre-scoop ice cream into cupcake liners, place them on a cookie sheet or metal baking tray and pop them in the freezer. When it’s time to serve cake and ice cream, you won’t be up to your elbows in the dessert.

Jazz Up The Balloons- Don’t spend a fortune on decor when you can grab bags of balloons from the Dollar Store and get a little crafty by:

  • Adding tiny pom poms to the balloons
  • Putting glow sticks inside for a glow-in-the-dark surprise
  • Attaching the balloon strings to golf tees and lining the yard or driveway for a grand entrance.

Give Store Bought Cakes a Facelift- Save yourself a lot of money by using these tricks to turn ordinary store bought cakes into extraordinary birthday treats

  • Make Glitter Sprinkles with ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoon of food coloring. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes on 350 degree and you will get Glitter Sprinkles! Yes, glitter sprinkles! Cover cakes, cupcakes, and cookies with this sparklely treat.
  • Make fun designs on the cake using a cookie cutter or a Play-Doh Cutter as a stencil. Lay the cutter on the cake and fill the inside with colorful sprinkles. So cute!
  • Add Jell-O to white frosting to change the flavor and add a rainbow of colors to your next cake
  • Make your own cake topper by finding free images online and printing them on cardstock. Cut the images out, attach tiny skewers, and place the skewers in the cake for a special 3-D look

Balloon Drop- Want to hear the sounds of sheer joy? Create a balloon drop by taping two a plastic table clothes together with painter's tape (the kind that is sticky but not too sticky). Attach a few long strings on the end of the seam. Attach the table clothes to the ceiling or a ceiling fan and fill with balloons. When you are ready for the drop, one good pull on the strings will make it rain balloons. Yay balloons!

Birthdays should just be really, really, really fun. After all, you're a mom and that means you probably won't get to blow your own candles out ever again. And, I'm OK with that.


This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.